David Tennant: 'gen:LOCK' Character Makes a "Misstep" in the Story

But you'll "have to wait and see," the former 'Doctor Who' star tells Inverse.

From Gallifrey to Hell’s Kitchen to the English coastal village of Broadchurch, David Tennant is making a leap into the future. In the new science-fiction anime gen:LOCK, from Austin studio Rooster Teeth, Tennant voices an eccentric scientist whose breakthrough technology creates a new breed of mecha pilots. The series also stars Michael B. Jordan and Maisie Williams.

During a Tuesday appearance at the PaleyFest in New York, Tennant tells Inverse he’s “humbled” to work in animated shows like gen:LOCK due to a kind of creativity and trust not present in live-action camera work. He also teases that his character, Dr. Weller, makes a “misstep” in the story.

“What am I allowed to say? This is where I get nervous,” Tennant says. “He’s a scientific genius; he has enabled the technology that sets the story in motion. And then he might take a misstep. You’ll have to wait and see!”

"He’s a scientific genius, he has enabled the technology that sets the story in motion. And then he might take a misstep. — David Tennant on his ‘gen:LOCK’ character

While a celebrated actor on film, TV, and on the stage, with starring roles in hits like the BBC drama Broadchurch and the long-running science-fiction serial Doctor Who, as well as a villain in the first season of the Marvel/Netflix series Jessica Jones, Tennant has a genuine admiration for voice work in animation.

“I love working in animation,” he says. “All you’ve got is your voice. Everything has to happen in the script and you’re just trying to create something in that moment. And then you give it away and months later you see what animation has done to it. It’s a really interesting collective experience, but collective at arm’s length. It’s like an oil painting. It happens stroke by stroke.”

While Tennant is no stranger to voice over work — in fact, his initial entry into Doctor Who was through an uncredited role in the 2003 web animated series Scream of the Shalka, produced for the show’s 40th anniversary — Rooster Teeth’s gen:LOCK is his first in the realm of Japanese-style animation. “I feel humbled to be in the middle of that creativity,” he says.

gen:LOCK premieres January 26 on Rooster Teeth’s FIRST.

Jake Kleinman contributed reporting for this story.