The two actors are currently shooting scenes airing in 2023.

The BBC has announced that former Doctor Who stars David Tennant and Catherine Tate will return to the show next year. The pair are currently shooting scenes that are due to air in 2023 to coincide with the show's 60th anniversary celebrations.

Tennant played the Doctor for five years, starting in 2005, and his portrayal of the two-hearted alien is widely regarded as among the best in the show's history. Tate played the role of Donna Noble on numerous occasions during Tennant's time on the show and became a regular cast member in 2008. Both actors were cast on Doctor Who by executive producer Russell T. Davies who left the show at the same time as Tennant but has now returned to the series to oversee the show's anniversary celebrations. It was announced last week that Davies had cast Sex Education actor Ncuti Gatwa to play the Doctor full-time after the series' current star, Jodie Whittaker, departs later this year

David Tennant's other credits include Broadchurch and Jessica Jones while Tate has starred in The Catherine Tate Show and the US version of The Office. Tennant previously returned to the show for a 2013 special episode titled "The Day of the Doctor" joining Matt Smith who had replaced the actor on the series in 2010.

David Tennant and Catherine Tate will return to Doctor Who next year. BBC
David Tennant and Catherine Tate will return to 'Doctor Who' next year
| Credit: BBC

"They're back!" Russell T. Davies said, in a statement about Tennant and Tate's return. "And it looks impossible — first, we announce a new Doctor, and then an old Doctor, along with the wonderful Donna, what on earth is happening?  Maybe this is a missing story. Or a parallel world. Or a dream, or a trick, or a flashback. The only thing I can confirm is that it's going to be spectacular, as two of our greatest stars reunite for the battle of a lifetime."

Last year, Whittaker spoke with EW about shooting the scene in which her Thirteenth Doctor regenerates into the the new version of the character.

"It was singularly the most emotional day on set I think I've ever had," she said. "It's a really bizarre feeling, because it's the best time I've ever had on a job, and I made the decision to leave it, so it's a really strange thing to do to yourself. It feels like you're giving yourself stitches — like, 'Why have you done it?' But… it felt right. It was a wonderfully-celebratory-slash-grief-ridden day that I could spend with the family that I'd made. I suppose the best thing about it is that the episodes are still on. So until they're off, I don't have to really get my head around the fact that it's not my part!"

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