In the second of three exclusive interviews with Doctor Who: The Fan Show, Steven Moffat has given us a tantalising glimpse of what his first series as showrunner might have been like if he had managed to persuade David Tennant to stay on as the Doctor.
While reflecting on his first year as showrunner Moffat stated:
“Well, David was just going through the – now, to me, very familiar – angst about leaving. Piers Wenger [former executive producer] and I went to talk to David and I ran him through what that series would be if it was him.
It would definitely have been his last one, there was no question about that.”
As we all know, Series Five aired in 2010 and starred Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor with Karen Gillan as Amy Pond and Arthur Darvill as Rory Wiliams: so how did Moffat plan to integrate the Tenth Doctor into what would eventually be Eleventh Doctor’s fairy tale themed first series?
“My version of that series would be that the David Tennant Doctor would crash into the back garden about to regenerate and little Amelia would help him back to the TARDIS and he’d fly off. And the she’d meet him again when she grew up but he’d have no memory of that because we come to realise that was the Doctor from the future – we’d make our way through the series to the point where the Doctor gets back to that (I sort of used that idea again later).
So, that would have been the show and he thought very hard about it and he left me a message on my answerphone saying he’d thought very hard about it and, as I thought he would, he decided to move on.”
In the end, Moffat’s burgeoning era ushered in multiple changes – a new Doctor, a new companion and a new look TARDIS. However, he conceded that had Tennant had stayed, though, Moffat admitted that he probably wouldn’t have instigated so much change:
“David and Catherine [Tate] were leaving… everything was changing… [and] the best way to conceal that level of change was to change everything. If everything changes, it looks like a bold new decision and a new era.
“Frankly, if David and Catherine had wanted to continue, I wouldn’t have done that. It would’ve been the same TARDIS… because there was no way that version of the show was worn out.”
While it’s tempting to imagine more adventures with the Tenth Doctor, we’re perfectly happy with just how special Series Five and Matt Smith turned out to be.