Catherine Tate has said that Doctor Who is “100% the best job I’ve ever had” as she made her return to the long-running, science fiction show.

Her reprising of the role of Donna Noble during a new episode of the BBC One show on Saturday, alongside David Tennant as the Time Lord, has been hailed by critics.

Tate told BBC One’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg that she was not really a fan before being in cast in the series more than a decade ago.

David Tennant as the Doctor. (BBC Studios/Alistair Heap)
David Tennant as the 14th Doctor (BBC Studios/Alistair Heap)

“I remember the Doctor (played by actor) Tom Baker with his long scarf and I can remember it, but I didn’t used to watch it,” she said.

Also returning to the series, which sees Tennant in the role for three specials, for the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who, is showrunner Russell T Davies.

Tate said: “I don’t know why Russell thought it was a good idea to put me in it, I’m delighted that he did and it will always be 100% … I’m sure the best job … I’ve ever had … I think David and I both feel that it’s 100%, the best job we’ve ever had.

“And to get another bite of the cherry, extraordinary.”

The Guardian, who called Tennant and Tate’s chemistry “absolutely faultless”, and the Sunday Telegraph, Independent and Empire magazine all gave The Star Beast episode four stars.

The Sunday Telegraph called it a “perfect re-entry for a franchise that needs to win back the public’s affection, a return to Doctor Who as a teatime treat”.

“The Doctor is back to his eccentric best,” the Independent review said.

Featuring a new look Tardis, the episode resolves the fallout of Donna absorbing the “power of the Time Lords” which saw her stop being the Doctor’s companion during a 2008 episode.

The Doctor then returns her memories in an emotional moment before it is revealed that the Time Lord being genderfluid means Donna and daughter Rose (Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney) can share the knowledge.

The latest episode also teases that the next two special instalments, Wild Blue Yonder on December 2 and The Giggle on December 9, will see Donna and the Doctor go on more adventures through time and space.

Actor Shaun Temple as Donna’s husband, Karl Collins, and Jacqueline King as Sylvia Noble were also featured during Saturday’s episode.

Tennant played the 10th Doctor between 2005 and 2010 before he regenerated as the 14th Doctor during the first female Time Lord Jodie Whittaker’s last episode in 2022.

Sex Education and Barbie star Ncuti Gatwa will take over in the role as the native of Gallifrey over the festive period when he becomes the 15th Doctor.