David Tennant Quits 'Doctor Who'
Actor will appear in four more special episodes, but won't return for 2010 season
David Tennant, who currently portrays the titular sci-fi icon on "Doctor Who," will be leaving the role when it's time for the new season to begin in two years, reports the BBC.
"When 'Doctor Who' returns in 2010 it won't be with me," the actor, 37, announced after winning the outstanding drama performance prize at the National Television Awards.
Tennant is the tenth, and arguably one of the most popular, actor to play the last of the Time Lords. Of an alien race, The Doctor is able to regenerate his body when he's near death. This plot device has allowed for re-casting of the role with numerous actors over the years. Tennant took up the mantle following Christopher Eccleston.
"Now don't make me cry," Tennant said in an interview. "I love this part, and I love this show so much that if I don't take a deep breath and move on now I never will, and you'll be wheeling me out of the Tardis in my bath chair.
Tennant started "Doctor Who" and feels that three years in the role is "about the right time."
"I think it's right to take a deep breath and bow out when it's still fun, when it's a novelty," he explains. "I don't ever want it to feel like a job, so I want to move on when it still feels exciting and fresh and that means I'll miss it."
Tennant will still appear in four special episodes that will be broadcast on the BBC next year, which means American fans who catch the show on the Sci Fi Channel will have even longer before their final glimpse of this particular Time Lord.
Executive producer Russell T. Davies is sad to see Tennant go, but is already trying to figure out how best to do away with this incarnation of Doctor Who to make room for the next one.
"I've been lucky and honoured to work with David over the past few years, and it's not over yet," says Davies. "The tenth Doctor still has five spectacular hours left. After which, I might drop an anvil on his head. Or maybe a piano. A radioactive piano. But we're planning the most enormous and spectacular ending, so keep watching."
Like the James Bond franchise, the Doctor Who franchise will draw rabid interest from fans regarding who will be cast next.