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Published on December 10th, 2005 | by Christian Cawley

David Tennant Interviewed on Front Row

Thursday Night’s edition of culture review show “Front Row” on BBC Radio 4 featured an interview with the new Doctor Who David Tennant, which I’ve painstakingly transcribed below – now there is a level of spoilerage, nothing which we would consider recolouring, however be warned…:

On taking the role of Doctor Who:

“It was surprisingly difficult in a lot of ways – its a show that I’d always loved so i suppose I’d always imagined that if it were ever to be a possibility it would be something that I would jump at. … but then maybe it’s “be careful what you wish for”… when suddenly you get asked to do something like this the scale of what you’re undertaking is suddenly quite grand,… suddenly you have to realise that this is a reality now and I’m signing up for something what – for good or ill – be probably be attached to me for the rest of my life… after going through a phase of thinking ‘actually maybe I shouldn’t, maybe this is the wrong thing’ I just woke up one morning and though ‘oh don’t be ridiculous you’ll never be able to look yourself in the eye if you pass up this opportunity – I’ve gotta go for it and see what happens.’”

On typecasting risks:

“I suppose it is, yeah, but again the option is you don’t do it, that’s the only other option you’ve got. And I didn’t want to be the guy who had the opportunity and didn’t take it”

On input into the Doctor’s development:

“Russell wwrites the script and then they come to you and you interpret them as you see fit, as you would with any other character. The thing about the Doctor is every time he regenerates he kind of sets to zero in a sense – it’s not like Tarzan or James Bond where the character is the character, although there are certain elements of the Doctor that are invariable, everything else is kind of up for grabs really.”

On the fans and recognition:

“…I haven’t had any yet, or if i have it hasn’t come through to me… to be honest while you’re filming the show there isn’t really a great deal of time to do anything, it’s one of the most all-consuming jobs you can imagine, just in terms of the hours you have to work. So I suspect I won’t be able to do those sorts of things while I’m still filming the show.”

On the difference between Doctor Who and other roles:

“…to turn up for the first day at work on a job like this is incredibly daunting because you can see your own 5 year old self sitting with beans on toast and watching the telly being kind of entranced, way back in the 70s and to suddenly find yourself responsible for that… take a deep breath, yeah.”

On being a fan during Tom Bakers reign:

“It was, it was, yeah and then into Peter Davison as well I was about 10 when he took over so I remember him very fondly as well.”

On James Bond producers stopping the lead actors from taking roles that would damage the franchise and whether David has experienced this:

“it’s not been my experience so far… nine months of the year is fairly full on and there’s not a lot of opportunities for going of an slipping in the odd movie. But no, I think the

producers of Doctor Who recognise you’re an actor and that’s what you do and therefore you play a variety of roles if you’re lucky enough to be offered them.”

On the length of David’s tenure as the Doctor:

“I’m fully intending as I sit here today to be here next year but you know who knows what will happen in the next six months (laughs)?”

On the Doctor and sexuality:

“I think the story that Russell has created with the Doctor and Rose is effectively a love story without the shagging, really and that’s certainly something that we will continue to explore in the second series, but indeed the Doctor’s sexuality gets gently explored in the second series as well… I can’t possibly reveal what happens, it’s more than my job’s worth, the walls of BBC Wales would crumble around me! But we have a gentle probe into that side of the Doctor’s life without, I think, dismantling any sacred churches along the way, but the story between the Doctor and Rose… it always was a flirtatious relationship, the Doctor and his “girl”, and I think Russell has just taken that slightly further for a modern audience who I guess expect these things to be more developed. it’s still absolutely celibate I think that’s important, as soon as there’s nookie in the TARDIS I think it would all go wrong.”

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About the Author

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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