Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thoughts on the Eleventh Doctor: In need of a bedside manner overhaul?

I'm speaking, of course, of Doctor Who. The new doctor, the eleventh, is played by Matt Smith.

Smith took over from David Tennant, who was voted number one Doctor of all time by readers of Doctor Who Magazine. The readers of this magazine must be on crack as we all know the number one Doctor of all time is Tom Baker. And it always will be. I only watched a handful of Tennant's episodes. The story lines did nothing for me and I thought Catherine Tate as a companion was a huge mistake. Doctor Who can be humorous and absurd at times but that pair made it a farce.

Tennant replaced Christopher Eccleston, AKA the sexiest Doctor of all time. As voted by the writers of Rhiannon Hart: Young adult books and writing. (I hear she knows her stuff when it comes to hot men. John Pertwee came in a close second. Velvet smoking jackets and Victorian era curls, what more could a girl want?)

Yes, he's a bit funny looking, his ears stick out and he's a bit on the gaunt side ... But I defy you to not go all gooey over him in this scene, the last before he regenerates:


But back to the latest Doctor, Matt Smith. He's the youngest Doctor to date, and kinda funny looking like all Doctors have to be. I've been impressed by the episodes the last few weeks. The writing has been cracker and the Weeping Angels episode (part one at least) was amazing. Creepy as. Seriously good stuff. Plus I love the companion, Amy Pond.

I settled in to watch the latest ep, "Flesh and Stone", on Sunday night. Everthing was going brilliantly, and then, towards the end, the Doctor went all wrong. He started telling people to shut up. He got angry and impatient. The Doctor's always been a bit up himself, but I've never seen him so arrogant before. At one point he says some terrible line about Amy needing to trust that he'll always tell the truth because sometimes he's actually lying. Um...? Doctor, really! We understand it's the end of the world and all, but really, it's the end of the world every week. Can we get some of your trademark sweetness back please? Absentmindedness. Quirkiness. And that good-guy gleam in your eye. It goes very well with the tweed and your little sonic spanner thingy.

What do you think of the recent Doctors? Is Matt Smith a good Doctor, or does he need a bedside manner overhaul?


  1. Well I don't know who Tom Baker is but I have to agree with the masses that David Tennant was the best Doctor. Yes I did like Christopher and was upset that he only lasted a little while. This new guy..not so sure I like him. I watched the first episode and thats all I have watched, its just not the same since the fun David Tennant left..

  2. I have been loving the new episodes. We TiVo them every week and then watch them with my 13-year-old son, who is totally addicted. I'm not familiar with any of the other doctors, but I'm loving Matt Smith.

  3. I am so behind on this series. I basically tuned out when Donna became the companion. Didn't do it for me. So I have yet to see this Doctor.
    However, Christopher Eccleston is my hands-down favorite. Gooey is a great word. I miss him. And Billie Piper, for that matter. :(

  4. Also, this is my favorite bit of anything I've read in some time (good stuff!)
    "We understand it's the end of the world and all, but really, it's the end of the world every week. Can we get some of your trademark sweetness back please? Absentmindedness. Quirkiness. And that good-guy gleam in your eye. It goes very well with the tweed and your little sonic spanner thingy."

  5. Ladystorm, you are missing OUT! Tom Baker rocks.

    Shannon--Glad to hear another younger generation is getting into it! How many generations is that now I wonder? As many as there are doctors I'm sure.

    Misty--Yay, another Eccleston lover :D And I miss Billy Piper too. She was such a great companion. I missed the eps where she went all time lord though. And thanks for your kind words too *blushes*

  6. Tom Baker FTW my favourite too :)
    Have all his episodes btw will have to pass them on to you!

  7. Well normally i agree with you but david was hands down the best Dr, Rose was the best companion but Amy is snapping at her heels and definitely wins the award for hair I wish I had!

    I'm unsure about Matt Smith, as yet. I loved him in the first one but now I'm unsure.

    Those weeping angels have replaced the Daleks as scariest thing ever!

  8. "Is Matt Smith a good Doctor, or does he need a bedside manner overhaul?"

    I think Yes and No. He has a bad bedside manner, yes, BUT: this is a stroke of brilliance.

    Exhibit A: One of the striking features of the Sixth Doctor was his ridiculous outfit, which people tended to poke fun at, though the Doctor didn't seem to care. Note also Matt Smith's UTTERLY ADORABLE BOW-TIE! Again, people poke the gentle fun at it.

    Exhibit B: Colin Baker -

    A fan explanation for the Sixth Doctor's general mean-ness:
    "Also possible is simply the violent circumstances surrounding the Fifth Doctor's regeneration plus how close he actually came to death (having held off the regeneration for quite some time after it should have kicked in) led to this erratic behaviour. This is consistent with the Eleventh Doctor's shown violence: his predecessor also postponed his regeneration."

    Exhibit C: The Valeyard:

    An evil being from the future, who may well be a incarnation of The Doctor himself. As we get closer to his appearance, perhaps the Doctor's darker side comes out?

    But i guess, more importantly from a writerly perspective, Matt Smith's Doctor is varying from his predecessors in a natural sort of way. The Tenth Doctor's life is marked by loneliness and perpetual loss, and subtle character flaws that he himself seems unaware of, but mark him out as a tragic figure.

    Then he dies, once again; it seems natural that after all that, he would be harbouring a lot of anger, and burying the side of him that is so easily affected by loss. I.e. the human side.

    Matt Smith makes sense to me, and i absolutely love him. David Tennant is still my favourite, but Matt Smith is very easily moving in to equal-first-place right now...

  9. Oh, can i also say: Amelia Pond - possibly becoming my favourite sidekick.

    But then, i loved Donna. Possibly as I have never seen the Catherine Tate Show (i notice that the people who dislike her all seem to have that association); i really liked her though. She was completely different to most other sidekicks; i felt she had a stronger arc than most, as well. And then, at the end, where she goes through all this drastic character development and change and suddenly has to be snapped back to the way she was before any of it happened - heartbreaking!

  10. Rory--PLEASE!

    Alexa--Her hair is just gorgeous. Yep, now that the daleks look like teletubbies, the angels are definitely much more scary.

    David, very detailed response! I never knew that about the regeneration, that it affected the Doctor's personality if it was delayed or violent. Very cool. I will have to see how tomorrow's ep of Dr Who goes before I decide how much I like Matt Smith...Sounds like I need to give Tennant another go tho.

  11. I know this is a little weird, but my joint favourite ever doctors are David Tennant and Peter Davison. Though I think that's just because Peter Davison was the first doctor I ever saw. But I also really liked Eccleston and I'm quite taken with the new boy.

    As far as companions go, my favourite in recent years is still Rose. But Amy Pond is a close second. I barely watched the episodes with Donna because she got on my last nerve, and I tend to forget that Martha Jones ever existed.

    Honestly, every time we get a change of doctor now I cross my fingers that we'll get a female one. I'm sure hardcore fans will know the reason why the doctor only regenerates as a man, but I kinda don't care. I personally think *I* would be a great choice.