Doctor Who viewers saying same thing as David Tennant returns in 60th anniversary special

David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials
David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials (Zoe McConnell and Alistair Heap)

Doctor Who returned to BBC One on Saturday night with its highly-anticipated first episode of three 60th anniversary specials – and it's safe to say the premiere went down a storm with viewers.

The episode, titled 'The Star Beast', saw David Tennant reprise his role as The Doctor, who comes face to face with his old friend Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) after 15 years.

The Doctor finds himself in London after a spaceship crashes in the middle of the city. One of its escapees is The Meep, who is on the run from "monsters" who want to kill it.

The new episode also marks the return of showrunner Russell T Davies, who is back at the helm to celebrate the show's 60th birthday.

David Tennant returns as The Doctor
David Tennant reprised his role as The Doctor (James Pardon)

Viewers were quick to praise the drama-filled episode on social media, with one person writing: "The new Doctor Who episode was just SO good! Can't wait for the 2 other parts! I haven't smiled, laughed and cried in Doctor Who for such a crazy long time! It feels good! I'm so glad Russel T. Davis is back!" while another added: "Doctor Who special is so amazing and emotional. I'm crying buckets. Thank you!! #DoctorWho60 #DoctorWho."

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A third fan remarked: "Absolutely loved #DoctorWhoTheStarBeast #DoctorWho60 this evening on @BBCOne. Fun, thrilling, moving, amazing writing & visual effects, action, and many goosebump moments. Incredible performances from all & total escapism. I need to watch it again."

Catherine Tate in Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Special
Catherine Tate returned as Donna (Alistair Heap)

Viewers also gave a warm welcome back to David and Catherine, with many delighted to see the pair reunited on screen after all these years. One person tweeted: "The first #DoctorWho60 special was brilliant, loved every minute of it and was very impressed with the use of the bigger budget! It's wonderful to have David Tennant and Catherine Tate back together as well," while another penned: "#DoctorWho60 special was fantastic. Absolutely loved having David and Catherine back."

Many fans also praised one particular aspect of the plot, which explores Donna's daughter Rose's [Yasmin Finney] identity as a transgender woman.

Yasmin Finney as Rose in Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Special
Yasmin Finney as Rose (Alistair Heap)

One person wrote: "Amazing return from #DavidTennant. He had me at allons-y! His depth was on full display & the dynamic with #CatherineTate, perfect. Overjoyed by the emphasis on trans identities as a plot point and more than just a casting decision," while another added: "OMG the 1st 60th special was amazing! No spoilers but the representation is so wonderful! Disability, gender, pronouns etc! Great work to everyone involved!"

READ:Doctor Who ultimate recap: everything to know about David Tennant’s Doctor and Donna Noble

All you need to know about the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials

The 60th anniversary will be celebrated over the course of three episodes. The first, which aired on Saturday night, is called 'The Star Beast', while the second and third are titled 'Wild Blue Yonder' and 'The Giggle' respectively.

The synopsis for episode two reads: "The Tardis takes the Doctor and Donna to the furthest edge of adventure. To escape, they must face the most desperate fight of their lives, with the fate of the universe at stake."

David Tennant, Karl Collins and Catherine Tate in Doctor Who
David and Catherine star in three episodes (Alistair Heap)

The third and final episode sees the giggle of a mysterious puppet drive the human race insane. The synopsis continues: "When the Doctor discovers the return of an old enemy, he faces a fight he can never win."

Teasing the upcoming episodes during a recent appearance on The One Show, Russell T Davies said: "It's not three parts, you can watch each one separately and they're all different. One is like a big family film, one's very scary and one's insanely scary."