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

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

BuzzFeed: Meet The TV Successor To "Serial"

HBO's stranger-than-fiction true crime documentary The Jinx   — about real estate heir Robert Durst — brings the chills and thrills missing since Serial   wrapped up its first season. Serial   obsessives: HBO's latest documentary series is exactly what you've been waiting for.   The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst , like Sarah Koenig's beloved podcast, sifts through old documents, finds new leads from fresh interviews, and seeks to determine just what happened on a fateful day in which the most foul murder was committed. And, also like  Serial  before it,  The Jinx may also hold no ultimate answer to innocence or guilt. But that seems almost beside the point; such investigations often remain murky and unclear, and guilt is not so easy a thing to be judged. Instead, this upcoming six-part tantalizing murder mystery, from director Andrew Jarecki ( Capturing the Friedmans ), is a gripping true crime story that unfolds with all of the speed of a page-turner; it

BuzzFeed: "The Good Wife Is The Best Show On Television Right Now"

The CBS legal drama, now in its sixth season, continually shakes up its narrative foundations and proves itself fearless in the process. Spoilers ahead, if you’re not up to date on the show. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, " The Good Wife Is The Best Show On Television Right Now," in which I praise CBS' The Good Wife and, well, hail it as the best show currently on television. (Yes, you read that right.) There is no need to be delicate here: If you’re not watching The Good Wife, you are missing out on the best show on television. I won’t qualify that statement in the least — I’m not talking about the best show currently airing on broadcast television or outside of cable or on premium or however you want to sandbox this remarkable show. No, the legal drama is the best thing currently airing on any channel on television. That The Good Wife is this perfect in its sixth season is reason to truly celebrate. Few shows embrace complexity and risk-taking in t