I’m getting tired of all the speculation about when Tennant’s going to leave. I’m not going to put this under a cut because it’s been up for discussion since the day he signed on. I don’t think anything anyone has said (or allegedly said) recently has offered any new information.
But one thing is certain, eventually he will go. I’d far rather he went while he was still enjoying himself and at the top of his game. Every year the status quo continues it gets more difficult to keep things fresh and unpredictable. Eventually, if he stays, he’ll look stale and the show will as well.
I’m also of the mind that the people who work at the heart of the show have become such a tight-knit group now that it would be best if they quit more or less together when the right time comes. They’re in a better place to judge when that is than any of us. Meanwhile, I regard every single episode that’s aired, and good, as a bonus. I was amazed and delighted when Tennant did a third series, still more so that he’s doing the specials. I’m going to relish what is good about now, and not spoil it by worrying about the future.
David is not The Doctor. He’s the Doctor’s latest incarnation, but he’s no more the last word on the character than William Hartnell or Colin Baker. That’s the beauty of the character, and one of the great strengths of Tennant’s performance is that he acknowledges his debt to “long ago” as well as now and “days to come”. There are four past Doctors out there in Big Finish land bringing the Doctor to life without diminishing Tennant’s achievement at all. If anything, they enhance it by giving him new layers to explore. And presumably, if he’s wiling to go that route, once he’s released from his current duties on TV he’ll be free to take his own reading of the Tenth Incarnation further, into the cinema or onto audio, or wherever the Time Winds blow him.
How sad it would be if he felt so shackled to the role that once he did break free he never wanted anything to do with the show again. His predecessor comes to mind.
The Fifth Doctor everyone loved in Time Crash once had the unenviable task of replacing Tom Baker. Four’s last line is worth repeating here:
“It ‘s the end, but the moment has been prepared for.”