But while Doctor Who has to move on without Tennant, another classic will be coming stateside with Tennant in the lead. PBS will be airing the television adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Hamlet with David Tennant as part of its Great Performances series in 2010. Tennant performed as Hamlet live with the Company to great success in 2008.
If that's not enough to get you excited, how about the fact that the cast includes yet another pop culture icon. None other than one of the greatest Starfleet captains in the history of Star Trek: Captain Jean-Luc Picard himself, Patrick Stewart, as King Claudius.
You gotta do what you gotta do, I guess. Me, I figured that there were three panels that could be put in what I call the "Comic-Con group": Spartacus on Starz, and Doctor Who and Being Human on BBC America. These shows got extensive showcases in San Diego over the weekend, and there wasn't many details revealed in any of these panels that you wouldn't have heard over the din at SDCC. So I'm going to go over the three of them in brief after the jump.
Let me give you a good teaser: If you were on the fence about seeing Spartacus, the prospect of a naked Lucy Lawless may convince you.
"I've never been to San Diego before, lets alone Comic-Con," Tennant told me in the Scottish accent he hid while playing The Doctor for five years on the BBC's crown jewel, Doctor Who. "The fan response here has been incredible -- just walking to the elevator. I can't imagine what'll be like during the panel (Sunday)."
Tennant is attending Comic-Con with former Who show-runner and Torchwood creator Russell T. Davies to promote the final specials featuring Tennant in the lead role. And, with mere hours to go before Sunday morning's Doctor Who panel (one of the major events of Comic-Con's closing day), he insists that's the only reason he's there -- besides meeting the fans.
"I've heard we're supposed to announce a Doctor Who movie," Tennant explained. "Or, I'm supposed to be playing The Hobbit. But we're just here to promote the specials."
The logic behind this is that David Tennant will be at Comic Con and the production team of The Hobbit will be at Comic Con. I'll leave it to you to find the gap in that logic.
Now, I love David Tennant as the Doctor, but he's completely inappropriate for Bilbo Baggins. He's too tall. He's too skinny. I'd even say he's too good-looking.
I wouldn't say I'm completely against the concept, but if you're going to cast an actor who played the Doctor as Bilbo Baggins, I recommend Sylvester McCoy.
IDW Publishing, also the home for Star Trek, G.I. Joe, The Transformers and Angel comics, isn't the first American company to publish Who . Marvel was the home of Fourth Doctor Tom Baker's two-dimenstional adventures in the 1970s.
But those Marvel titles were written by Brits (including Alan Moore) for Brits. In a testament to Who's rebirth and international popularity, IDW's titles will be printed in the U.S. for an eager American audience -- while additional Who comics run in the U.K.
It should be a huge event, as fans of both Doctor Who and Torchwood will get their first chance to grill the people most directly responsible for the shows' development over the last few years.
Tennant, will appear alongside Davies, former Who executive producer Julie Gardner and Who/Torchwood director Euros Lyn at this year's Comic-Con in San Diego on Sunday, July 26, 10-11:00 am PT.
Way back in 1996, the BBC co-produced a Doctor Who television movie with Fox in the United States which starred Paul McGann as the Doctor. Since then, the rights regarding reproduction or broadcast of that movie in North America has been somewhat convoluted at best. In the last Christmas special, a clip of Paul McGann from that TV movie was shown, and I cannot help but wonder if that clip is holding up release of the video.
Of course, it could simply be a case of the BBC waiting until Christmas or any one of a dozen other reasons. But I have a suspicious mind and I cannot help but think that it was a mistake for the BBC to ever co-produce Doctor Who with an American company if it is such a hindrance to the American release of their own DVDs.
For those like me, the BBC is reassembling the cast and filming that production of Hamlet for broadcast in late 2009, with American and Japanese broadcasts to occur in 2010 (I wonder which channel would show it in the States? BBC America? PBS?). To sweeten the deal for us nerds, former Star Trek: The Next Generation captain Patrick Stewart plays Claudius.
Perhaps they'll even let Tennant improvise the role a bit. I would love it if he could throw a little script that Neil Gaiman wrote for him upon hearing of his participation in the role.
If true, which Doctor is it? Will it be David Tennant or Matt Smith? And which showrunner is it? Russell T. Davies or Steven Moffat? Or is the answer none of the above?
There has been a lot of recent developments in the Doctor Who world. A movie is the next logical step.
If I had my druthers, the movie would be about the Time War (the Daleks being the obvious choice for the alien enemy of the movie). It would star Paul McGann and fill the gap between the 1996 television movie and the 2005 relaunch. The odds are so astronomically against as to be incalculable, but I can dream.
This makes perfect sense, of course. Despite having science-fiction trappings, Doctor Who is, at its core, a British show. BBCA also runs other Brit science-fiction programs like Torchwood and Primeval (which runs on BBC rival ITV, but is still British), so having Doctor Who on it is a no-brainer.
With the Sci Fi Channel's "reimagining" to Sy Fy, I can even see why it would pass on the show this year and probably future years. No doubt Sy Fy wants to own future programming and not broadcast someone else's stuff (particularly something that could be perceived as the competition).
In short, it's another reason to call your cable company and request BBC America if you don't already have it. Believe me, I've tried.
John Barrowman isn't just Captain Jack Harkness on Doctor Who and Torchwood. He also is a variety show host for a BBC series called Tonight's The Night which allows contestants to live out their performance dreams. Using his association with the former, he actually gave a contestant on the latter the chance to live out his dream of appearing on Doctor Who.
It's a cute scene which obviously doesn't fit into any sort of show continuity (or as much continuity as Doctor Who can have). David Tennant himself makes a special appearance in the episode and steals the show. Watching Tennant's brief cameo in this show, I'm even more convinced that Matt Smith has big shoes to fill when he eventually takes over the role.
On the other hand, if your dream is to appear on an episode of Doctor Who, why would you allow your face to be covered by a blue mask? Watch the video after the jump.
While obviously Dalton would not play the main villain of the piece (that role has already been cast by a returning arch-nemesis), he's exactly the sort that Russell T. Davies would have play an evil businessman. I suspect that is the plan.
I'd be more impressed with they had gotten Roger Moore or Sean Connery to play a role in Who, but I think that would be pushing it.
For you Dalton fans (and I just loved him in the 80's Flash Gordon movie), it's just one more reason to tune in to the specials when they are broadcast later this year. Damn you, Sci Fi and/or BBCA for not broadcasting these specials in the U.S.!
There is some mild irony at the fact that in the old days before cable TV, Doctor Who used to be shown ad infinitum on PBS and became the only place for American audiences to enjoy the show. There is even more irony at the fact that Masterpiece Contemporary will be more easily accessible to American audiences than Doctor Who.
Tennant seems a little young to host, but when I think of Masterpiece Theatre (and not it's modern versions), I keep thinking of those SNL sketches from the 70's with Dan Aykroyd as Leonard Pinth-Garnell. But that's probably more an issue with me.
Who might be playing the Rani in the new series? That's after the jump.
Spoilers after the jump...
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