David Tennant Makes Comparison To James Bond Fandom When Asked About Doctor Who Return

David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who
(Image credit: BBC)

David Tennant has easily been one of the most popular Doctors in the "new" incarnation of Doctor Who. When he left the series in 2010 after five years with the show, fans were understandably distraught. While he guest-starred in the 2013 fiftieth anniversary special and reprised the role for audio adventures, David Tennant has not appeared on the TV show since - although he hasn’t completely ruled out an encore. 

In an interview with Digital Spy, David Tennant was once again asked about his possible return to Doctor Who, which is a regular occurrence for the Scottish actor.  While he neither confirmed nor denied a return at some point, he did compare the opportunity, and the relentlessness of fan hopes, to another well-known British fave, the James Bond franchise. David Tennant revealed: 

It all depends. The moment you say yes to Doctor Who, even before you've done an episode, you're being asked whether you'd go back after you finish. I don't know if this happens to James Bonds. I don't know if Pierce Brosnan gets asked if he'd go back to James Bond. Because there's that element of fantasy, anything is ultimately possible. You should never say never to anything. I think that way madness lies.

It’s obviously difficult for previous Bonds to return for later films, given that there can only be one of them at any given time, and age is a factor for the action hero. However, considering the timey-wimey nature of the Doctor Who universe, the creative teams are definitely able to fashion returns for past actors and characters. It’s been done before with the aforementioned 50th anniversary special “The Day of the Doctor,” which featured the then-current Doctor Matt Smith as well as David Tennant and John Hurt as the War Doctor. And with the original reboot showrunner Russell T. Davies returning to the program, it’s entirely possible that he’ll find ways to bring back some of the actors he’d previously worked with. 

But whether Davies does or he doesn't, it's not going to stop Doctor Who fans from asking David Tennant about coming back. And he wonders if that's the kind of thing that James Bond actors also have to deal with, or if fans are aware that those kinds of returns just aren't as feasible in the non-sci-fi spy films. It's hard out there for a former Time Lord. 

While David Tennant hasn’t appeared onscreen as the Tenth Doctor in eight years now, he hasn’t entirely let the role go. Since his first season as the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant has narrated several Doctor Who audio stories. He also played the Tenth Doctor in a series of radio plays with Alex Kingston, who reprised her role as the Doctor’s mysterious wife River Song. 

Although it (presumably) doesn’t feature David Tennant, the upcoming thirteenth season of Doctor Who has plenty of excitement in store. Jodie Whittaker will return for her third and final season as the Thirteenth Doctor, along with Mandip Gill as companion Yasmin Khan. The series is subtitled Flux, the first season of Doctor Who to come with such a descriptor. While plot details are being kept under wraps, there’s sure to be an abundance of “timey-wimey wibbly wobbly stuff.” 

Doctor Who: Flux will premiere on October 31 on BBC America. The first 12 seasons of the revived Doctor Who are available to stream now on HBO Max. 

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