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Doctor Who: David Tennant Has Both Praise And A Warning For Ncuti Gatwa

As most genre TV fans are undoubtedly aware, David Tennant is in the midst of reprising his two most iconic characters in two separate projects: "Good Omens" Season 2 and the upcoming trilogy of specials commemorating the 60th anniversary of "Dr. Who." For the latter, he'll be sharing the screen with the debut of the latest Doctor in a long line of Time Lords, played by Ncuti Gatwa. Recently, Tennant shared some helpful advice and praise for the "Who" newcomer.

Tennant was asked whether he had any advice for his fellow "Dr. Who" Time Lord during a Variety interview to promote "Good Omens" Season 2, and his answer was twofold. First, he seemed to be pretty impressed by Gatwa's onscreen acting work. "Oh God, what a force of nature. I've caught a little bit of him at work and it's pretty exciting," Tennant said. "I mean, what advice would you give someone? You can see Ncuti has so much talent and energy. He's so inspired and charismatic." But then Tennant answered the question with some surprisingly thoughtful insight into what it's like to step into the role for the first time.

"The thing about something like this is: it's the peripherals, it's not the job. It's the other stuff that comes with it, that I didn't see coming. It's a show that has so much focus and enthusiasm on it. It's not like Ncuti hasn't been in a massive Netflix series ['Sex Education,'] but 'Doctor Who' is on a slightly different level. It's cross-generational, international, and has so much history, that it feels like it belongs to everyone," Tennant said.

Tennant would tell Gatwa that becoming the new Doctor can be both 'wonderful' and 'terrifying'

"To be at the center of the show is wonderful and humbling, but also a bit overwhelming and terrifying," David Tennant went on to say, offering some surprisingly heartfelt and in-depth hypothetical advice for Ncuti Gatwa. In particular, Tennant highlighted that taking on such a major role involves an actor losing some of their own anonymity. And it sounds as if such a change is a bit jarring for those who aren't experienced with that type of media scrutiny. "It takes a bit of getting used to if that's not been your life up to that point," Tennant said.

Tennant makes starring in "Dr. Who" sound almost as challenging as being the actual Doctor. However, in the conclusion to his surprisingly lengthy answer, he revealed how he made it through, and while its utility as advice for Ncuty Gatwa may be somewhat limited, it should be a treat for any "Dr. Who" fan. "I was very lucky that when I joined, Billie Piper was still there. She'd lived in a glare of publicity since she was 14, so she was a great guide for how to live life under that kind of scrutiny. I owe a degree of sanity to Billie," Tennant said.

The 60th anniversary "Dr. Who" specials are set to air sometime in November, while the upcoming season of the long-running series is scheduled for next year.