The BBC Seriously Considered Cancelling Doctor Who When Tennant Left

Illustration for article titled The BBC Seriously Considered Cancelling emDoctor Who/em When Tennant Left

Hard to believe, but the BBC weren't sure if Doctor Who could go on without David Tennant. They were seriously considering pulling the plug on the show when the Tenth Doctor moved on, according to head writer Steven Moffat.


Talking to the Hay Literary Festival, Moffat says the BBC were "ready to axe" the show when Tennant and original showrunner Russell T. Davies both left, according to the Radio Times:

I think there were plans maybe to consider ending it. It was Russell T Davies saying, 'You are not allowed to end it' [that kept it going]. David owned that role in a spectacular way, gave it an all-new cheeky sexy performance and became a national treasure. So the idea that Doctor Who could go on at all in the absence of David was a huge question.

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How are people arriving at that the BBC was "seriously considering pulling the plug" on the show from the really very uncertain-sounding quote by Moffat that "I think there were plans maybe to consider ending it"? Has the Beeb itself responded to this? Has RTD been available for comment? As a conventiongoer for many years I have seen nothing but more and more viewers and merchandise buying since 2006/07. I must respectfully say I do seriously doubt the Beeb would have seriously entertained the notion of cancelling Doctor Who, an international flagship show of theirs, because Tennant and Davies were leaving. The show's very lifeblood has been such change. I ask for some due diligence, that someone get more for this story that one quote. (I'm looking directly at the Radio Times for that one.) I think it's a bit of baiting fans, seeing as how August is still a ways away.