It’s July, but it already feels like Christmas is right around the corner. And instead of getting the fun holiday story that we’re used to, we’re instead going to get a great two-parter that will not only mark the end of David Tennant’s run on the show, but the beginning of a new era with Matt Smith in the iconic role and Steven Moffat as the showrunner.
While there might be a little trepidation to accepting a new actor in the role, Tennant says Smith deserves a fair shake in the role.
“You’ll watch the finale and then in a few weeks, you’ll think that Matt Smith is the best that’s ever been,” Tennant told attendees at a panel at San Diego Comic-Con. “Change is part of the show. I’m very proud to be a part of history, but I’m also proud that we’re handing it over in good health and that it carries on.”
The run has been a special one for Tennant, who leaves the role after three full seasons and a year of specials.
“Having grown up watching the show and being immersed in it, there are a bit of [the Doctors] all out there,” he said. “You have a responsibility of making this character new and no longer yours. And that’s how you watch. It’s not just James Bond or Tarzan. You need to break this down a little bit to make this a new man.”
Clips of both “Waters on Mars” and the Christmas special were shown to a cheering crowd. The finale featured Catherine Tate as Donna Noble and a blond John Simm identifying himself as The Master.
Tennant loved the clip so much he asked for it to be shown again, which he did.
“When [executive producer Russell T. Davies] said we were going to do this, he said that we were going to do blockbuster trailers,” said producer Julie Gardner. “That was an important word for Russell, ‘blockbuster.'”
And while the show is popular in the United States, it’s legendary in the United Kingdom, something even Tennant wasn’t totally ready to see firsthand.
“It can be overwhelming,” he said. “You go into a supermarket and your face is on a cake, on T-shirts, and children’s pants. It’s something they don’t prepare you for in drama school,” he said. “It’s difficult to get objective about it, hard to feel how important it is.
“But then we come here and show you that trailer, and hear all the great response, we love making the show so much.”
The “Doctor Who” special “Planet of the Dead” will air July 26 on BBC America. “Water on Mars” will be shown on BBC in the United Kingdom in October of November with the final Tennant episodes coming in time for Christmas.
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