Doctor Who Alum David Tennant Addresses Rumors Of His Return To The Franchise

Doctor Who recently released the trailer for Jodie Whittaker’s final adventure as The Doctor, and with its arrival came even more questions about her replacement. Rumors abound regarding which actor(s) could step into the role, with Whittaker and Chris Chibnall's exit paving the way for Russell T. Davies’ return, though few avenues of speculation could possible excite viewers more than the evergreen potential for David Tennant to return. When the always busy and always excellent actor directly and indirectly addressed the rumors of his possible franchise return, he gave fans something to think about. 

David Tennant took part in a Q&A panel at the Spring Edition of German Comic Con, and was obviously asked about the rumors saying he’ll reprise his role as The Doctor when Russell T. Davies returns. Tennant acknowledged he’s aware of such talk, and responded to it by saying that it's something he's been dealing with ever since he exited the role in the first place. In his words: 

I’ve been asked a version of this question for the last 20 years — [Laughs] — and I’ve learned through bitter experience that there’s not any point in even answering it because whatever I say is spun by whoever wants to hear it. So there’s no point in me denying it, there’s no point in me confirming it, there’s no point in me fudging it. Whatever I say will become whatever the Internet wants it to be. I mean, it would be quite a weird idea, and it’s not something you’d necessarily expect from Doctor Who. So, I’m not going to try and give you more than that because what’s the point!

The former Doctor Who was in a tough position with the question, and he knew it. Even so, David Tennant did about as good of a job as possible at not definitively revealing what’s in his future as far as any involvement he may have in Doctor Who's future. At the risk of spinning his words into something they’re not, I think we can just say that the verdict is still out on if he’ll return as The Doctor or if he'll be involved in the TV side of things in any other capacity. If nothing else, at least HBO Max subscribers can still check out his past live-action adventures, on top of all the audio dramas he's returned for.  

It’s worth mentioning that David Tennant reprising The Tenth Doctor would make sense, especially given Russell T. Davies’ return as showrunner syncs up with the upcoming 60th anniversary of the BBC series. Tennant appeared in the 50th anniversary alongside many other Doctor Who veterans, so it stands to reason he’d return for at least another special as well. 

It’s also worth mentioning that one specific rumor posits that Tennant will be just one of several familiar Doctors who could reappear once Russell T. Davies returns. Tennant, Peter Capaldi, Matt Smith, and even Christopher Eccleston will allegedly return to the franchise for a special. The Eccleston-ness of it all makes that one seem less likely than pretty much any other rumor about the BBC drama's future, but it's an unpredictable universe, with rumors even pointing to Hugh Grant taking the role, which he has already denied.

Other rumors allege Tennant will return not as Number Ten, but as the 14th Doctor, which seems to be what Tennant was hinting at as far as the rumors he's heard. That’s not a likely eventuality in my eyes, though I’m sure it’d excite fans only slightly less than the original Tenth returning. 

All in all, David Tennant possibly only sparked more questions with his roundabout answer, so we’ll just have to wait for some official announcement about what’s going on. Doctor Who is on a brief hiatus until Jodie Whittaker’s final episode in the fall on BBC America. Until then, keep an eye out for clues on who the next Doctor may be, or if David Tennant will finally break and reveal whether or not he’s returning. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

I like good television but also reality television. His day largely consists of balancing his workload between reporting on the latest and greatest news in Star Trek and other sci-fi, as well as 90 Day Fiancé, WWE, Big Brother, and more.