David Tennant stars into the unknowable future of laser light shows
Despite the ominous title, there is nothing too dramatic to say in this post about the new Doctor Who series as it enters its sixth year (5th series) on the air.
There are some rumblings about a Doctor Who feature film coming out soon.
The Legacy of the Doctor Who Movie
While there were two motion pictures back in the 1960′s starring Peter Cushing (almost direct adaptations of Terry Nation’s Daleks and Dalek Invasion of Earth serials), this could be the first film presence the program has had ever since. There may be some fans out there who recall that there was a brief plan to release a feature film back in 1977 with Tom Baker in the role but a certain film called Star Wars killed that idea. The story goes that series producer Philip Hinchcliffe sat in the audience and after the opening sequence turned to a friend and said, ‘Well… there goes that idea.’ I’m not exactly certain that Doctor Who belongs on the silver screen at all and think that it works best as a serial, bit we’ll have to wait and see.
The Doctor Who movie was apparently part of the contract that Tennant demanded the BBC sign off on and their reluctance to pay him more money for a fifth year and feature film led to him leaving the program.
All rumor, and we’ll probably never really know.
Announcement in San Diego
With Russel T Davies and David Tennant appearing at the San Diego Comic Con this year, there is rumored to be a formal announcement on the project. It is still unclear if the movie would star Tennant or the still unrevealed 11th Doctor, Matt Smith.
New Doctor Who animated series confirmed
With a second animated series on its way as well Tennant could be the most active post-TV series Doctor since Paul McGann!
Two friends on hand to see Doctor #10 off
And this image surfaced from the aforementioned upcoming two-part series finale that just finished filming.
I’m inserting this break to protect anyone who wishes to remain in the dark… but it’s a pretty big reveal.
After all the anxiety and nail-biting, it turns out that the next actor to play the 900+ year old Timelord is unknown actor Matt Smith. Since my best mate is an actor, I feel awkward saying any actor is an unknown. It must come as an insult, surely. ‘Unknown??’ they must cry, ‘Go to the theatre! I’m there!!’ In any case, he’s not unknown anymore, is he?
Relatively unknown on television (aside from a few key performances, two of which were opposite former companion Billie Piper), Smith has a background from the stage which is something the new series is lacking. Not to get into a debate or anything, but I felt that there was a definite shift in tone when the program moved away from theatrical actors and embraced television personalities. I’m hoping Smith’s acting chops are more varied than Tennant’s and that he will bring a new quality to the part.
The 26 year-old actor will be the youngest ever to play the Doctor (unless you count the many fan films on youtube filmed in garden sheds). This will worry everyone and rightly so. Ever since the casting of 35 year old David Tennant, fans have wondered how young the part was going to go. Incoming series producer Steven Moffat was quoted as saying that he wanted to cast an older actor, possibly in his 40′s (something his predecessor Russell T Davies was dead against) and surprised himself with choosing Smith.
“The Doctor is a very special part, and it takes a very special actor to play him. You need to be old and young at the same time, a boffin and an action hero, a cheeky schoolboy and the wise old man of the universe,” Moffat stated. “As soon as Matt walked through the door, and blew us away with a bold and brand new take on the Time Lord, we knew we had our man.”
It’s completely unfair to have any real judgment on Matt Smith in the part as we have no real basis for it. Everyone will have their gut reactions which are valid, though. In a candid and modest interview, Smith revealed how he feels to be taking up the mantle of the most revered part in UK TV drama.
POSITIVE: While I was genuinely shocked to see the part going to someone I’ve never heard of (aside from the odd off-center rumor of his hat being in the ring), after hearing his voice and seeing him speak, I cannot help but to warm to him. He is obviously not a fan which many will see a detriment but I am convinced is a great boon. If he’s not a fan, he’ll be approaching it as an actor, not a geek. Sorry, but I shouldn’t be aware of how happy the actor playing the part is to be in the program. Smith seems full of energy and enthusiasm for the role and with Moffat in the driving seat, there should be nothing but great tales in store.
NEGATIVE: The too-quoiffed hair and lack of life experience and professional experience do not appeal to me at all. I’m about done with a Doctor swimming in hair product, thank you. And why was an unknown cast? Was Matt Smith cast simply so Moffat could steer an inexperienced actor who will surely be overwhelmed in the part? Rumor is that Paterson Joseph actually was cast and attended a photo shoot but the choice was shot down by the BBC. Is this young ‘pretty boy’ Doctor just to appease fans of Tennant by maintaining the status quot?
In any case, we have a long wait ahead of us that will culminate in seeing Smith’s face on everything from pencil cases to action figures so the decision has been made. Will he imitate previous Doctors as Tennant has with Tom Baker? Will he retain the obsession with pop culture? The sonic screwdriver used as a gun pointed at the audience in endless marketing material? Or will he (shock) be something very new in this series?
I cannot wait to see.
Matt Smith debuts as the Eleventh Doctor in Spring of 2010.
As reported in the ComicBookResources.com column ‘Lying in the Gutters,’ the recent announcement of David Tennant from his starring role in the hit BBC series Doctor Who is more of a surprise than anyone thought. Allegedly, actor Tennant was negotiating for two more years, a feature film and a filler year of ‘specials’ a la what we will see in 2009. In addition, the 37 year old actor wanted a raise despite the fact that he is the highest paid actor in the BBC at the moment.
What balls, eh?
It’s certainly not the first time an actor playing the title role of the Doctor took the program to task and demanded more money, but this is pretty rich. If Tennant had stepped up his game as I had hoped he would last year, it would be one thing but if anything the actor seemed cockier than normal and delivered the same screeching voice and bug-out eye performances week after week. I cannot imagine how Hamlet sounds spat out through his gritted teeth.
In any case, the scramble for Doctor #11 is on. This could very well be one of the last actors to play the part as it has been stated numerous times the Doctor has thirteen lives before his very real death arrives.
Let’s take a look at the contenders:
Hustle and Flow star Marc Warren has a certain cuteness that would assure the program would not lose it’s tween audience. An actor familiar with both fantasy and drama, Warren could do well… if not for the fact that he has already been in one of the worst episodes of Doctor Who ever, Love & Monsters.
That said, he delivered a decent performance, but his face reminds me of deep emotional scarring.
Son of Doctor #3 Jon Pertwee, Sean Pertwee is an actor with definite presence and a decent range to boot. Primarily a film actor, Pertwee worked on the RSC (Royal Shakespearean Company) alongside Ewan McGregor and Jude Law. He has worked with director Neil Marshall in Dog Soldiers and the tragedy that is Doomsday.
I like Sean Pertwee a lot and get a warm feeling thinking of him walking in his father’s footsteps. He definitely has a more ‘butch’ side to him that has been absent from the part for ages now. Yet he is relatively unknown, making him a pretty unsafe bet for the part.
58 year-old Bill Nighy may be a familiar name with Whovians seeing as how he was announced as Doctor #9 in 2005 by mistake. Apparently he was producer Russell T Davies‘ choice and something went south somewhere along the way. A perfect blend of stage and screen experience (including Slartibartfarst in Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) has shown he can do just about anything. He’s prime material to play the Doctor.
Personally I think we are due for an older Doctor, but given that the program currently dances to the tune that the Doctor is a hottie, I cannot see Nighy in the role.
It’s a shame as he reminds me in part of the first Doctor William Hartnell.
The current popular pick is Paterson Joseph (whom I have already gushed over on an earlier post). An RSC man not above the odd comedic part or science fiction, Joseph also has a sparkling personality and purring voice. Having starred in Green Wing, Hyperdrive, and Peep Show (all great TV programs), the actor’s face is a familiar one to Britain and currently has 3-1 odds to grab the part.
My head nearly exploded when I read that ‘actress’ Billie Piper is a contender for the part as well. After serving in two seasons of Doctor Who as Rose Tyler, Piper almost completely took over the program without even being in it. For some reason head writer Davies thought it would be a good idea to remind viewers that she is the Doctor‘s ‘true love’ week after week.
Despite the fact that this was a truly awful idea, it ran through seasons three and four, culminating in a teary-eyed love affair with a clone of the Doctor who is capable of loving her (wink wink). Given that Piper has already derailed the direction of the program for years, I would be both shocked and depressed to learn that she was the top choice for the first female Doctor. In addition to the sour taste her character has left, she is also sorely lacking as an actress and sounds as if she has had some very dodgy facial surgery done, making her almost completely indecipherable.
Whoever we get, he or she will have a bigger mess to clean up than the next American President.
With a recent announcement that David Tennant is officially leaving Doctor Who, the speculation on who will replace the popular actor has begun in full force.
For those playing at home, Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction program following the adventures of a renegade time lord across time and space as he battles all manner of monsters and baddies bent on world domination or even the domination of a high rise apartment building in space. The title role was initially played by veteran character actor William Hartnell as a kind of anti-hero who warmed to the viewers, becoming a kindly grandfather to the children of the UK as the program’s viewing figures grew. Since then several actors have played the role on the TV and film screens as well as the stage. Each actor has had varied levels of popularity before taking on the part, most famously the former laborer Tom Baker who is still regarded as THE DOCTOR. An innovative and imaginative program that struggled with budget and time constraints, the series wavered in the 1980′s before finally being canceled in 1989.
In 2005, TV Producer Russel T Davies revamped the program into a kind of mixture of its former self and a pantomime/situation drama more similar to a soap opera than a sci-fi show. While the press has boasted high viewing figures, they have rarely eclipsed the most modest of figures garnered by the classic series. Nevertheless, this new Doctor Who has developed its own cult following and with the departure of both Davies and star Tennant, the fans and press are chomping at the bit for news as to what will come next.
In the past, various actors have been favored to play the role of the eccentric Doctor; from Jennifer Saunders to Robert Carlysle or Paterson Joseph and even David Morrissey who will co-start with Tennnant in his next holiday-themed adventure ‘The Next Doctor.’
Fans are also excited about how Doctor #10 will expire. Anything from radiation poisoning to a bump on the head is possible given the history of regenerations in the TV program’s past. Knowing Davies’ love of flamboyant and over-the-top garishness, it is difficult to tell if his quote below is in jest or not.
He told crowds of waiting children at the exhibition: “A piano falls on his head, an elephant is going to kick him under a bus and then he’ll fall under a steam roller.
“His mother will come back from the dead to poison him.”
Regeneration stories are almost always classics, in my opinion the last really great one being Peter Davison’s Caves of Androzani, a story that saw the noble Doctor sacrifice himself to save his companion’s life. Each time a Doctor is on his way out, I have to admit that I recall the first time I heard Davison mutter, ‘Is this death?’ before the series changed forever I got a little shiver.
It’s these big event stories that really stick with you. I’m excited that another one is on its way.
David Tennant, best known for his portrayal of the enigmatic time traveling adventurer Doctor Who, may be leaving the part next year according to co-star Catherine Tate. In her Radio 2 appearance with Jonathan Ross, Tate let it slip that she thought David may leave after the 2008 Christmas Special following the fourth season of the successful sci-fi series.
Actor Tennant was quick to dispel the statement, saying that Tate spoke out of turn. He played the entire event up as a joke, saying
“Catherine Tate stitched me up good and proper. She goes on Jonathan Ross and makes up a load of old nonsense,” he said.
“Unbeknownst to me, wshe thinks I’ve made a decision – she’d clearly had too much coffee that morning.
“She said I was leaving, which was a decision I haven’t made yet. Maybe she’s made it for me, but I’m going to keep people guessing for as long as possible.
“I’m doing four more specials and beyond that no one’s asked me to make any decisions and I’m quite happy to be enigmatic for as long as possible.”
In a related story on the same day, actress Jennifer Saunders has been rumored as the first female version of the Doctor in it’s 40+ years on TV. Best known for her character Edina in the series Absolutely Fabulous, Saunders is a veteran entertainer from the hey dey of Channel Four‘s amazing short film series ‘The Comic Strip Presents.’ The idea of a female Doctor has been in play since actor Peter Davison announced that he was leaving in 1983 and then producer John Nathan Turner humored the idea.
Honestly, if anyone can do it, Saunders stands a very good chance of portraying the most colorful character in British TV.