There’s never been a better time to be a Doctor Who fan, and now we finally know when the upcoming special episodes will air on TV thanks to a new teaser trailer.
While we can’t time travel straight to the dates, we can now mark our calendars as the first episode arrives on November 25, airing on BBC One in the UK and Disney+ in other territories.
Debut episode The Star Beast will focus on an alien invasion in London and the reunion of David Tennant's Doctor and Catherine Tate as Donna Noble.
While little is known about second special Wild Blue Yonder, airing on December 2, the third and final special will revolve around the Doctor’s battle against Neil Patrick Harris’s fiendish foe The Toymaker, although it’s likely the villain will be teased throughout the first two episodes. The Giggle will air on December 9.
Here’s what we’ve spotted in the latest teaser trailer for the upcoming special episodes.
1. The TARDIS is going on strike
For a show that revolves around travelling across space and time, the TARDIS – the Doctor’s ship disguised as a police box – is mysteriously absent.
Apart from a brief shot of the TARDIS materialising on the streets of London, the only other time it’s seen in the new trailer is when it’s being airlifted by helicopter to the new UNIT HQ.
The previous trailer showed the Doctor telling Donna that the TARDIS had run away, and while the blue box has shown a level of sentience before, it’s unusual for it to abandon the Doctor in their hour of need.
2. The world is ending... again
A brief glimpse of an apocalyptic London suggests that the Doctor and his allies must once again overcome an end-of-the-world scenario.
As UNIT leader Kate Lethbridge-Stewart – the Nick Fury of the Whoniverse – tells the Doctor that they’re fighting the human race, the Toymaker is seen causing chaos in the streets of London before a plane crashes lands into the city.
Our theory is that the Toymaker is using mind control to turn the human population against the Doctor and wreak havoc on the streets.
3. We’re off to Camden
Camden, the north London home of music and markets, is once again the scene of an intergalactic alien invasion. After making its MCU debut in Eternals, Camden Town is once again in the heart of the action as an alien spaceship crash lands a few streets away from Camden Market.
This spaceship is likely piloted by the Meep, a cute and cuddly alien with not-so-cute dreams of conquering worlds. Voiced by the inimitable Miriam Margolyes, the Meep is seen hiding in Donna Noble’s London home.
The trailer also reveals another central London hotspot will play a role in the specials with the new UNIT HQ located in a skyscraper that towers above other recognisable buildings in the City of London. From our estimation, the Unit HQ is located right next to Leadenhall Market, where Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley scenes were filmed.
4. Teaser or red herring?
The trailer ends with another look at Ncuti Gatwa’s first scenes as the Fifteenth Doctor, but it seems this could be a red herring with Disney also confirming we won’t see Gatwa take control of the TARDIS until the Christmas special, with a full season to follow in 2024.
5. A first look at Doctor Who’s new identity
Early on in the teaser trailer we get a first look at the official Doctor Who ident for international viewers who will be watching the new specials on Disney+.
With a CGI landscape that wouldn’t look out of place in the Marvel multiverse shenanigans, a Tardis chaotically flies across the screen.