Thursday, October 31, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: David Tennant The Tenth Doctor

“I don’t want to go”  the final words uttered by David Tennant as the 10th Doctor might be what a majority of fans were actually thinking as the days were counting down towards his last story.  I myself didn’t want David Tennant to leave the show as I really enjoyed his take on The Doctor. I guess after 4 years of enjoying his performance as the Doctor I got a bit selfish, as most fans do when a Doctor they like leaves the show, and didn’t want his era to end.  As with most things in life and as the quote goes “in life all good things come to an end” and indeed the 10th Doctor did make way for Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor.

Since he took over from Christopher Eccleston on Christmas day in 2005 David Tennant cemented the part as his own.  He brought enthusiasm, charisma and a lot of emotion to the Doctor that seemed to be the sort of thing you come to expect from The Doctor.  What made David Tennant a good Doctor is that when an episode was pretty weak his performance saved it from being a clunker.  Well most of the time.  There are a few exceptions.  (Love and Monsters comes to mind.)   The 10th Doctor could be funny and goofy at times but he could turn deadly serious if circumstances merit it.  The thing that always sticks out about David Tennant was his love for the show.

He has stated several times in interviews that he was a fan of the show.  Maybe that is why he may be regarded as one of the most popular Doctors ever.  David Tennant was voted the most popular Doctor ever on a couple of occasions until Matt Smith came along.  That vote could mainly be contributed to the fact that David Tennant is the face of the new generation of Doctor Who fans who have become fans of the show while he had the mantle.   When people think back about the return of Doctor Who they will think about David Tennant and his four years not Christopher Eccelston’s one year unfortunately.

It’s simple to figure out David Tennant has been the face of Doctor Who for so long that it mirrors the 70’s when Tom Baker was king.  People will recognize David Tennant for being the Doctor more than anything he will do next.  Maybe that is more of a tribute to his performance and the way it stuck in people’s minds as being one of the best portrayals of The Doctor ever.  Well one of the best in eleven as all The Doctors are the best portrayals of The Doctor ever.

One of the negatives about the David Tennant era and still going on now is the fangirls and guys.  With their obsession with David Tennant and how good looking he is has turned off a lot of fans towards him.  Now this is not the fault of David Tennant but the writers and Russell T. Davies did make him the sexy Doctor who the female companions like Rose, Martha and the one off Astrid all fell in love with him.  This aspect was nauseating and got on fans nerves but more so from the way the fangirls and guys fawned over him.  I find it unfair to judge his era on this as David Tennant did a really good job as The Doctor and his era was pretty good and I do find it more enjoyable than what Steven Moffat has done for the Matt Smith era.

When we look back on the David Tennant era we will think of stories that saw the return of Sarah Jane and K9.  We will be remembering the way Rose was taken away from him in a battle with the Cybermen and Daleks.  How can you forget one of the best stories with a bunch of Weeping Angles and Sally Sparrow.  We also saw the return of the Master, Davros, Sontarans and the Timelords. How can you forget the 5 minute mini episode when the 10th Doctor meets the 5th Doctor.  It was a classic way to bridge old with new and feel all fan boy about it. It was a great homage to the past and just puts a smile on your face.

David Tennants Doctor was very lucky to have good companions with him.  Rose, Martha, Donna, Captain Jack and Wilf all brought out the best in each other and there have been some pretty good touching moments between David Tennant and his companions. For one how can you forget the scene in Journey’s End where he has to save Donna and wipe her memory of their time together.  It was very sad indeed.  The thing about the Tenth Doctor is that his companions made him better.  They kept him grounded and prevented him from going out of control and been destructive.  We find out from the Tenth Doctor that he needs his companions and should never be alone.  We see the results of what happens when he is allowed to be on his own in The Water of Mars when he decides to play god and save people who time says has died. 

I’m not going to make any excuses.  I think David Tennants era of Doctor Who was pretty good and very enjoyable to watch.  I know there are some who can make an argument against David Tennant but you have to admire his performance and popularity to keep Doctor Who going for Matt Smith and for Peter Capaldi to give it a go.   So it’s been a heck of a ride with some great moments and performances that makes David Tennants portrayal of the Doctor a pretty memorable one.  So here is to David Tennant and the 10th Doctor for four years of great memories and one fantastic era.

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