Jodie Whittaker pointing at herself on Doctor Who

On ‘Doctor Who’ There’s a New Doctor—Wait, WHAT?

As Jodie Whittaker gave her final speech and told the next Doctor that “tag” they were it, we watched as she slowly regenerated. And what happened in that moment should have been the typical fare we’ve come to know from Doctor Who. Whittaker would say something heartbreaking, she’d look up at the sky, and then become Ncuti Gatwa. What we got instead was a curveball.

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Now, it isn’t a shock what I am about to say because it was very much known that fans were going to see the return of the fan favorite Doctor, but we weren’t exactly sure how it was going to work. But now with the end of Whittaker’s run as the Doctor in “The Power of the Doctor” and the next year of Doctor Who on the horizon before us, what does this all mean?

So the shocking thing is that Jodie Whittaker put her head back and suddenly her very fun outfit was changing along with her body (something that does not happen with regenerations typically) and we were suddenly thrown back into the era of Who with a certain converse-wearing, trench coat-loving man. I’m talking of course about the return of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. Or … is this 10.5? Or is this a new Doctor?

What do we label this new Doctor as?

Fans back in the heyday of Tumblr used to love to label their favorite Doctors with a hashtag or a certain way of spelling their name. For me, my favorite Doctor was always (and continues to be) Eleven. Matt Smith played the Eleventh Doctor, hence calling him Eleven. With Tennant, his era was the Tenth Doctor, and while Ten was a fan favorite, he also had a human version of himself who went to live with Rose Tyler, so there was a 10.5 version out there in the world. So what does this new version stand as?

What we do know though is that Tennant’s return as the Doctor is that it is marking their (the Doctor’s) fourteenth regeneration (which gets wonky when you think about the War Doctor and the Fugitive Doctor). In a post from the official Doctor Who website, Russell T. Davies clarified what is to come for the series. “If you thought the appearance of David Tennant was a shock, we’ve got plenty more surprises on the way! The path to Ncuti’s Fifteenth Doctor is laden with mystery, horror, robots, puppets, danger and fun! And how is it connected to the return of the wonderful Donna Noble? How, what, why? We’re giving you a year to speculate, and then all hell lets loose!”

Fifteen is coming …

Now, we did get a glimpse of Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor in the teaser trailer for the 2023 season of Doctor Who, which will include the 60th anniversary specials. We don’t know much about him other than this great look he was rocking in the trailer, and also that they let him be Scottish! AGAIN WE HAVE A SCOTTISH DOCTOR!

So right now, I have about a million questions for the series and what is to come but man was I excited when I saw David Tennant again and then was instantly gifted with Ncuti Gatwa’s first moments as the Doctor. This is going to be a great time for fans of this series.

(image: BBC America)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.