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John Simm and Bernard Cribbins Confirmed for Doctor Who Specials. Donna and others to Follow?

Date posted: April 3, 2009

Bernard Cribbins & John Simm on Doctor Who setWell, it’s official. Not only is Bernard Cribbins appearing in one of the final David Tennant stories, but on-set photos also show John Simm has returned to Doctor Who! The image at right (credit for the photo goes to alun.vega) shows Cribbins and Simm passing each other on-set.

Cribbins played Donna’s grandfather Wilf Mott in series 4, and of course John Simm appeared in series 3 as The Master. So far, this substantially confirms recent rumors that Tennant’s final stories would feature a return of Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Rose Tyler (again!), Wilf Mott, and the Master.

Personally, a lot of this seems a bit like a repeat of the series 4 finale, except with the Master instead of Davros, and I *really* don’t think we need to see Rose again. But if done well, I welcome another appearance by Wilf & Donna, who I thought were just amazing in series 4, not to mention another outing for Simm’s Master!

I’ve heard for some time that Martha would be returning to ease the transition from Tennant to Smith, which makes sense from a historical perspective — most of the times the Doctor has regenerated they have deliberately avoided recasting the companion at the same time to make it easier on the audience. And, in fact, back in the beginning of the ’80s, then-producer John Nathan-Turner asked Louise Jameson to return as Leela to ease the transition from Tom Baker to Peter Davison, but she declined the offer. So the idea is definitely not without precedent.

Now obviously since Rose returned, making a lie of the whole “trapped forever in another dimension with no way to return”, I’m sure something can be cooked up to explain Donna’s return despite how she supposedly could never regain her memories of her time with the Doctor without it killing her.

My guess? The bit of the Doctor that’s stuck in Donna’s head (as well as possibly the half-human “Doctor” who’s off with Rose in Pete’s World) may be needed for him to regenerate properly, much like how the Watcher aided the fourth Doctor’s regeneration in Logopolis. Once this happens, it’s no longer in Donna and she is safe to remember again.

One other  question that comes to mind is why is Simm’s hair been bleached blond? Maybe it has something to do with the color of  the hair of the woman who’s hand we see picking up the Master’s ring at the end of Last of the Timelords…?

Whatever happens, I’m excited to see the specials, starting with Planet of the Dead in a little over a week. It’ll be sad to see David Tennant’s time end as the Doctor, but getting a new Doctor is always exciting and something to look forward to.

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9 Responses to “John Simm and Bernard Cribbins Confirmed for Doctor Who Specials. Donna and others to Follow?”

  1. adam carter Says:

    great idea about the doctor needing the part of him in Donna to regenerate that’s a great idea could see you becoming the next Russel T Davies:) did you her that the ood are returning in the special after planet of the dead can’t wait only 4 days until planet of the dead

  2. admin Says:

    Hi Adam, thanks for the comment.

    I did hear about the Ood and mentioned it in a previous blog post. From the details I read after posting about it here, it looks like Ood Sigma will be the one appearing, and from the look of the pictures I saw, may be telling the Doctor his song is ending (cf. Planet of the Ood)

    I’m very much looking forward to this weekend — new Doctor Who AND new Red Dwarf! Very cool.

  3. adam carter Says:

    thanks i love the ood not so sure about using to much of them though we will have to see hope it is good and that robot that was seen on filming (the one that looks like walle) perhaps that could be a robot for controlling red-eye ood

  4. adam carter Says:

    only 1 day until planet of the dead!!!!!!!!!!

  5. adam carter Says:

    that was a brilliant episode can you make a article about the nxt episode waters of mars please

  6. master 101 Says:

    I want the master to return. I loved it when john played the Master in series 3 and since then ive really been wishing the master to return! Just cross your fingers and we might get lucky. And im really looking forward to Donna retuning! She was the best companion so far. I dont think rose should come back, i feel it will be to much if they ALL came back. But it would be nice to see Jack or Martha, but not everyone!

  7. adam carter Says:

    hopefully his laser screwdriver will come back too. any ideas to how matt smith will regenerate

  8. kisha Says:

    i actually saw a picture of the 5th series filming with Matt Smith as the Doctor. He was holding the sonic screwdriver, which weirdly enough looked like a combination of both Ten’s and the Master’s.

  9. danielle carter Says:

    I think that Rose coming back is a very bad idea, from anyones perspective but the Drs. We don’t want her back but I’m sure if there was anyway to get her back, the character of the Dr himself would love it. Its fantastic to see John Simm and Cribbins coming back. The idea of how Donna can return as a character without losing her mind is fantastic, I hope if they do not use this idea then its at least as brilliant. I’m not sure we need Martha back, if Donna returns – couldn’t she be the new companion? and also, what happened to the idea of the Dr having more than one companion at a time, not just for special occasions? this has precedent in the Who universe as well and was done quiet well at the time.

    And will the Dr’s daughter return? Will we see Donna mother? What role will she play? Or will they manage to keep her out of it?

    Questions, Questions, Questions. As ever, I can’t wait for the next episode!!

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