Full Cast of Doctor Who 2023 Special 1 - Every Main Actor & Character Who Appears (Photos)

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
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Doctor Who just returned to screens with three new specials to celebrate the 60th anniversary, with a cast of both familiar actors and series newcomers.

As the BBC mainstay makes its way to Disney+ outside the UK & Ireland, the show has put two fan-favorite leads back in the driving seat for a limited time only as David Tennant and Catherine Tate lead the three new stories.

Doctor Who's 60th Anniversary Specials Cast

David Tennant - 14th Doctor

David Tennant - 14th Doctor, Doctor Who The Star Beast
Doctor Who

Having once piloted the TARDIS from 2005 to 2009, David Tennant is back at the helm of Doctor Who's cast for the three 60th anniversary specials. But this time, the Scottish star isn't playing his beloved 10th Doctor, instead becoming the all-new 14th Doctor after Jodie Whittaker's exit from the show.

This new incarnation of the Doctor is certainly similar to the one fans know and love. He arrives with a near-identical personality, similar fashion style, and many of the same quirks, all while bringing a fresh "more human" element.

The 52-year-old Tennant has played in many major franchises over the years including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Star Wars' Ahsoka show, and the MCU's Jessica Jones series.

Catherine Tate - Donna Noble

Catherine Tate - Donna Noble, Doctor Who The Star Beast
Doctor Who

Doctor Who fans last saw British comedian Catherine Tate as the fan-favorite companion Donna Noble with "The End of Time Part 2." This came after the Doctor had to erase her memory of all their travels together after she absorbed his regeneration energy, granting her more knowledge than her brain could handle.

Now, Donna is back following her big lottery win, most of which she donated to charity in a Doctor-like action. This time around, the red-head companion has a whole family, with husband Shaun Temple, daughter Rose Noble, and her mother Sylvia is still around, shielding her from every remembering her sci-fi travels.

Catherine Tate took the U.S. by storm as Nellie in The Office, but British audiences will know her best for past episodes of Doctor Who and The Catherine Tate Show.

Yasmin Finney - Rose Noble

Yasmin Finney - Rose Noble, Doctor Who The Star Beast
Doctor Who

Transgender actress Yasmin Finney made her Doctor Who debut in "The Star Beast" as Rose Noble, the daughter of Donna Noble and Shaun Temple who was named after the Doctor's former companion, Rose Tyler.

Rose had clearly spent many years facing struggles of bullying and gender identity as a transgender girl, something which she comes to terms with by the end of the special after her first alien encounter with the Doctor.

The series brought a major reveal when Rose inherited Donna's meta-crisis from birth, meaning she was able to briefly access insane time lord-level intelligence to help save the world before giving it up with her mother.

Finney is best known as a breakout star of the British coming-of-age drama Heartstopper in which she played Elle Argent. 

Jacqueline King - Sylvia Noble

Jacqueline King - Sylvia Noble, Doctor Who The Star Beast
Doctor Who

Returning alongside Donna is her mother, Sylvie Noble, who hasn't been seen since her daughter's last appearance in "The End of Time Part 2." Knowing remembering the Doctor will kill her daughter, Sylvie spends "The Star Beast" fighting to keep her away from anything too sci-fi. 

"The Star Beast" also offered an update on her father and Doctor Who icon Wilfred Mott, who was played by the late Bernard Cribbins. Fans now know Wilf is living in a care home being paid for by UNIT and Kate Stewart, and many are holding out hope that he will still end up appearing in the coming episodes.

Jacqueline King has credits in Silent Witness, Doctors, and Mammals, but is by far best known for her time as Doctor Who icon Sylvia Noble.

Karl Collins - Shaun Temple

Karl Collins - Shaun Temple, Doctor Who The Star Beast
Doctor Who

As shown in Donna's last appearance, she is now married to Shaun Temple, who she met before "The End of Time" after losing memory of the Doctor. The pair are now living together and have a child, Rose, while he works as a taxi driver.

Despite being married, neither Donna nor Shaun gave up their surname and instead kept their original family titles of Noble and Temple, respectively.

Karl Collins reprises the role from "The End of Time," with some of his other credits including Henry Allen's lawyer in The Flash, Hollyoaks, and Black Mirror.

Ruth Madeley - Shirley Anne Bingham

Ruth Madeley - Shirley Anne Bingham, Doctor Who The Star Beast
Doctor Who

Disabled actress Ruth Madeley makes her series debut as Shirley Anne Bingham, otherwise known as UNIT Scientific Advisor 56, who leads the investigation into the alien ship landing at the steelworks with a team of soldiers.

Despite being wheelchair-bound, Bingham has plenty of neat tricks up her sleeve on top of her authority and intelligence. Her wheelchair proved to be weaponized with both a gun and explosive canon, adding to her prowess in the field.

Ruth Madley has had past roles in Outnumbered, The Cleaner, and Cold Feet, while she will also appear in more of the 60th anniversary specials beyond "The Star Beast," as confirmed by further footage of her in the trailers.

Miriam Margoyles - Beep the Meep

Miriam Margoyles - Beep the Meep, Doctor Who The Star Beast
Doctor Who

Playing the voice of the (initially) adorable Beep the Meep is Miriam Margoyles. The furry alien lands on Earth and seeks the help of Rose, The Doctor, and the Noble family to evade the threat of the Wrarth Warriors.

Beep the Meep brought one of the most surprising twists of "The Star Beast," as the last and leader of the Meeps turned out to be far more cruel and sinister than once thought, setting out to cause destruction upon the Earth.

Most will know Miriam Margoyles best as Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter movies, but the 82-year-old also featured in Little Shop of Horrors and Babe.

Ned Porteous - Zogroth

Ned Porteous - Zogroth, Doctor Who The Star Beast
Doctor Who

After the Doctor and the Nobles escaped to a parking garage with Beep the Meep, he summoned two of the Wrarth Warriors to his own court proceeding to have the two opposing sides present their cases.

Unfortunately, after revealing Beep the Meep was the true evil in the situation, Zogroth was shot dead before his red light eye gradually faded out.

Zogroth actor Ned Porteous had a long-term role on Emmerdale as Joseph Tate and also appeared before on Netflix's Bridgerton

John Hopkinson - Zreeg

John Hopkinson - Zreeg, Doctor Who The Star Beast
Doctor Who

Zreeg was another Wrarth Warrior who attended the Doctor's parking garage court with Zogroth, only to meet his demise to Beep the Meep.

The role was played by John Hopkinson whose only acting credit before now seemingly came in the 2003 short Hello, Friend.

Jamie Cho - Colonel Chan

Jamie Cho - Colonel Chan, Doctor Who The Star Beast
Doctor Who

Colonel Chan was a member of a UNIT squadron led by Shirley Ann Bingham, however, after he and his team were exposed to the bright light coming from the Beep the Meep's ship, they were left possessed and with glowing blue eyes.

Chan and his battalion proceeded to spend much of the rest of the episode chasing down Beep the Meep, who they were mind-controlled to obeying.

The role was played by Jamie Cho, who appeared in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins and The Dark Knight in two different minor roles.

Ronak Patani - Major Singh

Ronak Patani - Major Singh, Doctor Who The Star Beast
Doctor Who

UNIT's Major Singh arrived outside the Noble household to the site of a battle between the Wrarth Warriors and the possessed UNIT soldiers, quickly giving order to his team to "open fire."

Singh was played by Ronak Patani who had a minor role in Star Wars' Andor, while also appearing in Call the Midwife, The Suspect, and more.

Matt Green - BBC Reporter

Matt Green - BBC Reporter, Doctor Who The Star Beast
Doctor Who

Actor and comedian Matt Green got a quick appearance in "The Star Beast" as a BBC News reporter covering the alien ship landing. Well, at least he was until UNIT arrived at the scene and threw him into the back of a van.

Green has had a number of roles in BBC series in the past including Lapland, Extras, and EastEnders, along with Channel 4's Fresh Meat.


Doctor Who Special 1, "The Star Beast," is streaming now on Disney+ along with BBC iPlayer in the UK & Ireland.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.