David Tennant On His Time As The Doctor, New Doctor Jodie Whittaker And How Three Doctors Almost Met In A Book Shop In Glasgow


Last weekend David Tennant took part in a Q&A panel at Wizard World's latest fan convention in New Orleans. Here are the Doctor Who highlights from David's answers to fan questions posed during the 45 minute session.


On choosing his favourite Doctor Who companion from Rose, Martha and Donna
"That wouldn't get me into any trouble at all if I had an answer for that! I love them all equally in their own special way"

On how the relationship with each companion developed in terms of romance
"With Rose that was already the deal, I suppose, so I knew what I was inheriting there. I suppose vaguely there was a broad brush stroke that the Rose-Doctor thing was kind of a love story without certain elements of a traditional love story. They basically were star-crossed lovers.
"Then Martha would be the girl that he would never see in that way so that would be a sort of unrequited love affair. We knew that was the story that we were telling.
"With Donna we knew that was absolutely NOT the story we were telling!
"With each of the three from my point of view, they were there for that year, a new companion for the start of each season, so there was clear direction for each one. So each version of that had a very different flavour, which was great from an acting point of view, a different thing to play."

On Doctor Who and his personal life
"It's weird, you grow up with something - I had a poster of Tom Baker on my bedroom wall and he'd signed it on the bottom. He came to John Menzies in Glasgow in 1970 - I'm not quite sure when it was - and he signed books, and I went along and got a Doctor Who monster book with a poster in the middle and Tom Baker signed it. Also in the queue that day I've since found out was Steven Moffat! And I've also since found out that somebody missed it, who came too late with his book and didn't get it signed - Peter Capaldi! So it's quite weird that three of us for whom Doctor Who has ended up being a large part of our lives were nearly in the same queue in John Menzies that day...I think it's fair to say to a greater or lesser extent that TV programme inspired us to get into the career we got into and we've all ended up being in it and it's ended up being a large part of our lives."

How it felt for the Doctor to lose Rose Tyler
"He was devastated. Rose helped him reform himself and influenced who he became when he regenerated into me. Her influence was very formative when the Doctor came out of this terrible war with all the extraordinary things that he'd been through...she helped him recover and become the man he became. So to lose her was devastating and yet, as ever for the Doctor, kind of inevitable and part of the tragedy of that character. Every relationship that he forms with anyone other than a Time Lord...was by its very nature transient because he is effectively eternal next to a human being."

On why he became the Doctor
"Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner chose me for it so you'd have to ask them why. They asked me to do it and I said yes. Why, who knows, but I'm very glad it worked out."

On being chosen as the best and most popular Doctor by Doctor Who Magazine a few years ago
"Obviously it's lovely to have any sort of recognition at all. I think I was in the show at the time, it definitely gives you an advantage for things like that. I suspect if you did it now Peter Capaldi would probably win...I'm delighted to receive things like that of course, it's wonderful and flattering and makes you feel terribly humble and excited, and at the same time you're always aware that this part is bigger than any one of us who get to play around with it. It's an honour to be associated with it at all and to be one of the people that get to play with this magnificent role and, as Jodie is now discovering, it's a wonderful, thrilling and exciting place to be."

On Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor
"We had a wee chat but it's quite a unique job as it's a show that has so much history to it and it has a reach that's quite unlike other things. It's a bit of a cultural thing, who's going to be the Doctor is quite a news story really so to find yourself in the middle of that is a bit overwhelming. I think inevitably you look to people who might have been there before to go, 'What is this like, this madness that I've just entered into?'  Of course she's a little bit trepidatious, but she's basically really excited.
"What Jodie has become known for as an actress [is being] brilliantly, heartstoppingly emotional in something like Broadchurch...but if you know Jodie, she's so funny and rude, she's got this broad accent and he just sort of fizzes with energy and madness, and she is quite unpredictable and gloriously funny, and I imagine she'll bring a bit of that to it and her natural anarchy will be something that the Doctor will enjoy, I'll imagine.

On his emotional final scenes in Doctor Who
"It's a funny thing because Doctor Who was such a big thing to be part of and to leave it was such a big thing, that sense of it being a national story, who's taking over, you can't help but be aware of the magnitude. And having worked with people that you've grown to love and care for and enjoy working with, that day we recorded that final scene was naturally a very emotional time, so there wasn't a lot of having to get oneself into the zone. It felt sort of genuinely quite emotional anyway. In actual fact, with that very final moment where the Doctor says 'I don't want to go', we did several times and it was actually a question of reining it back a bit as it naturally felt terribly sad...it didn't take a lot of preparation that day."

On his favourite Doctor Who adventure
"I try not to have favourites because they were all so different and each episode had a new cast or was in a new place...and apart from the one person you went through the whole series with there was a whole bunch of new friends to play with. I enjoyed filming them all for different reasons and each one felt very different so it feels wrong to compare them...it feels somehow weirdly disloyal. I love them all. 

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