Doctor Who 50th anniversary: David Tennant reveals he re-watched old episodes of himself

Tennant described his return to the show as 'surreal' and 'oddly familiar'

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The Independent Culture

David Tennant has admitted to doing a bit of time travelling in preparation for his return to Doctor Who for the show’s 50th anniversary.

The Scottish star revealed that he re-watched old Doctor Who DVDs of himself as the Time Lord before reprising the role of the tenth Doctor forThe Day of the Doctor.

Speaking at a press conference, he said: “There’s something in the tone of Doctor Who and the character that I was finding a little elusive, learning the lines and imagining it. I had to go and get a couple of DVDs out and re-watch it.

“It’s something about the energy of it. It’s not naturalistic in the way that most other things are. It’s got an absolute reality. The tone of Doctor Who is unlike anything else and I think that’s what people find when they come and guest on it. You get used to it when you’re in it all the time but you can kind of forget.”

However, once he got back into the swing of things, Tennant said that it was "lovely" returning to the show, confessing that he had only worn his costume once since his departure.

“It was peculiarly familiar. Especially coming back to Wales and going into the trailer and it was all hanging up like it had been every morning for four years. I was like: ‘did I just dream the last little bit?’ So, it was a weird, surreal, odd familiarity.”

Tennant, who was a childhood fan of the show, said that since the Doctor Who 10th anniversary there was always a possibility of old actors returning to the series.

Asked whether he had any doubts about revisiting the role, he said: “You’re never going to know how you feel about it and you never entirely know if it’s a wise thing to go back to anything.”

Talking about Time Lord etiquette, Tennant admitted that he was "slightly nervous" about coming back, but once he knew that current Doctor Matt Smith was enthusiastic about the idea he felt less apprehensive.

“He’s been very enthusiastic about the whole idea of this happening,” he said.

“You just don’t want to step on anyone else’s toes but at the same time you want to be able to do the best that you can.”

Tennant said that it was Matt Smith’s gig and that he was now the "guest on his show’" The pair also swapped notes on the fame and fandom that comes with playing the Doctor.

“The particular attention that Doctor Who gets is relatively unique. It’s been interesting to share some of that with Matt.”

He went on to praise co-star Smith, who faced much adversity when he took on the role after Tennant left, saying that he "hit the ground running" and that he has “got such a feel for it”.

The special episode will mark the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who which first aired back in 1963. Chief writer Steven Moffat has said that The Day of the Doctor will be a gamechanger for the programme. The adventure will see the return of the classic villains the Zygons and also stars John Hurt and Gavin and Stacy actress Joanna Page.

‘Day of the Doctor’ will be broadcast on Saturday 23 November on BBC1