‘The truth is it never goes away’ says David Tennant. ‘It’s 15 years since I did it and I’m here today!’ He’s talking, of course, about Doctor Who. To mark the show’s arrival in the US on streaming service HBO Max, Tennant united for an online panel with fellow Doctors Matt Smith and Jodie Whittaker to reminisce about their respective tenures in the TARDIS.
Speaking from their UK homes to IGN’s Terri Schwarz, Tennant and Smith spoke about their experiences handing over the role, while Whittaker gave her advice to whoever would take up the mantle next. She told the eventual next-in-line (whoever they may be) that the pressure of the show’s history needs to be forgotten and the newcomer isn’t expected to repeat what’s been done before, only to continue to make it different and new.
Asked to pick their favourite episodes during their time in the role, Whittaker and Smith both opted for their debuts – ‘The Woman Who Fell to Earth’ and ‘The Eleventh Hour’ – while Tennant refused to choose, saying to do so would make him feel disloyal.
On the subject of any Doctor Who props that might have made its way into their respective homes, Matt Smith revealed two genuine Cybermen heads he was presented with as a leaving gift. Whittaker announced that she’d kept hold of some Funko Pops she was probably supposed to sign and give back. And Tennant explained that the miniature TARDIS spotted in the garden of his family home during the filming of his new BBC comedy Staged was not official merchandise, but made by a family member for his children during their all-too-brief obsession with the show.
Watch the full 20 minute videochat here:
The one thing Matt Smith continues to miss about Doctor Who, he told the others, is filming the annual Christmas Special. That led Jodie Whittaker to tell us what she was allowed to reveal about this year’s Special, which turned out to be… the title we’ve all known since the beginning of March. Read more about ‘Revolution of the Daleks‘ here.
Asked by fans which Doctor Who Companion they’d like to have worked with, Matt Smith chose Rose Tyler, played by his real-life friend Billie Piper, while Jodie Whittaker opted for Rory, as played by her Broadchurch co-star Arthur Darvill. Movingly, Tennant chose Nicholas Courtney, the actor behind UNIT’s The Brigadier. Tennant was originally scheduled to work with Courtney on The Sarah Jane Adventures but sadly Courtney’s ill health stopped it from happening and the actor passed away shortly afterwards.
Smith and Tennant agreed that the role is a great thing to pass on to the next Doctor, Smith calling it ‘a great gift’ and Tennant noting how quickly the previous Doctors become part of a history to be proud of.