This season is made up of two distinct parts - the six-part story titled "Flux", that was broadcast in the Autumn of 2021, and three specials broadcast throughout 2022. The first of the specials, "Eve of the Daleks", was the 2022 New Year Special, the second was "Legend of the Sea Devils" - the 2022 Easter Special - and the third and final special, "The Power of The Doctor", in which the Thirteenth Doctor regenerates, was broadcast in the Autumn of 2022 and was commissioned for the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the launch of the BBC.
|The Doctor Regenerates
This season was initially announced in November 2019 and is the third and last to be led by Chris Chibnall as Head Writer and Executive Producer. It is the thirteenth to air following the show’s revival in 2005, and the thirty-ninth season overall.
According to Chris Chibnall, the previous season’s finale "Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children" laid the groundworks of the storylines throughout this season. And, in an interview shared by the BBC on the 24th October 2021, Executive Producer Matt Strevens stated that this season would solve some loose ends from the reveal in the preceding season, saying that it ‘picks up on a lot of the things The Doctor learned about herself and her history at the end of series 12’.
The six-part story, "Flux", consisted of a single-story arc that dealt with a universe-ending anomaly called the Flux, which brought several enemies together in an attempt to take over Earth. It also featured The Division from the previous season. This story also introduced Dan Lewis (played by John Bishop) who joined the show as a new travelling companion.
"The Power of The Doctor", described as an ‘epic blockbuster special’, continued the ongoing storyline exploring The Doctor's past and the Timeless Child. It also explored a new subplot of The Doctor's TARDIS heavily malfunctioning and decaying over the course of the storyline, something that reached a conclusion in the 2022 New Year Special when The Doctor reset the TARDIS systems.
The last story, "The Power of The Doctor", would be Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall's last as star and Executive Producer respectively. Chris Chibnall is recorded as saying ‘Before we started making it, there were times when we thought we were going to be unable to do the show under COVID conditions this year... there were two ways you could go. You could go “let's do lots of tiny little episodes in one room, with no monsters”, or we could throw down the gauntlet and do the biggest story we've ever done’. Chris Chibnall considered the latter approach more suitable, and said that it was ‘definitely the most ambitious thing we've done since we've been on the series’.
The announcement, that Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall would both depart the show after the run of specials in 2022, was made on the 29th July 2021 on the Doctor Who website. Chris Chibnall stated their departures were part of a deal that he made with Jodie Whittaker prior to the Season Thirty Seven (New Series 11): ‘Jodie and I made a “three series and out” pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast. So now our shift is done, and we're handing back the TARDIS keys. To finish our time on the show with an additional special, after the pandemic changed and challenged our production plans, is a lovely bonus. It’s great that the climax of the Thirteenth Doctor’s story will be at the heart of the BBC’s centenary celebrations’.
Chris Chibnall is also reported as saying, regarding Jodie Whittaker’s portrayal as the Thirteenth Doctor, that: ‘Jodie's magnificent, iconic Doctor has exceeded all our high expectations. She's been the gold standard leading actor, shouldering the responsibility of being the first female Doctor with style, strength, warmth, generosity and humour. She captured the public imagination and continues to inspire adoration around the world, as well as from everyone on the production. I can't imagine working with a more inspiring Doctor - so I'm not going to! ’ to which Jodie Whittaker added: ‘In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes. I could not have guessed the brilliant adventures, worlds and wonders I was to see in them. My heart is so full of love for this show, for the team who make it, for the fans who watch it and for what it has brought to my life. And I cannot thank Chris enough for entrusting me with his incredible stories’.
On the 11th October 2022, speaking on Radio 2’s Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, Jodie Whittaker revealed how she felt about leaving the show and said ‘Well, you know what, it's been such an emotional rollercoaster, I finished filming this episode in October last year, so I've had a whole year to get my head round leaving, and I'm still not there’, adding that she was very reluctant to pass on the role.
As well as being Jodie Whittaker’s final season as the Thirteenth Doctor. This season was also the last for Mandip Gill (playing the part of Yasmin Khan) as she also departed at the end of the final special - following the departures of Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole at the end of the previous season.
On the 8th October 2020, at the live-streamed New York Comic-Con panel, Mandip Gill revealed that this season would delve deeper into Yasmin Khan's past. Then on the 5th December 2020, Mandip Gill told Radio Times that while her co-stars, Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole, felt ready to leave during the preceding New Year Special "Revolution of the Daleks", she was not ready to leave the TARDIS behind, saying that there was still more to explore about Yasmin Khan's past.
On the 1st January 2021, following the broadcast of Tosin Cole and Bradley Walsh's final scenes, comedian John Bishop was officially announced, in a teaser trailer, as playing incoming companion, Dan Bishop. This would be his one-and-only season as he left the show at the end of "The Power of The Doctor".
Several of The Doctor’s past travelling companions returned for the final special, including Bradley Walsh as Graham O'Brien, Janet Fielding as Tegan Jovanka, and Sophie Aldred as Ace. Other former companions also made an appearance in the final special. Appearing in cameo roles are: Bonnie Langford and Katy Manning as Melanie Bush and Jo Jones (formally known as Jo Grant), with Bonnie Langford returning since her exit in the 1987 Seventh Doctor story "Dragonfire", and Katy Manning returning to Doctor Who since her character's last appearance in The Sarah Jane Adventures story "Death of The Doctor". Notably, joining Bonnie Langford and Katy Manning also in a cameo role was William Russell as Ian Chesterton - making this the first television story for William Russell as Ian Chesterton since the 1965 First Doctor story "The Chase". With his appearance in this story, William Russell, aged 96 at the time his scenes were shot, became the oldest actor at the time of his appearance to work on the revived show.
As well as dealing with the Flux, the Thirteenth Doctor and her companions have to confront enemies and secrets from The Doctor's past - including the Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, Weeping Angels, the Sea Devils and The Master.
The Sontarans returned in "Flux" for the first time since the 2008 story "The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky". However, several Sontarans have appeared in the time in between, most notably Pasternoster Gang member Strax - last seen in the 2014 story "Deep Breath". For this season the Sontarans' appearance was redesigned, with their armour being recoloured silver and appearing more weathered, similarly to the appearance of the Sontarans first seen in the 1974 Third Doctor story "The Time Warrior".
The Weeping Angels returned, also in "Flux", for the first time since the 2013 Christmas Special "The Time of The Doctor" - although they have made numerous cameo appearances the last of which being in the 2021 New Year Special "Revolution of the Daleks".
The Cybermen, specifically the Cyber-Warriors, returned after debuting in the previous season’s finale, "Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children". Also making a return was Ashad, the Lone Cyberman.
The bronze Daleks returned after their appearance in the 2021 story "Revolution of the Daleks". For this season they made two cameos in "Flux" - in the episodes "Once, Upon Time" and "The Vanquishers", before returning as the main enemy in the 2022 New Year Special, "Eve of the Daleks", concluding a loose trilogy that connects their appearances in the past New Year's specials - the 2019 story "Resolution" and the 2021 story "Revolution of the Daleks". They then returned once more in the Centenary Special "The Power of The Doctor". In "Eve of the Daleks", a new variant of Dalek, Dalek Executioners, debuted, although unlike those of the spin-off series Time Lord Victorious, these Dalek Executioners were bronze Daleks with a remodelled gunstick resembling a Gatling Gun.
The second special, "Legend of the Sea Devils", features the return of the Sea Devils in their first appearance since the 1984 Fifth Doctor story "Warriors of the Deep" - so also making their first appearance since the show was revived in 2005.
The Master, as played by Sacha Dhawan, returned in "The Power of The Doctor" - after having last appeared in the previous season’s finale "Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children".
Guest stars appearing in this season include Game of Thrones star Jacob Anderson who played the recurring role of Vinder. ‘It was probably the best first day on set I’ve ever had, because I got there and we had to do some press photos right next to the TARDIS. I felt like I was 14 again. Not only did I get to go on the TARDIS but I got my own ship, which had its own world of buttons and levers and switches that you could actually press and play with, and I was like “I’m home! This is where I’ve always wanted to be”. It’s been an honour to play Vinder and I can’t wait for you all to see him’.
Jo Martin returned as the Fugitive Doctor in the third episode of "Flux" and then in "The Power of The Doctor" - having last appeared in "Fugitive of the Judoon" and "Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children". Jemma Redgrave also reprised her role as Kate Stewart in "The Power of The Doctor" - a recurring character during the Eleventh Doctor and the Twelfth Doctor eras - who was last seen in 2015 story "The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion".
A number of previous incarnations of The Doctor also made an appearance in the final special. These are: the First Doctor, Fifth Doctor, Sixth Doctor, Seventh Doctor and Eighth Doctor appear. The First Doctor is portrayed by David Bradley, who previously portrayed the character in the 2017 stories "World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls" and "Twice Upon a Time", as well as portraying the original First Doctor actor William Hartnell in the bio-drama An Adventure in Space and Time, while the others are played by their respective original actors, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann.
The end of this season features the surprise return of David Tennant, who previously portrayed the Tenth Doctor, making a brief appearance as the newly regenerated Fourteenth Doctor. This marks the first time on screen that The Doctor has regenerated into a different incarnation with the same appearance as a previous incarnation.
Other guest actors in this season are Thaddea Graham, as Vinder's paramour Bel, Craige Els as the Lupari Karvanista, Rochenda Sandall and Sam Spruell as the villainous Ravagers Azure and Swarm, Craig Parkinson as the Grand Serpent, Sara Powell as Mary Seacole, Gerald Kyd as General Logan, Penelope Ann McGhie as Mrs Hayward, Steve Oram as Joseph Williamson, Annabel Scholey as Claire, Kevin McNally as Professor Jericho, Nadia Albina as Diane, Jonathan Watson as Commander Riskaw and Skaak, and Paul Broughton as Neville (all who appeared in "Flux").
Aisling Bea and Adjani Salmon guest star in the New Year's special, "Eve of the Daleks", which also features Pauline McLynn. The second special, "Legend of the Sea Devils", features Crystal Yu (who played Doctor Lily Chao in the BBC medical drama Casualty from 2013 to 2017) as pirate queen Madame Ching. Also appearing in "Legend of the Sea Devils" are Arthur Lee and Marlowe Chan-Reeves. The final special, "The Power of the Doctor", as well as featuring the return of Jacob Anderson as Vinder and Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart (both of who also appeared in "Flux") and Sacha Dhawan as The Master, was Patrick O'Kane as Ashad, who was last seen in Season Thirty Eight (New Series 12).
Chis Chibnall wrote all six episodes of "Flux", co-writing the fourth episode with Maxine Alderton - the writer of the previous season story "The Haunting of Villa Diodati". Chris Chibnall also wrote all three specials, with "Legend of the Sea Devils" co-written by Ella Road - a new contributor to the show.
Ed Hime, who wrote the 2018 story "It Takes You Away" and the 2020 story "Orphan 55" was originally due to write a story for this season, as was Pete McTighe. Chris Chibnall revealed, in October 2021, ‘We had some other really great writers scheduled, but a lot of our plans had to be altered. Partly because the new series is a serial, partly because there are less episodes and partly because of the turnaround’.
Jamie Magnus Stone and Azhur Saleem directed the six-part story "Flux" - with Jamie Magnus Stone directing the first, second and fourth episodes, and Azhur Saleem directing the third, fifth and sixth episodes. Chris Chibnall revealed that Doctor Who newcomer Azhur Saleem: ‘had been in line for the last series but we couldn’t make it happen, so this year we asked him to do three episodes’.
Annetta Laufer directed the first of the 2022 specials, "Eve of the Daleks", Haolu Wang directed "Legend of the Sea Devils" - the second special - while Jamie Magnus Stone returned to direct "The Power of The Doctor" - the third and final special. Both Annetta Laufer and Haolu Wang were newcomers to the show.
‘Jamie Magnus Stone delivered some amazing episodes in the last series’, Chris Chibnall has revealed ‘For "Spyfall" Part One we threw him in at the deep end with a South Africa location shoot, a crashing plane and a new Master. And he just sailed through. He came back even stronger with "Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children". He’s great visually, great with action, great with humour and great with actors. Everybody loves working with him and he’s really in command of it. Asking him back was a no brainer’.
On the 3rd March 2022 Executive Producer Matt Strevens told Doctor Who Magazine (for issue 575) about the Easter Special: ‘It's a bit of a swashbuckler. It's the last ‘regular’ adventure story before you go into the machinations of a regeneration story’. He also said that it was a chance for all the design departments to fully show off what they could do. Speaking about "The Power of The Doctor" he said ‘the final story is a massive, feature-length epic - it was huge to shoot - with lots of surprises for fans of all ages. Jodie gets a really good send-off. I think it will push everybody's buttons. And the fact the BBC asked us for it to be part of their centenary celebrations - I think that just underlines the iconic nature of the show’.
In an interview on the 21st July 2022 for issue 580 of the Doctor Who Magazine, Producer Nikki Wilson described the Centenary Special as a ‘thrilling, high-stakes journey’ and, along with "Spyfall", as ‘the craziest, and the most fun’.
Unusually, this season was announced as being ‘in the works’ by Chris Chibnall on the 21st November 2019, a little over a month before the previous season began airing.
According to Production Executive, Tracie Simpson, pre-production for this season was set to begin in June 2020, with filming originally due to start in September 2020. Filming eventually commenced on the 2nd November 2020 at Roath Lock Studios.
At the San Diego Comic Con @ Home, on the 25th July 2021, Chris Chibnall announced that the beginning of this season had undergone changes in format, giving it a storytelling style similar to the original run of the show. It was announced that the first story of this season would follow a serialised format, meaning it would be one story spanning six episodes (or chapters, as they were going to be labelled). Chris Chibnall also stated that this six-part story as being ‘the most ambitious thing we’ve done since we’ve been on the series’.
On the 19th August 2021 Chris Chibnall told Doctor Who Magazine that he was originally only supposed to do eight episodes consisting of the six-part story and two specials following in 2022 (similar to those at the end of David Tennant's run). A further feature-length special was later commissioned to coincide with the centenary of the BBC and serve as Jodie Whittaker's regeneration story. Chris Chibnall revealed that he had been contacted by BBC Director of Content Charlotte Moore about doing a celebratory Centenary Special, to which he agreed and contracts were extended.
The production of this season was severely affected when, during 2020, most of the world went into lockdown due to the COVID19 outbreak. This season's production was due to include only eight episodes, reduced from the previous eleven. This was later announced to be shown as six episodes, as part of a single-story arc, followed by the two 2022 specials.
On the 31st March 2020 it was reported by, the Radio Times magazine, that due to a lucky break in filming this season might have ‘dodged a bullet’ and inadvertently gone around the whole lockdown crisis that other productions had suffered. However, it was reported, on the 18th June 2020 by The Mirror, that Director of BBC Wales, Rhodri Talfan Davies, had said that this season would not be continuing filming during current social distancing rules. Then on the 11th September 2020 it was claimed by Metro Entertainment that due to a spike in COVID-19 cases this season could potentially be moved to 2022 due to significant delays in principal photography as a result of the virus. However, that same day, a conflicting report from the Radio Times mentioned that filming was set to begin soon, noting that little was known about what social distancing rules would mean for the show or the number of stories or episodes. Then on the 11th November 2020, Chris Chibnall announced to The Mirror that the production for this season had indeed been impacted by the virus, and had been reduced to eight episodes. He is reported as stating ‘In this strangest of years, the Doctor Who production team have worked wonders to get the show back into production. Given the complexity of making Doctor Who, and with new and rigorous COVID working protocols, it's going to take us a little longer to film each episode, meaning we expect to end up with eight episodes, rather than the usual eleven’. An additional special was then commissioned for later that year as part of the BBC's Centenary celebrations.
Chris Chibnall, in an interview with the Radio Times on the 28th November 2020, revealed a bit more about the struggles of making the show during a global pandemic: ‘Basically, for the past six months we've been going, “How do we make Doctor Who in the middle of a pandemic?” We had to re-interrogate absolutely everything. We couldn't do "Spyfall" this year. We won't be able to do overseas filming. Editorially, production-wise, logistically, health and safety-wise, it's had a massive impact. But where we are is incredibly exciting. As much as possible at the moment everybody's smiling, and we've got some really lovely, great, mad scary ideas’.
Chris Chibnall further stated that it had been incredibly difficult on set to get the show done, saying they had to ‘reimagine their job’, however, that they had been able to ‘do all the things we normally do in terms of character interactions’.
Executive Producer Matt Strevens reassured fans that the quality of the stories would not be affected, saying: ‘The biggest thing is that when series 13 finally does air, whenever that is, we never want people to watch it under the caveat of COVID, going, “Ah, well, but they made this during the pandemic”. We want to make sure that when you watch it, it's – no pun intended - timeless, and feels as exciting and as high-end as we've tried to make the series since we took over. That was the driving impulse behind looking at the narratives and reducing the number of episodes slightly: we want to make sure we can give people the biggest production values possible’.
In an interview, shared by the BBC on the 24th October 2021, Jodie Whittaker spoke about what it was like filming during the pandemic, saying that the filming started late and there was a whole different feel to get used to because of the travelling restrictions preventing overseas filming and because no one had seen each other for a year. Also that everyone wanted to make sure they were not the person to make a mistake as the domino effect could be so catastrophic on set.
Filming for all six episodes of "Flux", along with two of the 2022 specials, had concluded by August 2021, with the third special, filmed throughout September 2021 and concluding on the 15th October 2021 at Roath Lock Studios.
Chris Chibnall later stated that post-production on the final special would continue into 2022 under the working title ‘The Centenary Special’. Emily Lawrence, the Visual Effects Editor, confirmed that digital effects work was still ongoing in January 2022.
The first ‘trailer’ for this season occurred following the broadcast of "Revolution of the Daleks" on the 2021 New Year's Day. This was an introductory clip featuring two men loading a truck while reading a horoscope. The horoscope in question states that ‘lucky number is 13, the colour blue will be important’, the camera then pans to John Bishop and flashes a few brief clips of various sequences from the upcoming season. This new upcoming companion was later revealed to be named Dan Lewis. John Bishop himself said of the experience: ‘If I could tell my younger self that one day I would be asked to step on board the TARDIS, I would never have believed it’.
This season was first promoted at the San Diego Comic Con on the 25th July 2021, where the first teaser trailer was released. Throughout October 2021 a Sontaran spaceship was projected over Liverpool and The Doctor's ‘phone number’ was released in a promotional message. Jodie Whittaker appeared in an episode of The Graham Norton Show on the 15th October 2021 during which a second trailer was shown.
Details of the New Year's Day special, "Eve of the Daleks", were revealed following the conclusion of the final episode of "Flux". Details of "Legend of the Sea Devils" were likewise released after "Eve of the Daleks" concluded. Casting and details of the BBC Centenary special, without yet revealing the title or airdate, were again likewise released after "Legend of the Sea Devils" concluded.
As part of the promotion for "Legend of the Sea Devils", Scottish musician Nathan Evans was featured on the official Doctor Who YouTube Channel, singing an adaptation of the sea ballad ‘Wellerman’.
The title of the final special, "The Power of the Doctor", was revealed in issue 582 of the Doctor Who Magazine on the 15th September 2022. This was before the official announcement occurred. This happened as a result of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on the 8th September 2022 where the marketing for "The Power of The Doctor" got messed up due to a 10-day Mourning Period. The official reveal of the title, was pushed back to the 21st September 2022 - a week after issue 582 of the Doctor Who Magazine was published.
Issue 582 of the Doctor Who Magazine contained a huge preview of the Centenary Special, including interviews with Sacha Dhawan, Janet Fielding, Sophie Aldred, Patrick O’Kane and Ray Holman, also sharing a brief synopsis reading: ‘Her final battle. Her deadliest enemies. The Thirteenth Doctor faces multiple threats from Daleks, Cybermen and the Master, in a fight for her very existence’. Interviewer Paul Kirkley also hinted at the cause of The Doctor's regeneration, saying ‘There’s one pivotal, jaw-dropping moment in the episode... ’ referencing back to when Terrance Dicks first proposed the character of The Master, calling him as ‘the Moriarty to The Doctor’s Holmes’ and the two of them should face their own ‘Reichenbach Falls’ moment.
This season was broadcast on Sunday nights, continuing the trend set by the previous two seasons. It premiered on BBC One with the six-part "Flux" on the 31st October 2021 which aired through to the 5th December 2021. In the USA this season aired the same day on BBC America. In Australia the episodes were released on the same-day on ABC iview and broadcast on ABC TV Plus.
The three 2022 specials, that followed the six-part "Flux", were aired on the 1st January 2022, on the 17th April 2022 and the 23rd October 2022.
This season marks the first time the title sequence in a story has included a subtitle, in this instance "Flux", below the main Doctor Who title. It is also the first to contain a multi-part story with more than two episodes since Season Twenty Six, and to contain six or more episodes, since Season Sixteen (which contained the Fourth Doctor story "The Armageddon Factor" and discounting Season Seventeen (which has the unaired "Shada")).
Despite being the shortest season in the history of the show in terms of episode count (9), the first story, "Flux", formed the longest continual storyline since the show was revived in 2009 (at 325 minutes in total, across its six episodes), and is the second longest-running continual storyline - only beaten by the four stories that make up The Trial of a Time Lord season (that is 349 minutes in total, across fourteen episodes).
As well as Chris Chibnall other key members of the production team left the show at the end of this season. These included: Executive producer Matt Strevens, who had worked alongside Chris Chibnall since 2017, and Co-executive Producer Nikki Wilson, after being part of the show since the 2008 story "The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky", and its spin-off show, The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Composer Segun Akinola also announced, on the 20th July 2022, that the Centenary Special would be his last story, saying ‘To the fans, thank you for welcoming me so warmly, I’ve always been grateful for that’.
In an official BBC press release, Chris Chibnall is quoted as saying: ‘I wish our successors - whoever the BBC and BBC Studios choose - as much fun as we’ve had. They’re in for a treat! ’.
During the four stories and nine episodes that make up this season The Doctor, along with her travelling companion Yasmin Khan and new companion Dan Lewis, confront new and previous enemies including: the Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, Weeping Angels, the Sea Devils and The Master.
The six-part story, "Flux", consisted of a single-story arc that dealt with a universe-ending anomaly called the Flux, which brought several enemies together in an attempt to take over Earth. All across the universe, terrifying forces are stirring and an ancient evil is breaking free. The Doctor is on the trail of the fearsome Karvanista, where she and Yasmin find themselves in present day Liverpool where they rescue Dan Lewis. This story takes The Doctor and her two travelling companions on an adventure that involves the Cybermen, Sontarans, Daleks and Weeping Angels as they try and defeat The Swarm and encounter The Flux. As the forces of evil mass, The Doctor, Yasmin and Dan face perilous journeys and seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their quest for the survival of the whole universe.
"Eve of the Daleks" sees the TARDIS still damaged from the events that occurred in the previous story. Attempting to reboot the TARDIS. The Doctor accidentally traps everyone inside a self-storage warehouse within a time loop - including Dalek Executioners who have been sent to exterminate The Doctor in revenge for her involvement in allowing the Dalek War Fleet to be destroyed by the Sontaran Empire in the previous story. As time keeps running out The Doctor has to find a way of defeating the Daleks and save everyone.
In "Legend of the Sea Devils" The Doctor, Yasmin and Dan come face to fin with one of The Doctor’s oldest adversaries, the Sea Devils. The Doctor and her travelling companions find themselves on a swashbuckling adventure in the 19th century where they get involved with the legendary pirate queen Madam Ching who is searching for lost treasure and in doing so awakens terrifying forces that lurk beneath the ocean.
"The Power of The Doctor" continued the ongoing storyline exploring The Doctor's past and the Timeless Child. As well as having to deal with The Daleks and Cybermen, The Doctor has to defeat The Master - who for the first time are all working together to defeat her.
This story though will be best remembered for the large number of previous incarnations of The Doctor and former companions who make an appearance. For The Doctor these are: the First Doctor, Fifth Doctor, Sixth Doctor, Seventh Doctor and Eighth Doctor as well as the Fugitive Doctor and the regeneration scene at the end of this story with the surprise return of David Tennant, who previously portrayed the Tenth Doctor, making a brief appearance as the newly regenerated Fourteenth Doctor.
And for the former companions, returning were: Graham O'Brien, Tegan Jovanka, Ace and, in cameo roles, Melanie Bush, Jo Jones (formally known as Jo Grant) and Ian Chesterton - making this the first television story for William Russell as Ian Chesterton since the 1965 First Doctor story "The Chase".
The Doctor faces multiple threats when The Master brings the Daleks and Cybermen together to wipe The Doctor and Earth from existence which results in a battle to the death that ends in her having to part company with Yasmin before regenerating into the Fourteenth Doctor.