“I don’t want to go”
The final words of both David Tennant’s Doctor and of Head Writer Russell T Davies. Tennant for me is the best Doctor…ever – yet. His combination of all the best bits of the previous incarnations were topped off with a brilliant cherry of the most charismatic Doctor to date. This was a goodbye to everything that had happened in the first five years of the comeback – the Doctor, many of the writers and directors, the Executive Producers, the companions and the threads of the Whoniverse we had come to know and love. There hadn’t really been a clean-cut like this before where everything changed and maybe that’s why Matt and Steven struggled at points.
This was Russell the fan boy giving us Who turned up to eleven, but there was still time for twists, turns, great writing and a sad ending. Bringing John Simm back as the Master was clever as it was a Timelord reunion with Gallifrey pulling through time to reconnect with the Universe they had been timelocked out of. The special effects were huge, the scale of the story was massive – but what made the show all the way through Davies’s reign was still here: character. In this case it was Wilf, played by the god of children’s TV Bernard Cribbins, who was the companion and a better choice couldn’t have been made. he is a great actor – highly underused and underrated – and his compassion and love for the Doctor shone through. The quiet moments the two of them shared were beautifully written and performed.
But most of all this was all about Tennant. He had started to break international ground like never before, had a huge female audience (for some unknown reason 😉 ) following his antics and had kids falling in love with the show their parents and grandparents had adored. His goodbye at the end was prompted by the four knocks – but not the four of the Master as we all expected. After all the action we were left with the Doctor somehow still alive and Wilf trapped in a radiation unit. The four knocks came and our hearts melted as we and the Doctor realised what had been meant by the psychic’s waning “He will knock four times.” I actually felt my heart drop when it happened. But if the Tenth had to sacrifice himself for anyone it had to be Wilf.
I don’t think there has been a better actor to play the role – Capaldi will push him hard though – and also I doubt for many there will be one loved as much. And this left Moffat and Smith with a huge issue. How do you follow that? In the same way as every Doctor does, you make the role yours and drive it forward with the best of the past and the personal twist. At times the show may have lost its way but remember that Tennant’s time wasn’t without its poorer episodes. This was goodbye to the man who made me excited again for a dose of Doctor Who on a Saturday night.
Thank You David.