February 26, 2007
By Cindy White
As the third season approaches, another casting change will test whether the show is bigger than any single actor. Billie Piper, who played Rose in the first two seasons, will be replaced this year by Freema Agyeman as the Doctor's new companion, Martha Jones.
SCI FI Weekly conducted an interview with Tennant via e-mail about the coming third season, as well as the recently completed second season, which was released on DVD on Jan. 16.
Tennant: Well, of course, taking over a role from someone who's been very successful in it is daunting, and taking on a character that people have such fondness for and such expectations of can feel a little overwhelming, but of course it's those very pressures that make it such an exciting job to take on.
Tennant: I did commentary on five episodes, and I also contributed about an hour and a half of video diaries. I'd been filming bits and pieces of the production for my own amusement, really, and then they asked if they could look at what I'd got for the DVD release. I think I handed over about 20 hours of stuff eventually.
Tennant: Oh, I don't have favorites. That would be like ranking your children.
Tennant: Of course, that scene meant that Billie was leaving the show (although it wasn't the final scene she shot), and that was very sad, because she is a great actor and had become a great friend. It's also a beautifully written scene, and even when we ran through the lines together on the makeup bus that morning, we started sniffling. In fact, in the video diaries on the DVD you can see us both have a good old weep about the whole thing.
Tennant: To be honest, I'm so caught up in making the show down here in Wales that I'm not always aware of what it's doing around the world. I've heard that Canada have taken to us in quite a big way, which is great, as I've got family there. I believe we've also sold to South Korea, which isn't the first place you'd expect to find Doctor Who, but I'm delighted that it's there. I'm not sure of all the other countries that have taken the show, but it would seem to be just about everywhere. And, of course, I'm really chuffed that we're showing in the States now, too.
Tennant: Well, you'll have to wait and see. The Doctor and Martha have a very different relationship to the Doctor and Rose. The Doctor doesn't really think he needs a new traveling companion at the moment, but Martha makes herself indispensable.
Tennant: Oh, she doesn't need any advice, and I wouldn't be pompous enough to offer it. Freema hit the ground running and has inhabited Martha Jones from day one without a hint of trepidation or nervousness. I found myself quite envious of her confidence. She is going to be brilliant.
Tennant: As with any big relationship, it takes time for the scars to heal. Perhaps the Doctor feels like he's dealt with it, but Martha might disagree.
Tennant: Oh yes, but it's more than my job's worth to reveal what they are.
Tennant: The Shakespeare that the Doctor meets is a bit more rock and roll than you might expect. Very much the Elizabethan celebrity enjoying his status and his wealth, not the more traditional enigmatic Bard of legend. But the Doctor is absolutely thrilled to meet him and for once recognizes someone almost as brilliant as he is.
Tennant: Uncharacteristically for a British show, we make 13 episodes plus a Christmas special every year. So when we finish on the final episode our Christmas show has already gone out, and the first is being broadcast. By the time the 13 episodes have transmitted, it's time to start work on the next lot.
I just happened to find this interview from almost a year ago at scifi.com.