What if “Doctor Who” had ended when David Tennant decided to leave the show in 2009? According to showrunner Steven Moffat, that scary possibility was a lot more realistic than you might think.
Speaking at the Hay Literary Festival (via Doctor Who TV), Moffat says, “David owned that role in a spectacular way, gave it an all-new cheeky sexy performance and became a national treasure. And he didn’t do it instantly, he did it over time. So the idea that ‘Doctor Who’ could go on at all in the absence of David was a huge question.”
He continues, “I didn’t realize how many people thought it wouldn’t succeed at all. That was quite terrifying when I found out about it later.” Though he says “there were plans maybe to consider ending it,” Moffat credits one man with saving the day. “It was [former showrunner] Russell T. Davies saying ‘you are not allowed to end it’,” he reveals.
All Whovians owe Davies even more gratitude than they did before. Without him, the Doctor may be a distant memory by now.