David Tennant, who currently plays the 10th incarnation of The Doctor on the world’s longest running sci-fi show Doctor Who, has officially called it a day. So what does this mean? How will Tennant, and his tenure on the show, be remembered? What were the good stories? What were the shockers?
Doctor Who star David Tennant has announced he is quitting the hit science-fiction series.
Tennant, who has played the 10th incarnation of the Time Lord since 2005, says he will leave the role after completing production on the four special episodes to be screened in the UK in 2009.
“When Doctor Who returns in 2010 it won’t be with me,” he told the National Television Awards.
“The 2009 shows will be my last playing the Doctor.
“I love this part and I love this show so much, and if I don’t take a deep breath and move on now I never will and you will be wheeling me out of the Tardis in my bath chair.”
There has been no word as to who will replace Tennant.
To be honest, I do not hold the belief that Tennant’s tenure has been all that spectacular. Certainly, there have been some great episodes and stories. The Christmas Invasion was very promising, indicating that the 10th Doctor would be one who was full of energy and yet one who could be rather ruthless when the situation called for it. School Reunion was another well done story, mixing the old and the new though it must be said that Anthony Stewart Head’s performance did a lot to make the episode as good as it was. Human Nature, based on a 7th Doctor novel of the same name, again displayed how smart and ruthless the Doctor could be. Blink was different but ended up being possibly the best of the 10th Doctor stories broadcast so far.
On the other hand, there were some really bad stories. The Idiots Lantern, Love and Monsters, Fear Her, Daleks Take Manhatten/Evolution of the Daleks and even The Unicorn and the Wasp … they all had serious shortcomings for a wide variety of reasons. Let’s also take a look at the rather tedious Doctor/Rose ‘shipping and we can easily see it really made little to no sense and did nothing but serve to bog down more than a few stories.
That being said, I do not think that most of what was wrong with Tennant’s tenure was actually Tennant’s fault. That I place at the feet of the script writers, Davies in particular. Look at the conclusion of the last story; Journey’s End. Yes, that serves as an excellent example of what was wrong with many of the 10th Doctor stories … pretty much all of them had a solid concept behind them but the execution was often more than sloppy. Journey’s End had all the right elements but managed to make a mess of it pretty much completely, especially the Dues Ex Machina style ending which was just cringe worthy (see, it at least it was better than the horrible, horrible Olympic Torch ending of Fear Her).
So what now? This is where pure personal speculation and hope comes into play. I want to see the next Doctor be one that is reasonably mature and intelligent; both qualities which the 10th seemed to lack quite a bit. I do not want to see the manic behaviour which has characterised the 10th (and to a lesser extent, the 9th) Doctor. I want to see intelligently plotted stories which are a battle of wits and schemes between the Doctor and whatever villain happens to pop up in any given week.
Speaking of Daleks … they really should not appear for the next couple of seasons at least. They have appeared far too much recently and they have become what they were back in the 6th Doctor’s day … a boring joke. You could bring the Master back with little problem, though hopefully this time he won’t be a manic git and instead go back to the Robert DeGaldo style evil mastermind type villain. In fact a loose string of stories of battles against The Master (much like what happened back in the 3rd Doctor’s day) would be welcome. Jettison Torchwood and bring back more focus to UNIT, have them involved to a greater degree instead of nameless soldiers who ineffectually fight and die against the bad guys yet again.