Doctor Who News: David Tennant, Billie Piper On Board for 50th Anniversary Special

Doctor Who Anniversary Special Cast Tennant PiperAt least one former Time Lord and companion — David Tennant and Billie Piper— are officially on board for Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary special, to start filming this week in the UK.

Additionally, John Hurt (Alien) has been cast in the BBC America special, which was written by Steven Moffat and will be directed by Nick Hurran.

The news comes just as Doctor Who Season 7 resumes, tonight at 8/7c.

VIDEO | Doctor Who Season 7 Spoilers, ‘Bells of St. John’ Prequel

Tennant made his debut as the Tenth Doctor in June 2005, and last filled the role on January 1, 2010. Since exiting Who, he has appeared in the miniseries Single Father, The Escape Artist and Spies of Warsaw (premiering April 3).

Piper played companion Rose Tyler starting in May 2005, and exited the series with Tennant in his final episode, “The End of Time.” She went on to headline the series Secret Diary of a Call Girl for four seasons.

Also as part of the 50th anniversary plans, BBCA is co-producing a TV-movie chronicling the series’ genesis and the Time Lord’s maiden voyage on Nov. 23, 1963. An Adventure in Space and Time will star David Bradley (aka the Harry Potter films’ Argus Filch) as William Hartnell, the series’ first Doctor.

Which other Doctor Who alumni do you hope sign on for the anniversary celebration?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Eric says:

    Yes! David Tennant was my doctor, and I’m so glad to see him return to the role. And to hear that Rose will be accompanying him once again? My day has been made.

    • Gillian says:


    • Spirit says:

      Hold up, hold up. The Tenth Doctor won’t be in the special. The Part Human, Part Timelord Doctor that grew out of the hand will be. They’ll be going to that parallel universe. Still, it’s REALLY awesome nevertheless.

      • vincent merkel says:

        So how do you know this …did you write the episode …I don’t think so…since it’s under lock and key you have no clue but assumption…never ever assume around the doctor …multiple doctors have appeared together before …..its a timey wimey thingy……

    • The Squatch says:

      David Tennant was definitely my favorite doctor, (even though I swore I would hate him when I found out Christopher Eccleston was leaving the role because I loved him too.), but for some reason I just never much cared for Rose or any of her storyline for some odd reason. I can’t even really explain why. Something about her just didn’t set well with me. I think the Ponds are probably my favorites. Donna and Martha Jones were fun too. Does Captain Jack Harkness count as a companion? (I never really thought of him as one, but I guess technically he was…?) If so, I guess he has to be at the top of the list somewhere as well.

  2. I’m curious to find out when in the character’s history we’ll see the characters, and more specifically which Doctor Tennant is playing, the Doctor or his clone. I for one would prefer it if it was the clone (or maybe it’s both?).

    One theory is that the clone is the evil Doctor (Valeyard), so maybe Tennant is playing the bad guy?

  3. Brooke says:

    I gasped out loud when reading this headline. Awesome!!

  4. Amanda says:

    I’m glad they’re participating, but unfortunately for me their just my least favorite Doctor and companion. Not that I hate them – just felt their entire arc was dragged out far too long. I don’t know how they can even expand on it further.

  5. Gail says:

    I would really like to see Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) return with her memory back. She was my favorite of Tennant’s companions .

  6. Dale Haden says:

    Captain Jack would still be nice, though he has said he isn’t part of it…..

    • Gail says:

      You never know. Back in January Billie Piper said she would not be a part of the show because she had not been asked.

      • shanazmataz says:

        shes most likely been asked since then then YAYY!!
        David N Rose were and still are to this day my FAV Dr n companion there amazing and i love them no one can ever live up to there standards

    • Jeff B says:

      And John Barrowman said that very recently too. However, he has a nice recurring stint on the sci-fi hit of the current tv season “Arrow” but any Dr Who reunion from the reboot wouldn’t be the same without Captain Jack Harkness. There are still so many things left unresolved with that character such as what exactly is the character’s real name?

      • Paul Penna says:

        If Alex Kingston can be in both Doctor Who and Arrow, I don’t see why John Barrowman can’t be.

        As for his unresolved mysteries… some mysteries are better left unresolved. The Doctor was created in the sixties and we still don’t know his real name and I doubt we ever will.

        • vincent merkel says:

          go back to last season ….the biggest question Dorian repeated over and over as the Doctor left him : Doctor Who ? Doctor Who ? Doctor Who?

      • Shein Die says:

        CAPT. JACK!! … John Barrowman is against appearing – but it wouldn’t be the same without him.

        • Becky Reeve says:

          John Barrowman is NOT against appearing. He has stated months ago that he had already talked to his bosses at Arrow who agreed to give him the time off if the opportunity came up to be in the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special. He would do it in a heartbeat!

  7. Betsy says:

    oh my GOD, dw writers, LET IT GO ALREADY.

    • Mary says:

      SERIOUSLY. I cannot believe I am gonna have to bear with Ten and Rose fans and their tru wuv for years and years to come.

      • Betsy says:

        please don’t even remind me. ~the most specialest wonderfulest best companion of ever, y’all~

        it makes me sad because I used to love rose, but they just couldn’t leave well enough alone with her.

        • AT says:

          Let what go? Rose was in less episodes than Amy. Her arc rounded out the RTD era. Big deal. It wasn’t dragged out. It was played out in a realistic, proper way. All of the characters in RTD’s run were. They all came back and ended with the eleventh regeneration when Moffat took over. Rose WAS presented as the girl the Doctor was in love with so it couldn’t just be left hanging because some people didn’t like the writer’s creative decision to PURPOSELY tell a love story. So now, why wouldn’t they want to bring back a character that the majority of the audience likes for an ANNIVERSARY special? Rose is a popular companion. She helped bring back the show. And going off your second post with your condescending tone I’d just like to say that I am so sick of certain people always going off about how Doctor/Rose fans are crazy. Most are normal. Sure there are always extreme shipper types who make noise. I could argue that all Doctor/River fans are nuts too based on a few crazies. But I wouldn’t be that inconsiderate or disrespectful to them. Normal, everyday people who love the characters, arc and yes love story that was PURPOSELY presented between the Doctor and Rose on the show don’t like to be grouped together with a few nutsos. And to be frank, whether or not people like their love story it is there. So people screaming about their true “wuv” in an obnoxious way just come across angry that the writers chose to run with that story in the first place. But they did. And Rose remains popular as do the Eccleston/Piper and Tennant/Piper pairings. And according to RTD whenever Rose returned the ratings went up. So on Moffat’s part this seems like a very clever move. Why? Because despite a few loud haters online, most people liked Tennant as the Doctor and most people liked Rose. And yes, most of them are just normal people.

    • tee says:

      Why are you such an idiot? Its for the 50TH ANNIVERSARY… TO CELEBRATE DOCTOR WHO. The point is to make it special and to try and get fan loved characters back if they can. I think you’re the one that needs to let it go… your hatred that is.

  8. Gary says:

    How neat would it be if they got Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor with Rose and the 10th Doctor all in one scene. .

    • KCC says:

      This would be amazing!!

    • AT says:

      That would be awesome!

    • Montie says:

      It would be neat but likely not to happen. CE hated being The Doctor which is why he only got one season. :(

      • AT says:

        Actually he loved playing the Doctor according to him. He just didn’t agree with some of the behind the scenes behavior of one of the directors and one of the producers. He said as much last year in some acting class. He won’t name names though. It was something to do with how crew members were treated like dirt in a classist kind of way from a specific director and producer. Honestly it’s not hard to figure out who. And then the BBC handled his departure badly and were extremely rude to him about it.

    • Lisa Scrak says:

      That would be great, it would be interesting to have Rose with CE’s Doctor and DT’s Doctor with a companion from the specials. Due to the love story arc (which I think the reboot needed) it could offer some great bickering and carrying on between 9 and 10 a la Troughton/Pertwee. Just hope they get my fav doc, Peter Davison and on a side-note it would be cool since he is grandpa to DT’s children.

    • Berenice says:

      THIS. I want this.

  9. Cath says:

    I can’t even express how happy this makes me! Tennant was my Doctor, and Rose was my favorite companion- I loved their chemistry! I’m kind of hoping that the story somehow brings back the half-human Ten with Rose, since I’d like to know how their lives have gone since “Journey’s End.”

    • Tess says:

      I’m thinking that unless we hear of more former Doctors returning that Tennant will be back as the Doctor’s human hybrid clone and not the Doctor himself. It would make more sense to a story involving Rose again anyway, that #11 and presumably Clara would wind up back in Pete’s world somehow and encounter Rose and #10’s clone as (for the sake of the shippers) her now husband. I stil think the anniversary also needs some sort of acknoledgement of more of the past than just the recent run, but having David Tennant and Billie Piper back is a great start.

  10. David4 says:

    NO MORE ROSE!!!!

    Any of the previous Doctors can come back, that’s fine, but we do not need Rose!!! No more!

    • KCC says:

      YAY!! I’m hoping that they all come back for the special: 9th, 10th, 11th, Rose, Martha, Donna, Amy, Rory, River, new girl, Mickey, Jackie, Captain Jack, Donna’s mom & grandpa Wilf, Doctor’s daughter and 10th’s clone

      • AT says:

        Totally with you KCC. Not only do I love Rose, but all of the past recurring or regular characters! I hope to see as many as possible. I love to see returning faces.

      • Crowley says:

        It’s the 50th anniversary, not the 8th. They should bring back Jamie, Donna, Ian, Ace definitely, and Jack. They should bring back as many Doctors as they can, and come up with a way to make it seem realistic that the Classic Doctors are older. They did it well in Time Crash. They could do it here.

        • Davvid4 says:

          Yeah it’s 50 years, EVERYONE knows that, BBC is the one showing they don’t care. But I love the fact for the 50th we get ONE new episode this year, and It’s only 60 minutes long. I do not want to waste time on Rose. If they wanted to do another 50th anniversary series of 13 episodes that would be fine, but it is ONE episode and that’s it. Rose is not need.

          • Tom Charles says:

            Um…….we’re getting more than one episode, and what’s your beef with Rose? She was awesome.

          • scooby says:

            I think people who don’t like Rose are just secretly jealous that it was her and not them. Some characters you project yourself onto/identify with, others you’re mad that it’s not you for some reason, even though it’s fictional so it could never be you anyway. If the person is close to you in look, personality, or something else in their life or essence, you might love or resent them. It just depends. I happened to identify with Rose. Rose brought out the best in the Doctor, that’s why 10 left his clone with her. Partly to make her feel better, and partly because she could do for him what she did for 9 & 10. Rose is a great representative of humans without being some Lara Croft type. She is inquisitive, tenacious, and adapts the way the Doctor imagines we’re capable of doing at our best. If he thinks of Rose as a physical manifestation of what he loves about human beings, and some fans don’t like her, I just don’t know what to do about that. It’s an impasse and they’re just not on the same page he is.

          • vincent merkel says:

            YOU ARE CLEARLY Not a fan……. it has been said by Moffett that anyone who believes the episode is going to be sixty minutes is well misinformed and not a fan…I guess David4 that makes you the dreaded outsider geek with no clue … America we call people like you republicans

        • Lisa Scrak says:

          Time Crash was great and PD’s thrill at still being able to fit his costume, with only slight adjustments, very cute. Be a great feate if they got Tegan back, could imagine the grief she would give 5 for being aged 30 plus years for the special. Not sure since the actress in question left acting.

    • vincent merkel says:


  11. TVPeong says:

    I would love to see how their lives have moved on since their last outing with the doctor – Rose and Tenth’s clone (and Jackie), Martha and Mickey, Amy and Rory, Donna, her husband and Wilf.

  12. Michelle says:

    YES!!!!!! Favorite Doctor and favorite companion together again! Woot!

  13. Ashley says:

    Jeez a little on the hate for rose. I loved her! Each companion was good for that time. Yes she was prevalent in a lot of the 10 years but only because she was the first one in. We haven’t seen the pond effect. AnyWho love Tennats he my favorite!

    • Betsy says:

      rose was a great character for a bit, but her arc ran its course and the writers continue to attempt to resurrect it in increasingly asinine ways — it’s storytelling that very obviously panders to the fans without regard for how things should evolve organically.

      • AT says:

        She returned ONCE after she was stuck in the parallel universe. The end of time episode was a scene in the past and certainly wasn’t asinine. A time traveler goes back in time to before they met so he can see the woman he loves one more time before he regenerates (symbolic of dying). Hmmm. Yeah, I can see how that’s not “organically” evolving. All of the RTD characters made returns for the end of season four. So why wouldn’t Rose? And as for the anniversary special how can you judge what hasn’t even been presented yet? In translation what you’re saying is that they’re pandering to Rose fans rather than pandering to Rose haters? Considering some “extreme” Rose haters were rudely telling Moffat to never bring back Rose, it’s not surprising that he responded defending Rose and is now bringing her back. Even last year he said he had a story for Rose in his head. I’m interested to see what that is. Everything presented with Rose so far has evolved organically. At least arguably. Of course liking something is always subjective. As for the future, I can’t say. But certainly I’m open to it.

  14. abby says:

    BEST.NEWS.EVER. seriously, i’m squee-ing over here (sorry, unabashed fangirl). Wonder how they’ll do it – if it will be a timestream cross or the metacrisis doc and rose from the parallel universe – maybe they found a way to cross over to help save the world. that would be pretty cool!

  15. bright fire says:

    Rose is the Bad Wolf destroyer of Dakeks and well fantastic! but man I l

  16. bright fire says:

    I would love to see Donna lol she just slapped 10 around all the time!! They are all wonderful! Baptism Jack is fun too hope he shows his pretty face !!

  17. Autumn says:

    Best news ever! I love these two together. It wouldn’t have been a good anniversary without them IMO. This is just awesome. :)

  18. Barb says:

    I wonder which Doctor it’ll be if they bring back Rose – the original Ten or Ten.2 who stayed with Rose.

    • Gail says:

      Would like it to be the clone so that we see a continuation of that story. The thing is this story has to serve a lot of characters so most appearances will probably be brief. I wonder how long this special will be. Hope they give a shout out to Sarah Jane.

  19. mia says:

    They need to get Barrowman + Kingston involved!!!!!! And as long as I’m wishing, I hope Chris Eccelstone will compromise and join up. He’s my Doctor

  20. Gail says:

    The Ponds said they wanted their ending set up so they could not come back so I guess they will not be a part of this special.

  21. AT says:

    Personally, I would love to see (on top of Rose and the Tenth Doctor) Captain Jack, Martha, Mickey, Jackie, DONNA, Wilf, etc…I think it would also be nice to see some kind of tribute to Sarah Jane. Maybe some of the kids from the Sarah Jane Adventures could make an appearance. Oh and of course…as impossible and as unlikely as it seems I would LOVE to see Christopher Eccleston back!!!!!I also think it likely during the anniversary we’ll probably see River Song head off to the library.

  22. David says:

    This is the 50th Anniversary of Who, not the 8th Anniversary of NuWho. At least one Doctor from before 2005 is needed. Tom Baker…please! But since Moffat is clueless since he took over the show, I doubt it.

    • AT says:

      Maybe he’ll get Davison again. My guess it’s probably harder to get some of the older actors back. Sometimes they can be expensive or perhaps even say no if asked. Hard to say. But I bet there will be at least one from before New Who.

    • Sheila says:

      There’s still time. Maybe we’ll get Peter Davison! He was my first Doctor!

    • Billy says:

      The problem is the older doctors have aged so much since they were The Doctor that it would be hard to have an organic storyline with a good portion of them because they would have to address how old they look…especially since they should have stopped ageing when they regenerated andThe Current Dotor would be technically be working with a version of the doctor before the regeneration…I would be all for them coming back if they can find a way to explain why they regenerated and looked 40 and now look 80…in my opinion

      • David says:

        Moffat’s own “Time Crash” explained the age problem, so problem solved.

      • Chris says:

        Oh, please. None of them look 80. And it’s a sci-fi show! Why are you so worried and find it so impossible to come up with an explanation for their older appearances? Any fan worth their salt could easily invent five reasons in five seconds!

        • Billy says:

          Tom Baker is 79 and most of the others are in their 60s…so they do look totally different than before…plus its not that I’m opposed to it or don’t want it to happen its just they need a great explanation for their aging like they did in Time Crash because I don’t want them to just not mention it at all and pretend they haven’t aged and everything is like it was before because it obviously isn’t

        • Billy says:

          Also I do have a couple ideas for an explanation…they range from just reusing the Time Crash explication to having either the silence, the great intelligence, or the highly hyped monster from this seasons finale trying to rapidly age the past version of the doctors to kill them…but I don’t like any of my ideas and I want the episode to be the best one ever and if they have a half thought out explanation on why they look the way thru do it’ll ruin the whole episode for me

    • znachki says:

      I want Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor for the special. He would be so perfect. They could do so much with him drawing from the radio stories. We don’t know how long his incarnation lasted, so age doesn’t matter, and I so want to see him on our screens at least one more time.

  23. John says:

    David Tennant should be back as The Doctor!

  24. He’s wearing Eccleston’s jacket in the photo.
    If Nine doesn’t come back for the fiftieth too, I am going to be upset.

  25. Alan says:

    i enjoyed rose and the 10th doctor when they started but i felt they were dragged out a bit too long and was glad to see them go. i really hope their role is small and doesnt overshadow matt smith and jenna-louise coleman by giving the best bits to characters who we wont be seeing again.

  26. EVPandHC says:

    Again? Did we need to see Rose again? She was dragged on for too long!

  27. scottymac says:

    Sylvester McCoy was my least favorite. And since its a 50th special… How bout Tom Baker, with companions Romana and K-9. Or am I just really showing my “old” age of 40. This was the Doctor I grew up with :-)

  28. louise says:

    I don’t know how I feel about this. On the one hand, ROSE AND TEN, YOU ARE MY FAVOURITES, on the other hand… I don’t really want Moffat to touch them? Or anyone beside RTD, really, because they might screw it up.. Oh well, I’ll try to have faith :P

  29. paula says:

    I wonder if we’ll see how things are going with Rose and the human version of 10? I would love to see Donna and Wilfred again; I enjoyed Donna as a companion. I’m looking forward to it, no matter what they do!

  30. Adam Bramble says:

    Oh news on Doctor Who on Tvline :o wtf?
    Great news tho.

  31. mac says:

    But Cpt. Jack ? =(

  32. Alan says:

    this is going to cause problems because of the awful last few stories from tennats era. why would 10 be running from a regeneration he has already seen and knows must happen? i hated the whole story of him not wanting to regenerate because he likes his current form, it ruined what should have been a great send off for the character.
    at the very least it means moffat gets to write his excellent dialogue for tennant again, i really liked the choices tennant made with the snappy dialogue he was given by moffat.

  33. Tom Charles says:

    Right now thousands of NuWho fans are saying “Who are these people? JAMMY DODGERS! Bow ties and fezes are cool! Stormageddon says it’s a ll abunch of timey whimey nonsense.”

  34. MoshiMoshi says:

    MY DOCTOR!!!!!!! soooo excited!!!!

  35. Chris says:

    PEE YEW. Bring back the great classic Doctors and companions, not Farty and the blonde bimbo!

  36. Gail says:

    I know fans wouldn’t like it but they should recast the earlier doctors so they are the age they were when they played the part, like the rebooted Star Trek. You could then have the first 3 doctors on the show.

  37. Nicole says:

    I liked Rose. Her fans got on my nerves though. I would love to see Donna and Martha back. They were my favorite companions for Ten. I can’t wait to see River. LOVE her.

  38. Linwe says:

    Thrilled about Tennant, definitely not thrilled about Rose. I started out liking her in S1, then they turned her into a selfish, whiny lovesick teenage brat, who brought out those same qualities in the 10th Doctor. And then after she left, they continually kept mentioning her, shoehorning her back into the story over and over again even though it made no sense and there were new companions who deserved their own stories. I never wanted to see her again, and wish they’d chosen someone different to bring back.

    Doctor/companion romance does not sit well at all with most Classic Series fans. I always found it somewhat creepy given the age difference between the Doctor and his companions and I never understood why it was Rose who was so “special” and not Sarah Jane, Jo, Leela, Ace, etc. I sincerely hope that they bring back some Classic Series Doctors/companions too. They deserve it and I’ll need something to help me ignore the Ten/Rose/Eleven “twuu wuv/jealousy” story they’ll undoubtedly do.

  39. Joe says:

    Aside from this great news about 10 and Rose – I want 9, Donna and Capt Jack back too! And oh how about Craig. But I agree with the one who posted am afraid Moffat is gonna screw it up.

  40. Paul says:

    David Tennant debuted in 2006; not 2005. i wonder where this info is coming from?

    • Tikkanen says:

      David Tennant’s first appearance was in The Parting of the Ways, CE’s last episode, which was in 2005, as was that’ year’s Christmas special, which was his first full episode.

  41. jaimej says:

    Haters be darned. I love Rose Tyler (with 9 and 10, can’t wait for 11 to meet her)… I expected Tennant to come back, but I was so surprised (over the moon) to see that Billie Piper was coming with him. They were so adorable on screen together and as much as I love Matt Smith, I feel like something has been missing since he took over. I can’t wait for November to get here. I’m rooting for a Pete’s world reunion, but I’ll take whatever I can get.

  42. This is the most epic thing ever, but I also kind of wish Donna Noble would make an unexpected, triumphant, and dare I say, hilarious return.

  43. george says:

    I’d love at least an appearance of many of the old Doctors. With archive footage and dubbed voices or even animation. It could be a brief thing, in a monitor, like in The Three Doctors. It’d be sad if the 30th anniversary special completely eclipses the 50th, but there’s still time to get McGann, McCoy, Davison, and both Bakers on board. (I doubt that Eccleston will do it.)

  44. It just seems like it’s going to be an 7th anniversary, not a 50th, I hope I am wrong about that.
    Errghh why bring Rose back?

  45. Baffled and frustrated says:

    a lot of these comments I just don’t get, you guys are sitting over here arguing over who should be in the special. why not just be excited to watch the special. my hat goes off to the true fans who don’t care which companions are in it just that it will do justice to the last 50 years of who! I mean everyone is entitled to their opinions but come ON people each companion and doctor is awesome in their own way and that’s part of what makes te show so great so can we please stop arguing and enjoy the whoness (I am aware that that is a word I made up :) ) of it all!!!!!

  46. Tennant Fan says:

    Hov can you list Tennant’s credits and not mention Breadchurch, which was amazing? It’s like you guys don’t even watch tv. :)