David Tennant: I was starting to think that Doctor Who 50th anniversary was never going to happen

The tenth Time Lord has also talked about acting with Matt Smith and if the twelfth Doctor should be female

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Despite David Tennant now seeming like a no-brainer for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary special, the former tenth Time Lord has revealed that he was left waiting by the phone for confirmation of his involvement.

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Asked whether he was surprised at being asked back, he said: “No, I can’t say I was surprised. There is a precedent to this, isn’t there? It has happened a few times down the years so it was never out of the realms of possibility that it would happen for the 50th anniversary.”

He added, however, that: “I was more surprised about how long it took to come through. It actually took quite a long time. There had been a sketchy little conversation about it – and there was a long gap before I got the call. For a long time I was starting to think it was never going to happen – so there was an element of surprise there. But the general concept was something I always expected.”

Tennant, who will appear with Matt Smith, John Hurt and Billie Piper in November’s episode, also went on to talk about how it was sharing the screen with the eleventh Doctor.

“When there is more than one of you, as is the case this time, it becomes a slightly different character,” he told SFX. “The Doctor tends to lead every scene he is in and when you are sharing that out it becomes slightly different. You have a new relationship with that aspect of the character and that gives you fresh challenges to work on. But it was really good fun actually – and that was a big part of what I enjoyed about this.”

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Talk turned beyond the 50th anniversary to the casting of Matt Smith’s replacement; in which he was asked the burning question: should the Doctor be a woman? Sadly, he couldn’t be lured into an answer… “You are not going to get a quote from me on that,” he laughed. “It will come back and bite me on the arse whatever I say!”