TV EYE: The Eleventh Doctor

I’ll admit, my first reaction was “Who the hell is THAT?” I hadn’t even been aware he was on the list of possibles, I hadn’t seen anything with him in, so the caption “Matt Smith – The Eleventh Doctor” just left me going WTF? The bizarre teases throughout the frankly over-extended (if entertaining) bit of puff were giving us little nuggets of info – at the moment his hair was referenced, Patterson Joseph was out (someone who’d been mooted as a definite by various rumour-mongers), and when they said he was 26, I was left slightly perplexed. But, from the brief nuggets of the interview, Matt Smith looks like an odd, offbeat and interesting choice (which qualifies him for the role almost immediately) – weird, actorly, with a habit for gesticulating that I find quite familiar (My friend Tris once suggested that the best way to stop me from talking was tying my arms behind my back), energetic and enthused. It’s barnstormingly strange that there’ll be a Doctor who’s younger than me – and it’s something of a relief that they’ve gone for someone who’s good but not very well known, as most of the names mooted would have way too much baggage. Of course, there’s six months before he even starts filming, and we won’t properly get a good look for over a year. He may be brilliant, or he may be an absolute disaster – but it’s a bold choice, it’s a definite change, and could potentially be very interesting.

7 thoughts on “TV EYE: The Eleventh Doctor

  1. Yeah, it fit my suggestion that they were not going to go with anyone too well known, and bravo to the team for not going for an obvious choice. I was a bit taken aback to start with but I’ve warmed to the idea. I’m looking forward to seeing how the new team does.


  2. 11th Doctor
    I saw him mentioned on a BBC news report at lunchtime, along with a clip of him with Billie Piper in The Ruby in the Smoke. Having never been mentioned before this was obviously a leak… I too was taken aback, convinced that Moffat would go with someone older. I was never keen on Joseph, simply because I don’t rate him as an actor, I hankered after Julian Rhind-Tutt who has charisma or Chiwetel Ejiofor who can act. When Moffat said “26” I thought they’d cast some pretty boy from Hollyoaks and I felt physically ill… However, after a few moments of seeing this strange fellow, I could see what Moffat and Wenger saw in him. My only concern is that although he recognises the iconic nature of the character, he doesn’t seem to be a “fan” like Tennant, so perhaps doesn’t have his passion and enthusiasm and will see the part as “a role”. But, he looks a bit “method” so I get the feeling he’ll spends the next 6 months watching *every* episode to get in character.
    Bold choice. I trust Moffat so I’m quietly enthusiastic…


    • Re: 11th Doctor
      It certainly doesn’t worry me that he’s not a “fan”. I doubt most Doctors prior to Tennant would have classed themselves a fans, Eccleston included – though they could dutifully wax lyrical about its iconic status as required.
      I agree that you can see some Doctorish potential in him when he talks. If only he were a little bit older… but I’m happy to give him a chance.


      • Re: 11th Doctor
        As above- the ‘fan’ thing with Tennant really is a rare thing, and anyway, as an actor, while you might be a fan of the show and the role, when it comes to a technical point of view, you’ve got to throw out all of your love of the people who’ve gone before you and just treat it as a ‘role’, in order to make it your own.
        The other thing to remember is something I only recently realised when chatting to a friend – that there’s a big chunk of people who are now in their mid twenties (including Matt Smith) who didn’t grow up with Doctor Who – they either hit the fading years of the show in the mid-eighties, or they fell into that sixteen-year gap when the show simply wasn’t there. I mean, yes there were people who became fans of the show in that time, but there wasn’t the regular knowledge that every year, Who would be there. Smith’s 26 – which means he’d only be likely to have a sketchy memory of the Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy eras which are (aside from a handful of gems) hardly the show’s greatest moments. It’s one of those realisations that makes you realise time is permanently marching on, and makes you want to go and sit quietly in a corner and think about things.
        Anyhow, he’s an interesting choice, and definitely not a pretty male model/Hollyoaks type (as in ITV1’s Demons, which I saw last night and was decidedly unimpressed by). His youth’s certainly one of those things that make me go ‘hmmm’, but I’m willing to give Moffat the benefit of the doubt – he himself said that he’d been thinking older, but that Smith was the right guy for the role. I guess we’ll see in 2010…


      • Re: 11th Doctor
        Eeek. Although, to be honest, it hit me yesterday that we’re only one year away from 2010. We were supposed to have Roy Scheider orbiting Jupiter by now. We never quite get the future we expect, do we? (Which is one of those phrases which is uncomfortably relevant for me right now…)
        Gosh. That got uncomfortably serious. I must go and listen to something very silly to compensate…


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