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David Tennant, Billie Piper Back On ‘Doctor Who’

Both return for anniversary, but what about Christopher Eccleston?

Filming is about to begin for the 50th anniversary special of “Doctor Who,” and while fans already know they’ll get to enjoy current Doctor Matt Smith and companion Jenna-Louise Coleman, they will get at least two other familiar faces: David Tennant and Billie Piper.

Tennant, who played the 10th Doctor between 2005 and 2010, is officially back, according to BBC, and he’s bringing the first companion of “Doctor Who’s” modern era, Piper’s Rose Tyler, who appeared on the show as a regular between 2005 and 2006, and returned for later episodes in 2008 as well as Tennant’s final episode in 2010.

The special will also star John Hurt, who played Ollivander in the Harry Potter film series and Adam Sutler in “V for Vendetta.”

What’s not clear on who will be returning is the first Doctor of the modern era – Christopher Eccleston. That actor, who reportedly had a not-so-clean departure from his single season as The Doctor in 2005, had reportedly decided to return in January. However, there has been no official announcement of his involvement in the special.

Not much is known about the episode, which is expected to air exactly 50 years from the date of the original broadcast with William Hartnell. Smith is one of the few who have read the episode, and said that “I read it and I clapped at the end. I think it’s hilarious, it’s epic, and it’s vast.”

Since leaving “Doctor Who” in 2010, Tennant has kept busy first working on the broken NBC pilot “Rex is Not Your Lawyer,” but then moving on to projects like “How To Train Your Dragon,” “Fright Night,” “Star Wars: Clone Wars” and “The Pirates! Band of Misfits.”

Tennant finished work last year on the television miniseries “The Politician’s Husband” as well as joining other voice talents like Jim Broadbent and Rupert Grint for the animated film “Postman Pat: The Movie – You Know You’re the One.”

Piper has spent less time on the screen since “Doctor Who,” playing a critically acclaimed role in “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” and a guest role in the British drama “True Love.”

“Doctor Who” returns for new episodes March 30 on BBC and BBC America. The 50th anniversary special airs Nov. 23.

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