Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Trailer Breakdown: Beep the Meep, Donna, Rose & The Giggle

Feat. the return of David Tennant and Catherine Tate, the new Doctor Who anniversary teaser shown before Eurovision revealed far more than just the episode titles…

David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor in the 60th Anniversary specials
Photo: BBC

WARNING: contains fan theories hinting at spoilers for the Doctor Who 60th episodes

An exciting couple of weeks for Doctor Who fans ended in a big payoff on Saturday night: a brand new 40-second trailer for the 60th anniversary specials, which confirmed the episode titles, and hinted at much more!

Fans had been anticipating the release after several clues – both in a cryptic 8-second teaser on 29th April and official tweets – pointed to something happening during Eurovision, and just before the contest began airing on BBC One, this was our reward:

The Doctor Who team confirmed the three teaser trailers that had previously aired also revealed clues to the episode titles confirmed during this new trailer, which are:

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Episode one: The Star Beast
Episode two: Wild Blue Yonder 
Episode three: The Giggle

The new trailer might only be 40 seconds long, but it packs in a smorgasbord of teasers for fans to begin unravelling that go far beyond the episode titles – here’s everything worked out so far:

More Coded Messages Hinting at The Doctor and Donna

There was yet more binary code in the ‘glitches’ between clips, this time revealing the phrase “Binary binary binary I don’t want to go” in reverse:

Of course, fans were quick to spot that this refers both to Donna’s mind being taken over by the DoctorDonna, and the tenth Doctor’s famous last words.

On a similar theme, there’s also some hexadecimal code revealing the words ‘Doctor’, ‘Donna’ and ‘TARDIS’:

Which Clips Match Each Episode?

One fan has helpfully split the trailer up into three sections, which theoretically separates the clips we saw by which episode they’ll feature in:

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Episode one: The Star Beast:

(The clip of Donna with Beep the Meep at the end of the trailer would also seem to fit this episode)

Episode two: Wild Blue Yonder

Episode three: The Giggle

Let’s break down each episode and what these clips reveal:

The Star Beast: The Doctor Reunites With Donna And Meets Rose?

Previous set reports from fans who watched some of the filming described the Doctor bumping into a woman carrying a tower of boxes that cover her face, and in helping her by removing some of the boxes, he realises the woman is Donna.

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This scenario was seemingly confirmed in a split-second clip during the trailer:

We also see The Doctor and Rose looking up at the sky together watching what he describes as “a spaceship in trouble”:

The trailer featured a callback to the original cryptic teaser, which featured a disguised line of dialogue: Donna asking “Why did this face come back?” Well, prepare for things to get emotional, as in the trailer Donna seems to answer her own question: “To say goodbye.”

Not to fill you with dread even more, but Russell T Davies also replied to a comment on his recent Instagram post hinting at a less-than-happily-ever-after end for Donna:

One particularly eagle-eyed Whovian noticed that the TV and YouTube version of the trailer seems to have a black bar at the top and bottom of the screen obscuring some of the footage – but that’s not the case in the BBC’s social media posts about the trailer. 

These black bars appear to hide one particularly important detail – a familiar flat cap that suggests the presence of Donna’s granddad Wilf (the much-missed Bernard Cribbins). It would certainly match this spotted during filming.

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Donna Meets Beep The Meep

We’ve already had confirmation that Beep The Meep and the Wrath Warriors feature in the 60th anniversary specials – but the new trailer treats us to an amusing clip of Donna discovering Beep the Meep in typical Donna style:

Fans pointed out this shot appears to pay homage to ET:

Whereas others went one step closer, and get their plot predictions based on the new clips from the trailer:

Wild Blue Yonder Is The Most Mysterious Of The Three Episodes

The second 60th anniversary episode, ‘Wild Blue Yonder’, seemed to get the least coverage in the new trailer, with Donna and the Doctor only seen briefly in a blue spaceship/control room:

There was an important clue in one of the BBC’s teaser tweets in the hours before the trailer aired, however – The Doctor and Donna are recoiling in what appears to be the same blue room, and if you play the clip in reverse it reveals The Doctor saying the line “She mentioned Gallifrey”:

While some fans speculated that The Doctor and Donna are witnessing a regeneration in this clip:

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Others discovered a 2005 film with the same name as the episode title, with an interesting-sounding plot synopsis that could be relevant:

Could The Giggle Have a Historical Reference To The First Television Broadcast?

Previous set reports showed props including newspapers and signs suggesting that some of the 60th anniversary specials would be set in 1925.

This was the same year that John Logie Baird transmitted his first ever television broadcast – a slightly terrifying clip of a ventriloquist dummy called Stooky Bill – and fans think they’ve spotted him appearing on a giant screen in the new trailer:

This led to suggestions that this broadcast might be used for nefarious purposes by a Doctor Who villain:

Could That Creepy Giggle Be Neil Patrick Harris?

The villain in question is most likely to be Neil Patrick Harris’ character, who we saw dancing with the Doctor:

It also sounded like he was the voice behind the sinister giggle we heard in the trailer – especially likely considering one the BBC’s teaser tweets also included clips of Harris juggling, and if played in reverse we hear the Doctor referring to someone putting “a giggle in everyone’s head”:

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Sneak Peek at UNIT HQ And a New Sonic For Fourteen

The Giggle clip featuring the ventriloquist dummy also seems to feature UNIT soldiers in what could be UNIT HQ:

And there appeared to be a blink-and-you’ll miss reveal of The Doctor’s new sonic screwdriver:

The Return of The Classic Vortex? Don’t Be So Sure

Fans of the original Russell T Davies era were excited to see the episode titles featured the classic 2008 vortex and title sequence:

But in a reply to an Instagram comment, RTD says they’re “just the old vortex”, leading some fans to speculate that this was just a placeholder design to keep the new vortex under wraps for now:

The Doctor Meets a Cyberdog

A brief clip at the start of the trailer shows the Doctor walking through a crowd with some large Cyberman-esque statues in the background. Fans were quick to notice that this was merely a fun nod to Cyberdog in Camden, a clothing store with no actual link to Doctor Who:

And Finally, Eurovision Gave Us One More Doctor Who Reference

Catherine Tate revealed the UK’s scores during the results, and couldn’t resist including one of The Doctor’s famous phrases, “Allons-y!”:

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The 60th anniversary specials aren’t due to air for another six months – how many more teasers will we get before then? 

Doctor Who returns to BBC One in November 2023