David Tennant is leaving Doctor Who

David Tennant has announced that he’s leaving Doctor Who after next year’s specials. That’s a run of four years[1], which is as long as most actors have stayed in the role. Apart from Tom Baker’s majestic seven-year run, of course.

David has, for me, become the Doctor like no actor since Tom. While I’ve enjoyed and appreciated the other Doctors, David’s performance and total possession of the role has been, as his predecessor would have said, FANTASTIC.

While I would have liked him to carry on for at least a little longer, I’ve always said that he should stay for as long as he wanted to, and not a moment longer. From the video diaries on the DVD sets, and interviews that I’ve seen, it’s been abundantly clear that David has loved being the Doctor, and this love has shone through in his performances.

He was briefly tempted to change his mind and stay for the 2010 series, which will be the first under the control of the wonderful Steven Moffat, but ultimately decided that it was

better to go when there’s a chance that people might miss you, rather than to hang around and outstay your welcome

And while I’m sad to see David leave, this does mean a few Good Things will happen:

  1. Russell T Davies will go even more over the top than normal in next year’s specials. There may only be four of them, but they’re going to be huge. And you can be sure David will get a massive send-off, bringing an end to his era with the style, drama, passion and emotion it deserves. Those shows are going to be lots of fun. :bouncy:
  2. In 2010, there will be a new head writer/show runner, new producer, and a new Doctor. In other words, the series will get one of the periodic restarts it needs to keep it fresh, exciting and worth watching. Steven Moffat is promising us more scares and more new enemies for what we now know will be a new Doctor. And with a new Doctor, it will be easier for him to put his own stamp on the series. The Doctor will still be the Doctor, he’ll still be the essential hero he’s always been, but he’ll be different again. And that will be a Good Thing.

Now of course, we’ll be treated to a few months of speculation: who will be the next Doctor? Personally, I have no idea, and I’m not inclined to play guessing games. I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough – certainly by very early next year.

BBC NEWS: David Tennant quits as Doctor Who
BBC News: David Tenant Interview
[1] Even if one of those years is a bit short on episodes

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