I have absolutely no concrete evidence whatsoever as to how good of an actor Matt Smith is, or will be, as the newly cast Eleventh Doctor of the BBC’s long-lived Doctor Who. I can, however, intuit that Mr. Smith will raise the awesome flag when he takes up the Tardis helm.
In theory, the Doctor’s regenerations are a writer’s dream, allowing for constant plot and style retuning. We’ve had ornery Doctors, zany Doctors, crazy Doctors, vaguely insidious Doctors, and Peter Davison’s sweet-as-pie Fifth Doctor. With the actual regeneration of the series into “New Who” — spearheaded by Russel T. Davies – we’ve even witnessed Manic Depressive Doctor and Bi-Polar Doctor.
The problem is that I’m not sure who was who lately. Despite all the subtle personality differences between them, the Ninth (Christopher Eccleston) and Tenth Doctors (David Tennant) both carried a considerable amount of emotional baggage and were able to go from “Scions of Death” to “Kids with a New Toy” in a matter of seconds making them practically indistinguishable. It’s about time to switch things up.
Smith, with his youthful looks and relative unheardofness (or “obscurity” for those readers who like to use real words), and new head writer Steven Moffat, are exactly that needed change of pace. So here, in no particular order, are my reasons “Why Matt Smith Will Be Awesome.”
There Will Be Blood
Using my amazing power of deduction, and two BBC-released pics of Smith in front of the Tardis (see above), I can predict that the Moffat-Smith era will bring with it gothic horror, macabre settings, and a vaguely Emo Doctor. Never fear though, because he will be a self-aware emo (note the smirk). He’ll wear the clothes and carry the card but mock the entire concept as well as any companions he meets up with. Enough of the lovey-dovey Doctors, we need a baby-faced Doctor who makes secondary characters cower with self doubt and inferiority.
Worst Case Scenario: The Eleventh Doctor will actually be emo, painting the interior of the Tardis black, and cutting himself methodically as Fall Out Boy plays in the background.
The Young and the Restless
Now the hazard is that because Smith is so young and arguably good looking (and people have been arguing about this all over the forums) they’ll slap him together with a bunch of young female companions who will all fall in love with him in a never-ending cycle of angst and hilarious antics. As this already happened in “New Who” and even included a male amongst the casualities, I doubt Moffat will go the same route despite his Coupling roots. (Although, Moffat was responsible for the omnisexual Jack Harkness, so who knows? This could be the first gay Doctor on record.)
Worst Case Scenario: Doctor Who will become a time-traveling version of Friends, making the whole Ross-and-Rachel-on-a-break thing that much more confusing.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Smith’s look begs for a playful juxtaposition in assumptions and expectations. After all, the Doctor is canonically over 900 years old and now looks in his 20s, so we can only hope for a similar contradiction in personality (ornery and cynical) and looks (period clothing as opposed to the modern looks Nine and Ten sported.) If the thought of having a bad ass, 20-something in a top hat with pimp cane tell you what’s what doesn’t seem vaguely cool then I don’t know what to do with you. (Promotional pics show Smith in decidedly modern apparel but as shooting doesn’t begin until summer I shall hold out hope for a costume change.)
Worst Case Scenario: He could be dressed like he is in the above photo all the time. Although, the Batman shirt does rock.
Chain of Fools
The Eleventh Doctor will stop angsting over former companions Rose, Donna, and Martha, and he won’t meet River Song. I have nothing to back this up except for wishful thinking.
Worst Case Scenario: He won’t. Bugger.