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September 3, 2015

The Doctor says farewell

by Nick Zaino, posted Jan 4th 2010 8:02PM
[Warning: mild spoilers for Doctor Who: The End of Time ahead] David Tennant's tenure as Doctor Who ended this weekend, and not without a few tears (including a few from our own Brad Trechak).

On a personal note, this was the end of an era for me, because it was Tennant who pulled me back into Doctor Who a couple of seasons ago. I had heard the new series was great, but didn't manage to catch Christopher Eccleston's incarnation. I have since gone back and watched his series, but I may not have had Tennant not been such a fantastic fit for the role (Brad also explained this in out Best TV of the '00s feature).

There was also something remarkably different about Tennant's regeneration was his fear of death, and how his departure was played with much more sadness than any previous regeneration I can remember. The Doctor flat out said he didn't want to go, and I'm sure there were a lot of fans watching who hoped, like I allowed myself to hope for just a brief moment, that the whole thing was a hoax and that Tennant would survive (even though that would produce a ton of hate mail for Russell T. Davies, who is also leaving the series).

His discussions about death with Wilf were moving, thanks also to Bernard Cribbins, who played Wilf perfectly. If there are any longtime fans or Doctor Who historians out there who can remember a change like this in past episodes, please post in the comments - I'd like to go back and compare.

It seems that Tennant himself was saddened at the thought of leaving. This is a bit of a sneak peak at one of the DVD extras from the upcoming Doctor Who: The Complete Specials, which includes The Next Doctor, Planet of the Dead, The Waters of Mars, and The End of Time, Part One & Two. Tennant seems a tad choked up here, with not too much to say, which is completely at odds with the crackling energy that marked his Doctor. Good luck to Matt Smith, who takes over the role this spring.

The DVD extra:

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I believe they foretold the Tom Baker to Davidson regeneration. Baker was shadowed by the man in black for a couple of episodes prior to his regeneration. It wasn't as prolonged as the Tennant one and he didn't get a 15 minute homage but it was foretold.

January 05 2010 at 3:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to metz's comment

The Watcher actually wore white, not black. ;)


January 06 2010 at 3:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marcy Arbitman

I thought that it was a wonderful episode but at the end when the Doctor cries, "I don't want to leave (?)", all that I could think (through my tears) was that David WANTED to leave the role!

January 05 2010 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

*Cribbins, not Crimmins ;-)
He actually played a part in one of the old Who movies (With Peter Cushing I Believe) - I think it would have been cool to have refered back to that, but regardless I thought he was the best thing to happen in the last Series & specials (except for DT himself)

January 05 2010 at 4:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Watched Dr Who since the mid 60s (from the beginning) and David Tennant has been an excellent doctor. He'll be missed but I sure won't miss Russell T Davies. His tended to be the episodes I liked the least.

January 05 2010 at 1:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've never watch any of the other Dr's just this one and I can't imagine any one else doing the job so well.

I will miss David Tennant in this role !

January 04 2010 at 11:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My 1st ever Doctor Who episode was School Reuinon with David Tennant mainly because I saw Anothny Head and I was more into Buffy then anything else at the time. When I saw it one BBCAmerica after Scifi I notice Christopher Eccleston. I watched him and fell in love with him then when David came along I wasn't sure about him at the time. But now he's my favorite Doctor and I don't want to see anyone else play the role. I cried for a 1/2 hr striaght after his episode ended. David as the 10th Doctor will be greatly missed!!!! I'm still gonna watch to see how Matt Smith does, I don't wanna completely forget about the show.

January 04 2010 at 11:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I too was taken with this transformation. Others I've seen were pretty dry & matter of fact. Just a bit of business.
Moving on. But this one had life and depth. A real guy hanging it all out.
Guessing this isn't done all that often because it can really leave a big hole for next actor. A no nonsense break just
gives next guy a fresh start. Tennant was so central to this Doctor that it was worth it to play up his personality. Anything less would have been too deep a hole afterward. This episode tied it all up for me.
Now we see what new material they'll drum up. So far it's been great.

January 04 2010 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I cried buckets, which was really unexpected. David Tennant was really brilliant as the Doctor and his conversations with Wilf were so wonderfully emotional. I will miss his rendition of the Doctor very, very much.

January 04 2010 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So hard to watch...this is the first time I've not been ready for regeneration...even Eccleston to Tennant wasn't as...painful? Memorable? Meaningful?

January 04 2010 at 9:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I cried and cried. I would not watch the change. I've been a fan of the good Doctor since the sixties. Other than Tom Baker, I've never cared about a Doctor as much as this one. I'm just not ready for a new one. Mr. Davies is a genius. I never liked Moffatt's episodes. I'm swearing off for awhile.

January 04 2010 at 9:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to mj's comment

Seriously? "Blink"? "The Girl in the Fireplace?" "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances"? "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead"? You didn't like ANY of them? I honestly can't fathom that... I frankly haven't met a single person that hasn't liked at least the first two of those. "The Girl in the Fireplace" was an absolute masterpiece, and "Blink" was one of the best Doctor Who episodes - ever.

January 04 2010 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

CMG is right, those were the best episodes of the new series period. I'm excited for Steven Moffat Doctor.

January 05 2010 at 8:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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