And so all good things come to an end. This weekend marked the end of David Tennant’s run as the 10th Doctor in Doctor Who. Emotions seem mixed as the Brits seem to think it was a proper sendoff and the Americans seem a bit more pensive about the whole thing. Without divulging spoilers for those who haven’t seen it, I found the whole thing enjoyable enough, but it was Bernard Cribbins who was the star of the special.

As for the two part episodes themselves, I do think there was a fair amount of build-up and I do think Russell Davies is brilliant in weaving little storylines together to a huge climax, sadly I think when it comes to those epic climaxes he always manages to overdo it a bit. The whole “all of creation will be destroyed” bit has been done to death it seems.

The payoff to the four knocks however, was absolutely brilliant. A total piece of Doctor Who legacy there. Epic in every sense of the word. The Time Lords, the Master, not really a lot of fun this time around and there was a bit too much of a Jedi/Sith vibe going for me. As for the 10th Doctor’s curtain call, I think it was a bit too extended with cameos and attempts to give a farewell to the characters. While I like that idea in premise, it just felt a bit too long and got a little dull after a bit.

As for Tennant’s run, I enjoyed it. I fully suspect we’ll see Tennant as the 10th Doctor again, not only in specials where some sort of time paradox happens, but perhaps his parallel world human self will emerge eventually to help one of the new Doctors. I can’t say that Tennant was my favorite Doctor, though where exactly he ranks I’m unsure. I would say though that he’s a quintessential Doctor, embracing all of the quirk, the intrigue, the darkness and the humor that makes the character great. Some people are more of one than the other, but David’s 10th Doctor managed to have just enough of all of it.

BBC America didn’t air the preview for the new series, but I’ve watched it on YouTube and I’m not going to be like everyone else and say “Oh it looks perfect!” because that’s just nonsense. There’s nothing in that minute long clip that can tell you if the show is going to be any good or not. It certainly doesn’t look terrible, it looks like Doctor Who, but it’s a bunch of out of sync clips with music playing over it. You can’t really judge that at all.

I do think, based on that clip and what little we’ve seen of Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor elsewhere that he’s going to be playing a youthful, carefree Doctor who never knows where he’s going or what he’s doing. Of course you could apply that to almost any Doctor, but in this case it definitely feels like his portrayal will be that of a Doctor who is experiencing things as if they’re all new. Personally I would have loved a bit of a harder edge on the next Doctor, since the 10th was already so exuberant and joyous, but he did spend his final days as anything but so perhaps that was the logic behind this youthful Doctor.

Anyway, it’s unfair to really say until I’ve had a few episodes to let it all sink in. I think the show is definitely being pushed to be younger and more action driven, but we’ll see if that’s the way it actually plays out on screen. And so ends another era, with a new one just beginning. The 11th already has something in common with a few of his predecessors, he’s god awful ugly and he has bad hair. I guess that’s a start? The 10th Doctor will live on forever, as have all the Doctors via audio, comics and specials as well as the hearts and minds of the fans everywhere. Here’s to you, Doctor #10.

2 Responses to Farewell to the Tenth

  • revsears says:

    BBCA did air the preview but you had to wait intill 10-15 minutes into Demons (which was just too cheesy in FX department for me)

    This doctor was my doctor and while i'm not sure the specials were perfect it was still good. Doc 11 and his companion looks to be more youthful, it almost looks like a kids version. Only time will tell.

    Btw, I heard rumors awhile back that there might be a Big screen Doctor who with Tennant. I want to believe that's true (but i don't) There has always been rumors he is up for the riddler in batman 3 (and i'm sure that's just a rumor but still… maybe)

  • Lt_Clutch says:

    Newton, I was looking forward to Timothy Dalton's involvement more than anything. But like yourself, I enjoyed Bernard Cribbins' role a lot better, especially his last scene with the Doctor. I think the Tenth Doctor's extended send-off was a "thank you" of sorts for the fans.

    David Tennant is probably the most popular Doctor right now since Tom Baker. That doesn't exactly make him my favorite, but he still ranks high up there for helping revive the show and turn it into something far greater than what I grew up with. He will be missed and possibly influence a future generation of viewers as Peter Davison did with him (and me) when we were both kids.

    David's departure reminded me a lot of Peter's. They were both moving, they both sacrificed themselves for a human being, and both regenerations were preceded by a final look at past companions. Like the Fifth Doctor, the Tenth is being replaced by a far wackier incarnation. (I thought David had turned into a young Micky Dolenz at one point!)

    So we'll see how it goes from here. I think Matt Smith will do okay. Will he outrank David or Tom someday? That would be an interesting feat to witness.

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