Doctor Who – Wild Blue Yonder

The Fourteenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) in Wild Blue Yonder (Image courtesy BBC / Disney+)
The Fourteenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) in Wild Blue Yonder (Image courtesy BBC / Disney+)

“Wild Blue Yonder” is the second 2023 special episode in the TV show “Doctor Who” that celebrates its 60th anniversary and follows “The Star Beast“. It’s available in the UK and Ireland on BBC channels and in many other countries on the Disney+ platform.

Note. This article contains some spoilers about “Wild Blue Yonder”.

Following the damage caused by Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), the Tardis goes out of control. After ending up in 1666 England, the Fourteenth Doctor (David Tennant) manages to restart it until it arrives in what appears to be a huge spaceship, where its interior explodes. While the travelers look around, the Tardis sets off again. Despite the gravity of the situation, the Doctor promises Donna to bring her home.

After providing an update to the story of Donna Noble and her family, the second special takes the audience to a cosmic setting at the edge of the universe. Even the Doctor seems to stand in awe when he peers into that wild blue yonder. The two travelers are like castaways on a spaceship that is lost in space and what better environment than infinity to look inside yourself and confront each other, also from an emotional point of view?

Science fiction in the final frontier is generally the one I love the most, especially when it has the depth to include the protagonists’ inner dimension. In “Wild Blue Yonder” the Doctor and Donna must face the unknown in more ways than one by coming face to face with themselves, literally and figuratively. It’s a situation that may disturb some viewers but this only stresses how well it’s constructed from all points of view.

The two actors’ remarkable skills and the great chemistry between them fully enhance a story that explores deep emotions in an introspection that also comes from a point of view like none before. Having recovered the memory of her time with the Doctor and seen in his mind what happened to him after they were separated, Donna has a unique perspective even though she says she doesn’t remember everything she saw.

Chris Chibnall’s controversial choices to explore the Doctor’s origins with the consequent twists seen during his run displeased part of the fandom. Some fans hoped that Russell T Davies would make up some solution to erase everything or at least pretend nothing happened, instead, he essentially confirmed everything that was told during the Thirteenth Doctor’s era by showing the consequences.

I have my doubts about the story of the Timeless Child but frankly, upsetting everything again would have seemed like a case of remedy worse than a disease. I think Russell T Davies did well to use it alongside the events of the Flux to bring out some of the Doctor’s emotions.

At the end of the episode, there isn’t even time to be moved by the appearance of Grandpa Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins) when a lot happens. It’s a cliffhanger leading into the third special. Meanwhile, I enjoyed “Wild Blue Yonder” more than the first special.

Edit. It was confirmed that this was the last time Bernard Cribbins appeared because the actor passed away soon after that.

Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins) in Wild Blue Yonder (Image courtesy BBC / Disney+)
Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins) in Wild Blue Yonder (Image courtesy BBC / Disney+)

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