Russell T Davies Confirms Doctor Who’s 60th Anniversary’s Surprising Link To Scariest Tenth Doctor Episode

Summary

  • Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies reveals a key element from the 60th anniversary story is a callback to the Tenth Doctor adventure “Midnight.”
  • The Galvanic Beam that claims the Fourteenth Doctor’s life is powered by the same radiation that was on the planet Midnight.
  • The nod to “Midnight” is a tribute to David Tennant’s original run of adventures and adds a fun twist for fans who are familiar with the actor’s past episodes.


Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies reveals that a key element from the final 60th anniversary story is a direct callback to one of the scariest Tenth Doctor adventures. After 12 years, David Tennant returned as the new fourteenth incarnation of the titular Time Lord across three episodes to celebrate the milestone. The third Doctor Who 60th anniversary special, “The Giggle,” had the Fourteenth Doctor face a powerful enemy from his earliest adventures, and his story was brought to a close as Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteen made his debut.

Davies revealed to Tennant and producer Phil Collinson that a pivotal element of the story originated from the Tenth Doctor’s tenure during the BBC iPlayer commentary for “The Giggle.” The Galvanic Beam that would ultimately claim the Fourteenth Doctor’s life was powered by the very same radiation that littered the surface of the planet Midnight from the season 4 episode of the same name, with Tennant, Collinson, and Davies then theorizing how the radiation landed back on Earth. Check out Davies, Tennant, and Collinson’s full exchange below:

Russell T Davies: Yeah, I love a Galvanic Beam! ‘Cos you remember where you last faced Galvanic radiation, which is very deadly to you, Mr David Tennant.

David Tennant: Yes, I do remember.

Davies: On the planet Midnight. That was Galvanic.

Tennant: Oh, it was Galvanic!

Davies: That was Galvanic Radiation.

Phil Collinson: Outside?

Davies: Yes. Not inside, or they’d be dead.

Collinson: Yes. No, yes, I’m just… It’s just coming back.

Tennant: Did you discover Galvanic radiation, or is that a real bit of science?

Davies: Oh it’s completely made up! Completely made up. But in Doctor Who…

Collinson: So where’s this Galvanic radiation come from, then?

Davies: Obviously, a little piece of galvanised doodah fell to Earth in the Great Time War, and then…

Collinson: In Donna’s boot. Came back in Donna’s Wellington boot.

Davies: Exactly! Or that spaceship that crashed on Mount Snowdon long ago.


“Midnight” Shows A Terrifying Scenario Even The Doctor Can’t Solve

“Midnight” still remains among Doctor Who‘s most harrowing tales. Taking place in a crystalline world where an intergalactic resort has recently been established, the Tenth Doctor joins a trip across the planet’s inhospitable surface with a group of tourists. However, they are soon under siege by an unseen entity that leaves them stranded in the wilderness, possessing lone tourist Sky Silvestry (Lesley Sharp) and tormenting the rest through unsettling mimicry that even has the Doctor frightened.

Related

4 Reasons Doctor Who’s Second 60th-Anniversary Special Is The Most Terrifying Episode Ever (& 4 Reasons It’s Midnight)

Doctor Who’s second 60th-anniversary special “Wild Blue Yonder” is positively spine-chilling, comparable only to the season 4 episode “Midnight”.

Despite its limited locations and small cast, “Midnight” is terrifying not only for its undefinable creature, but also how it brings forth the worst humanity could offer as the group’s unity breaks down over how to handle the situation. The distrust is enough to put even the Doctor, the wise, brave hero of the series, into suspicion, as the Time Lord overplays his skills and makes himself suspect to the humans. With a bitter, unflinching exploration of humanity’s darker side and a threat even the Doctor cannot beat, “Midnight” stands out as a Doctor Who episode that remains with viewers long after the credits roll.

The 60th anniversary celebrated every corner of the franchise’s history while also looking forward to what Gatwa’s new adventures in the TARDIS in Doctor Who season 14 will bring. Davies’ “Midnight” nod is a perfect tribute to Tennant and Catherine Tate’s original run of adventures. Furthermore, with Galvanic Radiation almost being a source of the Tenth Doctor’s demise in season 4, the Fourteenth Doctor’s regeneration being triggered by a beam of it is a fun twist for those aware of the actor’s past adventures.

Doctor Who‘s 60th anniversary episodes are currently available on Disney+, while “Midnight” is available on Max for international audiences. All episodes of Doctor Who are currently available on BBC iPlayer for UK viewers.

Source: BBC iPlayer

Doctor Who Poster

Doctor Who

Originally premiered in 1963, Doctor Who is a sci-fi series that follows a powerful being known as a Time Lord, referred to as the Doctor. Using an interdimensional time-traveling ship known as the TARDIS, the Doctor travels time and space with various companions as they solve multiple problems and help avert catastrophe as much as they almost cause it. Though the Doctor is always the same character, they experience regenerations, allowing them to be recast every few seasons as a unique immortal being with new personality traits.

Release Date
November 23, 1963

Genres
Adventure , Mystery , Sci-Fi

Seasons
26

Franchise
Doctor Who

Writers
Mark Gatiss , Toby Whithouse , Neil Cross , Steven Moffat , Chris Chibnall