Goodbye David Tennant and Thanks For All The Fish!

by Irma Arkus

The finale of the Doctor Who “The End Of Time” special will be forever marked with a death of a beloved character, in this case the Doctor as portrayed by David Tennant. And I hated to see him go.

The heartfelt goodbye, Tennant’s close-up whispering “I don’t wanna go,” hit me square in the chest, forcefully provoking an emotional response.

I know, and you know, that Tennant in real life is not the Doctor, and I presume, nothing alike to him either. But Tennant’s acting skills and passion for this character has revived an almost dead franchise (not to undermine the marvelous debut by Christopher Eccleston) and made us “love him” in an entirely new and unpredictable way, one that can only be compared to what I call “passion of Tom Baker.”

End of Tennant is also an end to a chapter for the franchise, which at this point rules the hearts and minds of UK viewers.

It isn’t however Tennant’s work that we should mire, but rather Russell T. Davies, who started humbly with a vision of the Doctor’s resurrection, only to pump out not one but three (3!) successful television shows.

Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and Doctor Who concurrently ran in order to provide a complete immersive experience to an audience thirsting for science fiction with a UK angle in numerous flavours.

And having three television shows was only the beginning. There is also the tireless marketing machine that engages the public in an even broader sense, with Dr. Who music concerts, various benefits and fundraisers, featurettes, television specials, behind-the-scenes video diaries, cartoons, blogs and webisodes of all colours, not to mention the amount of merchandising available.

That said, Tennant’s face represented an important era of Doctor Who series, and while three seasons of watching him perform may sound like a lifetime for an actor, in reality, when compared to Tom Baker’s run at the role who lasted for seven seasons, it does not seem like all that much in particular.

Three seasons is nothing when looking at comparably popular shows. Stargate SG-1 for example, had ten seasons, and the core cast held on for an entire decade, but I digress.

The point is, it could have lasted for longer. Why didn’t it though?

The idea behind Tennant’s decision to move on may be directly tied to the fact that Russell T. Davies has decided that it is time for him to take a break, announcing the franchise is to be left in the competent hands of Stephen Moffat.

On the one hand, Moffat’s work has been quite exciting. Blink, The Girl in The Fireplace, the Doctor Dances, and more importantly, his genuinely interesting work on Jekyll, represent the body of Moffat’s writing.

However, Moffat’s arrival is also hailed as a Reboot, or Restart of the Doctor Who universe. Moffat’s favorite Doctor is Peter Davison, and he apparently has not much love left for current villainous creatures, intending to bring, I am guessing, more gothic themes, more dead and ghostly children.

Moffat’s arrival to the helm has already struck my heart with a pang of panic and fear, but the teaser for the upcoming season has been already eliciting excitement.

So, thank you Tennant. I wish you a lot of luck. The best of luck. And more importantly, thank you Davies! And Moffat…we know where you work.