For today’s Thirst Trap installment, I’m stepping forward to pay homage to one of the longest running objects of my thirsty attentions: David Tennant. Everyone has their top 10 list… and for the better part of the last decade (Gah, I feel old) the Doctor himself has occupied the top spot for me.
1.) His Scottish Accent
2.) Those glasses… omg.
3.) That hair
4.) Those eyes
5.) Suits… and long coats.
I remember an awareness of the Tennant-ey goodness creeping into my knowledge base in college, which loosely coincides with Doctor Who’s 2005 return to television. I still have a lingering memory of conversing with a UK exchange student while sitting in a classroom about how hot the new Doctor was. I knew nothing about him, and next to nothing about the show, but damn. I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t what drew me to the show.
It took a few years for me to get there, but I fell hard into a Doctor Who binge during the lengthy gap between series four (Tennant’s final full season) and his eventual regeneration. You kids who came in during the Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi years don’t know the struggles were had during that time. BBC America wasn’t doing the simultaneous airings! I remember paying $75 to get the second series of Doctor Who off Amazon because no other shops in Denver carried it. We old school fan-girls hiked up hill, both ways, in the snow to get the DVD’s we needed!
While much of Tennant’s American star persona revolves around his nerd culture persona, (Tennant also played Barty Crouch Junior in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) there is so much in his career to dive head first into… and I did. Oh boy, did I.
Blackpool hit television screens in the UK in 2004. In the United States it took the shape of the now infamous Viva Laughlin. However, the… failure… of the remade source material shouldn’t reflect negatively on the sheer delightfulness of the original. The series follows a murder in the seaside town of Blackpool. As the above and below clips will show, Blackpool is a police procedural musical, and everything that implies. And yes, Walking Dead fans, that is David “The Governor” Morrissey. Between this show and Tennant’s work in Doctor Who, the man truly needs to live in a long coat.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also include Tennant’s turn as Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company. When I think of my favorite Hamlet’s, Tennant stands right alongside Laurence Olivier, and I’m truly glad his performance was captured for posterity. Just take a look at the clip below and revel in Tennant’s versatility as he goes from 964 year old Time Lord, to singing policeman, to the brooding Prince of Denmark. (Excuse me while I cautiously side-step the presence of yet another brooding male in this column).
I must spend a little time talking about Tennant’s delightful run on Doctor Who… which I would argue is really responsible for the reputation the show now enjoys world-wide. He came in at the start of series two and drove the T.A.R.D.I.S. until his regeneration (*sob*) between series four and five.
Okay, yes, yes, yes. I’m a shameless 10 and Rose (Billie Piper) fangirl. I don’t care if she was just the Doctor’s annoying girlfriend, those two shared all of the chemistry dangit. They may have only had the opportunity to appear on one season together, but their work is some of the best between a Doctor and a Companion in the modern run of the series. Their fun is infectious as is the angst… I’ve posted this clip before, but it proves my point. I dare you to watch this and not get just a little choked up. (Episode aired in 2006 so… sorry, not sorry).
In fact, it is this pairing which has long fueled my ultra-secret (shhhhh….) desire to make YouTube fan videos. Have I ever? Nope. Have I read the shit out of some fan fiction? You bet I have. 10 and Rose is as about as shameless and unabashed wish-fulfillment as I get, and I’ve never gotten tired of it.
The Ten/Rose story line hit a definite chord with me when I was a twenty-something stuck in an under-employed retail position. Would I have dropped everything if a space alien who looked like David Tennant offered to take me away in his flying police box?? Hell yes! (Just watch the show if you’re confused).
Tennant has kept busy in recent years. American viewers might recognize him from his turn on Gracepoint (reprising his role from the dark BBC crime procedural Broadchurch). Others still might recognize him from the his portrayal of Kilgrave on the Netflix/Marvel series Jessica Jones. And in a completely polar opposite shift, he’s recently lent his voice to Scrooge McDuck on the popular, updated Disney take on the animated classic DuckTales. How’s that for a complete shift in tone?
If for some reason, David Tennant is a name you’re not familiar with, get that way…. especially if you are in any way like me. He’s such a delight in so, so many ways. While he first won me over in Doctor Who, it’s absolutely thrilling to see him “crossing the pond” and starting to get newer and equally interesting work in Hollywood. Here’s hoping we get to see more from him in the future.