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David Tennant Talks About the Possibility of Returning to ‘Doctor Who’

david tennant doctor who

David Tennant played the tenth Doctor on the hit show Doctor Who and is one of the reasons that many American fans got into the show in the first place. We tuned in back when the show would air weeks after in America and try to stay up to date on our favorite Time Lord. Since he left the show, fans have been wondering when he’d make a return as the Doctor, and while he has come back in things like the 50th anniversary special, there hasn’t been any sort of big return to the franchise for the actor.

At German Comic Con on Saturday, Tennant was asked again about whether or not he’d return to Doctor Who, since it is a hot topic given the return of Russell T. Davies—the showrunner during Tennant’s tenure as the Doctor—after the current Doctor (played by Jodie Whittaker) regenerates.

“The thing about this I’ve been asked a version of this question for the last 20 years and I’ve learnt through bitter experience that there’s not any point even answering it because whatever I say is spun by whoever wants to hear it,” Tennant said. “So there’s no point in me denying it, there’s no point in me confirming it, there’s no point to be fudging it. Whatever i say will become whatever the internet wants it to be.”

He did give fans a bit of hope by not completely shutting down the idea, but instead saying that it’d be a strange choice for the show to go back to a Doctor of the past rather than a new face: “It would be quite a weird idea, of course, and it’s not something that you would necessarily expect.”

This is not the first time Tennant has made his frustrations with the internet clear, either:

David Tennant resigns from the internet.

The thing is: Let’s not—not that I don’t love Ten or Tennant’s performance. I do! It remains my second-favorite Doctor Who era, but that doesn’t mean we should go back, when the entire purpose of the show is to embrace change and explore space and time with new adventures and a new version of the Time Lord.

Doctor Who and moving forward

I saw a TikTok (one that I cannot find, currently) that said that Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith could be compared to the three Spider-Man actors—Eccleston being Tobey Maguire in the sense that he kicked everything off and that you shouldn’t skip it, Tennant being the one that is now incredibly beloved, and Smith being the new blood and one that got a lot of people into the franchise as a whole.

I’ve been a Doctor Who fan since Tennant’s regeneration and went back to watch Nine’s time, and while I thought I’d never love someone as much as I loved Ten, I turned into an Eleven super fan, and Matt Smith’s era remains my favorite. That doesn’t mean I want Smith back on the show, and it doesn’t mean that Tennant should come back, either.

From the start, the show was about embracing the change in the Doctor and going on new journeys. Just because Russell T. Davies is coming back to the show as a writer doesn’t mean that we forget what makes this show special.

I’m proud of Tennant for this answer and that he isn’t necessarily entertaining it, but I also hope that we keep pushing forward and get a new Doctor who carries on the legacy as beautifully as Eccleston, Tennant, Smith, Peter Capaldi, and Jodie Whittaker all have.

(image: BBC)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.