David Tennant returns as Doctor Who and lands Tardis during BBC Children in Need

David Tennant will return as Time Lord again for the show’s 60th anniversary

Ellie Muir
Friday 17 November 2023 21:08 GMT
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David Tenant returns to Doctor Who for special 'Unleashed' episode

David Tennant made a surprise return as Doctor Who during the BBC’s annual Children in Need fundraising show.

In the special, which precedes three 60th anniversary episodes out later this month, Tennant shares an encounter with a mysterious new character played by actor and comedian Mawaan Rizwan.

Tennant, as the Doctor, uncovers an age-old mystery involving one of his oldest foes and deadliest enemies: the Daleks.

The clip featured the Kaled scientist Davros, who is the evil creator of the Daleks, played by Julian Bleach.

Davros has employed Rizwan’s character as an apprentice before he leaves Rizwan alone in the room with the Dalek. Then, the “Vworp!” sound of the Tardis is heard as it lands in the Daleks HQ and knocks off the high-tech arm of one of the mutants.

“Just passing by because I got a bit lost,” says Tennant, bursting out the door of the Tardis, not realising he is walking into a Dalek factory.

“It’s funny, 60 years ago, I was this really brilliant woman and now I’ve got this old face back again. I mean, why?”

It isn’t long before the Doctor looks spooked when he spots the huge Dalek in the middle of the room.

Mawaan Rizwan as an mysterious apprentice in the Doctor Who Children in Need special

However, it becomes clear that the scene is set during the genesis of the Daleks, since Rizwan’s character is not aware of their deadliness, nor the fact that they are called “Daleks”.

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“It’s a good job I wasn’t exterminated,” says Tennant, realising that the timelines and the canon are in disarray and escapes back to safety into the Tardis.

“I was never here,” Tennant says, before throwing Rizwan a plunger in a trade-off for the Dalek arm he destroyed when landing the Tardis.

The clip featured the Kaled scientist Davros, who is the evil creator of the Daleks, played by Julian Bleach

The long-running BBC series returns later this month with showrunner Russell T Davies back at the helm 18 years after he brought the classic sci-fi show back in 2005. The It’s a Sin creator takes over Doctor Who for three episodes with David Tennant returning as the Time Lord and Catherine Tate reprising her role before Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa takes over the Tardis during the festive period.

David Tennant said that the special appearance in the BBC series “only feels right” since he participated in the fundraising event every year he was playing the titular character.

“Children in Need is a national tradition, it’s certainly a BBC tradition and Doctor Who is part of that. I’m so glad we’re able to give Children in Need viewers this little extra treat,” he said.

Mawaan Rizwan said: “It was such an unbelievable joy to work with my Whoniverse idols David Tennant and Russell T Davies. My inner child was losing his mind on set.”

Russell T Davies said that Doctor Who has a “fine tradition” of supporting Children in Need, before adding: “I hope that fans and new viewers alike will be able to watch, enjoy, and contribute to this wonderful cause.”

Doctor Who returns on 25 November 2023 with three special episodes with David Tennant.

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