David Tennant has been staying busy on US television lately with his role on Fox’s Gracepoint (an adaptation of the UK’s Broadchurch, in which he also stars) and in the upcoming Marvel/Netflix series AKA Jessica Jones , but he’ll never not be the Doctor on Doctor Who thanks to his strong take as “The Last of the Time Lords” and the majesty of the words generated for him by the Doctor Who writing staff. Is that a blessing or a curse? You’d have to ask Tennant, but the bottom line is that it’s impossible to look at him and not think about Weeping Angels, Rose Tyler, and all of his many catchphrases and memorable lines from the series. And with that in mind, it seemed like a good time to reminisce about his best lines as The Doctor.
“New teeth. That’s weird.”
The Tenth Doctor’s first words following his regeneration. Time Lords are never quite sure what’re they’re going to look like when they change and sometimes it can be, well… weird and NEVER ginger-y.
“Sorry. That’s The Lion King.”
In Tennant’s first full episode as The Doctor — the Christmas special entitled “The Christmas Invasion” — he recovers from a regeneration-induced coma just in time to save the Earth from a horde of Sycorax. As he attempts to appeal to their better natures, he realizes he’s actually quoting a classic Disney movie.
“What do monsters have nightmares about?” — Reinette
“Me! Ha!” — The Doctor
The Doctor isn’t known as “the oncoming storm” because he has a good publicist. It’s widely known that he’s the only being in the universe that the Daleks are afraid of and, on more than one occasion, all of his enemies have teamed up in an effort to destroy him.
“I’m sorry…. I’m so sorry”
One of Ten’s signature lines, he apologized so often during his run, you’d think he was paid every time he said it. Or that he’s Canadian. Or both.
“Oh, how to explain the mechanics of the infinite temporal flux? I know: Back to the Future! It’s like Back to the Future!”
Never let it be said that The Doctor doesn’t know his pop culture. In the episode “The Shakespeare Code,” Ten not only makes two different Harry Potter references, but also uses the classic Robert Zemeckis film to help his companion better understand the intricacies of time travel.
“I love you.” — Rose Tyler
“Quite right too. And I suppose, if it’s one last chance to say it… Rose Tyler… ” — The Doctor
A heart punch of a scene between The Doctor and Rose after she gets pulled into another universe.
“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.”
One of the best (or, possibly, worst) explanations of the fabric of time came from this segment in “Blink” in which The Doctor, trapped in 1969, uses hidden messages on DVDs to get back to where he’s supposed to be. Now consider that, to millions of people, that last sentence made perfect sense.
That same episode, “Blink”, also introduced viewers to the Weeping Angels, a group of “lonely assassins” who can send their victims decades back in time with just a touch. However, they turn into stone whenever anyone is looking at them. Thus The Doctor’s warning: “blink and you’re dead”
“What’s a horse doing on a spaceship?” — Mickey
“Mickey, what’s pre-revolutionary France doing on a space ship? Get a little perspective.” — The Doctor
When The Doctor takes his companion, Rose, and her boyfriend, Mickey, onto a derelict spaceship in the far-off future, they’re shocked to discover two things: portals leading to France in the 1700s and… a horse. When Mickey’s shocked to see the horse, Ten reminds him of the real gravity of the situation.
“Are you my mummy?”
In the first season, the Doctor and Rose were being stalked by a mysterious child in a gas mask who asked everyone it came across “are you my mummy?” When Ten finds himself wearing a gas mask in “The Poisoned Sky,” he can’t help but make a callback — even if no one else knows what the hell he’s talking about.
“Bang! Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, TARDIS!”
When The Doctor finds himself on a pleasure cruise through a (supposedly) completely lifeless planet, a fellow passenger suddenly starts to speak along with everything — and we mean everything — they’re saying.
“Don’t be so daft. Not all of them.”
The Earth has vanished from its usual spot in the galaxy. when The Doctor racks his brain trying to think of an answer, he asks his companion at the time, Donna, if anything strange had happened on Earth recently. When she mentions the vanishing bees (a real thing, coincidentally enough), Ten has an epiphany.
French for “let’s go!”, “allons-y” was the Tenth Doctor’s catchphrase for pretty much his entire run. In the first episode of the two-part second season finale (“Army of Ghosts”), he mentioned how he would love to meet someone named “Alonzo” simply so he could say the above line. It was a situation he would eventually find himself in during the Christmas special “Voyage of the Damned.”
Yeah. They had a Christmas episode called “Voyage of the Damned.” Welcome to Doctor Who.
Another oft-repeated line by the Doctor, often used to express satisfaction with a moment. We’ll add “Well…” to the list too, since the Doctor used that so often to deflect praise.
Despite being a centuries-old master of time and space, The Doctor still finds himself confounded by any number of things. So much so that, during his run on the show, he would up utter “what” so much he sounded like a time travelling Stone Cold Steve Austin.
“When you start this new world. This world of human and hath. Remember that! Make the foundation of this society, a man who never would!”
The Doctor abhors violence and when pushed to the point where almost any creature would seize vengeance, he simply does not, choosing to instead teach a valuable lesson to two long-warring factions as they witness the birth of a terraforming world. It’s one of many powerful moments by David Tennant.
“I’m the Doctor”
Despite the fact that he genuinely cares more about others than he does himself (thus the reason he’s risked his life to save the universe a grand total of 100 jabillion-zillion times), he still has no illusions as to just how much of a badass he really is. Just like in this speech from “Voyage of the Damned.”
“I don’t want to go.”
There was nowhere else where this could possibly end, and for that, I am so sorry. But Tennant’s emotional farewell is as much a part of his character’s arc as any catchphrase or quote. The 10th Doctor loved being the Doctor and he didn’t want the party to end.
These are just a few great quotes from the David Tennant era on Doctor Who. We’d love to read your favorites down below.