When David Tennant's final "Doctor Who" episode airs in the UK on New Year's Day and in the US the day after, I along with millions of other viewers will be curled up in a ball on the sofa, weeping with as much dignity as I can muster while maturely trying to tell myself, "We were lucky to have him as long as we did."
As the end draws near, I've been trying to think of what I'll miss most about Tennant's portrayal of the Tenth Doctor, and I think I've narrowed it down to this: everything. I'll miss everything about it. But here are a few things I'll miss most:
That frenetic mad man energy
Watching Tennant's Doctor was, at times, like watching an extremely bouncy ball ricochet off around in an extremely small box. I got tired sometimes just watching it. Tennant displayed boundless energy, playing a man who never, ever wanted to slow down. Sure, that hyperactivity rankled some viewers, but I loved it. It made me want to bounce right along with him. (But I didn't. Women my age should rarely, if ever, bounce.)
If David Tennant put on his sincere face and tried to sell me a bridge to the Moon, I would hand him my checkbook without hesitation. The man's performances were always 100 percent sincere by which I mean, he looked like he believed every single thing his character said. We've all seen actors who look embarrassed to be uttering the words they're given - *cough*cast of Star Trek Voyager*cough* - but Tennant's utter sincerity helped sell even the most outrageous plot points and rhino-headed aliens.
Beyond the very good looks, Tennant has a face that does more in silence than it does with words. You could always see the Doctor's rage or mirth or fear bubbling up in Tennant's eyes well before any words of dialogue were spoken. Just watch "Midnight" when the Doctor is paralyzed and speechless or sniffle your way through the end of "Doomsday" when he stands silently at the wall where Rose disappeared, and you'll see what I mean. Also, he can do fearsome things with an eyebrow raise. I'm just saying, if there were an Olympic competition for eyebrow raising, he would be Michael Phelps.
Oh, that hair. It should have its own spin-off, that hair. I don't even know what to say about it except that it achieved spectacular heights and I shall miss wondering what the hell it will look like next. It was my favorite gel-slathered mystery of all...which sounds entirely more dirty than I meant it.
The fan-boy enthusiasm
The beautiful thing about David Tennant is that he's the biggest "Who" nerd of them all, and he's not ashamed to show it. (Well, maybe a little bit.) Knowing that the actor playing the part is an even bigger fan than half the audience gives the show and everything around it an added dimension of fun. Besides, who doesn't get a kick out of seeing Tennant pull some obscure fact about Davros out of the air and then thinking to yourself, "Phew, at least I'm not that much of a geek." Aaand then the doorbell rings, the mailman delivers your life-sized Dalek and your geek cover's blown all over again.
The end of the Russell T. Davies era
I know a lot of people moan about RTD and "ooh, there's too much romance" and "ooh, the Doctor's too sad" but without Davies, there would be no New Who to complain about and obsess over. Personally, I love his stories and think he's a wonderful writer who resurrected a timeless (no pun intended) character and gave him new life. With Tennant's departure comes Davies' departure, and I'll miss them both.
How about you? What will you miss most when Tennant departs?