David Tennant’s Contributions to Doctor Who Episodes
“I Don’t Want To Go” Edition
From Doctor Who Confidential:
David Tennant: The final line, saying “I don’t want to go,” of course it’s a very emotive final line.
Euros Lyn: We did four takes on David’s final line, “I don’t want to go,” and with each take we pushed the emotion and the grief further.
David: We tried being very unemotional about it, we tried a little smur of an emotional moment, and we also did one with a full-on kind of breaking down version
Euros: My feeling on the day was that we really wanted to pull at the audience’s heart strings at that point, and I wanted David to be overcome with grief, but actually that wasn’t right.
[David, Euros, and Julie Gardner watching the footage]
David: I worry four’s not quite in character. I just worry if you see him breaking down, it stops you breaking down as well. There’s always a danger of that, isn’t there?
David: If that’s the final image and you’re left with him in total distress, it’s pretty grim. That’s not really who he is, is it?
Julie: I think it’s three.
David: I think three’s more… I find three more moving, actually.
Euros: Because he’s fighting.
Julie: He’s holding it
Euros: Facing his death with bravery, yeah. There’s a stoicism to take three.
David: Which is more like him
Julie: There’s a heroic stoicism
[end of them watching the footage on filming day]
Euros: In the end we’ve got take three in there, which is the take where he’s a bit more controlled. He’s a bit more like the Doctor, in fact. He’s brave.
David: We didn’t want him to lose all that bravery in that final moment. There’s something stoical and long-suffering and… strong about the Doctor that – I don’t think he can get too self-pitying even in a moment like that.
Orig.Poster’s note: This post is part of a series on some of the contributions that David made to episodes of Doctor Who, because he sometimes gets questions about ad-libs or input he may have had to episodes, but he tends to not take credit for his various additions/suggestions - so I figured I’d list some for him. I can certainly understand why Euros and Julie originally wanted to use Take #4 - it was a gut-wrenchingly, heart-breakingly beautiful performance from David. It does seem a shame to not use it - but I also think that David was absolutely right to argue that Take #3 was more in-character for his Doctor, and a better way to deliver his final line.
Full set of David’s Contributions Posts (tag):
Bigger on the Inside Edition
Walking on Theatre Chairs Edition
Scanning a Planet Edition
Shakespeare Code Bedroom Edition
Interrupting Jackie Edition
Sarah Jane Smith Edition
Stone Arm Edition
Hand in a Jar Edition
Killing the Vespiform Edition
Void Stuff Edition