Doctor Who star Matt Smith is leaving: A review of the Eleventh incarnation of the Time Lord
He entered the world of Doctor Who yelling and bemoaning the fact that he wasn’t ginger (again) before crashing the Tardis (again). But now it’s time for Matt Smith to leave – how will the Eleventh incarnation be judged?
Back in January 2009, there was much scepticism as to whether this 26-year-old could play the Doctor. Admittedly, a twenty-something had done it before when Peter Davison took on the role as the Fifth incarnation, but that’s by the by. Just who was this Matt Smith? He had only really made an appearance in the political drama Party Animals and starred alongside Doctor Who alumna Billie Piper in The Ruby in the Smoke.
David Tennant’s multitude of fans were bowled over by his Time Lord, and could not imagine anyone replacing him. There are still those now calling for Tennant’s return – don’t worry, he will back… briefly.
So Matt Smith had a challenge to equal Davison’s when he took over from Tom Baker. Truth be told, I actually didn’t like Tennant’s Doctor when he first regenerated. Yet with Smith I was sold after one of the final scenes in The Eleventh Hour when he uttered the immortal words: ‘Hello. I’m the Doctor. Basically… run’. This fresh-faced footballer-turned-actor could pull it off.
Over the past four years, there have been less than convincing storylines, particularly when they involved the crossing of timelines and overarching arcs, lost a few of us somewhere along the way. But Smith has brought something new to the role. He has the slapstick of Patrick Troughton – the other bow-tie wearing Doctor – who Smith has cited as his favourite incarnation. But in Smith we saw a more vulnerable Doctor, when he lost the Ponds and wept over River Song.
Smith will be appearing in the 50th anniversary special on 23 November, and will be making his final appearance in this year’s Christmas special when he will be regenerating.
It’s unsurprising to learn of his decision to leave – after all, he’s currently starring in Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut How to Catch a Monster, but that’s not all. Smith’s own foray into directing, Cargese, recently aired on Sky Arts. Time to leave the Tardis.
Profile of the Eleventh Doctor:
Sartorial choices: Fezzes, Stetsons, braces and bow ties
Culinary favourites: Fish fingers smothered in custard; Jammy Dodgers
Also known as: Raggedy Man
Main companions: Amy Pond, Rory Williams and Clara Oswald
Greatest foes: The Weeping Angels, the Silence, the Whispermen, the Daleks
Best episodes: The Eleventh Hour; The Doctor’s Wife; Asylum of the Daleks
Snog: Clara Oswald
Marry: River Song
Avoid: Amy Pond
For more on this topic see:David Tennant, doctor who, Jenna Louise-Coleman, Karen Gillan, matt smith, Matt Smith leaving, steven moffat, Tom Baker
Recent Posts on Arts
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter