Doctor Who: Goodbye, Matt Smith, and Things the New Doctor Needs to Know

Categories: Doctor Who

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Last Saturday, the BBC announced that the Eleventh Doctor was hanging up his fez and bowtie. Matt Smith will leave Doctor Who during the 2013 Christmas special, regenerating into the next incarnation of the Time Lord. Hints have abounded for almost a year that the strain of being The Doctor was wearing on Smith, and his recent entry into Hollywood via How to Catch a Monster has ensured he will likely follow Christopher Eccleston's path towards feature film star.

Goodbye, Mr. Smith. I for one will miss you a great deal.

I have no desire to follow the example of my other Whovian pop culture critic colleagues and give you a list of who I think the next Doctor will be. For the sake of weighing in I'm hoping for Rupert Grint, Idris Elba, or Harry Lloyd, but I'm sure those are all wrong. Instead, I'll quote Steven Moffat.

"Somewhere out there right now - all unknowing, just going about their business - is someone who's about to become the Doctor."

Flashback
Doctor Who: An Alternative History of 11 American Female Doctors

Which is Zygonpoop, of course. The chances of the role having not already been cast is less than zero. There's a man, or hell maybe a woman, who is about to enter a world they've never dreamed of. To that actor, I dedicate this list.

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You Will Talk About This For the Rest of Your Life: During Comicpalooza I had the chance to speak a fair amount with Frazer Hines, who played the Second Doctor's companion Jamie McCrimmon. I also watched a panel with Ian McNiece, who played Winston Churchill in but two episodes of the modern series. Both men had no shortages of people desperate to pump them about any and every aspect of their experiences with Doctor Who.

No matter what else you do after this, Doctor Who will define you. It will be mentioned in your obituary. If you win an Academy Award, or dedicate your life to fighting AIDS in Africa, or walk on the moon, you will always be The Doctor. Forever. The show is older than all three modern actors who have played the lead, and there is no shortage of people from all across Earth's last fifty years of history who have been touched by the series. You can never, ever let it go. Especially because...

You Will Have to Be Nice to Crazy People For the Rest of Your Life, Too: I have a love/hate relationship with comic convention panels. Sometimes you hear questions from the audience that astound you and teach you something you have never known. Other times lunatics grab the mic and shoot word bullets at the heads of the actors and writers.

You have no choice. You have to treat them equally, or end up in the same hot water John Simms did. And hell, meaning no disrespect to Mr. Simms or the role at all, he was just The Master. Yet he still, clearly, had people come up to him that were a little too intense to deal with. The reason is because there is a level of fandom that happens because some people have led lives where something like Star Trek or comic books or Doctor Who is the only reliable constant.

It's like this... say you wanted to be a nurse. It's a noble, well-paying profession, but it comes with a certain amount of getting pooped on or taking the occasional gut full of projectile vomit to the face. Nonetheless, that's what you sign up for, and you can't complain. Being The Doctor is exactly like that. You make a lot of people's lives better, but some of them are nuts that lash out.


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12 comments
Chris Caswell
Chris Caswell

Considering it only great the last few episodes, this sucks.

Noah Ramon
Noah Ramon

BATSHIT THEORY : Jenna-Louise Coleman. In-story, she's threaded all throughout his timeline now, so it'd make sense that one of the ways that Clara "saves" him is more proactive than some of the others. Meta-story, there's been more and more of a call for a female or non-white Doctor, and this'd get us part of the way there (and with style, IMHO). Plus, while they've confirmed that COLEMAN's returning for Series 8, I don't think that they explicitly said that CLARA's returning, which would be a nice "ha ha, fooled you" for Moffat to pull. I mean, I'm well aware that it's not gonna happen, but it's my pet batshit theory, and I'm kinda pleased with it.

TardisFanGirl
TardisFanGirl

It should totally be Harry Lloyd. How do we get the word to Moffat? ;)

Hanabi-chan
Hanabi-chan topcommenter

It's John Simm, not Simms. I loved his turn as the Master. Plus, I think he is yummy. When Simm and Tennant were in the same scene, my ovaries exploded.

And I am very sorry to see Matt Smith go.  I enjoyed his potrayal and hope whoever replaces him does just as good a job.

animelvr2000
animelvr2000

I think for the seasons that he played Matt Smith did a great job portraying a slightly darker side of the doctor. I'm a huge Tennant fan and loved the fun side that he played. Each portraying a side of the Doctor that expressed the story in a fun and intellegent way.

Dude
Dude

What's wrong with Matt Smith's Doctor having similarities to Patrick Troughton's Doctor?  They ARE the same person after all.  I think people tend to forget that.  It's ONE MAN with 11 faces.  The Doctor that Matt Smith portrayed is literally the same man that William Hartnell portrayed.

Kitti Walkup-Birkhead
Kitti Walkup-Birkhead

I never have anyone in mind when they talk about recasting the Doctor. However, I am always concerned that the new Doctor won't measure up to the last one. So far, I have not been disappointed, but I really don't know how they can keep topping the last Doctor.

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

@animelvr2000 Smith grew on me. His work is very rewatchable, and he is bar none the best Christmas Doctor so far. 

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

@Dude It's not that. It's also that so many scripts and stories seem to borrow from Troughton's time. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Second Doctor fan, but comparing him so much to a previous Doctor often kept me from appreciating what he developed by himself. 

Dude
Dude

@JefWithOneF @animelvr2000 Yes, I think it had something to do with the fact that Matt's Christmas specials actually had something to do with Christmas :D

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