The Fall of the Eleventh: Smith to Leave Doctor Who
by Kevin Rigdon (@pralix1138)
Tick tock goes the clock
We laughed at fate and mourned her
Tick tock goes the clock
Even for the Doctor
One thing that Matt Smith has made me forget over the last three seasons is that everyone’s stint on Doctor Who is temporary. Even when Karen Gillan and Arthur Darville left, there was Matt Smith in his bow tie being wonderfully, maniacally genius in his portrayal of the Doctor. This weekend it was revealed that now Matt Smith is leaving the show. He will regenerate in the Christmas Special. On Saturday, BBC America released a statement on their website:
The BBC is today announcing that Matt Smith is to leave Doctor Who after four incredible years on the hit show. Matt first stepped into the TARDIS in 2010 and will leave the role at the end of this year after starring in the unmissable 50th Anniversary in November and regenerating in the Christmas special. During his time as the Doctor, Matt has reached over 30 million unique UK viewers and his incarnation has seen the show go truly global. He was also the first actor to be nominated for a BAFTA in the role.
Our household became properly Whovian during the last half of Tennant’s run as the 10th Doctor, and when it was announced that Tennant was leaving, I thought surely no one could replace him. I mean, how the hell can you follow David Tennant? Can’t be done. Then “The Eleventh Hour” debuted, and there was geeky, quirky, Matt Smith loving apples, then hating them, then yogurt, then bacon, and beans, buttered bread, before finally settling on fish fingers and custard. That episode I did not hate the 11th Doctor, but it wasn’t until “The Wedding of River Song” that Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor, became my Doctor. Yet even then, the fields of Trenzalore and the fall of the Eleventh loomed.
Through twists, turns, ups, downs, wibbly-wobblies, and timey-wimies, Smith has helmed the TARDIS with geeky style, and an almost childlike wonder. In the same statement from BBC America website, Smith comments:
The fans of Doctor Who around the world are unlike any other; they dress up, shout louder, know more about the history of the show (and speculate more about the future of the show) in a way that I’ve never seen before, your dedication is truly remarkable. Thank you so very much for supporting my incarnation of the Time Lord, number Eleven, who I might add is not done yet, I’m back for the 50th anniversary and the Christmas special!
It’s been an honor to play this part, to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the TARDIS for a spell with ‘the ginger, the nose and the impossible one’. But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls. Thank you, guys. Matt.
Sadly, I have to agree with him that it’s time to move on, not because he’s become boring or has ceased to do less than a stellar job in the role. But I have to say since the Ponds, something has been off. And with the apparent close to the River Song story arc, it seems like a natural leaving point. Smith has been brilliant, of course, and Jenna Louis-Coleman as Clara has been good, but they haven’t been good together necessarily. It’s really hard to imagine the 11th without the girl who waited, the centurion, and the Doctor’s wife.
So, as we prepare to weep-or that could just be me-at Christmas, the speculation has already begun on who replace Smith as the 12th Doctor. Will it be an established actor? Will it be a complete unknown? Will it be Hugh Laurie as some have voiced? I imagine that the secret will get out at some point before the 50th anniversary episode, so the web will be filled with passionate commentary on whether the new Doctor will be a success or failure. Some will still pine for Tennant. Some will pine for Smith. But one thing is for sure, the folks behind Doctor Who know exactly what they’re doing, and whatever they have planned will be spectacular.
So, what are your thoughts on Smith’s departure? Who do you want to play the next Doctor? Share your thoughts in the Comments.