For a Whovian last Christmas, it was a time for celebration and festivities…….and soul crushing sadness. Because as of that Christmas day, Matt Smith stepped down from his perch and welcomed the new Doctor to the show.
If you have been a fan of this series for long enough, then you know that it was inevitable. The Doctor that you have come to love, will always leave. Be it from radiation poisoning, or from simply a lump on the head, the Doctor always says goodbye.
I remember it well, when Christopher left the show. He was my first doctor and I was not aware of the process of regeneration. You can imagine the shock when I saw my new favorite character just suddenly die. Taking the whole of time and space and trying to hold it, just to save Rose Tyler. Hurting him almost as much as it hurt me to watch it. Leaving me in a lump of emotions, staring at a dark screen.
I have grown since then, I am now used to watching the Doctor die. It’s not like we have not seen it happen again and again through the shows forty plus years. Sometimes happening several times in one episode.
Yet, even with my now jaded view of the universe, I still felt myself tear up when I watched Matt Smiths last minutes on the screen. It could have been any number of things, that made me feel again, maybe it was the fact that his parting speech was possibly the best the show has ever mustered. It might have been that this time around it was him standing up to all of his enemy, not a noble sacrifice. Somehow an act of sheer defiance was more poignant then even a hundred grandpas trapped in a radiation chamber. Or maybe it was that you could see in Matt s eyes the sadness of leaving. Whatever the case, it broke down some of my walls, and I will admit that my eyes got a bit on the glassy side.
I am probably going to get some serious disagreements here, but I think that Matt Smith was the best doctor, is the best doctor. He was most playful, the most kind, a trait that the last two doctor did not seem to truly have. They saved people and planets of course, but they would never have agreed to help a little girl who was afraid of a crack in her wall.
He was also the most eccentric of the “New Who”, a trait that in my opinion finally made the character come across as what he was, an alien. The average viewer might forget that fact, well watching certain episodes, he is not just a brilliant time traveler. He is also an alien, and of course he would say things or do things that would seem weird to us.
Which was a very smart decision on the editors part. It was fresh to see a doctor that was comical, not constantly haunted by the deaths that surrounded his very existence. We get enough of that from the various side characters in the show. In fact that is my biggest complaint when it comes to the David Tennant era.
During the time Matt was on the show, he was able to take the show in all sorts of place, showed what could be done with the character, explored the darkness and the glory that fills up a “whole lot of middle”.
I will miss him, but I am sure that he left us in good hands. There has never been a bad actor who portrayed the doctor yet, and I’m not a gambling man, but I would be willing to bet that Stephen Moffat still has plenty of tricks to show us.
So goodbye raggedy man. Thanks for making everything just a bit more fun.
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