Browse the WBW Podcast
Browse the WBW Podcast

Tennant is back, inexplicably yet fabulously, prompting a customary, cocktail-fuelled retrospective

David Tennant returns to Doctor Who for a brief trilogy stint (at least to start with), this time as the Fourteenth Doctor. How curious, you might think. Why did this face return, they ask at the start, and you’d think they’d have answered this question by the end. Therapy, say some. Calculated corporate commercialism, say others. In any event, it’s hard to refute that the trilogy of 60th Anniversary Specials has a lot going for it! Join us as we discuss the highs and lows of The Fourteenth Doctor!

A taster of some of the topics discussed/dissected/speculated-on in this podcast episode:

  • RTD’s “Doctorverse”
  • The companions
  • The foes
  • New U.N.I.T.
  • The Tennant regenerations compared
  • In what capacity will the 14th Doctor, Donna and Rose return?
  • And why did this face come back?

And if you haven’t listened to our 60th Anniversary/14th Doctor reviews, what are you waiting for?! Click here now!

Here's what you think 3 Responses to “B096 The Fourteenth Doctor Retrospective”
  1. Oli Raven | @FoggyDrWho

    Hi again! Let’s start with the positives, shall we?

    • Margolyes, Cribbins (albeit clearly frail) and a mention for Sabalom Glitz were the main highlights of each respective story.
    • Despite its flaws, The Star Beast still left me giddy after 13 months starved of fresh Who content. Then again, by that point Davies could’ve spent an hour of prime time Saturday night defecating across the screen and I might’ve lapped it up – which is just as well, since that’s essentially what he proceeded to do over the following fortnight.

    I guess that’s the cue to move onto the minuses, eh?

    • He’s still just Ken, sorry, *Ten* to me! Unlike Yanks with Grover Cleveland, we number office-holders properly in Blighty even when they get two non-consecutive bites at the cherry.
    • No in-Whoniverse explanation for the regenerating costume (which would neatly double up as a retroactive one for Hartnell-to-Troughton) so all we have is the behind-the-scenes one that RTD fears a backlash from bigots, even though Tennant played a role in drag on TV before and Jodie’s outfit wasn’t *that* feminine anyway. Yet he features a trans character and includes pronoun talk so he’s like Schrödinger’s trans ally.
    • To compound matters, the first thing Tate mentions is the suit! And Gatwa later ended up in his underpants! No complaints about the latter visual but… come on, at least be consistent.
    • Imagine if Matt Smith had defeated the Weeping Angels in Flesh and Stone by switching the “mavity” back on. The ending would’ve had a lot less mavitas.
    • A bottle episode where the DoctorDonna have a hearts-to-heart might’ve worked as a breather halfway through a full series, but not in the middle of a three-part micro-era. Special effects were ropey too.
    • If Night of the Doctor established that Big Finish companions are canonical, then why isn’t Ruth Madeley playing Hebe here? I’m pro-ramp (the story behind it is very sweet) but get the horrid impression she’s either directly or indirectly responsible for the Davros retcon.
    • Dougie Howser/Barney Stinson was given diabolical material and unable to raise it into an entertaining performance. He was obviously having fun while most viewers were not. The Toymaker’s not a Time Lord, so he can’t be recast, ergo Michael Gough’s still the only real one.
    • So, as a bloke I’m being told to “let things go” by a man who twice has proved himself incapable of letting Tennant go – first the half-human left with Rose [Tyler] in a parallel universe, now the fully Time Lord ‘settled’ one chez Noble that keeps a TARDIS on standby just in case. Oh, nice to know they’ve not done anything to undermine his successor before our Ncuti even gets going then!

    Overall: 1.4 Zingo rides

    Oli Raven
    (IG: @foggydrwho)

    P.S. Usual caveat applies that Dr Who content in the 1s is still preferable to most other things on TV!

  2. Izaak | @msmonsteradams

    I may hate their costume (button up your fucking waistcoat, Fourteen!) but I quite loved this Doctor. Even though we only had three episodes with them, I feel like this second go with Tennant was more vulnerable, open, honest and altogether likeable than 10. As I probably said with 13 (still mourning 13) I’d kill for the Big Finish boys to make some audio dramas with them, really stretch what could be done with this Doctor. It was such a crime that we didn’t get a multi Doctor 10 and 14 story! That’s, like, an easy win.

    Donna, ehh. I didn’t like series 4, is that OK to say? I do feel like this was a bit of a series 4.5, and I get that that was the point (so that Doc could face their own traumas) but it does mean that I’m not very likely to rewatch these episodes again anytime soon. Fortunately the future looks bold and bright, and I’m looking forward to the change!

    Between this and Big Finish’s own specials (the lacklusture ‘Once and Future’ series) the show hasn’t felt that much celebrated. The best thing, by far, about these three episodes has been David Tennant. He is so good. He is, deservedly, the iconic Doctor of the 21st century, both as 10 and 14. But that’s no excuse for NOT BUTTONING UP YOUR WAISTCOAT.

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