Did David Tennant quit Doctor Who? Or was he pushed?

David Tennant announced that he was leaving Doctor Who in October 2008. He was quoted as saying;

“I don’t ever want it to feel like a job, so I want to move on when it still feels exciting and fresh.”

BBC has just aired The End of Time part 2 which features the end of the 10th Doctor and the introduction of the 11th. The last words of Tennant’s Doctor are interesting;

“I don’t want to go.”

Now, this makes sense in the plot insofar as the Doctor had already said he felt that he had a lot more to do. Before that he had said the regeneration was like a death.

The line was discussed, at length, in Doctor Who Confidential. They filmed four versions and debated long and hard over which one to select. They wanted an audience impact but erred away from the most emotional or grim of the takes.

Nevertheless there is already speculation that the line was inserted by Russell T Davies to give his star the last word against the BBC.

There is history here. The BBC had originally said that Christopher Eccleston had quit as the 9th Doctor in a shock exit. The truth, however, was that the BBC had known Eccleston was going to go for months. They also failed to tell the actor they would make the announcement of his departure along with his final show.

The BBC had to apologise to Eccleston.

There was also an oddity around the replacement for David Tennant. Bookies had Paterson Joseph (who I feel would make an excellent Doctor) as the 3-1 favourite for the 11th Doctor. David Morrisey was 5-1 (he later featured as a character who thought he was the Doctor), James Nesbitt as 6-1 and John Simm as 8-1. Simm, of course, now plays The Master.

Matt Smith, who secured the role as the 11th Doctor, came as a total surprise. Well; he came as a total surprise to most of us as there was a last minute surge of bets on the young actor securing the role.

Betfair cut the odds from 33/1 to 1/3 on Matt Smith after the odd betting behaviour.

Of course, David Tennant isn’t the only one leaving Doctor Who today. Russel T Davies is also going – being replaced by Stephen Moffat.

It does make sense that a new lead writer would bring with him a new Doctor.

All we can do is debate. The chances are very high we’re reading far too much into a slightly shady history and a perfectly valid “I don’t want to go” attitude of a fighting Doctor.

… what do you think?

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54 comments
Merry Bond
Merry Bond

I have to agree about the moving on. That is inevitable - it is the nature of the show. However, IMHO, David Tennant WAS the Doctor. :-)

Ivor O'Connor
Ivor O'Connor

I haven't seen the old episodes but Tennant took the science aspect out of Dr. Who and reduced the show to something I couldn't watch. Tennant was no Eccleston and so I fast forwarded to season 5.

Guest
Guest

Russel T Davies and David Tennant made Doctor Who a merry-go-round of emotions. Irresistible, unable to look away from the TV for a second - forgetting absolutely everything that is happening around me. They even made me cry - what is a really tough job. Surprisingly Moffat in combination with Matt Smith can not - even though I found Doctor Who by getting hold of Moffats past productions. I am nearly up to date with the Series now, Matt Smith still does not reach me at all and I am still waiting for the emotions to return.

samsassykat
samsassykat

David tennant played a better doctor who then matt smith

tom
tom

i miss david because matt looks weird(dont know how to spell!)and to be honest.i fancy(dont know how to spell that)david and i was trying to get his number so i could do sports railef(dont know how to spell)with him.

Rose
Rose

I think all three of the newest Doctors have good aspects.  I thought the actors embodied good characteristics that the Doctor needs.  Eccleston was the funny one.  Tennant was the passionate one.  And Smith is the 'alien' one.  I haven't seen many of the original series, but I did very much enjoy Tom Baker's portrayal:  quirky, funny and alien.  Baker will always be "the" Doctor for me and the one I compare all others to.  By that comparison, I actually think Smith is the best of the new Doctors because he has an alien quirkiness to his acting that I relate very strongly to the Doctor.  As an actor, I would say Tennant is indeed better... but better actor doesn't mean better Doctor!  Also, it is VERY traditional to change the actors through the series (Smith is #11 after all!  or 12th if you count the animated movie) and I'm simply looking forward to seeing the continuation of Doctor Who, whoever he is.

Also, I would not be at all surprised if most new Doctors quit before we're ready to let them go so they don't become typecasted.  This is a fear of many budding actors.

J S Klein
J S Klein

As a long time viewer of Doctor Who, and now rewatching the series with my wife and son, I have to agree that there was (and may never be) another Doctor like Tennant. Throughout his four years as the Doctor, he brought more emotion and passion to the role than any before him. This may come from his childhood love of the series, his strong theatre background, or a combination therein. So the " I don't want to go" may have been a truth from the Tenth Doctor as projected through Tennant.

That being said, the Tenth Doctor wasn't the kind to fear change so greatly. It is true that unlike other instances of facing death, he had plenty of time to make his goodbyes and take a retrospective on all the things he had done. But as he told William Shakespeare himself, "Once more into the breach," was an attitude of this most adventurous Doctor.

As is the case with most fans, I do not like seeing Tennant go. He was the best. I feel the sentiment was shared by Tennant and Davies, who both brought Doctor Who back to the forefront of science fiction and popular culture alike. So why not make a final, honest farewell?

It was inevitable that Tennant were to leave. We are lucky, and thankful to have had him in our homes and imaginations for quite a time.

And for those true fans like myself who are still a bit tore up about the departure, let me give you a bit of hope (maybe falsely, but hope nonetheless). Although human, and in a different dimension with the looming threat of Cybermen and heartbreak from Rose Tyler (or back break from Jackie), Tennant's Doctor is still out there.

Gaffneycj
Gaffneycj

I want the next Doctor to be an old fuddy-duddy, kinda getting sick of the 'hipsters' as of late. Or Helen Mirren.

Richard Bown
Richard Bown

Matt Smith plays a very good Doctor, but he's no David Tennant. What David does best, is to play the hard edged, deep emotional side to his doctor, the regrets and dare I say it fears without going overboard. Anyone can play the clowning around happy go lucky part of the doctor but it is this darker tinge to the character that makes a great performance. It's almost as if the actor is playing both batman and the joker in the one role. Oh yeah the new console room is also garbage!

Knightmare1244
Knightmare1244

i can honestly say i have watched the matt smith doctor who and it took some time to get use to him and i have now but you tennant will always be my doctor i like the fact we could tell by your face the emotions that were going on. matt is good but to me i still  cant figure him out like i did david sorry matt but tennant is always my doctor

 

Googlepox
Googlepox

He lived his life long dream, but then it started to feel more like a job to him. He was having less and less fun.

Googlepox
Googlepox

The reason David was such a good Doctor was because that is a role he has been wanting to play since he was a kid. That show is what made him decide to become an actor. He made that decision when he was only 6 years old.

He worked and worked, then finally got the role. You should see his audition tapes. They are amazing. 

Xten_crack_commandmentsx
Xten_crack_commandmentsx

david tennant is the man, best doctor ever. jus the way he acts to the small things and everything. when I think doctor who, I think David tennant. and deep down even though i still watch dr who. It died to me the day david tennant left.

Lynmeme6
Lynmeme6

While Matt is a great doctor, David is the favorite hands down.  If he comes back I know a lot of people who will come back to Dr Who.  We also want Captain Jack back as well.  David just has the "it" factor that makes Dr. Who so appealing to so many people.  My mother started watching because of David, and left when he did.  Please bring David back.

Jessica Gutierrez
Jessica Gutierrez

David Tennant or producers of Doctor who you have no idea how i feel about this change  even though im crying while writing this please know that david Tennant the best doctor there is and would always be him and please if any of you guys are reading just please david tennant go back on the show please doctor who is the best show i have ever watched and what makes it special is that David Tennant was in it [please david go back in the doctor who show please please please please it may seem crazy that a thirteen year old girl enjoys watching these shows but now its never gonna be the same i will always miss you david but please at least thing about going back on the show please please please please that role for the doctor is only meant for one person and that person is you david please go back on the show please all of this crying make my heart wanna rip out my chest just please go back PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Enterprise1007
Enterprise1007

was david tennat every in the harry potter films

Josie Mary
Josie Mary

I personally think Christopher Eccleston should come back into Doctor Who, not as a doctor, for he made it clear it's not a working environment to his liking, but maybe as a guest star. David and Matt are both excellent Doctors, but Christopher will always be my number one favourite. It's a shame he quit.

dyna
dyna

Well there is always the alternative universe where the TARDIS had been sucked into.

The cloned doctor and Rose Tyler....What if the TARDIS gets sucked into it again?

Interesting? or Interested?

Cindycave7
Cindycave7

Dear David Tennant I cindy cave thinks you are THE very best dr who person in the whole of the universe!, but I know now that you are NOT a dr who any more but you was once before! you are greatest or have been the greatest dr who ever I would not care what people think so you are still the greatest & that is MY opion or my set out o.k.! you & I are very great friends that is if you do not mind me being your friend alkl right! oh Just one thing sorry about the S.A.! it's only ment to be a comment or a Little note o.k.! well must go now see you one day best reguards from a very good friend by the name of cindy cave! x. x. x.? (thease are Just Little kisses o.k.!)

Gemma Smith
Gemma Smith

David Tennant did not leave doctor who by his own free will, he was forced out.

This was proven in an interveiw with David Tennant, the footage is on youtube.

Slartybartfast
Slartybartfast

David Tennant knew that "Silents will Fall" which is about Dr Who (played by Matt Smith) meeting stars of the silent film era just as "talkies" are about to emerge. He meets Buster Keaton and eventually Charlie Chaplin as suggested by Donna Noble at the end of "Journey's End." Thinking the idea was too absur, David Tennant decided to leave the show and hand over the story to the incoming new Doctor - Matt Smith.

We now look forward to the story later this year entitled; "The Sound Of Silence"

Lamp
Lamp

Matt Is too good to worry about old Doctors Now.

Tom Baker was a Great... but now just one of the Old Doctors.

It happens... move on.

Hbmail
Hbmail

No, he was ACTING. Of COURSE he was sad, he said as much, but he wanted to go while he felt he'd still be missed, rather than outstaying his welcome.Anyway, David's very busy now, and he'll soon be in Hollywood, so although I'm sure he misses it he's not too sad.

mysterioso
mysterioso

From the 2006 series of Dw onwards there was a writer complaining that six stories he had sent in to the show during the 2005 series had been torn to shreds, with the shreds being scattered throughout the 2006 series. This argument went on until late october 2008, by which time the eventual departures of Davies, Gardner and Tennant had been announced.

Andrew Girdwood
Andrew Girdwood

The auto-linker has been corrected; then fired. No one else claiming to be a journalist was identified.

antiotaku
antiotaku

His name is DAVIES, not Davis. Jesus H. Christ there are piss poor "journalists" on this site. Can't even get bloody names you are LINKING TO right?

Andrew Girdwood
Andrew Girdwood

He didn't want to - but felt he had to? I'd recognise decisions like that.

lisa2
lisa2

David has already said that he had talks with Stephen Moffat as he was nearly tempted to stay on but he decided against it. I don't think there was any bad blood at all. He jumped but was sad to go

Matt McCabe
Matt McCabe

I think he's gone way past that stage.He's probably going to find it hard to do much else in the UK, but I read he was going to try his luck in the US.

Paul Wilson
Paul Wilson

I think it just made it a natural jumping-off point. RTD wanted to do other things, and Tennant realized that right now is star was in ascent and spending most of the year doing Doctor Who prevented him from examining other doors that had opened.As for the End of Time, it was ok. First half coulda spent more time building up the Master's resurrection and less time running about dockyards. Second half was pretty good, but I will lay cash money down on RTD's favourite film being Return of the King. Because he had about fifteen fecking endings to that thing. I wouldn't mind, but I felt that the Doctor had said a more effective goodbye to RTD's extended universe at the end of Season Four. But I would love to see a Martha and Mickey TV series.

JustWondering
JustWondering

Tom Baker and David Tennant are my favs so far.

David Keith
David Keith

Well, of course, THEN matt smith. We all know he's the next doctor. And a better one THAN Tennant.

JustWondering
JustWondering

Baker and Tennant definitely my favorite doctors so far. I miss that scarf! LOL

Hend
Hend

i couldn't've said it better

Mpoliakoff24
Mpoliakoff24

You really nailed it; I always thought Tennant was the best Doctor ever but you told me why.

maestra p
maestra p

Yes, he played Barty Crouch, Jr. in The Goblet of Fire - the tongue flicking, evil son of Barty Crouch who took Poly Juice potion to be Mad Eye.

We
We

You are so right, Accleston will always be my number one too. 

the doctor
the doctor

its eccleson and tennants the best