It has now been a few days since The Day of The Doctor, and in the mean time, I’ve been trying to steer clear of all the speculation about what’s coming up for the Doctor in the Christmas Special. By now, most (if not all) WhoFans have heard the news of Matt Smith’s departure from the Who stage and as much as I was depressed for days after the news broke like every other fangirl at the thought of a new Doctor, I must admit I saw this coming a long time ago.
I can’t recall where the article was published (it was over a year ago now), but Matt Smith had been interviewed about being the Doctor and one comment he made stood out like a sore Jagrafess. He said something to the affect of the strain that the Doctor Who production schedule had on him and that is was taking a toll on his health. He mentioned that he would in no way be able to withstand being the Doctor as long as Tom Baker, who played the Doctor for 7 consecutive seasons and still holds the title for longest run.
Another thing came to my mind lately; that being the regeneration of The Doctor isn’t a long running gig. Looking at the length of a Doctors TV “lifespan” 3 years is about the average (once again excusing Tom Baker).
William Hartnell (1963–1966)
Patrick Troughton (1966–1969)
Jon Pertwee (1970–1974)
Tom Baker (1974–1981)
Peter Davison (1982–1984)
Colin Baker (1984–1986)
Sylvester McCoy (1987–1989, 1996)
Paul McGann (1996)
Christopher Eccleston (2005)
David Tennant (2005–2010)
Matt Smith (2010–2013)
Part of what we love about Doctor Who is that it’s in a constant state of change, challenging us to think of new things, and always taking us out of our comfort zones. What more of a challenge is it than to continually be required to fall in a deeper state of love with The Doctor and learn something new about him. That is only accomplished by a new regeneration.
During the Parting Of Ways episode, when 9 was about to regenerate, I thought “What the heck guy! I was just getting to like you” then BANG!!! Barty Crouch Jr is the new Doctor??? (I only knew David Tennant from Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire). It took me at least 3 or 4 episodes before I began to trust the Doctor again and soon was thinking “Eccleston who??”
When it finally came time for the departure of the 10th doctor, I was taken by surprise (I wasn’t really into having my shows being ruined by knowing the cast changes and actor contracts nor was I plugged into DW online fandom). In the most depressing line of 10 saying “I don’t want to go…” I remember crying out to my TV screen, teary eyed & disheveled “I don’t want you to go either!!!” Before I could say goodbye, 10 was gone and replaced with a gangly kid with weird hair and a big nose. However my trust and love was quickly gained back while eating fish custard and was firmly established by a tweed jacket and a bow tie.
These days, I scour the Internet looking for some kind of on-location hint of what is to come. I read any & every article I can get my hands on and even created this blog & twitter profiles to further express my obsession with this show. The news of Matt Smith leaving and being replaced by a new Doctor is sad, but what was more exciting was discovering his replacement was none other than Peter Capaldi.
I can’t wait for the days when I can get that much more insight into what makes a Time Lord tick or what other historical events did the Doctor have a hand in? These questions can and will only be answered with a new regeneration. I love Matt Smith and am eternally grateful for all that he has brought to this historical show, and I look forward to the future!!!