Post Mortems

Doctor Who: David Tennant Reveals Why Big Twist Had Him 'Worried'

Doctor Who Tennant Fourteenth

The following contains spoilers from Sunday’s Power of the Doctor episode of Doctor Who.

Doctor Who left both its fans and a certain Time Lord remarking, “What?!,” as this year’s third and final special came to a surprising close.

The Power of the Doctor, as expected, showcased Jodie Whittaker’s expected exit from the series. But as her Thirteenth Doctor regenerated at the end of the installment, it was none other than franchise vet David Tennant who (re)appeared as the Fourteenth Doctor.

“I know these teeth…,” Tennant’s puzzled character said after regenerating. “What? What?! WHAT?!”

Tennant had of course been announced to return for Doctor Who’s next three specials (which will help celebrate the show’s 60th anniversary when it returns in November 2023), but the nature of his role was unclear.

In an interview with BBC’s Today radio show on Monday morning (at the 2:23 mark), Tennant revealed why he was worried about suiting back up as the Doctor for the first time since a 2013 encore in the show’s 50th anniversary special.

“I think I was worried before I got there that it might be difficult to get in the groove again,” he said, but instead he found it “weirdly weirdly straight-forward.”

Tennant noted “there’s bit of a precedent in this show that all Doctors maybe turn up for a special now and again, but usually in cohort with the current team. So to get another run round the park was a little joy I never saw coming.”

“What a lovely, lovely thing to get to revisit something that was such a wonderful, happy, significant time in my life,” he added. “It’s like being given the loveliest present. It’s been an absolute joy.”

Showrunner Russell T Davies confirmed on Sunday night in a statement that Tennant is playing the Fourteenth Doctor, meaning Ncuti Gatwa will eventually emerge as Fifteen.

“If you thought the appearance of David Tennant was a shock, we’ve got plenty more surprises on the way!” said Davies. “The path to Ncuti’s Fifteenth Doctor is laden with mystery, horror, robots, puppets, danger and fun! And how is it connected to the return of the wonderful Donna Noble (to be played again by Catherine Tate)? How, what, why? We’re giving you a year to speculate, and then all hell lets loose!”

As Tennant himself noted, “the essence of where the story goes, the tale we’ve got to tell, is still pretty much under wraps.”


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