You would think that after four years on Dr Who, playing the Timelord in the series would be as unforgettable as riding a bike to David Tennant. But the 37-year-old actor had a surprise confession to make this week, telling how he almost forgot how to play his famous on screen persona after a break from the sci-fi drama last year.
The Scottish actor admitted he struggled with getting back into character after taking nine months off, during which he wowed audiences in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet in Stratford-upon-Avon.
"I found it quite tricky to get into the mindset," says David, who returned to film the first of a series of specials before he hands over the role to newcomer Matt Smith. "I actually felt that I couldn't quite remember the Doctor's voice."
Fans will be pleased to hear he soon found his feet again, though. "Getting on set, putting on the costume and being surrounded by everyone, is like slipping back into something very familiar. It's like coming home," he explains to Dr Who magazine.
The first of four specials for this year, Planet Of The Death – which also stars former EastEnder Michelle Ryan - hits screens on April 11.