The Tenth Doctor: The Time Lord Victorious

Ever notice how Doctor Who treats David Tennant like Pokémon treats Charizard?

After the short-lived tenure of the ninth Doctor, the modern series of the show was set up for success. Fans were excited about the series, very excited indeed. But with the ninth departing so soon, the show’s fate was called into question. Could it survive a change up in the main character only one season into its run?

Once the tenth took the stage, however, all doubts vanished nearly instantly. Soon enough, the tenth became one of, if not the, most popular versions of the character to date! At the very least, of the modern era!

Of every iteration of the character, ten is among the most animated and dramatic. His emotions come in massive explosions. When he’s happy, he’s bouncing off the walls. When he’s upset, he screams and wrecks whatever room he’s in. It’s only when he’s truly angry that he goes utterly silent, and that is far more terrifying than anything else.

Also, he talks. A lot. Really, really quickly.

Ten takes the mad scientist aspect of the Doctor and cranks it up as far as it’ll go. He’s a tinkerer through and through, constructing all kinds of gadgets and marveling at interesting machinery. When confronted with an issue, his primary method to resolve it is to scan the room, find something he can use, then make a doo-dad out of it that can solve the problem.

While he generally does this for heroic purposes, the tenth Doctor wasn’t without his darker moments. The rage we saw in the ninth Doctor is still there, albeit not as explosive as it was before. It’s much darker and colder. Some of the actions ten takes are downright villainous!

Therein is the tenth Doctor’s arc. While he is generally a very heroic character, he very often walks the line, nearly becoming just as bad, if not worse, than the monsters he faces. It’s only with the help of his various companions that he stays on the heroic path.

All of this comes to a head in his final episode. Here, he’s confronted with a simple choice: save himself or save Wilfred and die. Though he’s enraged by how unfair the choice is, he still doesn’t hesitate to do the right thing. After three seasons of moral struggles, he gives his life to do what he’s always done: save someone.

This was brought to the screen by the excellent David Tennant. His lifelong passion for the franchise shows in every single scene he’s in. He has a masterful ability to put weight, age, and anger into the Doctor’s gaze, sometimes without even speaking! And his chemistry with the rest of the cast was always amazing!

No wonder the BBC always brings him back. Again. And again.

Man, it’s still hard for me to believe we’re actually going back to ten for the 60th. November can’t come fast enough.

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