Like it or not, in the minds of million David Tennant will always be The Doctor. Matt Smith has done a fine job stepping in during the latest incarnations of Doctor Who, but Tennant is still most often identified with the Doctor. But the BBC seems to be hoping everyone will forget that he played the character, at least outside of BBC approved times for Tennant as The Doctor discussion.
The thing is, Tennant has done a new commercial for Virgin in which he sits on a couch and talks about their programming. At no point in the spot is Doctor Who actually referenced, but the BBC is pressuring Virgin to suspend the advertisement because they believe it infringes on their Doctor Who trademark. Here it is..
According to The Daily Mail, the BBC contends Richard Branson’s Virgin Mobile time machine in the background there, is a sly reference to Doctor Who and they aren’t going to stand for it. Since the time machine doesn’t really look anything like the TARDIS or for that matter even work anything at all like the TARDIS, to me it seems that what they’re really saying is David Tennant can no longer be in anything which references time travel.
And that hardly seems fair to David Tenannt.
It’s particularly ridiculous when you consider all the commercials actors like William Shatner have done over the years. Half his appearances seem to reference Star Trek in one way or another. And what about actors who show up at conventions to sign autographs for fans of their character? Aren’t they trading on the brand too?
Frankly, I think this ad doesn’t go far enough and that they should have found a way to get Tennant in a nice trenchcoat, maybe had him call Virgin “brilliant” or something. Because really, who cares? It’s David Tennant, let The Doctor live on in any way he can.