Doctor Who is known for delivering the most weird and wonderful wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey twists on screen, but did you know that three Doctors and one writer’s love of the show landed them in the same space and time in real life during the 1970s – long before the majority of them had ever set foot in the Tardis
Tenth Doctor David Tennant was at the Wizard World Comic Con in New Orleans this weekend and shared the tale with the audience after being asked how it felt to have become so heavily involved with a show he’d grown up watching and adoring during his childhood.
“I had a poster of Tom Baker on my wall, signed on the bottom. He came to John Menzies, which is a bookshop in Glasgow. He came to John Menzies, in 1970-I’m-not-quite-sure-what, I went along and got the Doctor Who Monster Book which had a poster in the middle and Tom Baker signed it.
“Also in the queue that day, I have since found out, was [departed showrunner] Steven Moffat, would you believe? Also getting something signed.”
Now you might think that’s more than enough of a coincidence, but there was yet another twist in the tale: Tennant wasn’t the only future Doctor hoping to get Baker to sign his book that day.
“I only recently found out that there was somebody who missed it, who came too late with his book and didn’t get it signed that day,” said Tennant, pausing for effect before revealing the mysterious figure’s identity as none other than the Twelfth Doctor.
“Peter Capaldi turned up late. So yeah it’s quite weird that three of us, for whom Doctor Who has ended up being quite a large part of our life, were nearly in the same queue in John Menzies that day.”
Tennant, who played the Doctor between 2005 and 2010, went on the explain how it felt making the transition from long-term fan to working member of the team.
“It’s odd that something that you loved, and that inspired me, and certainly Steven, Peter and myself, I think it’s fair to say that to a greater or lesser extent that television programme inspired us to go into the career that we’ve gone into and we’ve all ended up being in it and it’s been a huge part of our life,” he mused.
“It’s odd, it’s weird, because you move from it being something you loved and indulged a passion for and bought books on and put posters on your wall for, to something that you then have a responsibility for in some sense. And it’s quite surreal and it keeps being quite surreal. Even now it’s quite surreal.”
“Then once you start doing it, you spend a few days going ‘this is weird, that’s the Tardis, I get to go in it’ and then you just have to get on with it.”
That doesn’t stop the actor – whose father-in-law, Peter Davison, is also a former Doctor – loving the show, though.
“It doesn’t mean you stop loving it, it doesn’t make it any less special, it just makes it a special in a very different way,” Tennant added. “I think all of us who were in the queue at John Menzies feel the same way.”
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this autumn