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SYFY WIRE David Tennant

David Tennant explores his Doctor Who and podcast origins at C2E2 2019

By Jacob Oller

Actor David Tennant has been a demon, a Marvel villain, a Harry Potter villain, a podcast host, and, of course, a Doctor - and those are only some of his genre bonafides. One of the most beloved and eccentric performers in fantasy, sci-fi, and horror, Tennant spoke at a C2E2 spotlight panel about roles in things like Doctor WhoDucktalesGood Omens, and the now-cancelled Jessica Jones.

SYFY WIRE attended the main stage panel, where the actor addressed a capped crowd. After showing off his Doctor Who deep knowledge (plenty of lore locked in there), Tennant explained that his role as the Doctor was always going to be a definitive character for him.

He'd been working on a show (Cassanova) made by the same creatives rebooting Doctor Who, "Maybe they'll give me a nice guest spot, maybe even recurring," Tennant said. He was campaigning hard for it, but they'd stonewalled him for some mysterious reason - one that became clear as soon as they brought him over to watch some early edits of the first season. It was during this screening session that they broached the question: would he be the Doctor? "I think it was on a VHS, that's how long ago it was!" Tennant said.

This led to some personal grappling, which wasn't just with international superstardom, but with the idea of reimagining something that was foundational to his childhood. "For a couple of days, I turned it down," Tennant said. "It just didn't feel right."

"But then I thought, who are you kidding?" the actor laughed, explaining that he couldn't stand to watch someone else in the role knowing that he'd turned it down. Then the discussion turned to the podcast. David Tennant Does a Podcast With... is the actor's latest project, which he mentions came about after a suggestion where he "was sort of joking."

He name-dropped Alec Baldwin's podcast, Here's the Thing, which has a similarly conversational style to David Tennant Does a Podcast With..., as an influence - and a gateway into the form. "I have no interest in revealing things that people don't want to reveal," Tennant said. "Often with interviews you're often guarding and you have a line you have to take on that and I'm not allowed to talk about episode three of this." Tennant said that his show is more about getting a sense of people in a relaxed format.

The next episode of David Tennant Does a Podcast With... featuring Krysten Ritter hits the web on Tuesday.

You can find all of SYFY WIRE's C2E2 coverage here.