Here’s Why the New Doctors and Tom Baker Weren’t in the Last Doctor Who Special

Here’s Why the New Doctors and Tom Baker Weren’t in the Last Doctor Who Special

Jodie Whittaker’s final outing as the star of Doctor Who, “The Power of the Doctor,” was a total mess, but you have to say this about it — it sure starred a lot of previous Doctors.

Peter Davison (the Fifth Doctor), Colin Baker (the Sixth), Sylvester McCoy (the Seventh), Paul McGann (the Eighth, and star of the ill-fated 1996 U.S. Doctor Who TV movie), and David Tennant (the Tenth) all made appearances in the special, along with Game of Thrones’ David Bradley as the First Doctor, having recreated the role originated by the late William Hartnell in previous Who specials. Of the remaining living actors who have played the Doctor, that left Tom Baker (the Fourth), Christopher Eccleston (the Ninth), Matt Smith (the Eleventh), and Peter Capaldi (the Twelfth) off-screen, and it turns out there were reasons for all of them.

According to The Mirror, Tom Baker was “unavailable,” which at age 88 may admittedly be code for “not young.” but departing showrunner Chris Chibnell gave an interesting response for why the later Doctors didn’t show up: “Chibnall said he had not invited back any of the post-reboot Doctors because of what is being planned for next year to mark the show’s 60th anniversary. Chibnall said: ‘I didn’t want to tread on anything that might be happening in future, so those ones felt the right ones.’”

This certainly makes it sound like Smith and Capaldi — and maybe even Whittaker — could make a return for the 60th-anniversary series, which will star Tennant as the Tenth/Fourteenth incarnation of the Doctor before regenerating into Ncuti Gatwa. As for Eccleston, he said as recently as a year ago he doubted he’d ever return to the Doctor Who TV series, but he amended that in March to say he might be willing to show up in a solo Ninth Doctor adventure. That doesn’t sound like it’s in the cards for the next special, but who knows? Time heals all wounds, even Time-Lord’s.

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