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

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

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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.

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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.

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