he FIRST regeneration of the NuWho era, it was still surreal that Doctor Who was back on our screens and that at any moment the people of upstairs at the Beeb would at any moment pull the plug on the show. Even though the idea of the Doctor regenerating wasn’t new, it felt like a brave move seeing a regeneration at the end of only one series. David Tennant made his debut of the Doctor on Christmas Day 2005.
After the defeat of the Daleks’ new Empire the Doctor suffers a fatal blow that has caused such a devastating effect to his body he has no choice but to regenerate and repair the damage caused from the space/time vortex, all thanks to a snotty nosed 19-year-old chav! Sorry Rose, I’m sure your intentions were honourable, being as the love of your life was to be killed thousands of years in the future.
Tennant’s era was a rollercoaster of emotion. Some would say he made his debut on Christmas Day, whilst others would say Children In Need, 2005. The mini-episode that takes place after the events of Parting of the Ways, and features the newly regenerated Time Lord and Rose on their way to Barcelona, not the city Barcelona, the planet Barcelona! However, the co-ordinates have been cancelled and the Doctor and Rose are heading back to the Tyler household for Christmas Day. The short episode is of the Rose slowly coming to terms with the Doctor changing his appearance before her eyes.
However, David Tennant’s first series would be the last time we’d see the Doctor and Rose running down corridors and righting the wrongs of the universe. Known to the younger audience members as Series Two. Tennant’s first series featured the return of the Cybermen and two Classic companions; Sarah Jane Smith and K-9. I was giddy as a school boy when they made their return and this wouldn’t be the last we’d see of them. With their return, it caused a great response with not only the old-school fans but the new generation, which made it a lot personal with the older generation and their kids/grandchildren.
Tennant’s era also featured an array of witty and charismatic companions. For me Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) was my favourite, even though she was madly in love with the Doctor. Her character was a lot smarter and easy to relate to, however I didn’t really enjoy the fact that the majority of the Tenth Doctor’s era was of him being love-sick and hung-up over Rose’s unexpected departure from the TARDIS. Rose Tyler’s (Billie Piper) departure was heart wrenching but after a while I find myself moving on from the character and looking forward to new adventures that the Doctor was about to go on.
I sort of liked Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), I however didn’t like the “gobby” attitude of the character. Donna was/still is a fan favourite of Tennant’s era. It was during Tennant's time on the show that it featured a multi-Doctor story. Which, at the time was the first for NuWho. Fans of the show had to wait until the 50th Anniversary to see previous incarnations of the Time Lord, to assist their future incarnation in saving the universe once again.
Time Crash featured Peter Davison reprising his role as the Fifth Incarnation of the Doctor. The piece was witty and was a fan's love letter to Classic Doctor Who. The short piece like the prequel to The Christmas Invasion was penned for the BBC's telephon charity event: Children In Need. The events of Time Crash takes places between Last of the Time Lords and Voyage of the Damned. It is somewhat funny that Tennant would eventually go on to marry Davison daughter after meeting her whilst filming The Doctor's Daughter (2008).
It was during Tennant’s time that we saw the return of two of my favourite villains; the Master (John Simm) and Davros (Julian Bleach). Bringing back the renegade Time Lord was a brilliant idea and created more of a drama for the show. However, after his “death” I knew that the Doctor’s arch-nemesis would make a comeback eventually. Which brings me to the return of Davros for the 2008 season finale. My reaction for his return was “About time!”
You can’t have the Daleks without their creator and that I was hoping they weren’t going to do a Classic Series habit where in every Dalek story, Davros would make a comeback. Thankfully they didn’t go down this avenue. Which made the return of Davros on the odd occasion to be more exciting and dramatic. Like the Master’s death, I knew Davros successfully escaped the inferno of the Dalek Crucible at the end of Journey’s End (2008).
Following the season finale of 2008 the show sort-of went into a hiatus. When I say "sort-of" over the course of 2009 the show had a series of four specials that brought Tennant’s era to a close. However, over that time we did have an episodic CGI adventure; Dreamland. Which was televised via CBBC, the Tenth Doctor also made an appearance in an episode for The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Also not only did we have our fix of Doctor Who over that time but we also fell victim of the cinematic and exciting third series of Torchwood, that was labelled The Children of Earth. Which towards the end of its five-episode series, left us heartbroken and numb.
Tennant’s era came to a close in the two-part story The End of Time. Both episodes aired on British television on Christmas and New Year’s Day. The two-part special featured the return of the Master and the Time Lords and gave us an insight to what Gallifrey was like towards the end of the Last Great Time War. The End of Time was emotional and cinematic with its stylisation of writing, special effects and guest stars.
It was on New Year’s Day that the words “I don’t want to go” were uttered, an explosion of energy and a brand-new Doctor in the TARDIS engulfed in flames that brought Tennant and Russell T Davies’ era to a close. It was a brand-new era that made every TV set scream “GERONIMO” on a Saturday evening…