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Doctor Who 60th anniversary special: The Star Beast review

Are you ready for the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary special?

Doctor Who - The Power of the Doctor
Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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I’ve been a fan of Doctor Who since 2005, when Christopher Eccleston exploded onto our screens as the revamped Doctor - and I have never looked back. Through highs and lows (and oh, there have been some lows), I’ve stuck with this weird and wonderful BBC show - and while there have been things I have loved about every single season - like most Whovians, I was absolutely thrilled, not to mention relieved, when Russell T. Davies announced his return to the franchise. 

The man behind what many consider to be the show’s peak is back for the 60th-anniversary specials - which would also mark the return of David Tennant’s Doctor and Donna Noble herself, Catherine Tate - as well as the future series with Ncuti Gatwa. 

WATCH: A sneak peek at David Tennant's return for Doctor Who's special 60th anniversary episodes

So, as someone who was so excited to watch the special that seeing David’s name during the opening credits brought a tear to their eye, here’s my spoiler-free review of one of the most hyped Doctor Who episodes ever, The Star Beast… 

Why has Donna and the Doctor come back?© Alistair Heap
Why has Donna and the Doctor come back?

First of all, I can state with confidence that the fun, silliness and chemistry of the Doctor and Donna years is back in spades. The return of these characters feels so natural, it’s like no time has passed at all for David and Catherine as the bemused yet authoritative Doctor and his chaotic sidekick. 

It has all of the makings of season four’s opener, Partners in Crime, as the Doctor and Donna reunite during a wild adventure concerning the world’s cutest and fluffiest alien, the Meep. One of the things I loved about the Doctor and Donna’s era was the strong character development, something that I felt was lacking in other series - and it is easily the best thing about the episode as the characters shoot unforgettable quips at one another. Oh, that and the new TARDIS, but I’ll let you discover that for yourselves. 

David Tennant returns as The Doctor© James Pardon
David Tennant returns as The Doctor

Heartstopper fans will also be thrilled to see Yasmin Finney up front and centre as Donna’s smart (and thrifty) daughter, Rose. As the show’s first-ever main trans character, I think discussions around her identity are going to be adored and very much celebrated by fans. 

Yasmin Finney as Rose © Alistair Heap
Yasmin Finney as Rose

So what else can I tell you about the plot, without giving the game away? The Doctor is back with his old face, and very confused about it, when he runs into his old pal of the past, Donna. However, the issue with that is that if Donna ever remembers him, her mind will burn and she will die, for reasons explained here. 

Donna Noble in Doctor Who © James Pardon
Donna Noble in Doctor Who

Since this is a spoiler-free review, I’m not going to be the one to reveal any big secrets, but let’s just say a big 'welcome back' to Russell, who utterly sticks the landing with this witty adventure.