Allons-y, Alonso: it’s time for History of The Doctor with The Tenth Doctor, David Tennant!
“I’m the Doctor. I’m a Time Lord. I’m from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I’m 903 years old, and I’m the man who’s gonna save your lives and all six billion people on the planet below. You got a problem with that?”
“For a long time now, I thought I was just a survivor, but I’m not. I’m the winner! That’s who I am: the Time Lord Victorious!”
“I am so, so, sorry.”
Just a bit of a note: I refuse to spoil a great deal of Tennant’s run as The Doctor; you really should see it for yourself.
David Tennant’s run as The Doctor could very well be the most quoted, most loved, and most hated of any of the previous incarnations of everyone’s favorite Time Lord.
For me, I wasn’t quite ready to give up The Ninth Doctor, and was very uneasy about the sort of performance we would get from Tennant; boy was I wrong. Tennant picks right back up with Rose Tyler with his first full episode, The Christmas Invasion. The Doctor isn’t even fully allowed to regenerate before he’s flung into action, pajamas and all, and setting up one of the most important plot points during Tennant’s entire run: losing his hand. (Time Lord + Regeneration = he grew his hand back) This one single event, without spoiling anything for anyone, established major plot devices and ultimately led to the creation of Torchwood.
Tennant, it seems, encounters every single monster in the Whoverse, including one of the most interesting storylines of the entire series with The Master. From the Cybermen to the Daleks, there were very rare instances of “rest” for the Tenth Doctor. However, it seems that Tennant’s Doctor welcomed this, charging headfirst into many many showdowns with classic Who villains. We also meet one of Who’s most popular newer monsters The Weeping Angels, which ultimately helped Tennant leave his mark on the Whoverse in a sort of “wibbly wobbly, timey wimey” sort of way. (For me personally, the Weeping Angels are almost as bad as the Daleks. Matt Smith’s encounters with Weeping Angels are also quite good.)
Perhaps the Tenth Doctor’s biggest villain was himself. Some of Ten’s most damaging moments come at the expense of his Companions, namely Rose Tyler. While Martha Jones is quite possibly one of the strongest Companions to ever tag along with The Doctor, Ten ultimately is never able to quite let Rose go; we see this through even the end of Tennant’s run. Ten’s path of destruction leaves almost no one standing in it’s wake.
There are lots of great stories, appearances, and villains in the run of the Tenth Doctor, but it all seems to come back to Rose Tyler, and the fact that Ten just can’t quite own up to his actions and deal with the consequences. Even as he knows his time has run out, Ten does everything he can save his own life, and in the process creates “The New Doctor”, a genetic duplicate from, what else, his severed hand from his very first episode. What does Ten do with this “New Doctor” who is not fully a Time Lord? He crosses dimensions and leaves him with Rose Tyler.
The ending of the Tenth Doctor is quite stunning; it’s incredibly well written and sets up Eleven to be the most complex of all of the regenerations yet. What we didn’t know at the time was that in order for Matt Smith’s Doctor to be as successful as he’s been, we needed a Doctor like Tennant to push the boundaries of our own emotional connections with this madman with a blue box. The Doctor exclaims “I don’t want to go!” as he regenerates, and unlike Eccleston’s “And so was I.”, Ten’s regeneration is much more selfish.
So here’s what you need to know: Although I have done a horrible job in explaining this to you, David Tennant’s Doctor, in my opinion, is the most important Doctor to the Whoverse so far; without him, we wouldn’t need super goofy Matt Smith, and the war-torn Ninth Doctor was lucky to even get the chance to regenerate. You will love Tennant’s Doctor; he’s so very human. He’s lovable, quirky, and his constant energy is never outmatched. Ten’s desire to save the human race ultimately showcase his most human tendancies. It’s the human tendencies and qualities that ultimately lead to his end. You will fall in love with Rose Tyler and her crazy family, just like he did, and you’ll experience his pain and loss. You’ll cheer when he’s victorious, but almost have to look away once he steps off the edge. Tennant pushes his Doctor past the boundaries of Time Lord, and asserts himself as the ultimate keeper of all space and time as the Time Lord Victorious to try and save himself.
Whatever you do, as you’ve followed along with us, and perhaps have started watching the series, please stay with the series through David Tennant. He is my Doctor, and the very reason our household stuck it out through Doctor Who.
Quite right, too.
[The most important episodes of The Tenth Doctor, besides the first and last of his series!]
Episodes for the Tenth Doctor: “Rise of The Cybermen”, “Doomsday”, “The Last of The Time Lords”, “The Doctor’s Daughter”, “Turn Left”, and “The Waters of Mars”.