Warning! Spoilers for Doctor Who’s first 60th-anniversary special, “The Star Beast,” are ahead.

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Summary

  • Doctor Who’s 60th-anniversary special, “The Star Beast,” reintroduced David Tennant’s Doctor and Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble after 15 years, but left unanswered questions and plot holes.
  • The episode successfully balanced references to the show’s history and new developments, setting the stage for Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor.
  • Mysteries like the identity of the Meep’s boss and the Doctor and Donna’s connection remain unresolved, but it is expected that the upcoming anniversary specials will shed light on these issues.

Doctor Who‘s much-anticipated first 60th-anniversary special, “The Star Beast,” has finally reunited David Tennant’s Doctor and Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble after 15 long years and solved the Doctor-Donna metacrisis problem without killing off Donna, and yet the episode has introduced more questions than it has answered. For instance, Doctor Who debunked the biggest theory about why Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor regenerated into David Tennant’s Doctor, but it didn’t provide an explanation for the question itself. Hopefully, this will be ratified in the next two anniversary specials, “Wild Blue Yonder” and “The Giggle,” that are set to premiere on December 2 and 9.

Seeing the Doctor and Donna Noble together again in “The Star Beast” was satisfying, and the episode perfectly balanced the fun little references to the series’ 60-year-long history and the brand new developments that will take the show into the next era with Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor. Some storylines and characters remained complete mysteries, like the identity of the Meep’s boss, while others seemed to be plot holes, left for ambiguous interpretations, like the new powers of the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver. Thankfully, a few questions in Doctor Who’s first 60th-anniversary episode will likely be addressed by the end of the third special, “The Giggle.”

RELATED: No, That Wasn’t A Cyberman Tease In Doctor Who’s 60th Anniversary

10 Who Is The Meep’s Boss?

It may not be the Toymaker

In Doctor Who‘s first 60th-anniversary episode, the Meep went from an adorable goofball to a vicious murderer in a matter of scenes, but the transformation was impeccable. The Doctor and the Noble-Temple family uncovered the Meep’s intentions and stopped the creature’s evil plan to destroy London, but before being sent to do jail time, the Meep revealed that there was a mysterious “boss” who would appreciate knowing about “a creature with two hearts.” While it is likely that this boss will turn out to be the Celestial Toymaker, he is not the only potential candidate for the role — it could also be the Master or another prominent enemy of the Doctor.

9 Why Did The TARDIS Land Near Donna In Doctor Who’s First 2023 Special?

The TARDIS might have been manipulated

David Tennant Stepping Out of the TARDIS in Doctor Who's 60th-Anniversary Special

The Doctor and Donna’s mysterious connection has been the subject of several story arcs in Doctor Who, but no explanation has been given yet. 15 years after the Doctor and Donna’s tearful goodbye, in the first anniversary episode, the Doctor’s TARDIS practically landed on Donna’s doorstep for no apparent reason. If someone keeps making the Doctor and Donna bump into one another, they have been puppeteering the duo for years. This person or entity, who can be the Toymaker, is powerful enough to manipulate the TARDIS, but it is unclear what motivation they can possibly have to have been orchestrating all this for so long.

8 How Did Donna & Rose Release Their Time Lord Energy?

The Doctor may not have had all the answers

Donna and Rose Releasing Time Lord Energy in Doctor Who's 60th-Anniversary Episode

Doctor Who‘s first 60th-anniversary episode ending was filled with meta Easter eggs and references, but the best one was Donna and Rose’s explanation as to how they could release, or, rather, “let go of,” their Time Lord energy. When the Doctor pointed out that there was still residual energy in the Nobles’ minds, both Donna and Rose informed him that they could release it in a way that no “male-presenting Time Lord” would understand. It may have been a beautiful metaphor for women’s everyday struggles in the world, but it didn’t explain the specifics of erasing the Time Lord’s essence.

7 Why Does The Fourteenth Doctor Look Like David Tennant?

Donna may not be the one who caused it

Prior to the release of Doctor Who‘s “The Star Beast,” the most popular theory regarding the Fourteenth Doctor’s new old face was that it had something to do with Donna Noble, or vice versa. The episode proved that saving Donna wasn’t the reason for the return of David Tennant’s Doctor, as she and Rose were able to “save” themselves by removing the Time Lord energy from their minds. The Doctor’s peculiar regeneration remains an enigma, which will likely be explained in the upcoming anniversary specials. With the new events taken into account, the Toymaker could have easily been behind it all.

6 What Happened To The TARDIS When Donna Spilled Coffee On The Console?

It may not have been Donna’s fault

Donna Spilling the Coffee and the Fourteenth Doctor in the TARDIS in Doctor Who's 60th-Anniversary Special

Donna’s clumsiness got her fired from her last job and caused the TARDIS to go haywire and run away. When the two old friends decided to go for “one last trip” and visit Donna’s grandfather Wilfred, Donna accidentally spilled coffee on the console, which resulted in multiple explosions and the TARDIS’ unauthorized take-off. While Donna’s actions may not have been to the TARDIS’ liking, they couldn’t have been so disastrous that the time-travel machine dematerialized in such a manner. Hopefully, some explanation for this strange behavior will be given in Doctor Who‘s next two anniversary specials.

5 Where Did The Doctor Get A Judge’s Wig?

The Doctor’s pockets may be magical

The Fourteenth Doctor in a Wig Holding a Trial between the Meep and the Wrarth Warriors in Doctor Who's 60th-Anniversary Special

The Doctor always seems to have just the right thing in their pocket, but he has outdone himself in Doctor Who‘s first anniversary episode. The Noble-Temple family and the Doctor arrived at a parking lot, and the Time Lord decided to hold a trial for the Meep, hoping to work out what was going on between the creature, the Wrarth Warriors, and the possessed soldiers. Suddenly, the Doctor pulled out a judge’s wig from his pocket and matter-of-factly started listening to the testimonies. The Doctor’s new sonic screwdriver may create projections and shields, but the inner workings of the Time Lord’s pockets are even more elaborate.

4 Where Was The Head Of UNIT, Kate Stuart?

The Head of Unit may have had better things to do

The Doctor and Kate Lethbridge-Stewart Walking and Looking Worried in Doctor Who's 60th-Anniversary Specials

Jemma Redgrave’s Kate Stuart is set to be a key player in the 60th-anniversary specials, but for some reason, she was missing from “The Star Beast.” Doctor Who‘s UNIT, led by the perky new Scientific Advisor, Shirley Anne Bingham, was present and at the center of the action, but Kate was off somewhere, despite the fact that the whole of London was in grave danger. The Head of UNIT might have a lot on her plate at all times and only show up when the entire planet is at risk, but her absence from the episode was suspicious nonetheless. With any luck, the upcoming anniversary specials may provide some clarity on the subject.

3 Who Is Shirley Anne Bingham & Why Did The Doctor Unload On Her?

UNIT’s Scientific Advisor number 56 may not be who she seems

Speaking of UNIT’s higher-ups, Doctor Who‘s first 60th-anniversary episode introduced a new member, Scientific Advisor number 56, Shirley Anne Bingham. She was rather helpful to the Doctor and the Noble-Temple family, and her wheelchair-adjusted weapons impressed even the Doctor, who is a known pacifist. However, something about Shirley doesn’t quite add up. She seemed too good to be true, and the way the Doctor told Shirley his entire life story moments after they met was uncharacteristic of him. Shirley’s Doctor Who journey may not be over yet, and she may still show her true colors in the next two anniversary specials.

2 How Did Donna & Rose Know About The Doctor’s Thirteenth Incarnation?

The Doctor-Donna metacrisis may be more complex than previously believed

Donna and Rose Noble Looking Pleased in Doctor Who's 60th-Anniversary Special

Apart from Donna and Rose’s astounding problem-solving skills, Doctor Who‘s “The Star Beast” unveiled another layer to the concept of the Doctor-Donna metacrisis. Despite the fact that Donna parted ways with the Doctor years before Jodie Whittaker’s incarnation appeared, she knew all about her friend regenerating into a female-presenting Time Lord. Both Donna and Rose seemed well aware of the Doctor’s past that took place without them in his life, which meant that the metacrisis was more complex than originally expected. Even though Donna’s memory was wiped, the link between her and the Doctor presumably never disappeared, but that has yet to be confirmed.

1 Why Couldn’t The Doctor Just Ask Donna To Press The Right Buttons?

The Doctor may have a wibbly-wobbly post-regeneration mind

Donna and the Fourteenth Doctor Separated by the Glass in Doctor Who's 60th-Anniversary Special

Doctor Who‘s 60th anniversary would never have been so special without the Doctor and Donna’s reunion, but the first episode made it seem unnecessary to an extent. When the Doctor needed to stop the Meep, he realized that he’d had to lift the block from Donna’s mind since the divide prevented him from pressing all the buttons by himself. However, the Doctor could have simply given Donna the instructions on what to do on her side of the room. Instead, he opted for waking up the Doctor-Donna conscience. The Doctor’s choice to risk Donna’s life could be attributed to the post-regeneration brain fog, but the official reason for the Time Lord’s actions remains a mystery.

Doctor Who‘s second 60th-anniversary episode, titled “Wild Blue Yonder,” will be available on Disney+ (to international audiences) and BBC iPlayer (to UK viewers) on December 2.

  • Doctor Who Poster

    Doctor Who

    Release Date:
    1963-11-23

    Cast:
    Jenna Coleman, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Kingston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi

    Genres:
    Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi

    Seasons:
    26

    Summary:
    As the last of the alien species known as the Time Lords, the Doctor travels through time and space in his TARDIS, a time machine thats bigger on the inside than the outside, seeking out adventures in the ancient past and unimagined future while also serving as the protector of Earth and mankind. With a human companion by his side, the Doctor meets extraordinary – and sometimes deadly – characters and creatures from across the universe.

    Franchise:
    Doctor Who

    Story By:
    Sydney Newman C. E. Webber Donald Wilson

    Writers:
    Mark Gatiss, Toby Whithouse, Neil Cross, Steven Moffat, Chris Chibnall

    Network:
    BBC

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