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David Tennant in The Observer

Yet another interview with Tenth Doctor Who David Tennant, this time in The Observer. It’s a very in-depth interview by Stephanie Merritt and begins by focussing on the Doctor’s “new found” sex appeal (conveniently overlooking Jon Pertwee and Paul McGann; but I digress…)

As usual, we’ve got the highlights – some of the interview covers the same ground as that on Radio 4’s “Front Row” on Thursday, so we’ll bypass that and jump straight into David’s feelings concerning the “regeneration limit”…

Has Tennant had to commit to a longer contract than his predecessor to avoid another hasty handover – especially since the Doctor can only regenerate 12 times?

‘It’s …’ here he becomes slightly awkward. ‘Timelords can only have 13 bodies, but I’m sure when they get to that they can find some storyline where he falls in a vat of replenishing cream or something. But so many factors decide what happens next year, it’s not entirely down to – I mean, if the show suddenly gets 200 viewers and I’m the only thing that’s changed, then …’ he shrugs. ‘You’ll have Charlie Drake as the 11th Doctor before you know it.’

There are also the customary and deserved praises for Ms Piper:

‘She’s just perfect,’ he says, ‘she was so welcoming and easy to work with, and I was nervous about that, because it’s nine months and a lot of stuff to do together and that relationship has really got to work, just from a getting-through-the-day point of view, never mind the acting side. I really think she is a brilliant actress, too: in every take she’s got something new, she makes it look effortless.’

He goes on to enthuse about the way in which Davies, since he took over, has invested the characters with an emotional life that wasn’t foregrounded in the earlier series, so that in many ways it is a love story. ‘I mean, they’re not shagging, but in every other way, they’re a couple. Like John Steed and Emma Peel. Mind you,’ he adds, ‘he is about 900 and she’s 19, so it’d be a bit … Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones.’

Later on David does a very good job of deflecting questions about his private life, and talks about his faith. However, once again he refuses to be drawn into a definite answer about his long-term future in the TARDIS:

Diplomatically, though, he gives every impression that he will be around for the third series of the new Doctor Who, without actually saying so definitively.

‘So long as nobody falls out with me and they think that I am doing an all right job, I imagine I’ll be back in Cardiff this time next year.’

Which I guess means we’re going to have to wait and see…


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