Tennant explains why his famous last line was a perfect Who ending

Contributed by
Jan 14, 2013, 2:52 PM EST

Seems like it was yesterday, but this Christmas will mark three years already since David Tennant left the role of the beloved time-traveling Tenth Doctor on Doctor Who with one simple line that broke our hearts: "I don't want to go."

When Tennant departed the role in the gripping two-parter "The End of Time," he left on a highly dramatic note, making yours truly weep like it was indeed the end of time. There he was, the most popular Doctor of all time, going. Leaving.

Before he regenerated into Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor, we bet ya that Tennant's very last line—just before that stunning regeneration sequence—didn't leave one dry eye in the house.

That famous line? "I don't want to go."

It's one of the most poignant, tear-jerking moments in Who's history—even sadder than the Ponds' departure, or the Tenth Doctor's deeply sad goodbye to Rose at Bad Wolf Bay.

Speaking to the Big Issue, Tennant discussed his tenure as the Tenth Doctor and said:

"I don't think there was a single moment that was too shaky. I left feeling like it had just been a rare and heady time. I never got bored, it was never a chore. I left feeling incredibly good about it and I haven't really paused to take stock. It's still something I'm recognised for pretty much all the time and something I'll forever be proud of."

When it was time to talk about that "I don't want to go" line, the 41-year-old actor said:

"I think that was a very clever line. It absolutely made sense in terms of character—that's exactly what that version of the Doctor would say. So it didn't break the fiction. But at the same time it was a bigger line than that. It was partly Russell [T Davies] expressing how he felt about leaving the show because we were all leaving together.

"We all felt it was the right time to go—we'd given it all we could—but at the same time we all knew there would be nothing else we'd ever do that would be quite like this. You might have real success doing something else, you'll work on other things, but whatever happens this is unique. There's nothing else like Doctor Who. In the world. So yes, it was a bittersweet goodbye."

And here it is:

Do you agree with Tennant that it was a clever line for his Tenth Doctor to leave on? Do you still find the line incredibly sad?

(Big Issue via Doctor Who TV)