Friday, May 25, 2012

Good Fridays: Who Will Run

Whovians might've heard that Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor from the BBC series Doctor Who) will carry the Olympic Torch in Cardiff on Saturday. This has caused a stir of olympic proportions in the fandom (as I saw on Twitter when the news was announced). Die-hard fans of the Tenth Doctor David Tennant clamor that he should be the one to carry the torch - mostly due to this Doctor actually carrying a torch in the episode Fear Her. If it was all about the Who storyline, then I'd agree with them. But Matt Smith is our current Doctor and that's the topic of this Good Fridays.

I understand that Whovians great and small get very attached to certain Doctors. I feel the same, but my stance is, if you love the character, then you love all of his incarnations. The first Doctor I ever saw was Tom Baker. He was a crazy-eyed, nutball of a timelord who always wore a hat and very long scarf. I suppose, now that I think of it, I'm fascinated by Matt Smith's version because he reminds me a lot of Baker. Crazy-but-brilliant looks good on the Doctor.

That's not to say I didn't absolutely love David Tennant. He had a brooding, snarky, tragic quality that was terribly appealing - particularly to the female fans. When he was sad he was a puppy in the rain, and when he was angry he was a raging inferno. His moodiness struck a chord with fans and we just couldn't forget him. It helped that he played the role longer than either Christopher Eccleston (the Ninth Doctor) or the newcomer Matt Smith.

Another reason so many loved Tennant as the Doctor was that he had sex appeal a lot of other Doctors didn't. When I first saw the show with Tom Baker, loving him as much as I did at the time (bear in mind I was a kid watching reruns) I thought I'd like the show a lot more if the Doctor was better-looking. Life happened, I drifted away from Doctor Who and nearly forgot about it. Then voila! Years later they bring the show back from the dead and (after Eccleston) the charismatic David Tennant lands the role. (All I can say is "Oh yes!") I fell in love with Ten right then and there.

Here's the catch. I saw the seasons with David Tennant after Matt Smith already had the role, after I'd already seen The Eleventh Hour. That's why the end of Ten was almost too much for me to bear. I hate sad stories and losing beloved characters. I hate end-of-the-world, bleak, doom scenarios. More than that, I hate when writers treat the end of a season as if it's the end of the series, leaving fans numb to the episodes that follow it.

I wish I could block out seeing The End of Time, because it always makes me remember Ten in a negative light - tragic, desperate, falling apart, even though he knew he could regenerate. This was not the Doctor I wanted to remember.

That's why Eleven stuck in my head like a favorite song. He was refreshing and upbeat in a way Tennant's Doctor could never be. So when Ten regenerated, I was ready for a change. I needed new hope. I needed a new hero. I needed Matt Smith.

The Eleventh Hour paired so many things I loved - the larger-than-life Doctor Who legacy, a child Amy Pond with her imaginary friend, and most of all - the younger, better-looking wacky replacement for Tom Baker who I'd loved as a kid.

That's why I love Matt Smith's Doctor, and why I wish the rest of the fandom would give him a chance.




4 comments:

  1. ...I don't think we can be friends anymore...

    I like Eleven and Matt Smith is fantastic in the role, but I feel his stories have all been too convoluted for 45 minute episodes. And I know this is an unpopular opinion, but Amy drives me up the wall - although she's nowhere near as annoying as Rose. I just can't connect to her at all.

    And I reaaaaaaaaaaaally don't like what they did with River Song. I jokingly told a friend my theory and when it turned out to be right I was horrified. Just... just... aaaaaaaargh!! NO!

    Ten will always be my Doctor and Donna will always be my companion. The End of Time ruins me every time because that's my Doctor dying and I DON'T WANT HIM TO GO EITHER!!! ;_________;

    So we shall have to agree to disagree ;)

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  2. We don't really disagree that much, actually. I can like the way Matt plays the Doctor without liking the way Moffat writes the episodes. It got nuts and I still don't like River or all the crazy that led up to her. So heavy agreement with you there. I really really don't like River Song. (also blogged about that)

    I don't know how to explain it, but I just LIKE this Doctor, just like I loved most of the episodes with Tennant and Tennant's role. The end got so hairy for me that I couldn't bear it. It hurt too much. It wasn't fair, etc. I think it even made a lot of people just stop watching Doctor Who. And that, to me, was a shame.

    I'm hoping that things change soon in the series because I don't like the way it's headed. I DO like the Doctor and that's what this blog post was about. Not the lunatic writing. The Doctor. - Besides, when the people on Twitter tried to diminish the honor given to Matt Smith it made me sad. I don't think people need to tear someone down in order to build someone else up. Tennant has our hearts too. He always will.

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  3. FRIENDSHIP RESTORED!!!!!

    Matt Smith was the perfect choice after David Tennant. How hard a job he had to take over from the most popular Doctor of all time! But alas, the writing just didn't help.

    I agree - no one should take Matt Smith's accomplishments away from him. And he brought a lot of people to Doctor Who for the first time. So yes, he absolutely deserves to run with the torch. But it would be awesome for David Tennant to do it as well.

    ^_^

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  4. Lol! I'm glad. That's probably why so many gave him a hard time when he started. It'd take a very brave soul to follow up THAT! (and that was the point, oh R. T. Davies' bunch, you wicked people - brilliant and wicked, all the same. I probably would've done it too.)

    I have NO idea what Moffat is planning to do and it scares the heck out of me! I really don't want to see River as a constant companion.

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