Sorry guys, this is not going to be a really dramatic post about numbers.
It was recently announced that Matt Smith will be leaving Doctor Who after the 50th Anniversary Special during the 2013 Christmas Special. This comes as quite a blow, as it had been previously confirmed that Matt would be staying for the duration of the 8th season. It also comes as a blow because Whovians, as a whole, have a hard time accepting change. Most people are taking the news rather hard.
When I first heard the news it was like my heart had dropped into the pit of my stomach, to forever be lost in the recesses of despair. I wasn’t prepared for it. Matt Smith and Jenna Louise-Coleman were to be together for another season. Something interesting was going to happen with River. (If you haven’t seen all of season 7, I would actually refrain from reading this. Spoilers!) And then I heard the news. The announcement. Matt Smith was leaving.
Really, it is not altogether surprising. He’s had 3 seasons, the same as David Tennant, and his career is taking off elsewhere. He is soon to appear in Ryan Gosling’s new movie How To Catch a Monster. He can’t be The Doctor forever, it’s just true. But the longer he does it the harder it will be for him to be anyone else. He was in an episode of The Secret Diary of a Call Girl starring Billie Piper and the whole time I couldn’t help but think he was just The Doctor on a mission. Matt Smith’s entire personality is so THE DOCTOR that they encompass one another. He needs to spread his wings and do something else so his acting career doesn’t get pigeon holed into Doctor Who.
Logic aside, the news still bit. I think part of it is because of Clara. Clara and The Doctor have only had 10 episodes together and only 8 as her truly being the companion. That’s the shortest a regeneration has been with a companion since the 2005 reboot and I think it leaves us with a lot of questions. What will happen with Clara? I am actually really excited for this and it’s the first reason I think Matt leaving is good. Not since Rose have we seen a companion with two different regenerations of The Doctor. Rose had Sassy 9 and Rude and Not Ginger 10. And it was fascinating to watch her interact with both, to watch her fall in love with The Doctor all over again. I really hope they decide to do something similar with Clara, so she has a relationship with both 11 and 12, like Rose did with 9 and 10.
But I have my fears. My biggest fear is River. At the end of season seven, in the very wonderfully amazing episode “The Name of the Doctor” we were once again with River. Hearts exploded with excitement at seeing her. Hearts cried when 11 kissed her. Hearts STOPPED when she said, “I was mentally linked with Clara, if she’s really dead then, how can I still be here?” WHAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!?!?!?! <– My reaction. So I am afraid with Matt leaving that whatever they were going to do with River will fall to the wayside. I know that this is Moffat and the BBC and Davies and they always have a plan but River’s connection was with 11. We all know what it was like when she met 10 and have no idea what it will be like when/if she’s with 12, especially since we have no idea who 12 will be.
But Doctors come and go (and sometimes come back, 50th Anniversary Special, anyone? Who’s as stoked as I am for David and Billie? And yes, I am on first name basis with the entire cast. What of it?) and we cope with each change and we love each new Doctor. (Well, most of us. You know who you are.) And with 12 everything will be new again! MAYBE HE WILL BE GINGER. New quirks, new catch phrases, new companions, a new goofy smile, the same reaction to snow.
So am I am really excited to meet the new Doctor and I really hope that they BBC can keep it as secret as they kept Matt Smith and maybe less secret that they did the “The Name of the Doctor” episode, releasing the episode early to those who preordered the season was a pretty big booboo. Though, you do have to appreciate the BBC’s sense of humor, they really know exactly what to do to send their fandoms into a tizzy. This has Moffat written all over it:
But all in all, I think that Matt Smith did an amazing job as the Doctor. He was lively and charming and tired and flawed and beautiful. He will be missed, just has Eccleston and Tennant are missed. But I am excited to ring in the new year with a new Doctor. Instead of being sad or hurt, we should all follow the example of this lovely lady:
And talking about David’s Tennant’s footsteps, I really hope we can make the transition easier on 12 than we did on Matt. The poor guy was put through so much crap trying to follow Tennant because the fandom was still hurt over the loss of 10. It is not the new actor’s fault that this is how the show works and no matter how beloved the previous Doctor is, we really should show respect for the man brave enough to follow 11 other amazing actors and men and take on this roll of a lifetime. Give peace a chance, guys.
And really, who doesn’t love this face?