As Doctors ten and eleven prepare to cross paths for the first time in the upcoming 50th anniversary special – alongside the mysterious “other Doctor” played by John Hurt – David Tennant has revealed what it’s been like to return to the show.
Tennant’s recollections feature in The Doctor – His Lives and Times by James Goss and Steve Tribe, which was released last week. The fascinating collection of articles, interviews and expanded fiction (the Master’s UNIT-era trial is particularly well-written) covers each Doctor in turn, concluding with The Day of the Doctor, and the returning David Tennant…
I thought, ‘Oh this’ll be great’. As the day approaches, I then think , ‘What if Matt feels like I’m stepping on his toes?’ Or, ‘What if I can’t remember how to do it? Surely I’m too old to be doing this now?’ The first day, Matt wasn’t there. So the first day it was just me. It was like, ‘Oh yeah, I sort of remember this.’ Then the next day it becomes something different again because we were together. Mind you there’s not as many lines to learn when there’s two of you.
Of course, David Tennant and Matt Smith had already filmed a (sort of) scene together back in 2009, but that was a regeneration, so doesn’t really count! In fact, there hasn’t been an official multi-doctor story since 1985’s The Two Doctors. So what was it like for their Doctors to cross paths in 2013?
They switch between praising each other’s ingenuity to trying to undermine it at every opportunity. You sort of switch from being quite pleased with yourself to being infuriated at your own inadequacies, and I guess that’s kind of writ large, isn’t it, if you meet yourself.
One inadequacy could well have been the Tenth Doctor’s attire, had he accidentally tripped over a brick or got into a fight with something sharp. As Tennant explains:
I had one costume, and I think they got one from an exhibition. And I think they found a stuntman one. So we’ve got two and big one. It’s slightly alarming – if they get ripped, there’s not a lot of replacements.
Hopefully the famous suit made it through the anniversary special untorn. But just in case you’re curious, you can catch the 75-minute epic on BBC One on November 23rd.
The Doctor – His Lives and Times is available to order now for just £12 from Amazon UK.