- David Tennant told a crowd Tuesday night in New York City at PaleyFest that he fought to have his version of Doctor Who wear battered Converse sneakers on the BBC America series.
- Tennant said crew members didn’t like the idea of the iconic character, who was introduced in the ’60s, wearing some old shoes.
- They wanted his character to wear boots.
- “That was the only thing I absolutely insisted on,” Tennant said. “I’m glad I did.”
It’s tough to imagine David Tennant’s popular “Doctor Who” character without his trademark suit and Converse sneakers, but the look almost didn’t come together.
Tennant told a crowd Tuesday night at PaleyFest in New York City that he had to fight to wear the doctor’s iconic footwear on screen.
“I had these really old, battered, cream-coloured Converse shoes that I brought in and I said, ‘I want to wear these.’ And people didn’t like that idea,” Tennant told fans.
“I had to really fight for them. They were like, ‘No, no, no. I’ve got these wonderful boots,'” he continued to laughter from the crowd.
Tennant said there was nothing wrong with the boots the crew wanted him to wear; they just weren’t the look he’d imagined for his iteration of the Tenth Doctor on the BBC America show.
“They’re beautiful. They’re beautiful boots. But I want to wear these crappy old trainers,” Tennant said, noting that his preference for the Converse shoes was a “really unpopular choice” in parts of the “Doctor Who” design department.
Tennant said some members of the crew were “ganging up” on him, explaining how they wouldn’t work for the show when he would be running down corridors. Tennant also said he was told they would be “too cold” or “too warm.”
“That was the only thing I absolutely insisted on, battered old shoes, because that always just felt like that was the right thing to do,” Tennant added. “I’m glad I did.”
Tennant, who said he had been a big fan of the original series since he was a young child, had a lot of say about the outfit his popular “Doctor Who” character wore. Earlier in the panel, Tennant said his look for the Tenth Doctor was inspired by another actor.
“I remember seeing Jamie Oliver on a chat show wearing – not the same kind of suit [as the Doctor]. He wore a suit with his trainers, and I thought, there’s something about that kind of says the right thing. It’s kind of like, ‘I’m sort of an official, but I’m really not,” Tennant said to a lot of laughter.
Tennant said before he received the job as the Doctor, he sat down with “Doctor Who” writer Russell T. Davies – who he worked with on the miniseries “Casanova” – to watch the reboot, which starred Christopher Eccleston, before it aired. The actor joked that if he was to ever play the Doctor, he would want a really long coat.
Later, when he accepted the part, Tennant said that was the first thing he asked to have for his character. The rest of the look evolved from there.
Tennant may not be on “Doctor Who” anymore, but he gave his stamp of approval on Jodie Whittaker taking over the role. The actor said he was thrilled as a friend and fan of Whittaker. The two worked together on BBC hit “Broadchurch.”
New episodes of “Doctor Who” air on BBC America Sundays at 8 p.m. ET. Tennant will appear on HBO’s upcoming “Camping” with Jennifer Garner, premiering Sunday at 10 p.m. ET, and TV series “Good Omens” on Amazon Prime in 2019.
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