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Doctor Who pays tribute to Bernard Cribbins as latest episode has fans in tears

bernard cribbins in doctor who, an older man sits in a wheelchair looking up at someone off camera, he has grey hair and beard and wears a flat cap with brown coat
Doctor Who pays tribute to Bernard Cribbins@bbcdoctorwho - BBC

Doctor Who fans were left in tears after Saturday's (December 2) special episode paid tribute to the late Bernard Cribbins.

Cribbins, who died last year aged 93, is best known to Doctor Who fans as Catherine Tate's character Donna Noble's grandfather Wilfred Mott.

Fans were delighted, and moved, to see Cribbins take on the role for the last time as part of the show's 60th anniversary celebrations in last night's special episode 'Wild Blue Yonder'.

Making his appearance towards the end of the episode, the Doctor and Donna bumped into Wilf, who is now in a wheelchair, outside the TARDIS in Camden Market.

bernard cribbins, catherine tate and david tennant in doctor who, an older man sitting in a wheelchair hugs a a younger man playing the doctor as a woman looks on smiling
@bbcdoctorwho - BBC

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After shouting out to his granddaughter, a shocked Wilf covered his face upon noticing the Time Lord exiting the TARDIS who greeted him with a smile.

"I never thought I'd see you again after all these years, oh Doctor that lovely face," Wilf said after the pair shared a warm embrace.

Things didn't stay calm for long as Wilf admitted that people on Earth had begun to go mad. After assuring Donna and the Doctor that the Noble family were safe, Wilf said: "I told them to bunker down and I'll keep watch...it's everyone, it's everything, they're all going mad. You've got to do something. The whole world, coming to an end."

bernard cribbins in doctor who, an older man sits in a wheelchair looking up at someone off camera, he has grey hair and beard and wears a flat cap with brown coat
@bbcdoctorwho - BBC

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When chaos ensued at the market and a plane crashed overhead, the Doctor and Donna could be seen taking refuge in the TARDIS along with Wilf and the episode cut to credits. In the credits, a dedication to the beloved actor read: "In loving memory of Bernard Cribbins 1928-2022".

Following the episode, fans took to X to share their thoughts on the emotional tribute. "Lovely to see Wilf back... the perfect tribute to Bernard Cribbins," wrote a fan.

"I am so happy Bernard Cribbins got to be Wilf one last time. I might have had something in my eye," penned another.

Doctor Who returns for three 60th anniversary specials, continuing with 'Wild Blue Yonder' on December 2. The show airs on BBC One in the UK and Disney+ elsewhere.

Classic episodes of Doctor Who are now made available via BBC iPlayer in the UK as well.

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