Doctor Who

“It’s Phenomenal”: Sixth Doctor Who Reviews First David Tennant Doctor Who Return Episode

Sixth Doctor actor Colin Baker reviews the first episode of David Tennant's Doctor Who 60th-anniversary return, calling the story "Phenomenal".

David Tennant’s Doctor Who 60th-anniversary return gets a glowing review from Sixth Doctor actor Colin Baker, calling “The Star Beast” “phenomenal” and a good example of what Russell T Davies’ new era can hold. Tennant will portray the new fourteenth incarnation of the Time Lord alongside returning companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) across three specials that will air in November and December. Baker portrayed the Time Lord across three seasons from 1984 to 1986, facing Davros and the Daleks, Cybermen, and a darker potential future that awaits him.

While audiences will get their first glimpse at Doctor Who‘s first 60th-anniversary special “The Star Beast” on November 25, Baker opened up about his thoughts on Tennant’s highly-awaited return following a preview screening to The Mirror. The Sixth Doctor actor stated that the episode perfectly captured the show’s tone. praising the story for its effects and faithfulness to the franchise’s history before explaining that it left him eager to see more of Davies’ new era. Check out Baker’s full reaction below:

I was at the screening of the first episode of a couple of days ago and it’s phenomenal. It’s got all the values of Doctor Who, plus all of the technology of today. Russell has done it perfectly and, if it carries on like that, the show will last forever.

How Colin Baker Contributed To Doctor Who’s 60th-Anniversary Celebrations

The Sixth Doctor looks up from the book he's reading, confused about who's coming through the door.

The upcoming Doctor Who 60th-anniversary special is seemingly centered on Tennant’s Fourteenth Doctor, with Ncuti Gatwa set to make his first appearance once the returning actor regenerates towards the tail end of the celebrations. As such, the upcoming specials will not follow in the footsteps of previous anniversary specials such as 1973’s “The Three Doctors”, 1983’s “The Five Doctors”, and 2013’s “The Day of the Doctor” and be a multi-Doctor story. That has not prevented Baker from playing a part in celebrating Doctor Who‘s incredible milestone, however, as the actor had worked alongside other former stars to celebrate the show’s past.

With the BBC IPlayer’s Doctor Who library expanding, Baker was one of the actors recruited to take part in Tales of the TARDIS, a series that saw former Doctors and Companions reunite to reflect on their past adventures. In his installment of the series, an older Sixth Doctor is reunited with former companion Peri (Nicola Bryant) to look back on their struggles in “Vengeance on Varos”, before the pair decide to use the memory TARDIS to go on new adventures together. Baker would also lend his voice to Big Finish’s audio drama range to portray both The Doctor and a future version of the mysterious Curator in their “Once and Future” storyline, a series in which the Time Lord is struck by a mystery weapon and forced to degenerate.

While Baker had a rough tenure due to pressures from BBC higher-ups and chaotic productions, the Sixth Doctor has nevertheless grown more appreciated as time has passed, and the actor has refined the Doctor’s reputation through expanded media. As such, the classic-era actor’s perspective is sure to leave fans eager to see the episode for themselves. Furthermore, with Baker excited for the show beyond the anniversary specials, it is clear that Davies’ new era of Doctor Who could revitalize the franchise while remaining loyal to the series’ tone.

Colin Baker’s tenure as the Sixth Doctor can be viewed on BritBox, while David Tennant’s 60th-anniversary specials will be released on Disney+ on November 25 internationally. Both the classic era and new episodes can be viewed on BBC IPlayer for UK audiences.

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