Doctor Who season 14: Everything we know so far

David Tennant as Doctor Who
(Image credit: BBC)

Doctor Who season 14 is getting a bit more wibbly-wobbly and timey-wimey than usual, in honor of the long-running sci-fi series’ 60th anniversary. 

Whovians are used to seeing The Doctor regenerate every few years. Some previous regenerations even pop up now and again depending on the threats that Team TARDIS is facing at any given time. But for the first time, we’re essentially going forward in time by going backward, thanks to some notable returns both in front of and behind the camera. 

Yes, that is very confusing. The short explanation is that Russell T. Davies, who served as the showrunner from 2005 to 2010 during the relaunch of the franchise, is returning to the seminal BBC show alongside former stars David Tennant and Catherine Tate. However, Tennant will not be reprising his fan-favorite role as the Tenth Doctor for this run. Instead, he will portray a different Fourteenth Doctor in three massive specials before handing the reigns over to Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor next year.

Now, ahead of the highly anticipated anniversary celebration, we look at everything we know so far about Doctor Who season 14.

Doctor Who season 14 release date window

Unfortunately, the BBC hasn’t announced a specific date just yet for the premiere of Doctor Who season 14 or the holiday special that will see Gatwa step into the Time Lord’s shoes. However, we do know approximately when to expect them to premiere on BBC in the UK and Disney Plus internationally.

The first episode of Doctor Who starring William Hartnell as the First Doctor debuted on November 23, 1963. To commemorate that landmark anniversary, the first new hour-long special should drop close to November 23, 2023, according to Radio Times. Potentially, it could air on either the Saturday before or the Saturday after that date since new show episodes traditionally air on Saturdays. 

After those three specials (titled “The Star Beast,” “Wild Blue Yonder,” and “The Giggle”) are released, Gatwa’s first official episode will be this year’s holiday special. However, it’s currently uncertain whether it will be a Christmas special or a New Year's special. Instead, the network only revealed that this episode would premiere in December 2023. After that, the actual eight-episode 14th season will officially begin in 2024.

Doctor Who season 14 cast

Ncuti Gatwa as the Fourteenth Doctor in Doctor Who

(Image credit: BBC via YouTube)

David Tennant and Ncuti Gatwa will star in Doctor Who season 14 as the Fourteenth and Fifteenth regenerations of the titular Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who travels through time and space to have adventures and help anyone that may need it. 

Joining them in the TARDIS (the Doctor’s trusty ship/time machine that looks like a police box) as their companions will be Catherine Tate as Donna Temple-Noble and Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday, respectively.

These stars will be joined by a number of guests, including some familiar faces from across Doctor Who history. For instance, we’ll see other members of the Noble family such as Donna’s mother Sylvia (Jaqueline King), grandfather Wilf (Bernard Cribbins in his final role before his death in July 2022), and husband Shaun Temple (Karl Collins). 

Plus, Jemma Redgrave and Bonnie Langford return as UNIT leader Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and Sixth and Seventh Doctor companion Mel Bush. But Indira Varma, who previously appeared in this universe as Suzie Costello in the spinoff Torchwood, will not be reprising her role. Instead, she will play a mysterious character known as The Duchess.

The rest of the cast will include:

  • Aneurin Barnard as Roger ap Gwilliam
  • Yasmin Finney as Rose Temple-Noble, the daughter of Donna and Shaun
  • Lenny Rush as Morris
  • Ruth Madeley as Shirley Anne Bingham
  • Jinkx Monsoon as “The Doctor’s most powerful enemy yet"
  • Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Anita Dobson, and Michelle Greenidge in undisclosed roles 

Doctor Who season 14 plot and season 13 ending explained

When we last saw The Doctor, she was possibly in the most trouble we’ve seen her in to date. In Jodie Whittaker’s final episode on the show, she faced an army of Daleks and Cybermen who were led by The Master in the episode titled “The Power of the Doctor.” With her most nefarious villains cooperating with each other to take her down and destroy Earth, there’s no way that the Thirteenth Doctor stands a chance of saving the day. 

Luckily, her enemies aren’t the only ones with allies. Current companions Dan, Yaz, and Graham joined forces with Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, Vinder, and former companions Tegan and Ace to take down the attack on multiple fronts with the help of the TARDIS’ failsafe AI. But due to mortal wounds suffered during her confrontation with The Master, The Doctor is forced to regenerate and surprisingly appears like the 10th incarnation. 

Details regarding Doctor Who season 14 have been kept very closely under wraps, but the big question about the next chapter of the sci-fi staple has to do with Donna Noble. When Whovians last saw the former companion, as much as it greatly pained him to do so, The Doctor went to great lengths to ensure that Donna would not remember him. If she did, she would also remember the totality of his knowledge, which she absorbed during their confrontation with Davros. The rush of thousands of years' worth of information spilling back into her mind would cause it to burn up and kill her.

But considering that she named her daughter Rose, it’s possible that some memories from her past life have started to bleed through into her mind. And if that’s the case after all this time, then the right Doctor (or the completely wrong one, depending on how you look at it) just arrived on the scene to make a house call and check on his patient.    

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Ben F. Silverio

Ben F. Silverio is a pop culture enthusiast originally from Philadelphia, PA who loves storytelling in all forms. For over a decade, he has worked as a journalist, critic, editor, and social media ninja for outlets such as /Film, Wrestling Inc,, the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, and Ben is also a fan of professional wrestling, superheroes, Disney theme parks, and representation in media.