David Tennant On Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary

The tenth incarnation of the Doctor and one of the most popular actors to have ever stepped into the shoes of the famous Time Lord, David Tennant became an instant sci-fi icon when he took on the challenge of the Dalek-destroying denizen back in 2005.

When SFX catches up with him, it is on the Stirlingshire set of his upcoming comedy of errors, What We Did On Our Holiday, which sees him appear opposite comedy legend Billy Connolly and former Bond babe Rosamund Pike.

Naturally, though, we could not help but ask the performer about his comeback to Who-lore with the upcoming 50th Anniversary Special, in which he returns to the role that made him a household name…

So how does it feel to be back in the role that made you a sci-fi icon?

“Well it is all done – I’ve filmed everything. Now I just have to wait for everyone to see it. But, yes, it is lovely to have returned to something that meant so much to me and that was such a happy time. I am grateful that it was a happy time again. There is always that danger of going back to something and it does not turn out quite how you remember it, but that was not the case with this…”

Was it easy enough for you to slip back into the role?

“Kind of. When there is more than one of you, as is the case this time, it becomes a slightly different character. The Doctor tends to lead every scene he is in and when you are sharing that out it becomes slightly different. You have a new relationship with that aspect of the character and that gives you fresh challenges to work on. But it was really good fun actually – and that was a big part of what I enjoyed about this.”

Were you surprised to be asked back?

“No, I can’t say I was surprised. There is a precedent to this, isn’t there? It has happened a few times down the years so it was never out of the realms of possibility that it would happen for the 50th anniversary. I was more surprised about how long it took to come through. It actually took quite a long time. There had been a sketchy little conversation about it – and there was a long gap before I got the call. For a long time I was starting to think it was never going to happen – so there was an element of surprise there. But the general concept was something I always expected.”

What can the fans expect from the 50th Anniversary edition? Any spoilers you can share?

“I think it is very unwise of me to tell any group of dedicated fans what to expect from this – or to spoil the fun [laughs]. In the end, it is going to be up to them to decide if they like this or not, but I don’t want to give anything away.”

Did you feel any pressure about doing this, knowing that the fanbase for Doctor Who is so huge? It is you and Matt Smith together – this is going to be a huge geek-gasm for a lot of fans…

“Well I suppose [laughs]. I just hope people will be excited by it. But I do not think this is necessarily exclusive, in terms of who it will appeal to. Doctor Who has managed to be a big success over the past few years by being very accessible to everyone. We have never been about going for a highly particular audience – although that audience is the reason Doctor Who has lived for 50 years – but rather to have a very broad appeal. I think that aspect is something that people will feel is quite evident in this special as well.”

Finally, should the next incarnation of the Doctor be female?

“You are not going to get a quote from me on that. It will come back and bite me on the arse whatever I say!” [laughs].

Calum Waddell

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