Skip to main content

Say Goodbye to the Tenth Doctor Starting with Tonight's "Doctor Who: The End of Time (Part One)" on BBC America

The inevitable and the inescapable have arrived.

Tonight's Doctor Who Christmas special, Doctor Who: The End of Time (which airs at 9 pm ET/PT), signals the end of the Tenth Doctor's run on the sci-fi series... and that of series lead David Tennant, who will leave the series following next week's concluding installment.

I've remained (and intend to remain) spoiler-free leading up to tonight's broadcast of Doctor Who: The End of Time, which aired last night in the United Kingdom. I'm steeling myself to be utterly heartbroken after tonight's installment, which features the return of John Simm's malevolent Master and several familiar faces, including Bernard Cribbins' Wilf and Catherine Tate's Donna Noble.

But I can't help but think back to when I first heard that Christopher Eccleston was departing Doctor Who and would be replaced by the relatively-unheard-of David Tennant, whom I recalled slightly from his turn as the titular character in Casanova.

At the time, I was deeply saddened that Eccleston was leaving Doctor Who and would be replaced by someone who seemed so completely different to him, one whose Doctor wouldn't be the same as the gruff, muscular, and stolid Doctor embodied by Eccleston. "Who," I asked my wife (then my girlfriend), in a unintentionally ironic question.

What a difference a few years make. Tennant--with his manic, madcap, and mischievous take on the Doctor--has become in my mind the definitive performance for the Time Lord and now he too is stepping aside as another relatively unknown actor, Matt Smith (Party Animals), replaces him after a roughly four-season run on the series.

Will Smith supplant Tennant in my esteem? Time will tell, though he has some mighty big shoes to fill. But as we settle in tonight to say goodbye the talented Mr. Tennant (and to executive producer Russell T. Davies, also departing), my thoughts won't be of the future of the series--of Matt Smith and new head writer Steven Moffat (both supremely skillful men in their own right)--but of the past. I'll be recalling Tennant's legendary run on the series, the off-kilter way he dove into every new adventure with equal parts glee and curiosity, the times his Doctor saved countless people and the times he failed, and of the actors who played his companions these past few years: Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, and Catherine Tate.

The Doctor and Doctor Who are bigger than any single actor, yet Tennant's performance, which captures both the innate strengths and flaws of the alien time-traveler, will remain a highlight of the decades-old drama. As we prepare to embark on one final trip in the TARDIS with the unnamed man from Gallifrey, I find myself both tearful and exhilarated to see just what will happen next.

The Doctor, I am sure, wouldn't have it any other way.

You can read my cocktails-laden interview with David Tenannt from a few months back here... and watch my video interviews with Doctor Who executive producer Russell T. Davies and director Euros Lyn here.

Doctor Who: The End of Time, Part One airs tonight at 9 pm ET/PT on BBC America.


Popular posts from this blog

Have a Burning Question for Team Darlton, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, or Michael Emerson?

Lost fans: you don't have to make your way to the island via Ajira Airways in order to ask a question of the creative team or the series' stars. Televisionary is taking questions from fans to put to Lost 's executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and stars Matthew Fox ("Jack Shephard"), Evangeline Lilly ("Kate Austen"), and Michael Emerson ("Benjamin Linus") for a series of on-camera interviews taking place this weekend. If you have a specific question for any of the above producers or actors from Lost , please leave it in the comments section below . I'll be accepting questions until midnight PT tonight and, while I can't promise I'll be able to ask any specific inquiry due to the brevity of these on-camera interviews, I am looking for some insightful and thought-provoking questions to add to the mix. So who knows: your burning question might get asked after all.

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous season

Pilot Inspektor: CBS' "Smith"

I may just have to change my original "What I'll Be Watching This Fall" post, as I sat down and finally watched CBS' new crime drama Smith this weekend. (What? It's taken me a long time to make my way through the stack of pilot DVDs.) While it's on following Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars on Tuesday nights (10 pm ET/PT, to be exact), I'm going to be sure to leave enough room on my TiVo to make sure that I catch this compelling, amoral drama. While one can't help but be impressed by what might just be the most marquee-friendly cast in primetime--Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen, Jonny Lee Miller, Amy Smart, Simon Baker, and Franky G all star and Shohreh Aghdashloo has a recurring role--the pilot's premise alone earned major points in my book: it's a crime drama from the point of view of the criminals, who engage in high-stakes heists. But don't be alarmed; it's nothing like NBC's short-lived Heist . Instead, think of it as The Italian