David Tennant Leaves Doctor Who

David Tennant is set to stand down as Doctor Who, after becoming one of the most popular incarnations of the character in the British sci-fi series five decade history reports BBC News.

Tennant made the announcement after winning the outstanding drama performance prize at the National Television Awards saying “When Doctor Who returns in 2010 it won’t be with me…Now don’t make me cry, I love this part, and I love this show so much that if I don’t take a deep breath and move on now I never will, and you’ll be wheeling me out of the Tardis in my bath chair. I’ll miss it.”

He added later that “I think it’s better to go when there’s a chance that people might miss you, rather than to hang around and outstay your welcome. I don’t ever want it to feel like a job, so I want to move on when it still feels exciting and fresh and that means I’ll miss it.”

Chirstopher Eccleston played the ninth incarnation of the Time Lord for the first season of the relaunched “Doctor Who” in 2005 and regenerated into Tennant in the final episode of the season.

Tennant has played the role for the past three seasons and will continue to do so through this year’s Christmas special, three special ‘bank holiday’ adventures to air in 2009, and next year’s Christmas Special where the character will likely regenerate into his eleventh incarnation.

The news is not unexpected with the departure of show runner Russell T. Davies who has closely worked with Tennant over the years. Davies last involvement in the role will be next year’s Christmas special when Tennant bows out.

Acclaimed scribe Steven Moffat takes over the reigns of the show in 2010 with a new Doctor in tow. Who it could be is anyone’s guess, though one cryptic hint is that this year’s Christmas special will be entitled ‘The Next Doctor’ and main guest star David Morrissey is playing a character that calls himself The Doctor.