Doctor Who Profile: The Tenth Doctor

David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor

David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor

The Tenth Doctor

Portrayed by: David Tennant

Companion(s): Rose Tyler, Mickey Smith, Martha Jones, Captain Jack Harkness, Donna Noble, Sarah Jane Smith

Tenure: 36 stories (46 episodes), from “The Christmas Invasion” (Dec, 2005) to “The End of Time” (Jan, 2010)

Signature look: Dark brown skinny suit with blue pinstripes or vice versa, trainers, glasses, long billowing coat, and highly zhuzh-ed  hair

Catchphrase: He has several. The most common are, “Allons-y”, “Well…”, and “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry”

Personality: The Tenth Doctor is one of the more human Doctors. He’s warm, funny, and rather emotional. He can be incredibly short-sighted and dense when it comes to his Companions’ feelings, but he for the most part is highly emotionally intuitive. Still recovering from the Time War, a wrathful anger lurks beneath his friendly façade, but it very rarely comes out. This Doctor is very energetic, finding it difficult to sit still under normal circumstances, and he talks a mile a minute, a distinct contrast from the Ninth Doctor.

Best TARDIS team: Everyone, “Journey’s End” (Best Companion singular is Donna)

Worst TARDIS team: Most of his one-off Gap Year Special “Companions” (who are actually allies, as they don’t bridge multiple stories)

Signature foe: The Daleks and Davros

Best Stories: There are a lot to pick from. “Midnight” stands out as a Doctor-centric story, as does “Blink”, “The Impossible Planet”/”The Satan Pit”, “Human Nature”/”The Family of Blood”, and “Silence in the Library”/”Forest of the Dead”.

Worst Stories: “The End of Time” manages to just edge out “Daleks in Manhattan”/”Evolution of the Daleks”, which is saying something, because other than the Doctors’ few scenes with Wilf, “The End of Time” is utterly terrible.

Highlights of tenure: Opening swordfight in “The Christmas Invasion”, which is a great introduction to the character, being shaken to his core by the events of “Midnight”, his friendship with Donna over her tenure, and his emotional final moments

Lowlights of tenure: Hobbit Ten followed by Floaty Jesus Ten in “Last of the Time Lords” and of course, Time Lords as Jedis in “The End of Time”

Regeneration/First Words: After having taken the Time Vortex into his body to save Rose, the Ninth Doctor regenerates. The Tenth Doctor’s first words continue a thought first expressed by the Ninth Doctor, “Hello!  Okay–ooh.  New teeth. That’s weird. So, where was I? Oh, that’s right. Barcelona!”

Death/Final Words: After dousing himself in toxic radiation to save Wilf, the Tenth Doctor slowly dies of radiation poisoning. This slow demise allows him the time to check in on each of his Companions. His final words are, “I don’t want to go!”

Memorable quotes:

– “Don’t you think she looks tired?”  “The Christmas Invasion”

– “Don’t blink. Don’t even blink. Blink and you’re dead. They are fast. Faster than you can believe. Don’t turn your back, don’t look away, and don’t blink!” “Blink”

– “I’m the Doctor. I’m a Time Lord. I’m from the planet Gallifrey in the Constellation of Kasterborous. I’m 903 years old and I’m the man who is gonna save your lives and all 6 billion people on the planet below. You got a problem with that?”  “Voyage of the Damned”

Adelaide: “State your name, rank, and intention.”
The Doctor: “The Doctor, Doctor, fun.”  “The Waters of Mars”

Other notes: The Tenth Doctor is the most popular Doctor of the modern series and he consistently vies with the Fourth Doctor in polls of fans’ favorite Doctor of all time. After the Ninth Doctor set the darker, more introspective tone of the revival, the Tenth Doctor was an exuberant breath of fresh air and the series took off once again during his run, becoming just as, if not even more, popular than it was in its Classic series heyday.




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