The titles of the three Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials have been revealed in a new trailer released by the BBC, and here’s what they could mean for each story. Although the specials won’t air until November 2023, anticipation is mounting for the return of David Tennant and Catherine Tate as the Doctor and Donna Noble. The trailer features new footage and dialogue from the 60th anniversary specials, including further glimpses of Neil Patrick Harris’ mystery Doctor Who villain. The trailer also revealed the titles of the three specials as The Star Beast, Wild Blue Yonder, and The Giggle.
The first Doctor Who 60th anniversary special is the final confirmation that Russell T Davies will be adapting the classic comic strip featuring Beep the Meep. However, the titles of the second and third specials are more mysterious, and will cause much speculation between now and November. Here’s what The Star Beast, Wild Blue Yonder, and The Giggle could mean for Doctor Who‘s 60th anniversary.
Doctor Who’s “The Star Beast” Is A Comic Book Reference
“Doctor Who and the Star Beast” was a 1979 comic strip adventure written by Pat Mills and John Wagner for Doctor Who Weekly. In it, the Fourth Doctor and his new companion Sharon helped the cute and furry Beep the Meep evade capture by the terrifying Wrarth Warriors. Beep, the Wrarth Warriors, and a crashing spaceship are featured in the new trailer, confirming that the first anniversary special will be a TV adaptation of this classic comic book adventure. Interestingly, Mills and Wagner had unsuccessfully pitched “The Star Beast” to the BBC as a potential serial for Tom Baker’s Doctor Who era, over 40 years later, the story finally gets the small-screen treatment.
Donna’s pondering if the face of the Tenth Doctor has come back to say goodbye suggests that Donna may not survive her Doctor Who reunion with the Fourteenth Doctor. With such doomy portent, it makes sense for the first special to have a more lighthearted tone and “The Star Beast” will fit the bill. Donna Noble’s discovery of Beep in her daughter’s closet is very funny, and evokes memories of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial. It will likely be a way for RTD to ease viewers into the death and destruction that will follow in the ensuing two serials.
What Doctor Who’s “Wild Blue Yonder” Could Mean
Director Tom Kingsley has teased Doctor Who‘s “weird” second special, suggesting that “Wild Blue Yonder” could be a high-concept adventure for the Doctor and Donna. Wild blue yonder is a term for the sky when viewed at daylight, and has also been adopted as the name of the official song of the United States Air Force. The Wild Blue Yonder was also the name of a 2005 film by the director Werner Herzog, in which an alien (Brad Dourif) tells the story of his species’ failed attempts to build a society on Earth. While it’s unlikely that RTD is referencing Herzog, it’s a story idea that Doctor Who has revisited throughout the years.
Although it was a temporary background to conceal a huge spoiler, Ncuti Gatwa was standing in front of the wild blue yonder in the first trailer for Doctor Who‘s 60th anniversary specials. The second of the specials could, therefore, shed more light on why the Fourteenth Doctor has the Tenth Doctor’s face. Perhaps Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor is stuck somewhere, trying desperately to get the course of his regeneration back on track.
“The Giggle” Is A Major Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Story Hint
“He’s here, driving you mad, laughing at the human race” says the Doctor just before the title of “The Giggle” is revealed. It’s clear that this relates to Neil Patrick Harris’ Doctor Who villain, with the ventriloquist dummies on the screen suggesting that he could be playing the Toymaker. NPH’s villain dances with the Fourteenth Doctor while all hell breaks loose around them which suggests that all the chaos of the previous two specials could have been engineered by him. In the Christmas Day trailer, NPH was seen announcing that “the show is just beginning” so special three could see the villain having the last laugh.
“The Giggle”, and Neil Patrick Harris’ laugh do recall the Joker from Batman, so perhaps the Doctor is finally getting their own lord of misrule. While the Master was always chaotic, and the Doctor’s direct opposite, they did usually have some plan. Introducing a new Doctor Who villain that causes chaos and destruction purely for a giggle could set up a fascinating new Doctor and villain dynamic for the show’s 60th anniversary in 2023.