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The 11th Doctor
January 3, 2009 10:09 AM   Subscribe

The Eleventh Doctor Who was been announced. Matt who?
posted by codswallop (153 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I thought it was going to be a black guy. Damn rumors! You can never trust them!

I only know this man from his bit part in Secret Diary. He didn't suck, but didn't stand out.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:13 AM on January 3, 2009


I remain skeptical, but it is kinda cute that he's the 11th Matt Smith on IMDB.
posted by Ruki at 10:13 AM on January 3, 2009


Don't cry, Emo Who.
posted by Happy Dave at 10:17 AM on January 3, 2009 [11 favorites]


awww...I like the current Dr!
posted by Hands of Manos at 10:18 AM on January 3, 2009


No, no, no.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:25 AM on January 3, 2009


So, the next Doctor is a vegan vampire or what?
posted by The Whelk at 10:31 AM on January 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


And within seconds, fans were already bitching about the choice and saying he was bad for the role, despite knowing nothing about him.
posted by Legomancer at 10:32 AM on January 3, 2009 [8 favorites]


"I thought it was going to be a black guy."

They have names, I'm told.
posted by nthdegx at 10:33 AM on January 3, 2009


I was hoping for Stephen Fry. Or Hugh Laurie. Whichever.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:35 AM on January 3, 2009 [12 favorites]


Allow me to be the first to say:

"...Doogie?"
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:35 AM on January 3, 2009


A pre-pubescent fat-tongued posher. That'll work.
posted by vbfg at 10:36 AM on January 3, 2009


I, too, am sorely disappointed, but also understand the decision; the show has had enormous success with a young, skinny, sexy Doctor, so they're just taking it further in that direction. But, why not someone a bit... I don't know. Someone maybe just a bit older, with a slightly longer list of credits on the IMDb? I mean, I know undergrad drama students with far longer lists of film and television credits.

I was very excited for Paterson Joseph--Peep Show's Johnson--to take the part. Hearing the Doctor say Doctor-y things in that voice would have been INCREDIBLE.
posted by incomple at 10:38 AM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have never heard of him or seen him act. He's going to be TERRIBLE. I hate him.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 10:43 AM on January 3, 2009 [11 favorites]


I was very excited for Paterson Joseph--Peep Show's Johnson--to take the part.

Yeah, on the whole, I think that deflecting fan speculation by starting rumors that are much more interesting than what you actually plan to do is a strategy that, uh, could use a little rethinking.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:43 AM on January 3, 2009 [8 favorites]


Oh, yikes. I was looking forward to getting rid of Tennant and hopefully getting someone really different. An older actor, ideally... this guy looks just like 10.

Well, hopefully his acting will prove me wrong.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:48 AM on January 3, 2009


Yeah, definitely, kittens for breakfast... But, I mean, I've not seen this Matt Smith character in anything before. All I know right now is that he's kind of reminding me of, well, me. And I don't like that a bit.

Sure, he's better looking and everything, but he's still skinny white doofus that's roughly my age, so I'm expecting him to speak and carry himself like an annoying nebbish bumpkin. But I'll check out some of his prior credits; for all I know, he's a font of bombastic virile charisma. Initial disappointment aside, I'm keeping my hopes up.
posted by incomple at 10:54 AM on January 3, 2009


I have never heard of him or seen him act. He's going to be TERRIBLE. I hate him.

He might be really great -- Tennant didn't seem promising to me in the slightest, and I now think he's one of the best actors I've seen play the part -- but the teen-heartthrob Doctor is, on the face of it, a pretty predictable and bland choice in light of the expectations that have been built up. I don't think you can blame anyone for feeling sorta let down or "meh." My hope is that this is the guy that Moffat wanted, and not someone imposed on him by the BBC. If it's the former, I trust Moffat's judgment, and expect we'll all be pleasantly surprised.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:55 AM on January 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm really thinking, especially knowing Stephen Moffat's tendencies, that it's very likely that we'll get a Peter Davison-like young-looking-acting-old version of the Doctor (compared to Tennant's youthful-acting-youthful). I'm going to withhold my judgment until I see what direction they take it, but though never perfect, I've tended to agree with the judgments of the behind-the-scenes creative folks and am looking forward to the future... and a fan from long enough back that I'm still glad whenever there is a future to speak of.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:56 AM on January 3, 2009


Well I checked out his IMDB page, and now I really don't know...the Doctor should have at least a wee bit of gravitas, yes? This kid looks like someone who I could put over my knee and spank* after he refused to eat his vegetables.




Shut up. It is a children's show.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 10:56 AM on January 3, 2009


And as they've said many, many times -- the shooting schedule as it exists now doesn't really lend itself to an older actor. I'm not sure I agree with this, and if you ask Colin Baker, you'll get a diatribe about how ageist it is, but I was pretty sure they were staying young if only for that reason.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:57 AM on January 3, 2009


I think it's safe to say, given there must have been plenty of Big Name Actors interested, that if they cast a relative unknown then he must have been at least fairly impressive in the auditions. And I trust Moffat not to fuck it up. Should be interesting...
posted by flashboy at 10:58 AM on January 3, 2009


Stephen Fry as the Doctor, thatll be glorious.

First impressions of this guy are that hes going to be terrible at this, but then again I thought David Tennant would be a terrible doctor too before his first ep and he turned out to be awesome. Who knows, I hope Davies knows what he is doing.
posted by Z1LCH at 10:59 AM on January 3, 2009


I first noticed Matt Smith when he played the Curious Onlooker in 2004's Gotham, IL.
posted by pwally at 11:01 AM on January 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Here is a short new interview with Matt Smith on getting the role.

I expect the fangirls out there are going to be elated... Here's a fanvid of Matt Smith palling around with former Doctor's companion Rose / Billie Piper in "The Ruby and the Smoke", his first major role in 2006.

You know, he does have a bit of the Doctor about him... give him a chance... he'll do fine!
posted by markkraft at 11:02 AM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yuck. He's some trendy wankoid.
posted by Artw at 11:05 AM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


He was brill in that Cher film, Mask.
posted by pinkbuttonanus at 11:05 AM on January 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


pwally: I too thought he really SOLD that curiosity as he looked on. I was all "GodDAMN that onlooker is CURIOUS!"
posted by Legomancer at 11:05 AM on January 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


I thought it was going to be Barack Obama :(
posted by parallax7d at 11:10 AM on January 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Barack Obama is too inexperienced.
posted by Artw at 11:12 AM on January 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


I've seen some speculation that they chose to cast a younger actor with a shorter CV in the hopes that he'll stay in the role longer, a nod towards the fact that we're fast approaching the maximum number of possible regnerations.
posted by elfgirl at 11:17 AM on January 3, 2009


a nod towards the fact that we're fast approaching the maximum number of possible regnerations.

"Fact"? Please. I can't imagine anyone except hardcore fans gives a damn about the whole thirteen regenerations nonsense. This show has never cared too much about continuity, and there's no reason it should start.
posted by Legomancer at 11:21 AM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait, pwally and Legomancer, this guy is THAT Matt Smith?
posted by incomple at 11:23 AM on January 3, 2009


Yeah, I was hoping for Paterson Joseph, the guy who played the Marquis de Carabas in Neverwhere. I find the choice underwhelming, and while I love David Tennant generally, I was not that thrilled with him as the Doctor and much preferred Christopher Eccleston, anyway. I hope he's better than everyone expects, but since it seems most people are expecting nothing, it probably won't be that hard. Then again, if he does something awesome and makes the role his own, great . . but it's hard to beat Eccleston in my book for the "new" Doctors.
posted by Medieval Maven at 11:25 AM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


The one and only incomple, the one and only. Who's curious? Matt Smith, that's who.
posted by pwally at 11:28 AM on January 3, 2009


Clearly going for same old, same old (or rather same young)... I suppose it was too much to hope for some gravitas returning to the show.

I've actually seen some of the stuff he's been in and he didn't exactly stand out, either actor-wise or just in charisma (something you couldn't say about the last too choices). It was, who the hell is that? Until I IMDBed him...

And wow, he's fugly.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:28 AM on January 3, 2009


Now, I feel a vague sense of existential dread at the Doctor being younger than me, but these thinsg happen when you're in your 30s. Imagine how the Uks 12 year olds feel about it. It's all over now, kiddos, nowhere to go but down...
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on January 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well there's a landmark I wasn't looking forward to: I'm now older than Doctor Who.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:32 AM on January 3, 2009 [8 favorites]


I can't imagine anyone except hardcore fans gives a damn about the whole thirteen regenerations nonsense. This show has never cared too much about continuity, and there's no reason it should start.

Oh, man...if you don't think (provided the show stays on this long) that they'll wring every bit of existential angst they can get out of the thirteenth Doctor being unable to regenerate -- only to find a way to reset his regeneration clock in the last episode of that actor's run -- I mean, come on now.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:32 AM on January 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Earlier this year, he got a great write-up in the "That Face To Watch" column.

"I'm expecting a bit of a fop but Smith is funny and charming. . . Tall, languid with floppy good looks, Smith could so easily have ended up typecast as the male ingénue. But he can play posh and he can play rough. In the past year alone he's been a New Labour researcher, an Oedipal son and a Hollywood wannabe.

He grew up in an ordinary family in Northampton and never even went to drama school. He was all set to become a professional footballer (he played for Leicester City and Nottingham Forest youth teams) until he suffered a serious back injury. . . After he was injured his world fell apart. “But I had a wonderful teacher called Mr Hardingham, who put my name down for a play without my knowing about it. It was Twelve Angry Men and I was Juror Number 10. And then he put me into a drama festival and I didn't turn up,” he adds shaking his head apologetically, “because I was a footballer and acting wasn't that cool. But he kept pushing me and he got me the forms to apply for the National Youth Theatre. I started going to London and spending the summer doing plays with them.”

He went on to study drama and creative writing at the University of East Anglia.

By his third year he had an agent and was cast in a new play, Fresh Kills, upstairs at the Royal Court, before he'd even graduated. “That took me out of college for six weeks. Then I was invited to appear in On the Shore of the Wide World, first at Manchester's Royal Exchange and then when it transferred to the National.”

He stayed on another 18 months at the National, taking over the role of Lockwood in The History Boys. He also appeared in the teen play cycle Burn/Chatroom/Citizenship. “As a young actor, there is no better place to learn your craft.”

Smith is clearly relishing his second run in the West End, but what of his first? He is more muted about his time in Swimming with Sharks (playing opposite Christian Slater), which, as a West End star vehicle, was quite a different proposition from That Face.

“He's cool, Christian, I liked him. He's a good guy but I had a tough time ... for a variety of reasons,” he says carefully. “I'd never done that length of run before. At the Court, you're in, you're out. So it was quite at a learning curve.”

Smith is part of an edgy new generation of twentysomething actors, which includes Andrea Riseborough and Andrew Buchan (his Party Animals costars), and brothers Luke and Harry Treadaway. They excel at classical theatre as well as TV and film and all hang out together.

In his spare time Smith plays the piano and flute and reads a lot of poetry. And Smith is in love. After the first run of That Face he and Stenham went on holiday to Brazil. “ I stayed for six weeks, I meant to go for two, but I fell in love,” he says dreamily. “Now it's a bloody nightmare because she's 6,000 miles away. But what can you do when you're in love?”

Fortunately work is all-consuming. “I just want to try and make brave choices and not get too het up about ladders. Look at the careers of people like Michael Gambon and Ian McKellen,” he reminds himself. “Learn your craft. I'm still rough around the edges and I want to keep on improving.”

------------------------

Seems to me like he could be one of the best emerging actors of his generation in the UK. He's amusing, charming, apparently quite smart, and apparently has significant range as an actor. I'm excited for him.
posted by markkraft at 11:32 AM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Teen heartthrob?" Really? I didn't realize the ladies were into people that goofy looking these days. In fact, I'm pretty sure they're not, because I'm pretty goofy looking, and I'm noticeably lacking any heartthrob status.

Still, as others have said, I was dubious about Tennant, and he absolutely sold me. Hopefully this kid will work out, but when the dude is less than a year older than me, it's not encouraging.
posted by Caduceus at 11:34 AM on January 3, 2009


This show has never cared too much about continuity, and there's no reason it should start.

Seriously. This is DOCTOR WHO. He'll find the Tea Cozy of Rassilon which resets him to 12 more regenerations, and bam, problem solved.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 11:36 AM on January 3, 2009 [20 favorites]


markkraft, thanks for the links. The auto-completion for Matt Smith (when I first searched for video) was: drums, guitar, fight, vs fat boy, skateboarding, wrestling, vs dillon, wizards, vs dylan, love. But I imagine that today on, he'll rank much higher. That second clip only made me think of Ichabod Crane (though not exactly that version =)

I just found the televised version of the extended interview here - it's recorded from TV, but it's watchable. Matt Smith talks about the interview being in a hotel, and some other chaps talk about how he was The One from the first moment they saw him. The reasons are silly (first they say: He had the look!, then: It's all about his acting!)

And just for kicks, I boiled down the long interview to one-line answers:

How does it feel being cast as the eleventh doctor?
- I haven't slept. Everyone knows about it, it's iconic like Robin Hood and Sherlock Holmes
What was your initial reaction like?
- nervous pacing
How hard was it keeping it a secret?
- maddening and mischievous fun
Have you told anyone?
- My dad
How did your dad take the news?
- he was flabergasted and proud, and referenced Tom Baker
What was the audition like?
- I tried to be brave, it was very surreal
What did you have to do?
- worked through 4 or 5 scenes
Have you read any of the scripts?
- episodes 1 and 4 (written by Steven)
What's your doctor going to be like?
- no idea. I'm going to build a Time Lord in 6 months.
Have you been warned about the attention the role brings?
- yes (I'll focus on the role, probably not enough time to be very public)

It seems YouTube is now flooded with quick hacks of a few still shots + Dr Who music, but this one had Matt staged with the Tardis.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:36 AM on January 3, 2009


Also, he looks a wee bit like Chris Morris and Nigel Planer had a baby. Could work.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:40 AM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Although I trust Moffat's judgment as well, count me amongst the underwhelmed. I am very much a fan of Classic Who, and I think this show would be well served by going back to an older, more sophisticated-seeming Doctor. Bill Nighy is the type I have in my head.

If for no other reason than, frankly, Tennant re-defined the "young" doctor in a way not done since Davison. Don't try to compete with that - embrace the opposite.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 11:40 AM on January 3, 2009


Maybe next time the Doctor has to give a fake name, he'll go with Matt Smith on a whim instead of John Smith.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:40 AM on January 3, 2009


If they do let the Doctor regenerate more than 13 times I think it would be more suspenseful if it didn't go back to 0, but just went down by 1 for a doctor or three and the method of getting an extra regeneration becomes a major plot point. Then he figures out an easier way or something.
posted by Green With You at 11:42 AM on January 3, 2009


Caduceus, isn't he following something of the asymmetrical shaggy indie look? Maybe not so mainstream, but that should be a good thing with the Doctor. And I think it's worse when you're a few years older and pondering your life goals, to see a chap who never went to acting-type school get tapped for an epic role (in the eyes of some/many).

How many of the past Doctors were that well known when they were picked? I'm an American chap who lacks the background knowledge to properly judge how unknown he is vs. the predecessors.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:42 AM on January 3, 2009


He looks like a casting reject from a Duran Duran biopic.

Teen idol who... eeee... hope he isn't the male version of Bonnie Langford.
posted by Grrlscout at 11:45 AM on January 3, 2009


"Fact"? Please.

Yes, yes. Of course.

Just passing on a theory. Carry on.

Sheesh. Fanboys.
posted by elfgirl at 11:46 AM on January 3, 2009


Green With You: There a pills you can take for it.
posted by feelinglistless at 11:48 AM on January 3, 2009


Who the hell is Matt?
posted by wheelieman at 11:51 AM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Didn't the Master get extra regenerations, in a rather unnice manner?!

Seems to me that it would be natural -- almost essential to the Doctor's very nature -- for him to reject the notion of getting extra lives, as something which would be against the natural order of things... indeed, after spending so long being pretty much the last of his kind, he might almost welcome the idea of an end.

That said, I suspect that the Doctor's companion would know that it was necessary for him to essentially be around forever, in order to keep the destructive forces of the cosmos at bay. In that sense, someone else other than the Doctor would have to make the hard choice to cheat death.

I can think of one way of doing this that would be quite appropriate... bring back Captain Jack Harkness for a cameo, and have him essentially perform "an intervention" on the Doctor's behalf when it becomes clear that he's put himself in a "final death" situation.
posted by markkraft at 11:56 AM on January 3, 2009


(not great) pictures here
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 11:56 AM on January 3, 2009


I can think of one way of doing this that would be quite appropriate... bring back Captain Jack Harkness for a cameo, and have him essentially perform "an intervention" on the Doctor's behalf when it becomes clear that he's put himself in a "final death" situation.

Hell, have Jack give up his immortality, as has been implied he wants to anyway, to grant more lives to the Doctor.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 11:57 AM on January 3, 2009


His companions might have a hard time calling him Grandfather.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:00 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


New regenerations? I'm sure they'll use magic pixie dust like they do with everything else...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:00 PM on January 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


With the Doctor getting progressively younger, I predict the 14th Doctor will be a foetus.

When they said he was 26, I was concerned that they were chasing a young market, but in the interview I did see what they meant when they said he had a bit of the Doctor about him.
posted by quarsan at 12:00 PM on January 3, 2009


Bill Nighy is the type I have in my head

That would have been cool, but I think you'll find it conflicts with the Buffyfication of Dr Who.

How many of the past Doctors were that well known when they were picked?

William Hartnell had something like 30 years under his belt. Patrick Troughton (2), John Pertwee (3), and Peter Davidson (5) had all been in successful movie and TV series before becoming Doctors. Tom Baker (4) had 20 roles before his stint. Even the much-maligned Colin Baker (6) had over a decade of film and TV work.
posted by rodgerd at 12:01 PM on January 3, 2009


How many of the past Doctors were that well known when they were picked?

Hartnell, Troughton and Tom Baker had been fairly minor character actors before they got the role. Pertwee had a pretty big radio career (The Men from the Ministry I think). Peter Davison was very well known from All Creatures Great and Small. Sylvester McCoy did bit parts and live comedy (circus sideshow kind of stuff, if memory serves). Eccleston, McGann and Tennant weren't huge stars but had established acting careers.

Peter Cushing was the only real "star" to play the Doctor (in a couple of mostly forgotten dalek movies in the sixties), dunno if he counts though.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:01 PM on January 3, 2009


Why did Eccleston bug out after a single year?
posted by RavinDave at 12:01 PM on January 3, 2009


Oh, and I don't know anything about Colin Baker.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:01 PM on January 3, 2009


That would have been cool, but I think you'll find it conflicts with the Buffyfication of Dr Who.

Tony Head then? ;-)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 12:02 PM on January 3, 2009



Didn't the Master get extra regenerations, in a rather unnice manner?!


Yeah, that's pretty much logical way to hanlde it; have people volunteer to die to keep the Doctor going.
posted by rodgerd at 12:02 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]



Tony Head then? ;-)


Oooh, you seducer you.
posted by rodgerd at 12:02 PM on January 3, 2009


That's not Numberwang! :(
posted by ursus_comiter at 12:03 PM on January 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Why did Eccleston bug out after a single year?

Because, actually, he was too big for it. I think he wanted to continue film, etc, but was willing to do a year, and they wanted an established actor to help relaunch it as "serious" TV. They knew his term would only be that year from the start.

Oh, and I don't know anything about Colin Baker.

Son, I envy you.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 12:04 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


This means the 12th Doctor is going to be around 8 years old, right?

That's why you only get 12 regenerations. You're not tall enough to reach the controls after the 13th.
posted by eriko at 12:05 PM on January 3, 2009 [13 favorites]


It should be remembered that Tom Baker was cast as the Doctor based on this epic dramatic performance...

... and he did just fine, really.
posted by markkraft at 12:06 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Troughton...fairly minor character actors

Apart from, you know, playing Robin Hood. Amongst the 50 or 60 other roles he pulled before coming into Who.
posted by rodgerd at 12:06 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Now, I feel a vague sense of existential dread at the Doctor being younger than me

Oh, man, I really wish you hadn't pointed that out.
posted by brundlefly at 12:07 PM on January 3, 2009


Dr Benjamin Button Who
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:10 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I find it interesting, if we note the Doctor tends to get younger (with some give and take of course) in each regeneration, and if we assume that he is running out of regenerations... I wonder if once they DO find a way to reset them, he'll suddenly be much older. And if that may be part of going so young here - they want to allow a contrast....

Probably not, just thinking aloud. For one thing, they still have 12th and 13th before they have to force a reset. For another, that was never a plan as far as I know, more the way the tv industry works from 1963-now.

On the other hand, regenerating at all was never the plan, it just grew organically over the years and arguably wasn't quite pinned down until fifth turned into sixth. Besides, even with regens left, they may already be planning for a big 50th anniversary story in 2013, and what better time to reset his lives.....
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 12:14 PM on January 3, 2009


Why did Eccleston bug out after a single year?

Because God doesn't love me. Or Eccleston, for that matter.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:16 PM on January 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


I thought that Matt Smith was excellent in Party Animals (a British TV show about political researchers working for a government Minister). I was a bit taken aback, but I think he'll do fine.
posted by athenian at 12:19 PM on January 3, 2009


Not sure if this is a good idea.
posted by niccolo at 12:25 PM on January 3, 2009


I'm reserving judgment until I've actually seen this guy in action; but I really hope the people behind Dr. Who aren't making the "Wesley Crusher" mistake again.
You know, "Let's give the younger audience someone to identify with. A hyper-intelligent youngster who doesn't really care about the awesome things surrounding him but is awkward and nerdy and and unlikeable!", that kind of stuff (and props to the real-life Wil Wheaton, who is cool and a geek and a great guy and who would be a much better model for a character).

One of the most important characteristics of The Doctor is, IMHO, his vast knowledge that he accumulated over literally hundreds of years and which is (most of the time) completely and obviously accessible to him ("These are flarguzoids from rhahathtra 3! Wee need to draw circles in toothpaste around ourselves to protect us!"); and I would think it would be hard for a young actor to portray this kind of "familiarity with everything" convincingly.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 12:28 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


where the hell is matt?
posted by dawson at 12:34 PM on January 3, 2009


No idea if it's true or just a bit of fluffery to placate the fanboys, but there was quite a bit of talk in the show introducing him about how Moffat was adamant that he wanted an older actor, but was then completely sold on Smith after he auditioned.
posted by flashboy at 12:37 PM on January 3, 2009


It's the Poochie-fication of Dr. Who.

Should have been Chiwetel Ejiofor. An incredibly charismatic, hugely talented actor.
posted by fire&wings at 12:37 PM on January 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Although I'm not too happy with the choice at the moment, I would remind everyone that hating the new Doctor and growing to love him is part of being a DW fan. And nine out of ten times, it works out that way.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 12:39 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


So I guess they're abandoning the River Song thing? Because she said Tennant looked young, so I guess she's in for an unpleasant surprise. At this rate she'll find herself in love with a fetus and that just does not go over at ALL well at family gatherings.

Seriously, I was all set to hate Tennant after Eccleston left and he ended up being my favorite Doctor ever, but this is different. This guy reminds me of the brief and ill-advised foray I took into Dating a Younger Guy. He listened to Luna. It got ugly.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 12:54 PM on January 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


On the whole, I think Wee Jimmy Krankie would've been a better choice..
posted by paddbear at 1:03 PM on January 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


So I guess they're abandoning the River Song thing? Because she said Tennant looked young, so I guess she's in for an unpleasant surprise. At this rate she'll find herself in love with a fetus and that just does not go over at ALL well at family gatherings.

Well, she clearly saw him THROUGH him. That fetus will be quite a bit older than Bill Hartnell. I always assumed she meant THE DOCTOR was so young compared to what she knew, not his body, if that makes sense.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 1:10 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


When Tennant was unveiled, wasn't he wearing his costume?

If so, Matt Smith's costume sucks if it turns out to be 'black t-shirt and black jacket'.
posted by tapeguy at 1:12 PM on January 3, 2009


the teen-heartthrob Doctor is, on the face of it, a pretty predictable and bland choice

No, YOU'RE a a pretty predictable and bland choice!

*Carefully wipes tear spatters off cover of TARDIS Beat Magazine*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:13 PM on January 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


OMG, he looks like Ace (Sophie Aldred)! And I never liked her, either.
posted by ubiquity at 1:34 PM on January 3, 2009


When Tennant was unveiled, wasn't he wearing his costume?

Nope - he was announced April 2005, and we didn't see the costume until late July.
posted by flashboy at 1:40 PM on January 3, 2009


For the first time ever in my lifetime, I am older than the actor playing The Doctor. This fills me with dread.
posted by Effigy2000 at 1:54 PM on January 3, 2009


That would have been cool, but I think you'll find it conflicts with the Buffyfication of Dr Who.

Great. I look forward to the "Once More, With Extermination" number with the Daleks. I am especially eager to see their jazz hands.
posted by Dr. Zira at 2:03 PM on January 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


Oh, also, I'm pretty sure this guy was not Davies' first choice for the role. Over at Gateworld, a website dedicated to Stargate news, they recently ran a story about how Davies' dosen't care for the Stargate franchise, saying that he can't believe that British actor Robert Carlyle chose to take up a starring role in the upcoming new Stargate series. "Stargate, can you believe it?" Davies said. "That was a surprise. Has his agent watched it?"

This, to me, sounds like sour grapes. Don't get me wrong. I love both Doctor Who and the Stargate series. But Davies criticizing Stargate as being a terrible or corny series comes off as sounding more than a bit hollow when Carlyle was recently considered to be one of the leading contenders for the role of the 11th Doctor.

Also, note to Davies; Stargate might be a bit of a corny sci-fi series, granted, but in the season finale of Doctor Who, the Doctor towed Earth back to its orbit using his TARDIS. People in glass houses and all...

Anyway, as for the choice of the new Doctor, as a lifelong fan of the series I have grown accustomed to the process of losing an actor that I thought was great in the role, finding out who the new actor is to be, thinking he could never be any good and then finding out he would be awesome. Happened when Baker left, happened when Eccleston left and could very well happen now.

But I dunno. Like I said up-thread, this is the first time I'll be older than The Doctor. How am I supposed to buy a 26 year old emo kid playing the role of a Timeless, ancient being with intelligence coming out the wazoo? I'm not sure I can. Plus the guy boy sounds like Prince Harry when he speaks. How am I supposed to get used to that?

I'll try and reserve judgment. But honestly, this is the first time I've been filled with dread at the thought of a new Doctor since Davidson left and Colin Baker took on the role (I was pretty much right then too). In the meantime, I'm gonna enjoy the final year of Tennant and console myself with the fact that with Moffat in charge when Matt Smith becomes the Doctor, at least it won't be all bad.
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:08 PM on January 3, 2009


Oh well, if he doesn't work out at least he'll be gone after a year or so, given the current tunrover.
posted by Artw at 2:10 PM on January 3, 2009


Except Stargate IS terrible and no way in hell would they have got Carlyle for Who if they couldn't keep Ecclestone in the role.
posted by Artw at 2:12 PM on January 3, 2009


I look forward to the "Once More, With Extermination" number with the Daleks. I am especially eager to see their jazz hands.

The sonic screwdriver is my penis.
posted by erniepan at 2:20 PM on January 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


But Davies criticizing Stargate as being a terrible or corny series comes off as sounding more than a bit hollow when Carlyle was recently considered to be one of the leading contenders for the role of the 11th Doctor.

Actually, if it really did come down to a choice between Stargate and Doctor Who for him, Carlyle does need to fire his agent. I figured Carlyle wouldn't do Doctor Who because, you know, the guy is in movies and shit. But Stargate...I dunno, maybe it does better in the UK, but I think the Stargate shows run in a Saturday night block on the Dumont Network here. Seriously, Begbie, what the fuck.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:21 PM on January 3, 2009


Artw: "Except Stargate IS terrible..."

Let's face it Artw... they're both guilty pleasures in their own way.

Artw: "... and no way in hell would they have got Carlyle for Who if they couldn't keep Ecclestone in the role."

My understanding was that Ecclestone had always signed on with the understanding he'd just play one year because it was uncertain whether the show would continue beyond a single revival series.

I think that Carlyle would have jumped at the chance to play the role to play the role of The Doctor had he not been offered a role in Stargate as well. And I'm no actor, and as I said I love both series and have loved Doctor Who since I was a kid, but were I him I think I'd have chosen Stargate over Who as well. I mean, in the realms of science fiction, where the unreal is made real every week, at least Stargate can be considered to be a little more 'realistic' than Doctor Who (I doubt you'll ever see the Daedalus, a ship in the Stargate series, towing Earth back to its orbit). Plus add in exposure to a wider audience and its a done deal, really.
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:22 PM on January 3, 2009


But I dunno. Like I said up-thread, this is the first time I'll be older than The Doctor. How am I supposed to buy a 26 year old emo kid playing the role of a Timeless, ancient being with intelligence coming out the wazoo? I'm not sure I can. Plus the guy boy sounds like Prince Harry when he speaks. How am I supposed to get used to that?

Well, unless you want to find a 900-year-old actor no character will fit the part of a timeless, ancient alien being.

When you're 80 feel free to complain about the 50-year-old whippersnapper playing the Doctor and how wrong that is, too.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:23 PM on January 3, 2009


Moffat is a bright guy, as is Piers Wenger. The kid probably crushed the audition. If he wasn't up for it, they would have cast someone else.

People said the same shit about Tennant's understudy, and he's been knocking it out of the park as Hamlet.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:29 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Crap, and here I was thinking you meant Matt Damon.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:37 PM on January 3, 2009


John Kenneth Fisher: We've already seen Jack die.* He has a billion years ahead of him.

*Maybe. If he really is the Face of Boe.
posted by Hactar at 2:38 PM on January 3, 2009


I knew the Doctor Who Fan's Phrasebook would come in handy some day (previously), e.g. “It just isn't Doctor Who as I know it.” translates into “It just isn't my nostalgic memories of whatever bit of Doctor Who happened to be on when I was eight years old and, as a consequence, extremely impressionable.”
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:38 PM on January 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Okay, so the early Jason Statham rumor didn't pan out. Can I at least get him as this guy's Companion? I'd be horribly amused by a kid Time Lord constantly having to stop his Companion from stealing cars, robbing banks, and havin' sexy sex with all the council estate chavettes.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:39 PM on January 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


I dunno, actual real Who fans have to do weird stuff like pretend that Sylvester McCoy was any good or that Ghost Light made sense.
posted by Artw at 2:40 PM on January 3, 2009


Maybe. If he really is the Face of Boe

If.

I dunno, actual real Who fans have to do weird stuff like pretend that Sylvester McCoy was any good or that Ghost Light made sense.

Well.. I rather like late McCoy - when he played him more sinister. As for Ghost Light.... yeah, can't really argue with that.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 2:50 PM on January 3, 2009


Meh. His face looks all melty, like that Nazi in Indiana Jones. (As I've been saying all day). If this is what the teens consider heartthrobs these days, they can have 'em.

I must tender my immediate (and no doubt, to be ignored) objections now now now!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:59 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Five years ago Matt Smith was a Curious Onlooker. Now he's The Doctor.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:01 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I first saw him I was a bit taken aback too, having expected they'd select an older actor this time around. Having seen his interview snippets in the Confidential now, I trust him, and Moffatt. He managed to display a bit of charm, a bit of sly humour, and some thoughtfulness. The bits of his previous work they showed seemed to indicate he has the required intensity.

While he may not have a lot of IMDB credits, he's evidently done a fair bit of stage work. The saying is that film makes you famous, TV makes you rich, but theatre makes you good. He must have auditioned well; they're not going to pick someone who can't carry the part. If any of the aforementioned "big name" actors were part of the audition process and yet they cast this guy, he must have been impressive, yes?

I passed the point of being older than the Doctor when Tennant was cast. You get used to it :)
posted by andraste at 3:08 PM on January 3, 2009


Why would Jack / The Face of Boe necessarily have to die, in order for him to have enough excess life for the Doctor to live?

Jack faced down an all-consuming, life-sucking demigod in Torchwood, and he still had enough life left over to live another billion years. Theoretically, the Doctor could go to the well at any time in history until Jack / Boe died, and never run dry.

That said, it *could* effect Jack. For instance, it could drain /damage him enough that his body was destroyed and he had to be saved / brought back from an imminent death by some technically advanced alien species, who stuck his head in a jar..
posted by markkraft at 3:10 PM on January 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Five years ago Matt Smith was a Curious Onlooker. Now he's The Doctor.

Kind of funny, actually, being a Curious Onlooker seems like a great qualification for being the Doctor.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:15 PM on January 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Never mind... we've got Demons to watch now!

Oh and how I laughed at 'he was our first choice' after only couple of hours before reading this...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:40 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm just going to nerd out here and respond to some comments:

I thought it was going to be a black guy. Damn rumors! You can never trust them!

True - Paterson Jospeh would have been an excellent choice and you should all check out the new Survivors for some good BBC drama, and Chiwetel Ejiofor could act the shit out of practically anyone, but I'm kind of liking the fact they went in a different direction - not just a young doctor, but the youngest ever. Breaking new ground is essential to NewWho. That said - imagine if he only lasted half a series! There's lots of ways they can play this and Moffat's stories are the ones that hold together best.

Steven Moffat is the new showrunner and he was on record as saying he'd love an older doctor - but the Dr Who Confidential show suggested he thought Matt Smith Was. Just. It. I'm going to trust him as his writing record for Who is beyond exemplary.

the show has had enormous success with a young, skinny, sexy Doctor, so they're just taking it further in that direction.

While this is perhaps a valid criticism in terms of the commercial nature of what is a franchise, there are other factors - the shooting schedule and physicality do suggest a younger person, though really Ecclestone wasn't a spring chicken.

Stephen Fry as the Doctor, thatll be glorious.

Steven Fry as the Master is gloriousness squared. In my humble opinion.

Bill Nighy is the type I have in my head.

We all have ideas in our head. Bill Nighy could do interesting things but he'd be the next Jon Pertwee (who I always had a problem with, what with his fake aikido and the fact he once dissed me)

Now, I feel a vague sense of existential dread at the Doctor being younger than me,

It was the emo haircut that scared the hell out of me. Lord knows I railed futilely against the return of flaired jeans.

bring back Captain Jack Harkness for a cameo,

Cap'n Jack fights off the desire to cradle rob - now there's a story (albeit a terrible one - but the age vs look situation could be amusing).


Peter Cushing was the only real "star" to play the Doctor (in a couple of mostly forgotten dalek movies in the sixties)


They're not really part of canon, even in the wildest stretch of fanwank. Also - they are terrible, terrible movies.

Why did Eccleston bug out after a single year?

He did not want to get typecast - also, it would have been a huge surprise ending to the first series if he didn't accidentally give it away earlier.

But Davies criticizing Stargate as being a terrible or corny series comes off as sounding more than a bit hollow

I know what you mean - Davies has never been one to let logic get in the way of a mediocre story. On the other hand - stargate in the forms I have seen it is hugely less fun. I tried to watch a season or two and I just hated the glib self-justification of it. The rampant, over-the-top self justification of Who appealed more in sheer carried-away-with-it fun. There's an essay to be written about that and it's kinda late so maybe tomorrow.

So anyway. I am delighted that I am intrigued by their choice. There's not only a new Who but a new showrunner, so I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with together.

/nerd
posted by Sparx at 3:56 PM on January 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


I dunno, actual real Who fans have to do weird stuff like pretend that Sylvester McCoy was any good

After Colin Baker he looked like gold to me.

but I really hope the people behind Dr. Who aren't making the "Wesley Crusher" mistake again.

They have Adric to remind them of that error. British SciFi is ahead of the US even in it's terrible errors (although Adric ended up quite well, I thought...)

Of course, whether the current mob have paid enough attention to the past to be reminded of it...
posted by rodgerd at 4:17 PM on January 3, 2009


On the whole, I think Wee Jimmy Krankie would've been a better choice..

Just remembered they've already got science fiction form...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:21 PM on January 3, 2009


Wesley Crusher should have gone out like that...

I still remember being vaguely stunned by the silent credits.
posted by Artw at 4:24 PM on January 3, 2009


If they had gotten John Savident aka Coronation Street's Fred Elliott, I would probably actually watch the show.

"Is a Dalek, oi sed, Dalek!"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:38 PM on January 3, 2009


Hey, I actually watched the Sally Lockhart Mysteries^, and I know who this guy is! It's Terribly Anachronistic Haircut Boy.
posted by steef at 5:37 PM on January 3, 2009


This will be a refreshing change from Tennant, who is good but is somewhat stained by having to work with the scripts of Davies. I couldn't care less how old he is and don't understand why that matters. He's British, and more particularly, a British actor, whom, for the most part, end up being diverse beyond their looks and age usually.

And within seconds, fans were already bitching about the choice and saying he was bad for the role, despite knowing nothing about him.

A time honoured tradition. See comments about Tennant, Ecclestone, McGann, McCoy, Baker, Davison, Baker, Pertwee, and Troughton (the Doctor isn't a Beatle!)
posted by juiceCake at 6:18 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have no problem geeking out over a Doctor in his 20s if he's any good. I'll want to see some return of the wit and sophistication of the Tom Baker years, not because he's "my" Doctor, but because the pleasure of Tom's era was that wit and sophistication, both in the writing and in his performance. Peter Hinchcliffe had a lot to do with it, too. I've re-watched a lot of those shows on DVD in the last year or so and it was very enjoyable to view them now with an adult sensibility, even with the crap costumes, sets and special effects. I mean, I think even The Goodies had a bigger budget!

Eccleston had OK writing and he's a fine actor, so the reboot was great fun. Were it not for Tennant's just being able to act a complete weirdo despite some of the really deathless lines he had, I'd've tuned right out. It was getting a bit too 13-year-old-girl-fanfic for my tastes.

I watched the DWC extended interview and at least he has a very nice voice (i.e. he sounds like a grown man), this Matt Smith; he looks like Lurch's great-grandson and he's a bit twitchy. That's fine. I'd've not liked a "beautiful" Edward Cullen-ish, non-threatening Doctor at all, when he needs to have some real damn menace to him. Tom was funny and yet showed that bit of "Oh, I really would not fuck with me, were I you." Good luck, kid. IMO, Tom's still the one to beat. I'll be pleased enough, though, if Smith is as good as Troughton or Tennant.

/GodDAMN,Iamafuckingnerd

Now to enjoy the last of Mr Tennant.
posted by droplet at 6:21 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


The new Dr looks like a reasonable choice. He can act. Hopefully he will stick around for a bit.

What is fantastic about the upcoming Dr Who's is that Steven Moffat is now the show runner. Russel T Davies has done a great job but he is too much in love with big bangs and chases.

Moffat's stories, The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Blink and Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead have been the highlights of the new Who.

It is well worthwhile going back and getting some of the better old Dr Whos. In them, Dr Who was a clever, lucky figure who faced up against complex, and often numerous groups of enemies. The enemies were also often quite weak. The daleks were originally pretty fragile things with limited vision that could be destroyed reasonably easily. Now they are virtually invulnerable. The cybermen could be shot and damaged easily in the past.

There were often conflicting groups with morality in shades of Grey. Stories like The Caves of Androzani were pretty cool (even if the special effects now look hilarious). The radio series have some real gems as well. The Chimes of Midnight is well worth a listen.

The current Dr Who is a superhero who faces up against supervillians and destroys them with monotonous regularity. The smaller, self contained stories where the powers of the doctor and the ubiquitous "get of script problem" tool of the sonic screwdriver are lessened are better.
posted by sien at 7:16 PM on January 3, 2009


Breaking new ground is essential to NewWho.

And this is why I hate NewWho.

I forced myself to watch it. Eccleston was surprisingly good, I thought. He seemed a perfectly nice, vaguely stupid person, and then he would display a breathtaking inhuman callousness which I thought perfectly appropriate to a near-immortal being with control over time and space.

Tennant bored me to tears and I stopped watching. Oh, you're wacky! You're falling in love all over the place! You're Doctor-y by virtue of weird camera angles and clever shooting! Bah.

I always thought that the Doctor was best when it was clear that his companions were pets. Clever pets that were frequently helpful, but still pets. Do you pine and shiver over your goldfish dying? Or do you swear eternal vengeance when your hamster turns up cold in the night? No. You go to the store and get a new one, if you want another. The whole 'Doctor in lurve' thing made me so sick I couldn't watch it any more.

And I can't imagine that the new twelve-year-old Doctor will reverse that trend. Bah and bah again.
posted by winna at 7:45 PM on January 3, 2009


Just as a snark on those who are ridiculously critical of Matt Smith before we've even seen one episode of his Doctor, I figured I would go back in time and see what people on MeFi have said about prior Doctors when they were announced:

On Christopher Eccleston:

Wow, that's a bit of a left-field choice.
posted by John Shaft

He'll have to grow out that hair a bit, eh?
posted by troutfishing

Hmmm, I was hoping for Eddie Izzard.
posted by moonbird


On David Tennant:

I'm worried about the change--i really loved the last season, and it was largely because of the actor.
posted by amberglow

Oh dear. . . Hating the geek chic thing. Why do the fashinistas have to take everything away from us hard working and communicationally challenged geeks. No Chic to Geek! No Chic to Geek!

Again, oh dear.
posted by seanyboy

Tennant looks a bit ... y'know ... young

/oldfart
posted by 5MeoCMP

Pretty lame. He looks like a teenager playing "all grown up!" That said, people should just let go of the good Doctor. Somethings belong to the past.
posted by nixerman

I'm with you, 5Meo--that's one of the reasons i loved the other guy--he looked like he was my age. Is this new guy good? I've never seen him in anything at all.

The outfit emphasizes class differences--is he going to be more posh than the last one?
posted by amberglow

Looks a lot like Jarvis Cocker to me.
posted by wilful

Will somebody please stop the torture!
posted by Chuckles

He looks like a mildly pompous indie-ska rocker or something. Maybe the other doctors weren't notable in the fashion context of their own times, but he's pretty bland for the here and now, IMO. I'd like a simple accessory - a huge ring, interesting pin, maybe interesting tailoring on the suit (Vivian Westwood?), something... more.
posted by Jack Karaoke

Do I really need to tell you what I think of all these comments? Probably not.

posted by markkraft at 8:10 PM on January 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


He looks like a mildly pompous indie-ska rocker or something

Ah, the niche that emo filled.
posted by Kattullus at 8:32 PM on January 3, 2009


I liked his work as 'Curious Onlooker' in Gotham, IL.
posted by mazola at 8:34 PM on January 3, 2009


I was in the Paterson Joseph boat too. He seemed too perfect for the role.


So is is the place where I can ask if the show is still watchable? Bare with me, I'm a US DVD watcher and thus, like 2 years behind all civilized peoples. I thought the first series of the revamp was *great*, totally nailed the tone, great actors, good pulpy stories, I was hooked. But the Second season? Not so much. That awful, incoherent warewolf episode? The re-tread of the Last Human? The Cybermen? The wire is hungry? (okay, that was okay.) I lost it at The Satan Pit where the Big Bad was defeated by screaming really loud at it. I haven't seen an episode since. So, um, does it get better?
posted by The Whelk at 9:00 PM on January 3, 2009


Oh and criminally underusing Anthony Stewart Head. in a headmaster role should be gounds for dismissal. I've never seen him more wooden and bored. Not even in Manchild.
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 PM on January 3, 2009


lol more liek Grad-Student Who amirite
posted by Eideteker at 9:10 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm a US DVD watcher myself and I'm done with the 3rd season and... well, it's not all bad. I'd say a bit more than half of the third season is entertaining and Blink is good enough on its own to make the rest worthwhile (I think that The Empty Child & The Doctor Dances two-parter is better, though, possibly the best SF TV I've ever seen). I really like Martha Jones as a companion.

That said, there are some dreadful, dreadful bits.
posted by Kattullus at 9:11 PM on January 3, 2009


Fourth season, or season 30 as nerds like me call it, is quite good. Donna Noble really grows on you. Though I rather liked season 2 (3? not so much), so weigh that as you will, The Whelk.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:22 PM on January 3, 2009


I was pleased suprised by Catherine Tate, after the awful Christmas special. At least she got some character moments that didn't consit of sitting quitely while the Doctor moans on about Rose.
posted by Artw at 9:31 PM on January 3, 2009


I've been through many Doctors since I first fell for that flying blue box. I'm always all "no no no!" at first, and then...I realize it's always still the Doctor. I'm sure there was just as much bitching and moaning when Peter Davidson came in.

I have faith, especially in the writing and producing abilities of Moffat.
posted by medea42 at 10:20 PM on January 3, 2009


Damn it, I was late to the party and missed all the fun..

When I saw who it was, I immediately expected a huge internet backlash from Brits complaining about youth and the overall modern look of the man. He does have a bit of a MySpace/Facebook chic thing going. But mostly, that backlash has been from Americans it would seem. But it is vocal and hateful, over a haircut.

Then I expected a more or less equal amount of people who would give up the program, insist they would never watch it again, etc.. before ever seeing the man act or even his name in the credits. This has more or less come to pass. But honestly, this is to be expected from internet fans, especially Doctor Who internet fans.

Doctor Who fandom is a funny thing, it's quite unlike any other fandom I've seen. Doctor Who fans are at once falsely superior and smug and ashamed of the past. I'm neither. I realize Doctor Who can be camp, can be cheap, can be silly and panto. But it can also be fantastic, thought provoking, chilling, and dramatic. It's not a childrens program per se, it's just a drama with broad appeal. Yes, kids can watch it, but so can adults. It doesn't pander to adults with pointlessly sexual themes, dialog, monsters, etc (that would be Torchwoods territory), but will occasionally pander to kids. But here's the funny thing about that, when you pander to adults.. kids will tune out. When you pander to kids, adults may roll their eyes, but they will still watch.

Doctor Who is a wonderful, wonderful program for everyone, and we are lucky as Americans to have such access to it. 20 years ago if you wanted to watch Doctor Who you had to hopelessly call your local public broadcasting organization and beg them to pick up the syndication titles. Or log onto BBS's and maybe hook up with someone via FIDO Mail who could/would ship you some NTSC VHS's.

That said, I'm going to pop in my 1990 2 VHS set of the mighty Patrick Troughton's (my favorite Doctor) mind blowing swan song, "The War Games", and smile.

PS - I've found that once Who fans mature, they almost inevitably switch from X to Troughton as their favorite Doctor. It's a shame that so much of his tenure is lost in time.
posted by mediocre at 10:45 PM on January 3, 2009


"See if you can recognize this music"

I can't believe I haven't thought to link to Andrew Hansen's song spoof of Doctor Who fans before now. This comes from the great Australian sketch comedy & candid camera show The Chaser's War on Everything.
posted by Kattullus at 10:53 PM on January 3, 2009


I've already had to deal with the Doctor being younger than me a couple times, so this time I just note that he wasn't even born until after Tom Baker left the role. *shakes head, flaps lips*

I have near religious faith in Stephen Moffatt, particularly following Blink, so I will allow him much leeway here. The Doctor is a character, not a body.

Baker was "my Doctor", Davison the first new Doctor for me, and I would never have thought they could be equalled. But Eccleston and Tennant have both pleasantly surprised me.
posted by dhartung at 11:09 PM on January 3, 2009


Kattullus - I see your Australian sketch spoof, and raise you Bullamakanka (Australian tongue-in-cheek prog rock)'s mullets and thin ties.

"Doctor Who"
posted by mediocre at 11:24 PM on January 3, 2009


markkraft: Did I really say that?
I'm pretty embarrassed by previous Tennant comments & as a consequence I'm not going near the Matt Smith hate.
posted by seanyboy at 4:12 AM on January 4, 2009


From Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin: "The big nerd to-do yesterday was the announcement of the actor taking the role of the Eleventh Doctor for the long-running Doctor Who franchise, and the lucky fellow finding himself the target of angry message boarders everywhere is Matt Smith."

If you click the "angry message boarders" link in the post, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:53 AM on January 4, 2009


Hah! I'd missed winna's comment. I tend to agree; the 10th doctor really didn't hold my interest (or ever grab it, really). He's clearly a doctor who's spent too much time watching his own show. Is he the doctor because he's goofy, or is it the other way around? Oh, and occasionally he's a badass because that seemed to go over well when Eccles did it.

This guy has a bit more melancholy a face. I hope he's a less frantic, more withdrawn doctor. It'd be nice to see him play "young doctor, old soul" in the way that Tennant only sometimes remembers to.

And if he sucks, they can always give McGann a proper shot.
posted by Eideteker at 7:39 AM on January 4, 2009


I always thought that the Doctor was best when it was clear that his companions were pets. Clever pets that were frequently helpful, but still pets. Do you pine and shiver over your goldfish dying? Or do you swear eternal vengeance when your hamster turns up cold in the night? No. You go to the store and get a new one, if you want another. The whole 'Doctor in lurve' thing made me so sick I couldn't watch it any more.

Now I'm thinking the 10th Doctor is all about the bestiality. Ew.

(Mind you, given the age difference, it makes Woody Allen look like a piker...)
posted by rodgerd at 11:23 AM on January 4, 2009


I'll admit I'm a little disappointed, but that's mainly because this guy looks a bit like my boss. I'm going to be watching the Doctor save Bram Stoker from bloodsucking aliens from the Silfrax galaxy or something, and I'll be thinking, "Oh, crap. I forgot to do that report."
posted by katillathehun at 12:12 PM on January 4, 2009


The final comment in this thread should should just say:

/nerd
posted by brundlefly at 12:21 PM on January 4, 2009


the show has had enormous success with a young, skinny, sexy Doctor

You're referring to David Tenant, people think he's sexy?! He's so corpse-y and odd, reminds me of Chicken Lady from Kids in the Hall. Also, at 38 he's pretty old to me (24). I liked him as The Doctor partially because I wasn't distracted by him being good looking, lol. This new guy though, he was ok in "Ruby in the Smoke" with Billy Piper, but there wasn't really much required of him. Someone please tell me he's a seasoned theatre actor, having begun his career as a child because his imbd listing gives me no confidence whatsoever. Generally playing something like DW takes experience else it ends up ridiculous. Crap! This could really suck.
posted by zarah at 2:52 PM on January 4, 2009


Someone please tell me he's a seasoned theatre actor, having begun his career as a child because his imbd listing gives me no confidence whatsoever.

He's a seasoned theatre actor, having joined the National Youth Theatre as a child and studying drama at University. Since his professional debut in 2003, he has appeared on stage eight times - including as part of the cast of History Boys.

His IMDb page is thin, but he was the lead in the series Party Animals - about political researchers and lobbyists.

So given his age, he has quite a bit of experience. And apparently he nailed the audition because they were originally thinking 35-45.
posted by crossoverman at 3:21 PM on January 4, 2009


Why This Doctor Disappoints
posted by homunculus at 3:36 PM on January 4, 2009


Why This Doctor Disappoints

I think the problem with that article is that while the casting of a black Doctor would have been a great statement (and I was personally hoping for Chiwetel Ejiofor), I don't think not casting a black Doctor sends "the opposite message".

How the Paterson Joseph rumours started, we'll never know. But the fact that BBC News acknowledged the bookies had him on the list, doesn't mean BBC One (or BBC Wales) who actually produce the show ever considered him. Billie Piper is also on that list and I'm damned sure she wasn't a candidate.

With the change of producer and Head Writer, it's no surprise the Beeb went for a choice that wasn't too controversial. And yet, any choice would have ruffled feathers - too young, too old, black, female; each group had their haters ready to complain. I'm just glad they went with someone I've never heard of and not James frickin' Nesbitt.
posted by crossoverman at 5:38 PM on January 4, 2009


If it had been James frickin' Nesbitt I would've had to stop watching.
posted by andraste at 9:20 PM on January 4, 2009


If it had been James frickin' Nesbitt I would've had to stop watching.

I certainly would have found it less easy to enjoy.
posted by crossoverman at 9:36 PM on January 4, 2009


I'm pretty sure that the Paterson rumor started with Rich Johnston of the comic book rumor column Lying in the Gutters. At least I don't recall Paterson's name being thrown out until Johnston brought him up back in October, and last month he called Paterson as having the part for sure. Whoops. Judging by the reactions I've been reading he wound up becoming one of the fan favorites. I hadn't seen him in anything besides his previous Who episodes (so it was more of a "oh yeah, that guy!" kind of reaction) though he looked pretty promising in the clips I saw of the Neverwhere mini.

(And I think we're all kinda glad it didn't turn out to be James Nesbitt)

This guy has a bit more melancholy a face. I hope he's a less frantic, more withdrawn doctor. It'd be nice to see him play "young doctor, old soul" in the way that Tennant only sometimes remembers to.
posted by Eideteker at 7:39 AM on January 4


That's what I'm hoping for too. I liked Ten, for the most part, but his manic shouting thing got really tiring after a while. With Tennant it seemed like you only rarely got a sense from him of just how old the Doctor really is and how long he's been around, unless the script brought it up explicitly (usually along with how he's doomed to be alone forever, his planet is deeaaad, etc.) If Smith and co. decide to go with that "old soul" portrayal and he manages to pull it off then he's golden as far as I'm concerned.

That said, I kind of like the fact that he has such a big unknown factor, and that so many people basically know nothing about the guy. It's kind of exciting, in a nerdy way. Earlier my first instinct was to watch some of the stuff he's been in, to get a sense of his acting skills and range, like I did when Tennant was announced, but I'm now half-tempted to hold off entirely and avoid reading/watching any interviews so that I can be completely (and hopefully, pleasantly) surprised in a years time.
posted by kosher_jenny at 11:42 PM on January 4, 2009


Looks awesome. I love this mucking about with The Doctor every couple of years, and adding an element of cool rather than pure oddball eccentricity. Good luck, Matt Smith!
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:53 PM on January 4, 2009


I kept hearing rumour about Sean Pertwee being up for the part, which would have been... well, it would have convinced old fans who have given up on the RTD incarnation of the show a valid reason to try it again.
posted by Hogshead at 5:22 AM on January 5, 2009


The real reason it wasn't Chiwetel Ejiofor. (Full disclosure: self-link.)
posted by webmutant at 5:01 PM on January 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


well, it would have convinced old fans who have given up on the RTD incarnation of the show a valid reason to try it again.

The fact that RTD is leaving isn't a valid enough reason to try the show again?
posted by crossoverman at 5:35 PM on January 5, 2009


I dunno, actual real Who fans have to do weird stuff like pretend that Sylvester McCoy was any good

After Colin Baker he looked like gold to me.


Hey, I liked Colin Baker, especially in "Trial Of A Time Lord." He had the misfortune of being cast during the show's mid-80s hiatus, and during the tapering down of John Nathan-Turner's run (the RTD of his day) that featured some horrid, horrid, scripts. A fair amount of Colin Baker's first season--and for that matter, Sylvester McCoy's first season--suffered from childish scripts, poor acting from everyone except the Doctor, and garish effects. Watching ruined opportunities like "The Two Doctors," or excrement like "Delta And The Bannermen" is truly a test of faith in the show.

Colin's second season had better writing, and like others here, I enjoyed the end of Sylvester's time when he became mischievous and darker in nature.

---------

As for Matt Smith, yeah, the haircut makes me think they were looking for Tom Smith of the Editors, but I can get over that. I wouldn't mind having someone who is less manic, and a lot more sober in his approach to the role. Most of Moffat's episodes have been pleasantly creepy mindfucks, and while having an entire season of those may be too much of a good thing, I would like to see less girlish fandom or a female companion expressing "twue wuv" for the Doctor. Hell, I'd like to see a male companion for once.

Of course, since Eleven doesn't take over until the fall of 2010, expect an avalanche of slashfic and fandom to be generated, which, if printed, could reach from Earth to Barnard's Star.
posted by stannate at 5:38 PM on January 5, 2009


You're referring to David Tenant, people think he's sexy?!

Yes. (Full disclosure: also 24)
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:26 PM on January 5, 2009


Stargate Universe is classing it up a litte:

John Scalzi Joins Stargate Universe Crew
posted by Artw at 12:33 PM on January 14, 2009


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