Doctor Who broke new ground with its latest regeneration – a "bigeneration" that saw the Fourteenth Doctor (David Tennant) and the Fifteenth (Ncuti Gatwa) split into two different bodies.


Given that Tennant's Doctor remains in play – albeit "parked" in semi-retirement on Earth – fans might be expecting to see him again in either a spin-off or in the flagship show, but showrunner Russell T Davies has insisted that there are "no plans" for Fourteen to return.

Speaking at a screening of 2023 Christmas special The Church on Ruby Road, Davies joked: "Sorry, it's the age of Ncuti now – it's 'David who?'"

He added: "No plans, genuinely, yet, because it's a busy TARDIS - these two [Gatwa and Millie Gibson as companion Ruby Sunday] are gonna just sail across the universe and capture your heart, so it's time to look at these two."

David Tennant and Ncuti Gatwa in Doctor Whowith one facing away and the other facing the camera, both dressed in semi-formal attire, experiencing bigeneration, with a fiery energy effect around their clasped hands.
David Tennant and Ncuti Gatwa in Doctor Who. BBC Studios/Bad Wolf

In companion show Doctor Who Unleashed, Davies expanded on the concept of bigeneration, insisting that both the old and new Doctor are the real deal.

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"Bigeneration, we discover, is an ancient myth of the Time Lords where, instead of a new body taking over from the old body, the new body separates from the old body and both are left alive.

"David [Tennant] is parked. For once, we’ve got a happy Doctor who is no longer saving the universe, but is parked with Donna (Catherine Tate) for a happy life, while the Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) – which is always the next Doctor, and that’s always true of Doctor Who, the Doctor is the next Doctor – is out amongst the stars."

Having made his debut opposite Tennant in Saturday's episode The Giggle, Gatwa will return as the Doctor in 2023 Christmas special, The Church on Ruby Road, airing at 5:55pm on Christmas Day on BBC One.

The special will see the Fifteenth Doctor, played by Gatwa, take over the TARDIS and be joined by new companion Ruby Sunday, played by Millie Gibson, with the pair encountering "mythical and mysterious goblins".

Davies has also revealed that an upcoming episode in Gatwa's first season will feature the Beatles as characters.

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