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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

David Tennant is leaving ‘Doctor Who’

It’s official. He made the announcement during the National Television Awards in Britain (you can watch the video of that announcement at the BBC), and then he talked about it some more here.

Tennant will appear in the four specials to air in 2009 — plus, of course, the Christmas special only two months away and already shot — but after that, he’s history.
I honestly cannot say I’m surprised. I would have been surprised, actually, to hear that he was going to stay on after 2009. I would be very surprised to hear that he hasn’t been inundated with offers from Hollywood movie studios and from American TV networks after the enormous splash that Doctor Who has made with him as its star… and of course there can be no doubt that he will have his pick of whatever British projects he wants, at least as long as he can demonstrate that it wasn’t just Doctor Who that made us love him.

And that won’t turn out to be case, of course — he may have made Doctor Who as special as it is in a way that few other actors could have done, but he has such a unique talent for capturing an audience’s sympathy that goes way beyond that. Cripes, he’s putting butts in seats for Hamlet, perhaps the most depressing play ever not written by Pinter. I kinda hope he doesn’t go the Hollywood route, or that if he does, he doesn’t let himself be compromised by it. I’m sure that if he does go Hollywood, however, that he will shortly be a household name in the U.S. the way that he already is in the U.K.

I won’t deny that I’m feeling myself go into a little geek-girl depression right now, though. But I went through the same thing after Tom Baker, and Peter Davison, and Christopher Eccleston… I’m sure I’ll survive. I may not want to survive, but I guess I will anyway.

Oh, and this does settle the question about how much my David Tennant-as-the-Doctor Doctor Who book will cover: it’ll be his whole tenure in the role. Maybe I can actually get it mostly written throughout 2009, and just plug in stuff about those fours specials at the last minute…

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