The Doctor appears a few feet above the ground, drops to the ground like a stone, rolls over -
THE DOCTOR: Please, let it be ginger.
And now it starts - the Doctor's face is suddenly covered by a swirling halo of blue-white light, shafts of light streaming out from his face. The light is growing even more intense until the Doctor's face becomes indistinct, only a few lines to indicate his eyes, nose and mouth are left now. He could be anyone underneath it...
Hold on this for a moment, then smash cut to the end credits...
- excerpt from Doctor Who: Schisms by some dude who isn't me
Where were you when you heard Eccleston had quit? Me, I was laughing my head off at Eye of Horus when they blabbed he had quit some time around Christmas 2004. When it was announced, there was such confusion about it - he sure as hell hadn't told the BBC to give that press statement, and everyone seemed to think he'd stick around for the Christmas special and stuff like that. Of course the "HEIRONYMOUS, YOU QUITTER!" meltdown that struck OG was, at the time, perfectly reasonable. He'd quit as far as we knew out of some fear of commitment and pretty much risked destroying the show we'd only just got back, with a whole new generation asked basically to become involved with leather-clad Northern Nutter... then ditch him.
So, yeah, we had a bloody good reason to be annoyed. And if the production team were really that concerned, they could have told us the truth, so no sympathy there.
Now. Where were you when you heard Tennant had quit? Disregarding every newspaper exclusive of "He's not staying" or the cliffhanger to The Stolen Earth, I mean. Well, I found out about it in a rather strange way as I looked at Demonoid.com for anything interesting that had been uploaded. And between a KLF remix albulm and an episode of House, what do I find?
Tennant Quits Doctor Who - 81.89 MB
I think I can safely say I am one of a few, a very few fans to discover such information from a bit torrent site. And an exclusive one too, they don't upload random crap like Eye of Horus.
You think I'm going nuts? When was the last time I posted a lie on this blog? OK, that was just bad luck. But I posted the specials gap of 09, did I not? I posted Davros would be back in the season four finale, did I not? And Rose? Huh? When was the last time I did this without absolute fricken certainty, mmmm?
What does the Doctor Who News Page say?
"I've had the most brilliant, bewildering and life changing time working on Doctor Who. I have loved every day of it," the actor says. "I love this part, and I love this show so much that if I don't take a deep breath and move on now I never will, and you'll be wheeling me out of the Tardis in my bath chair. I think it's better to go when there's a chance that people might miss you, rather than to hang around and outstay your welcome. It would be very easy to cling on to the TARDIS console forever and I fear that if I don't take a deep breath and make the decision to move on now, then I simply never will. ... I'm still the Doctor all next year but when the time finally comes I'll be honoured to hand on the best job in the world to the next lucky git - whoever that may be."
Tennant added that he "always thought the time to leave would be in conjunction with Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner who have been such a huge part of it all for me. Steven Moffat is the most brilliant and exciting writer, the only possible successor to Russell and it was sorely tempting to be part of his amazing new plans for the show. I will be there, glued to my TV when his stories begin in 2010." He furthermore says that he feels "very privileged to have been part of this incredible phenomenon, and whilst I'm looking forward to new challenges I know I'll always be very proud to be the Tenth Doctor."
Says Russell T Davies, "I've been lucky and honoured to work with David over the past few years - and it's not over yet, the Tenth Doctor still has five spectacular hours left! After which, I might drop an anvil on his head. Or maybe a piano. A radioactive piano. But we're planning the most enormous and spectacular ending, so keep watching!"
Yeah. No more Tenth Doctor any more. Have to start saying 'Eleventh' Doctor and not think of the neighbour from Home Improvement bonking a synesthetic redhead and spawning incredibly messed up children.
I've not really had to cope with this kind of deal before, really. With the Ninth, it was too shocking as I hadn't seen a single frame of the bastard. With the Seventh and Eighth, it was more the new guy was being introduced rather than the old guy snuffing it... and they get their own audios too, remember. So. Yeah. Bummer.
And so I'll say now that DT hasn't played the Doctor the way I expected. Or, to a degree, wanted. He didn't have his blue eyes from Casanova or rumpled clothes of Blackpool or his Scottish accent from Taking Over The Asylum. He didn't wear the right outfit, act in the right way, speak the right words or do the right things or fulfill Dalek Empire wank fantasies. And he didn't say "Jings!" half as much as he should have.
And good for him!
Fuck man, had us fans had our way with Doctors, it would be an endless collage of Terrance Dicks Jon Pertwee substitutes in frilly shirts from Tom Baker onwards! DT did it his way, and bugger the audience as he went from arrogant god to battered fighter to someone who could at least look his reflection in the eye. And that's more than most Doctors get. On telly anyway.
FULL FIST, DAVID TENNANT!
WHAT THOSE OTHER LOSERS THOUGHT -
My Mum: Oh well, it had to happen sometimes. He's been around a lot longer than the last one.
(See, that's why I love her.)
Outpost Gallifrey: a massive unified chanting of of "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry" for 24 hours.
Eye of Horus: Mmm. Huh? What? What's going on? Is something happening? Why are we on a traffic island?
Alan Stevens: Bah! Tennant can't take the pace! Hartnell could! Did you know Jon Pertwee died in 1968, two years before he actually adopted the role? Anyway, the new Doctor must be Russ Abbot from the latest Sarah Jane Adventure, which I hate by the way because it seems to be something for kids. I would normally say 'Richard Briers' or 'Roger Lloyd-Pack', but I'm so hip and cool and funky and on the pulse, I'll say Russ Abbot. Aren't I clever? Go on, say you're impressed. Go on. Seriously. Tell me you're impressed. Fuck you, then.
Sparacus: What?! What's going on? Lee Williams would be good? Why is everyone asking me? What's happened? Why are we on a traffic Island?
Nigel Verkoff: You think if any sane man was given the choice between sexing Georgia Moffat 24/7 and doing a series of Doctor Who you'd even catch a glimpse of the police box. Dude, you're whacked. As for the next Doctor? I dunno. Colin Salmon, maybe. It'd stop those lameass B7 audios at the very least...
Dave Restal: Bullshit. Denis Lawson from Jekyll. Don't lie to me. He'd fricken rock.
Andrew Beeblebrox: I don't care, as long as Tennant bumps into the Brigadier before the bitter end.
Eve Markson: Oh well, there's still the other Tenth Doctor bonking Rose. I mean, he's got a sweet deal to come back. Or even have his own spin off. What a wonderful world we live in.
Nicholas Briggs: MY HOUR HAS COME! MY APOTHEOSIS IS NIGH!!!!
Jared "No Nickname" Hansen: I called shutgun, you toothbrush-wielding bald loon!
Sparacus (again): Yes, I saw this the other night at the award ceremony. I'm not surprised he wants to move on - he obviously has itchy feet having starred in Hamlet etc. If I were in Stephen Moffatt's position, the role of the Doctor would be offered to Harry Lloyd if I wanter=d a young actor or Stephen Fry if I wanted an older one. Both are superb actors and the Doctor needs to be more of an English eccentric than either Eccleston or Tennant. The last thing we need is another 'everyman' Doctor. I think Lloyd has the gravitas to the play the role. He has always struck me as a serious young man when interviewed. I think if he played the part 'straight' as Jon Pertwee did then he'd be fine as a younger Doctor. Having said all of this, my absolute dream choice for the role would be either David Bowie or Morrissey. However obviously neither would accept it, both having musical careers. But both are perfect. A black doctor would be fine providing that the actor was the best one for the role. Obviously the Timelords can regenerate into non-caucasion bodies as there have been black actors playing them in some episodes.
Mad Larry the Pirate King: David Tennant was sacked because he was part of the Ross/Brand scandal... and if not, why not? I hate you all. Why are we on a traffic island?
Me: Maybe I should wait 24 hours or something for people to actually react to this breaking news. [long pause] Ah, fuck em.
In conclusion, a vid of The Doug Anthony Allstars somehow managing to sum up my entire emotional state with their usual... batshit insanity.
TIM: And now, a message to all the young and beautiful and the wealthy Doctor Who fans out there, who know now that with Doctor Eleven on the horizon, they're bound to run out of regenerations and have to axe the entire series within the next few years. Just one question: what on earth are you doing? Turn off your televisions and kill yourselves!
PAUL: Yeah, go on, end it all now. You know you want to. Go on. Kill yourselves now. Better in the long run. Go on.
RICHARD: Go on. Come on. Put the remotes down. End it all. That's it. Do as you're told.
TIM: One, two, three...
ALL: KILL YOURSELVES!
TIM: Well. I think they're all dead.
RICHARD: Every last one.
PAUL: Well, eh?
ALL: ...what a pack of wankers!
(They shake hands on a job well done and begin to sing "Heard It Through The Grapevine" in honor of discovering Tennant quit through a friend of a friend of theirs... probably Flacco...)