Matt Smith was my first Doctor.
As much as I want to deny it, it’s the truth. Coming very late to the game in 2011, my first experience of Doctor Who was watching Matt Smith in The Time Of Angels. I then went back to the beginning, and after watching the brilliance of Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, began to call David “MY” Doctor and never looked back.
It was announced this morning that Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who with this year’s Christmas Special. This is the first time since I began watching the series that there will be a regeneration (as opposed to me belatedly watching them), and yet, I just feel relieved.
I never fell in love with Matt’s Eleventh Doctor the way so many others did. He was likeable enough, but there was just something about him that irked me. In three seasons (I am so glad that Matt is not staying longer than David), there are episodes I could count on one hand that I truly loved, and even then it was mainly because of the supporting characters (case in point: The Lodger).
I also could never become attached to the Eleventh Doctor’s companions the way I was supposed to. I think the wounds of losing Rose and Donna were still too raw, and Captain Jack (and even Martha) left gaping, obvious holes that the Pond’s just couldn’t fill. And for Clara to only get half a season with Matt, well, that’s barely enough time to call her a fully-fledged companion. They annoyed me more than I could ever like them, and when you have annoying companions and a Doctor who worships them, well, then the Doctor is going to end up annoying you too.
To be fair, I believe this was more Moffat’s fault that Mr. Smith’s himself. Moffat’s show running, to put it nicely, has been a disaster. I loved Moffat when he wrote episodes under Russel T. Davies (in fact, every single one of my favourite episodes from RTD era was written by Moffat), but once he got put in charge of the show, everything went to crap. There have been SO MANY problems, and so many crappy story-lines in the past three seasons (please don’t get me started on River Song), that I just haven’t fallen in love with it the way I used to. Rather than loving episodes, my first reaction is now to want to hunt down Moffat and throw things at his head. It’s not Matt’s fault that Moffat is turning the show to crap, it’s just unfortunate.
There has been almost zero emotional attachment, on my side, to the Eleventh Doctor and his world. Unlike when Nine regenerated and I sobbed because I couldn’t imagine anybody else being the Doctor, unlike when Ten regenerated and I thought my world was ending…I’m just going to feel mildly sad but mostly hopeful for the future when we see Matt go.
My biggest fear, however, is that with Moffat still as show-runner, the Twelfth Doctor (wow, that’s weird to type) is just going to be a regeneration of failed hopes and dreams (and not in the awesome “The Doctor’s Hopes And Dreams” way, just in the regular Whovians will be disappointed way). To truly start again, we need a clean slate. Say goodbye to Moffat and maybe the show will return to its former beauty. But right now, I fear for the future of Doctor Who, and I know I’m not alone in those fears.
I suppose all we can do is sit back and wait for November.
What are your thoughts on Matt Smith’s departure?