TV review: Doctor Who – Wild Blue Yonder (60th Anniversary Special)

After a Tardis/Tea malfunction, The Doctor and Donna find themselves flung to the edge of space and reality itself, aboard a ship that isn’t all it seems.

Say what you will about the trilogy of 60th anniversary specials, but they were certainly unexpected! Starting off with a fairly generic (story wise) The Star Beast, what it lacked in story originality, it certainly made up for in new, showy special and visual effects, thanks largely to that fat Disney+ budget that they now have to take the show to a more global market. The fans had been waiting a whole year since we found out that Tennant would be back as the 14th Doctor and even though little explanation was given in that first episode, we were treated to that Doctor and Donna Noble magic again as we seemed to pick up from where we left off, as if the last 15 years hadn’t even happened. This is mainly thanks to returning showrunner and writer Russell T. Davies, who was responsible for Doctor Who’s comeback in 2005 right up to 2010. (Read our full Star Beast review here)

As for the second episode ‘Wild Blue Yonder’, whooo boy, buckle up! After the friendly, light, Earth-centric, episode one, Wild Blue Yonder sets out to horrify us with deepest space, and body horror. After a fun prologue where the Tardis gets stuck in a tree that Sir Isaac Newton was sitting under, leading to the discovery of mavity, erm I mean… gravity! The Doctor and Donna are flung onto an abandoned ship at the very edge of reality itself. However not everything is what it seems and the Tardis is forced to ‘run away’, leaving the pair stuck with no help… and even worse, no sonic screwdriver! As the pair explore the ship we discover that they’re not entirely alone and before long the big bad of the week reveals itself, or rather, themselves.


A pair of shape-shifting aliens from beyond the void, who are attempting to copy The Doctor and Donna, leading to some fun ‘who’s who’ moments while the aliens attempt to get their imitations right. One particularly gruesome moment sees both the Doctor’s arms lengthen to the floor, being dragged around by the doppelgänger as they lumber after the real heroes. It’s a real testament to the acting abilities of both Tennant and Tate as they spend the whole episode talking to themselves. There are moments where Tennant especially is given the room to really break down the collective experience of the Doctor’s three previous regenerations as they deal with some of the revelations about their past that have come to light.

Without spoiling exactly WHY the aliens want to replicate them both I’ll say that the rest of the episode is fantastically well paced, giving you breathing moments, then ramping up the ‘hide behind the couch’ horror. The new visuals are on show again here in what must be one of the most impressive settings we’ve ever seen the show take on. It’s all reminiscent of ‘The Thing’ or even some of the shows previous horror outings like ‘Listen’ or ‘Midnight’, wrapped up in a space haunted house… Pure Who!

It’s also lovely to see the late Bernard Cribbins reprise his role briefly as Donna’s grandad Wilfred, right before an explosion nearby and a plane crashing overhead. Wilfred explaining that the world is coming to an end and leaving us on a cliffhanger until the final episode. Overall Wild Blue Yonder is one of the best episodes of Who in recent years and I’m sure will be even more fun upon a second viewing, when you can spot all the little details you miss the first time around.