The Tenth Doctor: Five Favourites
K-Ci Williams picks out five favourites from David Tennant’s era.
Today’s birthday boy is the man who charmed audiences for the best part of the modern era of Doctor Who. A lifelong fan, David Tennant brought the role of our favourite Time Lord to life (unless your favourite is the Master). His birthday is also days after his father-in-law, Peter Davison, another reason to assume they were meant to be family (not to mention that they’re both the Doctor). Tennant means so much for me and others all over the globe, and today I present my idea of what the five most interesting or strongest stories from his era are, in celebration of his time on the show and the wonderful man we are privileged to call Doctor number ten.
Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead
The one and only Alex Kingston teaming up with what is one of my favourite TARDIS teams; David Tennant and Catherine Tate. A magnificent Moffat-penned tale. The allure of this story is the cohesion between Tennant and Tate, bursting at the seams with brilliance – complemented by River Song. The Vashta Nerada is in my top 5 monsters list; along with the Weeping Angels and the Midnight Entity, among others. Taking us to the core of the story (as all are) is The Doctor. He’s just as inquisitive and curious in this as he is in others, except for some unknown reason, I connect with Tennant more in this two parter. It’s perfectly paced with drama and suspense; the mystery develops at a nice pace and the resolution is commendable, with the idea that people are “saved” not “safe” being my favourite part of the entire story.
Wow! Just, wow! What a show. Seriously, this could possibly be right at the top for the best of Tennant’s era for me. Mystery. Into the unknown. The Midnight Entity. The Doctor vulnerable. Amazing factors that contribute to a stellar episode which as of writing this, has become my favourite of the entire David Tennant era. Indescribable acting is plentiful; do you understand what I’m saying? Tennant is superb, utterly resplendent – in a script that boasts drama, sinister mystery, and the Doctor at his best. I’m running out of ideas to write about that doesn’t involve praising the Birthday Boy – please just watch the episode, and offer your opinion on the episode.
Okay, okay, you’ve got me with this one. While strictly not in the episode for most of the episode, David Tennant manages to strike fear into me through his sinister delivery through the DVD Easter eggs. If I were to review his performance in the story holistically, it’s a perfect Ten-nant out of Ten-nant. I’m also running out of synonyms to express how amazing he is. It’s another genius script from the magnificent mind of the Moff. Do some think this story is over exaggerated for its merits? Yes. Is my perspective defined by that? Absolutely. Not! I love this story to bits; classic monster, classic characters, classic story. Well done team, it was great.
Okay, so I’m a little biased in this one. The monster was a bit ‘meh’ but the concept behind the story was phenomenal. The return of Sarah Jane Smith; just glorious. Elisabeth Sladen, may she rest in peace, is perfect, just perfect. There’s one true reason why I love this story more than many: David Tennant, for once, did not once, not ever, act. The joy of meeting Lis, and Sarah as the same person sent him back to childhood. I remember reading Elisabeth’s autobiography shortly after her passing, and the foreword from David was a tearjerker. It brought me back to this story, which was so emphatically brilliant but so utterly mad. Everything worked. It was superb. K9 was presented spectacularly well; his gizmos worked into the plot and his character given more attention – witty and charming dialogue (not to mention a certain fanboy, Tennant of course) brought the companionship of the tin dog to the forefront. The Doctor genuinely was over the moon to meet two old time companions. Bravo! Brava! Bravo, again! It’s an episode that never fails to make me tear up every now and again.
The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End
Say what you will about this story; but it’s action packed with companions, Doctors – and a Doctor Donna – and plenty of Daleks that speak more than English. It made an unforgettable impression on my perspective of the show as a new-to-Who fan; frankly I was at the time, what some would call, a “noob”. Back in ancient times when there were two parters in every series, this extravaganza rounded off Series Four. David Tennant was again, challenged. Tasked with playing a replicated version of himself, production would’ve kept him on his feet – or knocked to the ground, naked. Catherine Tate is amazing in what was the end of a major arc for Donna; one that ended too quickly. Of all the terrible fates of companions, Donna’s is the worst. Forgetting your past with someone you love is truly terrible. I shudder to think. Getting onto lighter things…What makes this a stellar episode is the cast; all of the major companionship Tennant shared in his time, which brought back memories. The interactions with all of these characters bring the story together. In a sense, the idea that Daleks are taking over the world was credibly executed because of different characters being brought to the plate. It was a showcase of the factors that excelled across his three series. Well done, and thank you David for an amazingly indescribable two part finale to series four. It sure is, undoubtedly and undeniably, one of my favourite stories of Modern Who – how does this story fare in your opinion?
The Day of the Doctor
David returned last year as part of the 50th anniversary special that saw the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors pair up along with the War Doctor. Evidently, Tennant could still fit into the suit, and still had the same Doctorish tendencies as he did in 2010 when he left. Small plot ideas were given more prominence such as his suggested relationship with the Virgin, or supposedly not-so-Virgin Queen. It was has become the occupier of my top 5 ever episodes of Doctor Who, mainly because of David and my Doctor, Matt Smith. I can only say thank you, thank you David for returning and making the fiftieth year one of the most exciting in my life.
Happy Birthday, Mr David Tennant! Hope it’s a good one. Allons-y.