Saturday, September 24, 2011

Accents have consequences

Interesting to read Mike Small's speculation (taking his cue from Angus Macleod) that David Tennant might have a leading role in the No campaign during the independence referendum. As you might know, I'm a great fan of both Doctor Who and Tennant, but if he did end up fronting some kind of all-singing, all-dancing 'save the union' campaign, I fancy there'd be one rather problematical question he'd find himself faced with again and again -

If Scotland is such a "valued partner within the United Kingdom", why was it not considered possible or desirable for you to retain your Scottish accent while playing the Doctor, especially since your predecessor Christopher Eccleston was perfectly able to use his own Lancashire accent?

The Doctor is, after all, from Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous, not from inner London, so a Ralston accent would have been just as appropriate as the Mockney one Tennant adopted for the part. Paradoxically, there's been much more of a Scottish element to the show since the moment Tennant left.


  1. It might have just been Tennant covering for his bosses, but I'm positive I heard him say in an interview that it was actually his own choice to put the accent on.

  2. I'm pretty sure you're right, Doug, and that makes it even worse for him if he were to end up fronting a 'save the union' campaign. It seems he felt the only way to play a "British" institution was to put on an English accent, which tell its own story.