Doctor Who is back, and it is as fantastic as ever! Words can’t express the joy I felt getting ready to watch a new episode this week, let alone one featuring David Tennant as the Doctor and Catherine Tate as Donna Noble. I’m currently in jolly ‘ol England, and when I saw that Tate is currently doing a play on West End, I knew I had to pay him a visit…but more on that later.
This week’s episode, the second of three 60th anniversary specials, is a throwback to the Doctor and Donna’s zany adventures across space and time. I know returning showrunner Russell T Davies has been talking about returning to the classic sci-fi nature of this series, and it is so refreshing to see that come to fruition!
This episode, “Wild Blue Yonder,” is as strange and fantastical as ever, so without further ado, let’s get right into the major moments! Beware SPOILERS ahead!
The Doctor lands in 1666 England
We love ourselves a quick Doctor Who history lesson, and that is exactly what we got at the start of this week’s episode. As we saw at the end of last week, Donna and the Doctor hopped onto the TARDIS and were suddenly whisked away to places unknown after Donna dropped hot coffee into the engine.
We didn’t know when in time they would wind up until this week: smack dab in the 17th century as Sir Isaac Newton is discovering gravity. They manage to tamper with history just a bit when they mention the word “gravity.” But Newton remembers it as “mavity.”
Later in the episode, Donna uses the word “mavity” as if it has always been the word to use instead of gravity. Gotta love Doctor Who time-meddling right?
Another planetary crisis
What I love about this episode is that the Doctor and Donna do not miss a single beat. After visiting 1666, the TARDIS pulls them into a faraway spaceship. It’s unclear why they are there, and before the Doctor can use the sonic screwdriver to fix things, the TARDIS disappears abruptly.
The Doctor explains that the TARDIS has something called a Hostile Action Displacement System (aka HADS) installed, which he had disabled some time back. But now it’s on, and the TARDIS disappeared as soon as it thought it was in danger.
Upon further investigation, the Doctor realizes they are on the edge of the universe. But that isn’t the wildest part! There is something strange about his and Donna’s conversation; it seems to flip back and forth between two different scenes. I was confused until I realized each of them was talking to a completely different version of the other. The Doctor and Donna were talking to Doctor and Donna clones who were rapidly evolving and beginning to think and act just like their counterparts, and to copy their memories.
A ticking time bomb
After a series of Doctor Who-esque sci-fi shenanigans (including Donna and the Doctor being chased by giant versions of themselves), it is revealed that the spaceship is a bomb, and there is a robot in the hallway about to hit the trigger.
I found this entire sequence to be hilariously entertaining. There is something so fantastic about this duo, and I loved seeing two versions of them each trying to outpace the other. It is pure Russell T Davies, and I am here for it.
Ending of Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Part 2, “Wild Blue Yonder” explained
Luckily, moments before the robot (who was also apparently the captain of the spaceship at some point) pushes the trigger, the TARDIS reappears to save the Doctor and Donna. The Doctor has to figure out which Donna is the real one before they can jet off. Unfortunately, and shockingly, he picks the wrong Donna and it feels as if we may be losing the real Donna once and for all. My heart sank in those moments, because a part of me felt like something this tragic could really happen.
The Doctor quickly realizes what he’s done and promptly kicks fake Donna off the TARDIS and brings the real Donna back on. The duo make a narrow escape and land back in London, where they had left Donna’s family. Instead of her husband, Rose, or mother being there to greet her, it is her grandfather Wilf (the late Bernard Cribbins). He has always loved the Doctor and Donna’s adventures more than anyone, and he is thrilled to see this version of the Doctor back, and that his granddaughter did not die upon recollecting her memories.
Sadly, the reunion is short-lived because there is something very wrong in London town. People are attacking each other, planes are crashing, and nothing makes sense. If I had to guess, I’d say Neil Patrick Harris’ villainous character is about to make his debut, and I cannot wait to see what that looks like!
Since Harris is playing the Toymaker, maybe he has somehow turned the world into a bunch of toys? That is a vague and weird guess, but I am trying to think as Doctor Who as possible here.
See you all next week for one last hurrah (and perhaps to witness the intro of our next Doctor, played by Ncuti Gatwa)!