Over a dozen actors have played The Doctor across the last 54 years, but only a few are truly synonymous with the show itself. Tom Baker was the iconic classic Doctor, but what abiyt the post-2005 revival? One particular name is likely to spring to mind… and guess what? Today’s his birthday!
It’s David Tennant’s special day, and what an impact he had on the world of Doctor Who. The Scottish actor previously enjoyed success in Russell T Davies’ Casanova, as Barty Crouch Jr in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and from Royal Shakespeare Company productions. In his earliest big screen appearance, he even shared a scene with soon-to-be Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston. But, if Eccleston’s Doctor caught the public’s attention, Tennant’s helped to turn the show into an absolute global phenomenon.
David joined Doctor Who at the end of The Parting of the Ways. He later made his full debut in the 2005 Christmas special, The Christmas Invasion. With his geek chic look and a suave, fast-talking persona, The Tenth Doctor became an instant hit with fans. To this day he is regularly voted as one of the greatest Doctors of all time. Tennant’s era ran from 2005-2010, encompassing many adventures along the way. He reunited with Sarah Jane Smith and K-9, fought the laws of time, and shared a tearful goodbye to companion Rose Tyler. Throughout David’s tenure, he met many friends like Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Captain Jack Harkness. He also faced many foes – Daleks, Cybermen, The Master, Time Lords, and Weeping Angels to name a few. He was even the first Doctor to regenerate twice on screen, thanks to a “handy” healing process in The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End. This cliffhanger twist had the whole nation on a knife edge for a whole week! The Tenth Doctor finally bowed out in The End of Time after sacrificing himself to save Wilfred Mott from deadly radiation.
“Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It’s not the time that matters. It’s the person.”
The joys of playing The Doctor wouldn’t stop there for David though. He appeared in spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures and was invited back for The Day of the Doctor alongside Matt Smith and John Hurt. The role even led him to romance, as he married Georgia Moffett. Not only was she the on-screen Doctor’s daughter, but also the real-life Fifth Doctor’s daughter!
Since leaving the show in 2010, Tennant has appeared in the hugely successful ITV drama Broadchurch and its American counterpart Gracepoint. Both series were written by incoming Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall. He also landed the role of Kilgrave in Marvel’s Jessica Jones Netflix series. For hungry Who fans though there are still new Tenth Doctor novels and Big Finish audio stories. We just can’t get enough of David Tennant!
Join us in wishing David a wonderful 46th birthday today. Wrap a tie around your head and remember to always take a banana to a party – it’s time to celebrate! Allons-y!