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Rachel Talalay Returns to Direct a Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Special

It appears that Rachel Talalay will return to Doctor Who to direct the show’s 60th anniversary special (or one of them, at least, if we go by the rumour that there will be numerous specials across 2023).

Fans — including our very own Ida Wood — spotted Talalay during filming in Camden, London, but denied directing on Monday 16th May. When it became obvious that she was around rather a lot during shoots, she then tweeted:

“Thank you for all the love, #DoctorWho fandom. Back atcha. Hope you enjoyed yourselves! fyi, I did not lie/fib/Andrew Garfield about not directing on Monday. Some rehearsals and caught a shopping trip to #Cyberdog: have loved it there for years!”

(Cyberdog being the Camden shop with the massive silver statues outside, which you might’ve spotted in location photos. The Cybermen aren’t back with their own K9. Well, not that we know of.)

Rachel, of course, is the much-loved director who helmed all of the Twelfth Doctor’s finales — Dark Water/ Death in Heaven; Heaven Sent/ Hell Bent; and World Enough and Time/ The Doctor Falls — as well as Peter Capaldi’s swansong episode, Twice Upon a Time.

Now, she’ll be directing returning stars, David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Bernard Cribbins, and Jacqueline King (respectively, the Doctor, Donna Temple-Noble, Wilfred Mott, and Sylvia Noble), plus Rose actress, Yasmin Finney, not to mention a whole host of guests actors.

New/old showrunner, Russell T Davies has also been spotted on location, alongside Karl Collins as Shaun Temple-Noble (last seen in The End of Time).

We should note that the BBC hasn’t confirmed Talalay’s return, but that doesn’t mean much — likely just that Russell is still trying to take a step back and let hype grow for Jodie Whittaker’s last episode before announcing much more.

And of course, it feels very early to be filming a special not due to air until November 2023; could this mean we’ll get an earlier treat? Certainly fans have seen Christmas lights and presents on set, so let’s not rule out a New Year’s Day special…

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Rachel Talalay Returns to Direct a Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Special

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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