'Doctor Who': David Tennant, Billie Piper confirmed for 50th Anniversary episode

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doctor-who-david-tennant-billie-piper-50th-anniversary-bbc-america.jpgDavid Tennant and Billie Piper are returning to "Doctor Who" for the iconic British sci-fi series' 50th Anniversary episode airing later this year.

Speculation has been swirling about which former "Who" actors may be seen in the special, and fans should be especially pleased with this news. Tennant and Piper are among the most beloved performers in recent "Who" history.

Tennant played the Tenth Doctor from 2005-2010. Piper was Rose Tyler -- a companion to both the Ninth Doctor ( Christopher Eccleston) and Tenth -- from 2005-2006 and made a few guest appearances after. They were both last seen in the 2010 special "The End of Time Part 2," which officially saw Tennant's Doctor regenerate into the current Eleventh Doctor ( Matt Smith).

Smith and current co-star Jenna-Louise Coleman will headline the anniversary episode, which will be simultaneously broadcast in 3D on Nov. 23 in the U.K. -- that's 50 years to the day after "Who" first premiered on the BBC. Filming begins this week with Nick Hurran directing a script by current showrunner Steven Moffat.

In addition to confirming Tennant and Piper's involvement, BBC America announced that veteran actor John Hurt will co-star in the anniversary special. This will be the first "Who" appearance for the Oscar-nominated star of "The Elephant Man" whose credits span a wide range of fanboy favorite franchises including "Alien," "Harry Potter," "Indiana Jones" and "Hellboy."

"Doctor Who" returns to BBC America tonight for the second half of its current season. Tennant is also set to appear on the network in the miniseries "Spies of Warsaw" premiering April 3 and in the critically acclaimed "Broadchurch," expected to air later this year.
Photo/Video credit: BBC America