Last month, the renowned Scottish actor lost his father and role model, The Very Reverend Sandy Mc Donald, after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis. As Tennant mourns the passing of his father, I can’t help but reflect on his special relationship as father and son, as made evident at Britain’s 2015 National Television Awards.
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m a geek, especially when it comes to star anything Prayed doctor who. My geekdom started early, devouring comics off the shelf at my grandfather’s general store. I carried throughout my childhood, whether in a blue box or a starship. I confess that it still travels with me in my sixth decade
Never fear. I didn’t just watch fantasy shows or read comics all those years. I read (both pronunciations) everything I could find, from the back of the cereal box to Churchill’s. History of the English-speaking peoples.
But by far the most important book I read (both pronunciations again) is the Bible. Some of you can stop reading right here. Please no. Stay with me a little longer. You may be wondering, “What the hell does this have to do with the Tenth Doctor?
Tennant’s most famous role may always be his incarnation of the Doctor in the iconic BBC production first televised over fifty years ago. But his range as an actor allows him to excel on stage and screen, playing roles as diverse as Hamlet, a beleaguered detective or a pauper. It came as no surprise to anyone but Tennant himself when he was called onstage to receive the Special Recognition Award during Britain’s National Television Awards in 2015.
Tennants wide church co-star, Olivia Coleman, noted “…his complete lack of ego.” That’s high praise for anyone, especially an acclaimed actor. Throughout the performance, his expression of astonishment and not a few sincere tears from him were a sign of humility, especially when his father surprised him during a secretly prepared tribute film.
The Right Reverend Sandy McDonald, Minister and Moderator of the Church of Scotland, had this to say about his son:
“He may not like me saying this, but he’s kind. And it shows in a lot of the things he does… He loves people. And that’s a great gift. In this day and age, loving people makes the world a better place. And I think David, in everything he does, makes the world a better place. But then, as you must realize, I’m his father!
The love and respect between father and son was evident. No wonder Tennant dedicated his award to his father. “He is an inspiration and a role model,” Tennant said. “Thank you Sandy.” Like father Like Son. Love. Respect. A “complete lack of ego”.
Tennant’s father spent his life as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The very Son of God walked among us with amazing love and gentleness for everyone from great rulers, lowly fishermen, and despised tax collectors. The King of Kings displayed a complete lack of ego that drew everyone to him except those filled with his own pride and importance.
Jesus came to draw people to himself and to his Father, our heavenly Father. He taught his disciples to do the same. So they, without thinking of themselves, went out and changed all time and space forever.