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Doctor Who - The Tenth Doctor

Updated on August 21, 2015

The Tenth Doctor Who

Perhaps the best-loved and most recognisable Doctor since Tom Baker's famous Fourth, the Tenth Doctor has proven that the success of Series One was not a fluke. In fact, if anything, the young and handsome Doctor has brought in fans from all across the spectrum. NOTABLY - Women! In droves. And not just for his good looks - for the first time this Doctor saw a serious amount of romance!

(c) BBC
(c) BBC

David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor

David Tennant, like most children born in 1960s and 1970s Scotland, a big fan of Doctor Who as a child. In interviews, he has called the Fifth Doctor “my Doctor,” because he was the first one Tennant really remembered, a sentiment his character echoes in the Children in Need special short, “Time Crash.”

Working since school as a gigging actor in television, film and stage, his ultimate goal of someday becoming the Doctor – the role that led him to acting – remained. Acting professionally since the late 1980s, he landed several television roles in the early 'aughts. By the mid-'aughts, Tennant was a well-respected lead actor who got the attention of Russell Davies, most notably in the 2005 production of Casanova that had Tennant portraying the title role.

Clearly enjoying the role of the Doctor, he's also taken on prominent stage roles such as Hamlet, which was interrupted by a back injury. He has also appeared on numerous celebrity shows and variety shows such as “The Friday Night Project.” With fellow co-stars, he also has appeared as the Doctor in several celebrity appearances.

In late 2008, he officially announced he'd be leaving the show to pursue other roles after appearing in an abbreviated 2009 season of four specials.

Dr Who and Rose
Dr Who and Rose
Doctor Who and Mickey Smith
Doctor Who and Mickey Smith
Doctor Who and Martha Jones
Doctor Who and Martha Jones

How does David Tennant play the Tenth Doctor?

This incarnation of the Doctor is wildly enthusiastic about many things, but he is also capable of supreme sorrow and regret. It is this mix of emotions and the wide range of acting skills that David Tennant has that has resulted in him becoming the most popular Doctor in some polls.

The Tenth Doctor is the first to be seen actually becoming romantically involved with one of his companions, Rose. He loves the adventure of his life and feels like a very necessary part of the Universe. Making good use of his trademark trainers, he does a great deal of running, as many of his predecessors before him.

What is the most recognisable trademark of the Tenth Doctor?

This Doctor chooses to dress in suits most of the time, with a smart, long, brown raincoat, on occasion.  This is in contrast to his trademark white trainers.  He is also seen to take out a chunky square pair of glasses whenever he wants to look smart.

Who are the Tenth Doctor’s assistants?

Rose, who was the primary companion of the Ninth Doctor continues with the Tenth until she is lost in an alternate Universe in the episode “Doomsday.” She returns at the beginning of Series Four, making small cameo appearances throughout the season, until finally returning as a character for the final three episodes, beginning with “Left Turn.” Several other characters make a return at the end of Series Four, in something of a reunion serial.

The whole Rose Tyler - The Doctor story arc is one of the BBC's greatest masterpieces, and brought in a whole new audience. For the first time, although we are never TOTALLY sure, we are pretty certain that the Doctor has lost at least one of his hearts to a human. The wait to hear him say (or not say - I won't spoil the suspense) those agonizing three little words "I Love You" to Rose was a cliffhanger of epic proportions. For the first time perhaps, we saw a Doctor that not only had a wide FEMALE audience but that also had a genuine and real almost-romance on screen! And not just with Rose - he's also apparently had a relationship somewhere in time and space with Captain Jack Harkness! Ooh the Doctor grew up at last! Or did he...?

Yeah we all know he's been kissed before, but never did we see this edge of the seat will-he-or-won't-he before. The romance that started with the Ninth Doctor, Christopher Ecclestone, blooms into full blown glory with Tennant. SERIOUSLY the entire epic almost romance with Rose Tyler that had women all over the world sitting on the edge of their seats on Saturday nights really was very heartwrenching. Poignant in places. I'll even admit to crying buckets at the end. The real end, that is. Or was it..... Cleverly, the BBC left the door if not open, at least a teeny bit ajar for Rose to one day return if the time was right...

The Doctor and Rose Tyler
The Doctor and Rose Tyler
Donna Noble
Donna Noble

Mickey also travels with the Tenth Doctor for awhile, until he meets himself in the parallel universe and decides to stay behind.  It is clear that Rose is no longer interested in him as she once was, and the realization is painful for him – it's hard to compete with a 900-something year-old Time Lord.

Martha Jones is a young medical resident who joins him after he saves her hospital in “Smith and Jones.” She travels with him throughout Series Three, while she develops an unrequited crush on the Doctor who continues to hold a torch for Rose. Like Jack, she leaves to get on with her life, eventually becoming engaged to a fellow doctor, and working for UNIT and Torchwood.

Rose Tyler
Rose Tyler

The loud-mouthed temp worker from the 2006 Christmas Special, “The Runaway Bride,” Donna Noble, goes on a search to find the Doctor before becoming his companion for Series Four.  After becoming a much improved person as a result of her travels and, even becoming part Time Lord for awhile, she is returned to her old life with no memories of him, lest she go mad.


Which main enemies does he face?

The Daleks make a return, as do the Cybermen – and they join forces in “Doomsday”, when Rose departs.  The Sycorax also created havoc on Christmas Day in 2005, for the Tenth Doctor’s first full story, most of which he spent wearing pyjamas.

The Sontarans, make another appearance, in an attempt to take over Earth and turn it into a clone-generation planet.  The Master is found to be hiding in a human form at the end of the Universe, and becomes a world transformative power when he sets about on a vendetta to destroy the Earth and enslave humans with the help of the formerly human, now cyborg, Toclafane.

Cassandra and her Surgeons
Cassandra and her Surgeons
The Wire
The Wire
Empress of Racnoss
Empress of Racnoss
The Weeping Angels
The Weeping Angels
(c) BBC  Family of Blood
(c) BBC Family of Blood

Other adversarial characters, families and races include Isolus, the Sycorax, Cassandra, the Wire, Abzorbaloff, the Empress of Racnoss, a Plasmavore, Carrionites, Professor Lazarus, the weeping angels, the Family of Blood, Max Capricorn, Matron Cofelia, Pyrovile, Klineman Halpen, a half-Vespiform man, the Vashta Nerada, the mysterious Midnight entity and an un-named and giant time beetle.  Several more are sure to be added in the 2009 special season before the Tenth Doctor regenerates.

What technology does he rely on?

The trusty sonic screwdriver is still very much in evidence.  We see an advanced model carried by Professor River Song who contacts him on the psychic paper and bringing him to The Library in the two-part serial “Silence in the Library” and “Forests of the Dead.”

Among one of the odder items of technology that comes in surprisingly handy is his own hand, lopped off in “The Christmas Invasion,” and stored in a jar.  While Captain Jack also uses it, the Doctor takes it back from him in “Utopia".

While stuck in the 1960s and trying to communicate with Sally Sparrow in the 'aughts, he builds a “timey-wimey” indicator out of spare parts in the story, “Blink".

The Doctor's tenth regeneration

He was replaced with an Eleventh Doctor, played by the young actor, Matt Smith, in a full-length Series 5 in 2010.

Filmograpy of the Tenth Doctor

Christmas Special – 2005

  • The Christmas Invasion – While the Doctor is having yet another difficult regeneration, Earth is under attack.

Series 2 - 2006

  • New Earth – In the incredible medical facilities on New Earth, several billion years in the future, the sister cats are keeping a gruesome secret.
  • Tooth and Claw – The TARDIS touches down near Queen Victoria's carriage as she travels through Scotland, where finds the Royal Residence has been having some odd problems.
  • School Reunion – Something odd brings the Doctor to teach at an unusual school where the children are being prepared for something other than University.
  • The Girl in the Fireplace – A deserted ship in the 51st century has a strange connection to Madame De Pompadour in 18th century France.
  • Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel – A chance anomaly has forced the TARDIS down in an alternate London, where Rose's father is alive and wealthy and the Cybermen are about to be born.
  • The Idiot's Lantern - People buying televisions in 1950s London are getting something extra that is taking a sinister toll.
  • The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit – On a unique and terrible planet, an ancient evil is waiting to be reborn and escape the pit it's been imprisoned in.
  • Love & Monsters – A man who seems to keep having his life upturned by the Doctor's actions founds a group to find him, but they're not the only ones who want to find the famous Time Lord.
  • Fear Her – A young girl who likes to draw seems to have something to do with mysterious disappearances.
  • Army of Ghosts / Doomsday – The appearance of what the people of Earth believe are ghosts herald the coming of something far more insidious.

Christmas Special - 2006

  • The Runaway Bride – Something isn't right about a wedding that the Doctor accidentally crashes, and it might just be the giant spider trying to breed under London.

Series 3 - 2007

  • Smith and Jones – A hospital is taken to the Moon and the Doctor strives to save everyone.
  • The Shakespeare Code – There's more than cheap grog at work when William Shakespeare attempts to write a sequel to “Love's Labours Lost,” in a single night of uncommonly inspired work.
  • Gridlock – New Earth is now home to a never-ending traffic jam and persistent questions about what happened to everyone.
  • Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks – The surviving Daleks have gone a bit around the bend and believe they need to incorporate humanity into themselves if they have a hope of conquering it.
  • The Lazarus Experiment – Professor Lazarus is conducting clumsy time experiments to become youthful again, but the process has one minor drawback.
  • 42 – In response to a distress signal, the Doctor and Martha become part of a gruelling race for time to prevent the ship from destruction, as some force seems to want.
  • Human Nature / The Family of Blood – Chased by ruthless hunters, the Doctor hides in a human body with human consciousness, and we find he makes a very different man than a Time Lord.
  • Blink – An old house in the woods holds impossible messages and dangers for a young photographer and her friend.
  • Utopia / The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords – At the end of the Universe, a small band of humans seeks to beat entropy, but it takes the rebirth of the Master as their leader that they come quite unhinged and threaten contemporary Earth, as well as the Doctor himself.

Christmas Special - 2007

  • Voyage of the Damned – A replica of the Titanic is, not surprisingly, headed for a disaster and the Doctor is on board.

Series 4 - 2008

  • Partners in Crime – Donna spends a year looking for the Doctor and is in terrible peril when she does find him also investigating a new weight loss plan.

  • The Fires of Pompeii – The Doctor and Donna arrive in Pompeii the day before the volcano is to go off, but there may be more than seismic activity at work here.

  • Planet of the Ood – A telepathic race with a shared mind is being exploited as slaves, but a mysterious new illness may hold the key to their emancipation.

  • The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky – A new device that collects all the exhaust from autos suddenly backfires and threatens to suffocate the Earth, but this is only the opening salvo in an operation that brings the Doctor face-to-face with an old enemy.

  • The Doctor's Daughter – A young woman is generated from the Doctor and she entreats them to join in the war she's been “programmed” to fight.

  • The Unicorn and the Wasp – A Jazz Age garden party turns into a murder investigation led by none other than Agatha Christie.

  • Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead – A mysterious message brings the Doctor to the Library planet, but everyone is dead and the new arrivals keep dying, too.

  • Midnight – A pleasure cruise on a uniquely hostile world leads to some force entering both the capsule and the passengers who argue bitterly about how to handle the situation.

  • Turn Left – A fortune-teller makes wishes real by encouraging Donna to never meet the Doctor, and history unravels until an old companion steps in to set things right.

  • The Stolen Earth/Journey's End – Who else but the Daleks would even consider blowing up the whole of creation, and they steal 27 planets (including Earth) to make it happen.

Christmas Special - 2008

  • The Next Doctor – Another man with a sonic screwdriver is calling himself The Doctor in Victorian London and with the help of a local, they meet an invading force of Cybermen.

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