So how did it feel when you were asked to be the tenth Doctor?
It was funny, when I first got asked I just laughed! I found it hilarious
and impossible! And I remember Russell, very perceptively, saying "Don't
say anything now, because I know the experience is quite a weird one."
What did you make of [Series One] just as a viewer?
I thought it was exceptional, actually. As each week went on, I thought
it got better and better. And I don't mean to suggest for an instant that
it was bad to begin with!
It started so well, and was so sure of itself, and then it just seemed
to grow on that, week on week.
It was beautifully judged by everyone. I guess that starts with Russell,
who's the creative head, but everyone involved seemed to have such a grasp
of what Doctor Who should be, and how it works, and they did it brilliantly
Did the fact that you thought it was so good make it more daunting,
knowing that it would be you on the screen come Christmas?
Oh without a doubt it makes you more daunted. With every passing week
the series was getting better and better and fulfilling all its promise
- and more.
And Chris was so good in it. So sure-footed with what he did. So it left
me thinking, "There's an awful lot to live up to here."
And the press coverage just got bigger and bigger, and the audiences
seemed to get more and more into it. It really was a television sensation,
and that's so rare these days.
What about your lovely companion Rose? Have you been in touch
with Billie Piper yet?
Yes I have - we've met up a few times now. I didn't know her before,
but obviously I've been admiring her in the show. She's just great. Fantastic.
Just absolutely perfect. Spunky and quick and sexy... just the ideal companion
really. So I'm very very pleased that she's doing the whole series.
As the first actor to play the Doctor who could properly be
described as a 'fan' of the show, do you find yourself constantly being
pulled up by the realisation that actually, yes, this is real and you
are the tenth Doctor?
Yes, I absolutely do. I don't think anyone who grew up in the Seventies
or Eighties could not have those moments, but for me, who watched Doctor
Who avidly, and loved the show, it is a bit surreal.
But you have to get beyond that quite quickly. That's what I've been
discovering, that the moment of that slight 'out-of-body experience' ends
when you realise you have to knuckle down and do it.
Who was your Doctor?
Well I grew up with Tom Baker. And Peter Davison really, 'cos I was
- what? - ten, eleven when he was doing it. So they were my two Doctors.
Tom Baker is the one I have the earliest memories of, and then I was
still watching it very avidly through Peter Davison.
Any final comments before you start filming?
I don't want to make any pronouncements because I don't think it's for
me to do. It's weird all that, because inevitably...
Well, when I was announced, I admit, I did go on [Doctor Who website]
Outpost Gallifrey to have a quick look, because I just couldn't help myself,
and everyone was encouraging me to go on and see what the fans were saying
So I went on there and the first comment I read was very nice, and the
next comment was terribly flattering, and then the next one said something
like "I can't bear the sight of him!" And the one after that said "Who?"
The one after that said "I'd rather have David Morrissey." The one after
that said "That's it! The dream is finished! Somebody who looks like a
weasel could never play the Doctor! It's over!"
And then I thought to myself that maybe it's best not to read this sort
of thing too much! [laughs] And actually it's not for me. These forums
aren't there for the guy playing the part, so I wouldn't pretend to have
any pronouncements to make to the fans really.
I just hope people like it. I hope they stick with it and give it a
chance. I know everyone loved Chris, and so did I, but hopefully I won't
The full interview with David will appear in the August issue of
Doctor Who Magazine, on sale 21 July.