I’ve tried to think of the right way to say this without surprising and/or offending anyone but I think it’s sort of like ripping off a band-aid – I just need to go ahead and say it.
I know they say you never forget your first Doctor and maybe that has something to do with it. The first episode I caught was an early Matt Smith episode written by Neil Gaiman that had me sucked into the Doctor Who black hole – never to return to normal society again. I didn’t fully understand the story line at that point but I was fascinated. The characters, the costumes, the mystery! I couldn’t turn away. Smith was silly and playful and I loved it.
Jump ahead a week and thanks to Netflix I was knee deep in an epic Doctor Who marathon. Were it up to me I would have watched every episode back-to-back but I had to stop watching occasionally to go to work, pay the bills, or get school work done. Because of the real world (not the MTV one, the actual one) it took me a couple of months to make my way through all of the new seasons. It was a fun time for me, getting caught up in the story while David complained about coming home to Doctor Who on TV every day (he’s not a fan) – and Matt Smith was the one who started it all.
When I started with the Christopher Eccleston season I connected with the brooding Doctor (have you met my husband?) and I thought he was fantastic but when David Tennant rolled in for season two he quickly overshadowed Eccleston. He was fun and charming and always wooing. He was a huge departure from Eccleston’s Doctor and I really enjoyed it. And I don’t think I really need to mention the Doctor & Rose love story (I die).
The transition between Tennant and Smith was hard. We spent longer with Tennant than Eccleston – it seemed too soon. I don’t think anyone was ready for Tennant to leave and for the quirky Matt Smith to take the lead. I really liked Eccleston’s Doctor and I loved Tennant’s Doctor almost immediately – like most people – but also like most people it took me a while to warm up to Smith’s Doctor. Because he was my first I definitely wasn’t outraged like many people but I didn’t get as excited about him as I thought I would off the bat.
And really – outrage? Outrage?? I love this show as much as the next Whovian but you people need to calm the hell down. The entire show is built around the idea that the lead character is constantly changing and that each Doctor is different than the last. So if you have a problem with one of the Doctors because he’s different or not what you expect – get over it. It’s not up to you. If you can’t embrace the changing lead character deal then you really need to find a new favorite show. Change is hard – I get it – but I think a lot of people in the Whoniverse (ha!) could stand to calm the hell down with their feelings on the new versus old Doctors.
Over the seasons Matt Smith has really grown on me. It certainly helps that he cut his hair (oh god, that hair) into something much more flattering but I have also really enjoyed watching his character develop. He was a bit fumbly and incredibly awkward at first but each companion made an impact on him and developed his character even further. I think that the Doctor with Clara is easily the best Matt Smith Doctor we have seen yet. He is refined but not too refined – still silly, and incredibly quirky. He is charming at times and intense at others. He has a fabulous fashion sense and great hair.
I can’t really figure out why Smith gets so much hate as the Doctor but maybe I’m just one odd duck relating to another and I can’t see the bigger picture.
The Eleventh Doctor is my doctor. Who’s yours?
*Out of the reincarnated series. I have seen numerous episodes of the original series from many of the Doctors but cannot make any judgments on the entire set of 11. There is no where streaming to catch all episodes of the original series so I have no way of watching them without buying – at a very pretty penny – the entire original series. Once I have my million dollars I will purchase the original series immediately, watch them all, and make my official decision on all Doctors up to that point.