David Tennant quits ‘Doctor Who’; is Russell Tovey the next Time Lord?

Oct. 30, 2008 | 5:23 p.m.

David_tennant_in_family_of_blood_ep

Truly sad news just came across the Atlantic. The BBC has an exclusive interview with video announcing that the 10th (and maybe the best) actor to play Doctor Who is moving on.

David Tennant is to stand down as Doctor Who, after becoming one of the most popular Time Lords in the history of the BBC science fiction show.

Tennant stepped into the Tardis in 2005, and will leave the role after four special episodes are broadcast next year. He made the announcement after winning the outstanding drama performance prize at the National Television Awards.

"When Doctor Who returns in 2010 it won’t be with me," he said.

"Now don’t make me cry," he added. "I love this part, and I love this show so much that if I don’t take a deep breath and move on now I never will, and you’ll be wheeling me out of the Tardis in my bath chair."

Three years was "about the right time" to play the role, he told the BBC in an exclusive interview.

"I think it’s better to go when there’s a chance that people might miss you, rather than to hang around and outstay your welcome," he said.

More from the BBC article:

His stint in the show had been "the most extraordinary time, it’s been bewildering, life changing, very exciting", he said.

"And just so much fun, such a great show to work on. That’s one of the reasons I think it’s right to take a deep breath and bow out when it’s still fun, when it’s a novelty. I don’t ever want it to feel like a job, so I want to move on when it still feels exciting and fresh and that means I’ll miss it."

After the mourning period comes the obvious question: Who’s the best person to play the Time Lord now? The BBC has a second article with an interesting suggestion from one of the key architects of the recent revival of the good Doctor.

Russell_tovey "Doctor Who" writer Russell T Davies has suggested who he thinks should replace David Tennant as the next Time Lord. In e-mails serialised in The Times newspaper, Davies said Russell Tovey, who appeared in Alan Bennett’s play "The History Boys," would fit the role.

The creator, who leaves the show next year as lead writer and executive producer, said he thought Tovey was "going to be huge" and is "amazing". Davies also revealed he had wanted JK Rowling to star in a Christmas special.

"Who" fans might know that Tovey was in last year’s Christmas special in which he played a midshipman (photo on right), but his most notable performance to date was on stage and in the film "History Boys." You can see him below, third from the right.

History_boys 

This will be a hot topic for months. Any suggestions who else might be good to hop aboard into the Tardis?

– Geoff Boucher

Credits: Photo by Adrian Rogers/Sci Fi shows David Tennant as Doctor Who in the episode "The Family of Blood, Part 2." Russell Tovey photo from last year’s Christmas special, courtesy of Sci Fi. "History Boys" photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight.

More in: Uncategorized, David Tennant, Doctor Who

Comments


42 Responses to David Tennant quits ‘Doctor Who’; is Russell Tovey the next Time Lord?

  1. Whovian says:

    Not since Tom Baker (previously the most popular Doctor in the original series) Have I enjoyed the long running , and revived series "Dr. Who" more. While I understand there could be reasons that justify this, and certainly the decision is Mr Tennants, I will miss him as the Doctor. But to be fair I was starting to like Christopher Eccleston as the first doctor of the new series, when they brought in Tennant. Having seen his short appearance in Harry Potter: The goblet of fire, (Bartie Crouch junior) I gave him a chance. And was glad I did. I'll miss him, he had the same quirky sense of humor as Baker, and at times I felt he was channeling him, but after all it was the same Dr. inside, just a new look each time he regenerated.
    He'll be a tough act to follow in my opinion.

  2. Danielle says:

    I'm crushed!!! He's the best doctor so far . . . I suppose all good things must come to an end at some point though. They should bring back Christopher Eccleston though! He was the second best!

  3. Damian Phoenix says:

    IF YOU DON'T WANT TO LEAVE DAVID.. PLEASE DON'T! I have always loved Dr. Who (Even when if first came out), so PLEASE don't leave the role of Doctor! You have made Doctor Who. It will NEVER be the same without you! Sad as it may seem, I even had a little tear in my eye when I read this :(
    PLEASE DON'T LEAVE. I mean this Honestly and respectfully.

  4. Francis Sullivan says:

    It's got to be Donna, using the infernal logic of science fiction., as the new Doc. Imagine the Doc learning to be a woman AND saving the world. The story possibilities are staggering…and it's about time a woman got the chance, anyway.

  5. Donna says:

    Tovey is in fact third from the right in the History Boys photo.

  6. Debby says:

    I am devestated that David Tennant is quitting as Dr Who. I think that he has been the best so far …. I absolutely love him to bits.

  7. Natalie says:

    Could not belive my ears last night on The National Television Awards when David Tennant had announced that he was not coming back in 2010!! but i will support him on whatever he does now cuz i love him so much!! His acting skills are outstanding! Im sad to say that i dont think that i will keep watching Doctor Who now as David Tennant will not be starring in it, I would love him to come back and see Donna remember about them travelling in the tardis and mabie see them die together as they never really had a real love connection but I'l have to see how they kill of David Tennant, better not be disapointing!
    Well dont DOCTOR WHO FOR WINNINING AND CONGRATS TO DAVID TENNANT!!! voted for u xo
    Love Doctor Who number 1 fan! Natalie !!

  8. Geoff Boucher says:

    Donna hey thanks, I fixed that, was typing fast and apparently forgot my right from left:-)

  9. Alice says:

    DON'T LEAVE DAVID I LOVE YOU MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF I DONT KNOW HOW I WILL LIVE ON WITHOUT SEEING YOU AS MY DOCTOR !! I LOVE YOU!! DON'T GO :( x

  10. Kim says:

    :(
    He is amazing as the doctor….its going to be really hard for the next actor to follow
    if he really does'nt want to leave then he should't
    we will be super happy if he stays

  11. with all respect to every woman – i do not want a female doctor. Donna did a stunning role as the doctor donna, but i really dont want a female doctor. I do not mean this in a sexist way and if you knew me you would know that i would never be a biggot in any way, but there should not be a female doctor. It wouldnt work – and it would ruin it for every boy out there – its one of the few male shows still out there and i think it is great for woman to watch it – and to star in it – but not as the doctor. The doctor should stay male. A female doctor whould be terrible. The characteristics of the male doctors ar just what is needed. Please understand that i am not trying to be sexist. Honestly, this just looks like another femenist act. another pointless way to show womans indipendance when they clearly already have it. THE DOCTOR SHOULD STAY MALE. Yet again i apologise for any insults. They are not purposefull.
    also PLEASE DAVID, DONT LEAVE!!!!!!!!!!!11

  12. Glen says:

    On the upside, he will be the first Doctor to be able to come back into the show, don't forget there is still another one in Rose's dimension, let's hope there is a cameo role for him some time in the future. We'll miss you David, best Doctor ever.

  13. jo orchard says:

    It Cant be true!! David cant leave yet there is still so much for him to do!!! He could easily go on for another 3 years. it just wont be as good! the magic will go out of Doctor who again! a couple of the doctors were awful, soooo corney i could not bear to watch it anymore, the best doctor since peter davidson, Ecleston was quite good. It gave a hard working person something to lookforward to on a saterday night. A little boy, now in my care used to dream that the doctor and rose were his mum and dad, when he was in foster care. It gave him hope that got him through some very tough times. Now David will be leaving our tv screens prematurely, i am totally hacked off, gutted, and sad. i have not enjoyed a tv programme like this probably all my life, i dont watch much tv, i flick through the programmes and its all rubbish…………… shattered jo

  14. Caiti says:

    personally i'm voting for Johnathon Rhys-Meyers or Johnny Depp :D —- not that it'll be an easy act to follow, he's certainly made it his own!!

  15. Nina says:

    If David really must go, the sting from his departure would be much less painful if the Doctor regenerated into MARTIN FREEMAN, star of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. His comic sensibility and talent are perfect for this role.

  16. darling says:

    Well, I never could get into Dr. Who until I fell for David Tennant. I will most likely go back to not watching the show now that he's leaving. Such a shame. I hope David lands somewhere else where I can enjoy his good looks and acting talents.

  17. jb lippman says:

    How about keeping it in the family and handing the gig to Billie Piper's hubbie, Laurence Fox? Tall, handsome…or Callum Blue who has proven his ability with humor and patter…

  18. Diana Sholl says:

    davinf anthony that is a sexist thing to say. It is not a boys show and is not for the boys. The characteristics that make David Tennant popular in the role are in actual fact his feminine characteristics idiot.

  19. Michael David Atkins says:

    No, Russell Tovey is NOT the next Doctor Who. This was merely Davies saying he's a good actor in his book. For heaven's sake, Davies will hav left so it's not even up to him anymore!

  20. Terry Doyle says:

    Writing from the UK. Remember David still has another year as the Doctor. That gives Steven Moffatt a year to think of a replacement. It probably won't be any of the actors suggested…I think he will surprize us….

  21. Sophie Collins says:

    Oh I just love him. I loved him from the moment he was disappointed about not being ginger, through the whole time in fell in love with Rose right up to the moment he said goodbye to Donna in that heart wrenching way. He will always be my Doctor. I'm crushed he's going but as he rightly says, it's time. I almost wished he sorted it out sooner so we didn't have to have a year break. Dr Who without David Tennant is better than no Dr Who at all. I've had to resort to watching Strictly Come Dancing for my family entertainment. It's just not right.
    I will miss him but I fully trust the wonderful Dr Who people to make his exit fantastic and to make the new guy (or girl, wouldn't that be fun, i don't really agree davinf anthony, a woman can be the Dr, as no two Dr's are the same and then, on a personal level, we can have a larger variety of stunning male sidekicks. Mmmm.)
    Anyway, whoever it is, one thing is for sure, they certainly will have to do a lot to not make me miss that cheeky grin every time I see the wonderful blue box….

  22. Big who fan! says:

    my god, I was gutted to hear it… at least he's saying a proper goodbye with the 4 episodes in '09. He's got such energy and feeling!
    Who's next? Bill Bailey? Russel Brand? (…maybe not. lol)
    I don't think the next one could ever be as good – it's just so upsetting to see him go!

  23. Melanie White says:

    Sorry you are going David you have made staying in on a Saturday evening worthwhile and gave me something to look forward to during the week. I hope the next Dr Who will be a worthy replacement.

  24. Door says:

    It's always hard to lose one of the Doctor's regenerations. Both David and Ten will be sorely missed. I hope to see James Nesbitt as Eleven after his recent (and utterly brilliant) turn in the BBC's Jekyll, but I'll tune in to the programme regardless.

  25. Hellyon says:

    Diana there was no need to be so rude to davinf anthony – I actually agree with him and I am a woman with a husband and 10 year old son! It IS one of the few programmes that boys really enjoy that the whole family can sit and enjoy together.
    Personally I don't want to see a female Doctor – there are some traditions that shouldn't be messed with – a female Doctor would 'lose' some of the boys and who would I have to lust over?
    Jonathan Rhys Meyer, Bill Nighy, Richard E Grant (has been an animated Doctor already) are all possibles.

  26. Nick says:

    why not an assie it would boost the australian audiences and give the show new limits.
    If you wanted to you could even make the actor speak with a brittish accent.

  27. jabalong says:

    How about Paterson Joseph as the first black Doctor Who?
    Read about him as being a contender and it sounds great to me.

  28. joe says:

    david morrissey is playing the 'next doctor' in the christmas special
    he'd make a pretty good choice to be the 11th doctor
    robert carlyle and bill nighy are also supposedly in the running as replacements, but i'm sure it'll be a choice nobody's thought of
    the unfortunate thing is that steven moffat has to scrap his plan to bring back river song from the silence in the library/forest of the dead two parter in the 2010 series, it would've been nice to see who she really was

  29. ALICE says:

    IN "THE TRIAL OF A TIME LORD", IT WAS REVEALD THAT THE DOCTOR'S 12TH REGERATION HAD ESCAPED, AND HE TRIED TO KILL THE 5TH REGERATION DOCTOR AND THE HIGH COUNCIL. DAVID IS THE 9TH AND 10TH REGENERATIONS DOCTOR. THEREFORE, WHO EVER IS CHOSEN AFTER DAVID, WILL BE THE 11TH REGERATION DOCTOR,AND THE LAST OF HIS REGENERATIONS.

  30. Darcy says:

    This is so sad. My english boyfriend introduced me to the series and I am hooked. I was so excited when I found the show on USA tv and could enjoy the lovely David Tennet playing the Doctor. It will be truely difficult tto watch the episode where he will die and be regenerated.
    On a side note did I read the lead /creater is leaving? I hope that whoever remains will continue the quality script and ideas that are portrayed on the screen. I love Doctor Who and want to continue loving Doctor Who!!

  31. Natalie says:

    Do you all love David Tennant or do you love the Doctor? David is still here and is leaving so that he can go on to do other things. If you would listen to David, you would have heard him saying that he doesn't want it to become a job. He wants to leave in good spirits about the show and not when he has gotten to the point where he hates it to bits. I love him as the Doctor as well, but I must say that I respect David's decision greatly. I know that David would not want you to stop watching Dr. Who just because he has left it. He would want you to still love the show and watch it for what it is and continue to follow his work because he is still here and he hasn't disappeared off the face of the planet just because he's leaving Dr. Who.

  32. Amy Bates says:

    I hate to say this to you people. I am in love with David Tennant. Because I was having some dreams about him . I mean alot . If you read this David Tennant I wish you were my Doctor. I didn't know that you are playing in ( Tim Burton's In Doctor Who : Scream Of The Shalka ). You will probably be hearing the Tardis again. I got one question for you David Tennant . What does it feel seeing two of you.

  33. Leyah says:

    Oh, Russel Tovey is a DOG, and David Tennant is GORGEOUS!! That enough info??
    Uh, Hello, David Tennant is, and ALWAYS ALWAYS be the greatest Doctor EVER.
    SO WHAT IF RUSSEL TOVEY WAS IN A SHOW??? DAVID TENNANT WAS IN ALL KINDS OF MOVIES!!! AND RUSSEL TOVEY IS AN ATROCIOUS ACTOR!!!!! Okay, this is really pathetic, but, I've written SONGS about DT. And I love him. And he's beautiful.

  34. Leyah says:

    RUSSEL TOVEY IS AN UGLY DOG, A HORRIBLE ACTOR AND HE HAS A PIG NOSE AND MONKEY EARS, NOT TO MENTION HE IS A HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE ACTOR. DAVID TENNANT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MAN ALIVE AND AN AMAZING ACTOR. AND THE BEST DOCTOR!!! AND I HAVE WRITTEN TWO DOZEN SONGS ABOUT HIM!!!! I LOVE U DT PLEASE COME TO THE USA AND DO HAMLET BECAUSE I WOULD GIVE MY LIFE TO SEE YOU. I NEED MY DOCTOR!!!!!!

  35. Emm says:

    Having read some of these comments, all I can say is good on Tennant for getting out. I mean, he's a truly wonderful doctor who will always have a special place in my heart, but the given some of the fans he has to deal with… holy crap, if I were faced with obsessives like some of you, I wouldn't even step into the TARDIS in the first place! (Not if I knew it was ever going to be broadcast, anyway.)
    Double shame for the insults to Tovey. If you're not familiar with his skills and body of work, you've no right to run round insulting him, and he's a fine-looking chap. Like most men, change up how his hair is styled and what he's wearing and he becomes a very different-looking person.
    Anyway, I'm ashamed to be a Doctor Who fan after reading some of these comments. Some of you are giving all of us a bad name with your screaming and moaning.

  36. laila says:

    this is awful news… david tennant as the doctor will be a ridiculously tough act to follow.

  37. Kathryn says:

    I agree with Emm. I'll bet the obsession of the fans is one of the main reasons David Tennant wants out. I've been a fan since Blackpool and the few costume dramas I've seen him in. He's got great range, and I wish him success in whatever he does next. As for Doctor Who, I adored Christopher Eccleston's doctor, and I was worried Tennant would be a mismatch. Boy was I wrong. I have great hopes for the good taste of Steven Moffat, who has helped make this new Doctor Who really, really interesting. I do rate Russell Tovey, but I think he's too young. You need someone with a few lines and creases, some gravitas. There are loads of actors who could fill the bill. I am looking forward to being surprised and falling in love again with Doctor #11.

  38. I have been watching Doctor Who, since the 1960s. David Tennant has been the very best Doctor so far, He actually embodies the part, and I will miss him, what will be next, painting the Tardis yellow with green stripes?

  39. Mark Jones says:

    Just as long as the next Dr is not gay. Only 5% of the population is gay and it isn't right for sexual preferences to even be part of the character.

  40. unanimous says:

    why?! I love doctor who it is so amazing i don't want him to leave I am 12 and me and my friends want to cry because he's leaving it makes me so upset!!!!!!!!!
    I think he is the best ever at acting this role, I think he should never leave and be the doctor forever!!!!

  41. Kelly says:

    I liked david as well but i think that matt smith is playing the role of the new doctor really well though i do miss david and i can watch reapeats…… (sigh) at least my freinds name is david haha

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