Why a Doctor Who movie starring David Tennant never happened, according to Peter Davison

The former Doctor believes a film could work, but with one important proviso

There’s been a lot of discussion about a Doctor Who movie lately. According to leaked emails from Sony, BBC Worldwide were keen to put the Time Lord on the big screen. Steven Moffat is…less keen


Now a former Doctor has weighed into the argument. “Yes, undoubtedly it could work, if you could match the special effects,” Peter Davison tells RadioTimes.com – but he had one reservation. “It seems to me that the movie has got to be made with the current Doctor in it, but the difficulty is the movie process is so long.” 

Davison sees an issue with a potential movie being released after a Doctor has left the show. “If they were to plan a movie now, then [Peter Capaldi] would have to commit to being in it in two years’ time when it finally came out. A movie with a previous Doctor in it would just be a bit odd, I think.” 

But what about the idea that the movies might not feature the same Doctor as the TV show, that it could be entirely separate? Doc Five is sceptical.

“You mean maybe not even have the current Doctor in it? Mmmmm. I don’t know if that would work.”

Plans for a movie are not exactly new: Peter Cushing actually starred in two back in the 1960s. More recently, it was heavily rumoured that a film starring David Tennant – Davison’s son-in-law – was in the works.

“There was a movie mooted when David was doing it,” Davison explained. “It didn’t happen in the end because by the time they had even started to sit down about it David had left.”

Davison left the role in 1984, but has remained connected to the show: cameoing with Tennant, producing the hilarious Five(ish) Doctors Reboot for the fiftieth anniversary and now hosting the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular.

Featuring music from the show and stage invasions by baddies like the Silence, it’s probably the only concert that comes with a spoiler warning. Despite that, Davison is very much playing himself, not the Doctor.

“No, I’m not coming on dressed in my outfit.” 


The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular tours Britain from 23rd May