David Tennant’s incarnation of the Doctor became the most iconic face of the rebooted show, helping take Doctor Who to heights of popularity not seen since the classic series. But though his image has become instantly recognizable, a dig into The Inside Story – a 2006 behind-the-scenes book about production on seasons 1 and 2 – has unearthed a surprising change in the Tenth Doctor’s appearance that was ultimately dropped.
Whovians will know Ten had a habit of whipping out a pair of spectacles now and then, presumably to maximize his reading powers. But originally, he wanted to wear the specs all the time. The BBC, however, wouldn’t allow it.
“There was one point where I was thinking about having [glasses] on all the time. I quite like the idea of there being a speccy hero; I mean it certainly hasn’t done Harry Potter any harm,” he said.
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To some extent, the outcome worked as a compromise, with Tennant working the prop into certain scenes rather than wearing them constantly. There’s something noble about his desire to give the short (and long) sighted a hero to identify with. I say that mostly because I’m a spec-wearer myself.
It’s not the only change that was made, of course. Tennant also had to drop his Scottish brogue for an Estuary accent, one he adapted to seamlessly. In contrast, TARDIS predecessor Christopher Eccleston kept to his Mancunian roots (lots of planets have a north), while Peter Capaldi was also permitted to put the Scots in time and space.
Hope you enjoyed that impromptu tour of British regional accents in Doctor Who. Those who did will be pleased to know I’m running a follow-up: eye-wear and headgear in Doctor Who. Due to the rampant demand, I will be instituting fees. Colin Baker’s skittles jacket is getting its own special.