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Saying Good-Bye to Doctor Who

David Tennant and Russell Davies talk about their twilight of Doctor Who

By Rob Vaux     July 30, 2009

David Tennant will return to DOCTOR WHO
© BBC/Robert Trate


Beloved Doctor Who actor David Tennant and series creator Russell T. Davies unveiled their final few episodes at the TCA Press Tour on Wednesday. The two have spearheaded the successful revival of the long-running science fiction series, and will depart after the annual specials due to air at the end of 2009. (The Doctor will be played by actor Matt Smith--the eleventh incarnation of the character--starting in 2010.) "The Waters of Mars" and "The End of Time" cover the dangers that engulf the Doctor as he prepares for his next regeneration. The displayed clips showed him fighting hordes of zombies created by a strange liquid on the Red Planet, as well as an unseen menace during the final days of the Planet Earth.
"I think this Doctor likes being this Doctor," Tennant explained after the clips ran. "He's raging against the dying of the light. He knows that the sands of time are running out for him, and that the bell is tolling for him. He doesn't want to go quietly."
As for their thoughts on stepping away from the show, both Tennant and Davies seemed very introspective. "It's very exciting, but it's also very sad," Tennant mused. "It's thrilling to be handing over the show in such good health."
Davies talked about the original decision to cast Tennant, who succeeded Christopher Eccleston following the first season of the long-running series' revival. "We were auditioning for Casanova, and every male actor in the land auditioned for the part. They all gave us very heavy and very serious and very would-be romantic portrayals of Casanova. David would just dance over dialogue: he's one of the few actors who understands that dialogue is sort of irrelevant. He rushes across it with all speed; everything is going on underneath. That's key for the Doctor and one of the reasons why you can successfully cast very different actors in the part. There's still a sort of essential Doctorness behind whatever he's saying or doing."
When asked about whether he would return to the role, Tennant simply smiled. "I'll wait for the correct opportunity, but I've got the costume hanging up in my wardrobe. As long as I can keep my waistline down… you know, never say never."


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tacid 7/30/2009 3:02:06 AM

It'll be a sad day indeed when he does tep down as theDoctor. He as by far my favourite Doctor :(

NotAFan 7/30/2009 4:04:43 AM

David Tennant was one of the best Doctors EVER! Much better than Eccleston who was merely passable at best! I still fear that Davies plans to kill off the Doctor forever in the near future! He only had a few regenerations left when the revival started and Davies seemed to be very nonchalant about wasting them fof the sake of the plot of certain episodes! I think he has a secret evil plan to kill the Doctor off forever so as to give the show a proper ending!

lusiphur 7/30/2009 5:08:42 AM

Waitaminute!  If I read that article correctly, it said Davies was leaving the series also.  If that is the case, I can see the quality of the series go downhill.

As for NotAFan's statement about regenerations.  The Doctor has only regenerated once (twice when Tennet leaves) since the revival of the series.  And that (or both, when Tennet leaves) was because the actor playing the roll had decided to leave the series.  I don't see that as an evil plot to end the series.

kwsupes 7/30/2009 5:16:53 AM

Yeah I mean Davies is done with Who now Stephen Moffat is taking over. I hate to see Tennant go he is really awesome. He has made the Doctor so cool. I am sure Matt Smith will do a good job, but Tennant will be missed.

tacid 7/30/2009 5:47:02 AM

It was stated in the old Dr Who serie that a Time Lord can only regenerate 12 times for a total of 13 incarnations. Wich means that once Matt Smith takes over as the 11th Doctor there will only be 2 incarnation left.

I don't think it's all a plot to kill of the Doctor tho since it was Eccleston and Tennant's decision to leave and not Davis.

Of course the Maste has managed to surpass his 12 regenerations so they could always find a wy to make the Doctor regenerate a 13th, 14th, 15th time and so on.

Walker 7/30/2009 7:41:19 AM

Waitaminute! If I read that article correctly, it said Davies was leaving the series also. If that is the case, I can see the quality of the series go downhill.

Considering that Moffat is taking over, I expect the opposite.  Moffat's stories were the best every season (and the ones Davies wrote himself were often the worst).

Pendragon0 7/30/2009 9:54:36 AM

My favorite doctors were Pertwee and, of course, Baker.  But Eccelston and especially Tennet I think have eclipsed them.  Tacid, the show has previously established that there are ways for a time lord to exceed 12 regenerations, such as regenerations can somehow be taken from one time lord and given to another.  The Master also came up with a number of loopholes, but they were generally destroy-the-universere-in-the-process kind of things.

trollman 7/30/2009 12:54:04 PM

Ok yes ten doctors = 9 regenerations, BUT in Stolen Earth & Journey's End the 10th doctor used a regeneration to heal himself and discharged the excess energy into his severed hand. (thus the Human Doctor now living with Rose on the alternate Earth). So that means he's down one more regeneration. 10 Doctors 10 regenerations.  The next will leave him with one regeneration left..

Having said that they have established cannon that indicates the regenerations can be restored.  In "The 5 Doctors" the Inner Council of Time Lords offered the Master a new cycle of regenerations for helping them.  Aside from that The Master was living in a stolen body Tremas of Traken, the father of the Doctor's future companion, Nyssa. (See: The Keeper of Traken with the 4th Doctor). Also The Master managed to steal another body in the FOX TV Movie (of which no more shall be spoken). 

I also don't believe the Time Lords didn't leave some way out of being destroyed.  They have to come back sooner or later.

FerretJohn 7/30/2009 5:18:29 PM

The Old Doctor Who established the number at 12, however the new series has never once brought that particular point up.  Indeed, Tennant had stated several times through the new run that he (The Doctor) is immortal, that he'll simply keep regenerating over and over and over.  So whether the magic number was quietly retconned out or whether it was removed by some as yet to be explained by-product of The Time War it seems quite likely that the only things that will kill the Doctor permenantly are full disintigration or really low ratings.

mbeckham1 7/31/2009 11:40:19 AM

Mofffat is a definuiely worythy successor.  I agree that his episiodes have been some of the best written Whos and some of the best written sxcience fiction episodes in television. 

And no doubt they'kll find a loophole around the regengeration thing if they need it.  Maybe being the last or next to lasyt sinxce trhe Master is almost certainly alive somewhere, makes a difference, maybe they each get the sum of Tiomelord regenerations that would have been divided among the populace.  of millions. 

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