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Published on April 7th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

What if David Tennant Had Stayed…?

An interesting question found its way into Steven Moffat’s mailbox in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine – what would have happened had the Tenth Doctor landed in Amy Pond’s garden, rather than his newly regenerated self?


James Powell was the lucky reader whose question was printed, and asked:

How different (if at all) would the story arc for your first season have been if David Tennant had stayed on for one more year?


I only had the roughest idea. Had David stayed for one final year, it would certainly have been his last, so my pitch was that it would start with the TARDIS crashing in Amelia’s back garden – as now – and a terribly battered and bruised Tenth Doctor staggering out.


Amelia finds him, feeds him fish custard (no that was for Matt, it would have been something more Davidy) and generally helps him. But we, the audience, can see he’s in a truly bad way. Dying maybe. Eventually he heads back to his TARDIS, and flies off.


But when he returns – many years later for Amy – he seems perfectly fine, and indeed doesn’t remember any of those events…And of course over time, we realise what we saw was the Tenth Doctor at the end of his life, about to regenerate.


Events that we return to in Episode 13…

Fascinating stuff, we think you’ll agree, and in many ways it is a shame we never got to see Tennant’s Doctor in the new-look Moffat era.

Maybe one day we’ll have a Doctor that transcends showrunners, just like in the old days…

For more questions to Steven Moffat, check out the current issue of Doctor Who Magazine.



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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+.

9 Responses to What if David Tennant Had Stayed…?

  1. avatar TimeChaser says:

    I rather like that idea. I guess he adapted it later for Season 6 with the Silence and the astronaut.

    I wouldn’t have said no to one season of Tennant under Moffat’s direction, but since we can’t (yet) go back in time and change things, I’m not bothered by the way things turned out either.

    • avatar Spiderpope says:

      David could still have a change of heart, quit the ITV dramas and return to Doctor Who… as a companion. Imagine 11 with human 10…

  2. avatar Mugen Pharoah says:

    That sounds like it would have worked well but then again..would we still have got Matt Smith as Eleven at the end?

  3. avatar Stlshawn says:

    I gotta be honest,,, I was ready for a change when Tennant left. I don’t think it was his fault, but it was starting to get a bit samey.
    Now, however, a fresh glimpse back would be fun, and with the complete change in the show lately,, would be interesting.

    I’m thoroughly enjoying the trek these last few years.

    • avatar TimeChaser says:

      I was ready for a change too when it came, but its always intriguing to wonder what might have been. What would the lost Season 23 have been like? What about a Season 27 back in 1990? And now, what if David had stayed one more year?

  4. avatar patooty11 says:

    I’d like to think 10 would have had more sense than to take Amy with him anywhere. As for 9, who really, really only took the best – he would presumably never have let her darken the TARDIS’ doorstep. If I were into writing fanfic, I’d not only never mention Amy again, I might even refuse to allow any words with the letters a-m-y in succession (like, say, “infamy”) befoul my prose. Hey, a person can dream.

    • avatar Amra says:

      10 took anyone who crossed the shadow of the TARDIS along for a ride. Seriously.

      9 only focused on Rose because CE only stuck around for 5 minutes, then decided he hated the scene (*cough* FANS *cough*) and ejected, leaving DT to pick up the pace. Actually, the only reason 9 did not take Mickey was: “three’s a crowd!” Actually, 9 took that jerk “genius” kid along as well, the one who ended up with an origami head opening.

      As for Amy, 10 would have taken her for the same reason as 11: something was going on and he would want to figure out what it was. That’s assuming 10 would have figured it out, like 11 did; 11 is scatterbrained at times, but he picks up on things better than most incarnations, tho it may take him a bit to realize it.

      • avatar patooty11 says:

        You may be right. I think 9 took Adam because Rose was practically begging him to, and he was willing to do it to please her. He never would have asked Adam to come along on his own. And 9 was more than happy to travel alone, when we first met him – he made an exception for Rose, because…well, Rose. But what you say about 10 is probably right – he loved people, company, an audience – anybody would have done. If there wasn’t already a disco somewhere on the TARDIS when he took over, I’m sure he would have been sure to install one. And then he’d invite the entire population of France to come on board, because they really know how to party, you know.

  5. avatar Jack says:

    “In many ways it is a shame we never got to see Tennant’s Doctor in the new-look Moffat era”

    Lol! This would have been an excellent point at any moment since Moffat took over apart from NOW, when Tennant is currently filming Moffat-era Who as we speak!

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