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Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker?

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Martin's convinced that Doctor Who's 'chosen one' has been found after nearly thirty years...

Doctor Who at Shadowlocked

Along with many others, I was worried at 2009's news that season 5 of the new Doctor Who would feature the youngest Doctor ever, in the form of Matt Smith (26 years old at the time of the announcement). Three years younger than Peter Davison when he took up the time-lord's mantle in 1981, it seemed that the BBC had abandoned the character's wisdom and sagacity in favour of floppy emo haircuts and 'youth appeal'.

And yet Smith's take on the trans-dimensional itinerant in series 5 of the series' new iteration - at least so far - has not only gone back to the very roots of classic Who, in my opinion, but is to boot the first Doctor I have really cared about since Tom Baker practically re-defined the character in the 1970s.

This seems harsh on the many intervening talents who took up the role, most particularly David Tennant, and I feel that I should explain before going any further.

Tennant's good looks and extraordinarily thin physique combined with enough considerable comic timing and gravitas to have potentially turned him into one of the best Doctors of the new (or any) era. But in my opinion Tennant was constantly undermined by Russell T. Davies' determination to turn him into a chimera between Christ and Superman, going very much against the grain of forty years of Doctors, who approached their problems (and numerous enemies) more like Sherlock Holmes than Iron Man. These previous Doctors (or at least, the best of them) solved moral quandaries and dilemmas not only in the absence of weaponry (something RTD respected), but with a straightforward dose of superior alien intelligence (something RTD very often disrespected).

You felt they were in danger, and that mattered. With Tennant, it seemed that there was no peril from which his constant self-aggrandisement (as written) could not combine with yet another deus ex machina to extricate him from danger.

David Tennant was undermined further by Davies's determination in the early series of new Who to make the Doctor an almost secondary character to that of his assistant Rose, hooking the show into an EastEnders/soap style market that would broaden it (profitably) beyond its sci-fi roots;  an attachment which was so established, and so (in my opinion) over-emphasised in S1-4 that Tennant could not fail to inherit it and incorporate it into his interpretation of the character.


"The Doctor is fundamentally an alien, and too many of the writers and actors who have had a hand in Doctor Who since the reign of Tom Baker seem to have forgotten this fact."


I believe that David Tennant would have been the subject of this article if he had been The Doctor in the reign of Steven Moffat instead of Russell T. Davies, and that in this sense - for all that the role profited him and the new verson of the show garnered viewers - he was short-changed.

In terms of what the character of The Doctor is, fundamentally he is an alien, and too many of the writers and actors who have had a hand in Doctor Who since the reign of Tom Baker seem to have forgotten this fact.

In the 1980s, Baker gave way to the very young Peter Davison, who abandoned Baker's eccentricity for the characteristics of his (admitted, in many interviews) own favourite Doctor, Patrick Troughton. But the young All Creatures Great And Small actor had different qualities to offer than Troughton's pipe-playing eccentric, and his hopes of repeating that particular casting magic disappeared into a consistently aloof performance. The English know all about aloofness - it's not 'alien' to us, and Davison's take on the errant Time Lord consequently struck a frequently unfriendly note.

Davison's successor, Colin Baker, similarly interpreted 'alien' as 'aloof' and even positively 'hostile'. It wasn't until he conspired with fellow actor Nicola Bryant to tone down the written antipathy between The Doctor and assistant Peri (Bryant) in the extended series story Trial Of A Time Lord, that we even saw a glimpse of what this fine actor could have done with the part (and has since done via his audio Doctor Who adventures with Big Finish productions).

Sylvester McCoy's brief reign as the Doctor in the final series of 'classic' Who in the late 1980s saw some hint of the character's genuine eccentricity and curiosity return to the part. The diminutive actor was somewhat hampered by his slight physique, however, which should not have been a factor in a Holmes-inspired sci-fi character, but served to a certain extent to undermine his power in the lee of his more significantly-proportioned predecessors. In any case, the BBC had given up on Doctor Who just on the verge of a new wave of interest in science-fiction, so that was that.

A brief appearance by pseudo-Victorian Doctor Paul McGann in a very American-oriented one-off pilot not only recalled the non-canon movie work of Peter Cushing in the role in the 1960s, but also failed to get the series back off the ground in 1996 (though the actor, like Colin Baker and fellow Withnail And I compadre Richard E. Grant) has since done sterling work in Who audio adventures).


"Of the performance of Christopher Ecclestone in Doctor Who's big 2005 return, what can we say? Alternately gurning and morose, there's no telling what the actor would have done with the role if he had not bailed out after one series"


Of the performance of Christopher Ecclestone in Doctor Who's big 2005 return, what can we say? Alternately gurning and morose, there's no telling what the actor would have done with the role if he had not bailed out after one series - only that rather too much of what he established in new Who S1 arguably ended up informing David Tennant's take on the character in his three-season reign.

Which brings us back to Matt Smith, and what he is doing with the role of the world's favourite time-traveller.

He's doing a lot, and he's clearly on the same page as series producer Steven Moffat in returning the Doctor to where he should be emotionally - wise and yet endlessly curious, trusting and yet curiously naivé.

In this anti-paedophiliac age, there could easily have been a note of discomfort regarding Smith's kitchen conversation with the child version of Amy Pond in The Eleventh Hour, but we instead get a sense that we are dealing with a man of the universe, not of the world. Child-like himself, he's impetuous but without hint of malice or menace - in addition to the (welcome) new sense that he is not invulnerable himself, we feel safe with him. He's full of intellectual pyrotechnics, but they're all there not to impress or embroil, but just because he - in spite of knowing so much - has a thirst to know so much more than he already does.

He likes Amy Pond, and he's lonely enough to want a listening ear and another set of eyes to marvel at the new wonders of the universe with him, but not with the same desperate longing that (in my opinion) weakened David Tennant's take on the character as regards Rose Tyler. Smith's Doctor is clearly an alien, and his pragmatic response to Amy's amorous advances in Flesh And Stone can either be interpreted as the fruit of hard experience or a simple case of mis-matching biologies. Right now, his mind is on higher things - and what could be sexier than that? He's good-looking, brilliant, finally seems to have his temper and ego under some kind of control and is about as eccentric as a box of space-frogs.

I love this Doctor more than any since Tom Baker - and I wasn't expecting to. Oh, Steven, Matt...don't let us down...

See also:

An appraisal of Matt Smith on the eve of Doctor Who season 6

Doctor Who: What made Christopher Eccleston unique

Top 10 Doctor Whos

The ten most important characteristics of The Doctor

Doctor Who - a curmudgeon once more?

The Top Ten Doctor Introduction Stories

Picking apart the Doctor Who season six trailer

Doctor Who companions: The Ultimate Tournament

Top 10 Best Doctor Who Series 5 Moments

Read more Doctor Who articles at Shadowlocked


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Comments 

 
#1 Guest 2010-05-03 00:54
David tennant is best doctor ever. Amy pond is pouty sexy. If people watch the show they watch because of amy pond. Matt smith is ok. He is blank in lots of scenes.

David tennat was super. No one know what he will do next. He was a blast.

Matt smith is not bad because he is not that attractive with too much bald.

Making him best doctor is really not good for him. He has long way to go before even talking same level as david tennant.
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#2 Guest 2010-05-03 01:17
Nope David Tennennt and Tom Baker are still the best, Matt Smith sucks
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#3 Guest 2010-05-03 05:33
What a lovely article! Very well written. Your thoughts really mirror my own. I've liked all the Doctors, but there's just something special about Matt Smith's performance. Not sure I'm ready to make as bold a proclamation as you do but I'm VERY excited to see where Matt Smith takes us during his era (I hope it's a long one - at least three years!) as it seems so promising already.
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#4 Guest 2010-05-03 08:35
I could not disagree more. I find Matt Smith to be boring and drab not engaging at all. He is also coming across as being dumb! Oh well, you know you know what they say about opinions......
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#5 Guest 2010-05-03 09:23
I'm sorry but it's like we have been watching a different programme. Doctor who has been killed for me by the one man I thought would save it. Steven Moffat. Steven has taken everything important and made it only accessible to children ( I as a grown up now feel embarrassed to watch) the character of Amy Pond clearly doesn't need the doctor as she manages to figure it all out on her own ( as the character of the assistant should be the eyes of the audience I must say it feels like we are being excluded) and as for the storylines?...does Steven think we are stupid. If you scrape the surface of any of these first 5 episodes, they just don't make sense. Yeah you can cover that over by a bit of timey wimey but fundamentally it just doesn't add up. Why do the angels kill now? ( some ADR'd line about scavengers...ok?) Why did the crack close in ep 5? Why are the same old story ideas being re used ( time delay in series 5 ep 1- girl in the fireplace. Angels. Riversong (please no more) Daleks- the giant inflatable version...shocking! The angels speaking through intercoms- silence in the library. Please Steven come up with something well....better or at least something that hasn't been done before. I loved who with every bit of my geeky body but I feel cheated. I can tell that alot of old who fans are waxing lyrical about series 5 because it's NOT RTD but come on guys. Get your heads out of the clouds (used to a colon effect in the new title sequence) and admit what you are all afraid to think....may RTD was just a little bit magic...
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#6 Guest 2010-05-03 09:26
matt smith is not the best doctor sits tom baker tom baker was the best and all aways will be and davd tennant comes next better then matt
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#7 Guest 2010-05-03 10:49
I agree C H Jones, are some people watching the same Doctor Who as us. Doctor Who has been ruined for me this series. David Tennant was my favourite Doctor, with Jon Pertwee coming close second. Matt Smith seems like an eccentric University student by comparison. David's acting showed a huge range which I'm sure Matt Smith could not nearly match. After last night's episode with River Song and the Weeping Angels - surely if Amy had her eyes closed all that time she would have been sent off in time (in David Tennant's episode Blink he instructed "don't blink!"). I am not going to bother watching any more. Thank goodness I have series 2 - 4 and the specials on dvd.
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#8 Guest 2010-05-03 11:14
No - Tennant was the best - Matt Smith is boring
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#9 Guest 2010-05-03 13:16
I agree with this article entirely. Despite his managing to revive the show so that we could once again watch it, it has to be said that Russell T Davies was an awful writer. By series 4, an avid fan like myself could scarcely bare to watch the cheesyness unfold and not want to vomit.
But not only has Stephen Moffat (the writer of the best episodes since the 2005 revival as anyone will tell you) brought back the brilliance that makes this show what it is, but Matt Smith has been brilliant in the role of the Doctor to top off the excitement.
All I can say is thank god. I don't know if I would have been able to stomach any more of that endless cheesyness. I might even have stopped watching!
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#10 Guest 2010-05-03 13:51
I caught the first programme of this series and thought it was utter rubbish. Matt Smith is not Dr Who and never will be. Even Peter Davison was better.
I think Dave Tennant was a tough act to follow.
I don't think I will watch Dr Who again while Matt Smith. I think currently it is like watching Back to the Future.
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#11 Guest 2010-05-03 15:33
I thiink it's still waay too early to tell, David Tennant provided three series for us to truly decide what kind of a Doctor he was, Matt Smith has only shown us 4 eps!! Matt Smith's portrayal is much more like the Doctor Who of old, gone is the dashing young super hero of 10. Can't wait to find out who the hell River Song is, it's driving me potty!
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#12 Guest 2010-05-03 20:52
I'm sorry to disagree with you, but David Tennant is still the best Doctor by far. Mostly that is because Matt Smith, so far, hasn't lived up to his acting ability. He is frantic and mumbles and I simply cannot believe him in the role. All of that said, however, I do agree that Moffat has taken the character back to his nerdy roots and I also agree that RTD was misguided in his attempts to make the Doctor a Christ figure. I do not agree about Rose, since I loved the idea of the Doctor in love...and felt Rose really needed to be established exactly as she was established. I really feel that the problem was THAT was RTD's only idea...the Doctor in love. Once he'd done that...he had no idea what else to do. Moff has another problem. His main idea is to recapture the nostalgia of his childhood and sex it up with a companion to HIS liking. Amy to me is nothing but a modern Mel...there for the eye candy. And there's nothing wrong with that...but after the emotional depth of Tennant and Piper...and even the less depth of Freema and Catherine Tate and Wilf...this is Doctor Who Lite and I can't say that it works for me.
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#13 Guest 2010-05-03 21:29
I want Matt Smith's babies as much as (young) Tom Baker's. Thus, your opinion is correct and David Tennant's Doctor was, indeed, shite.
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#14 Guest 2010-05-03 22:20
He's not better than Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee, Baker or Tennant, he might be next though. Still haven't warmed to him. He might be your best if you've only seen CE or DT then it's just a personality contest.
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#15 Guest 2010-05-03 22:49
Tend to agree matt smith shows much potential although it is still early days but i am slightly diappointed how much assistants have 'saved the day' 3 out of 5 episodes now amy twice and river to a lesser extence once. Dont want to put down RTD too much credit where credit is due - he has successfully brought back the doctor and yes it was a bit 'soapy' but it could quite of easily sucked and been lost for good. I will say this though i am so glad there are no more gay undertones or should i say overtones yes we know you're gay, RTD, the world is much more accepting of sexual preferences and so it should be. But it was becoming too much of a central issue in new Who and will not be missed..
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#16 Guest 2010-05-03 23:02
Matt Smith as good as Tom baker NO but ask about david
Tennant and then Tom has a lot of compertion David Tennant is just simply the best Dr ever
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#17 Guest 2010-05-04 01:01
I completely agree with this article, I'm appalled at the level of immiturity from the other comments, some of them claiming to be adults. me, a 15 year old child has a higher level of appreciation and maturity that these so-called Adults? Pity. I think Matt smith is THE Doctor.
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#18 Guest 2010-05-04 06:10
Tennant's run was uneven -- he was great sometimes (usually Steven Moffat's eps...hmmmm), but most of the time I felt like I was watching a cartoon. RTD's writing really brought Tennant down -- just a bunch of running around until the big speech at the end about how amazingly wonderful and amazing the doctor is and somehow by the power of his amazingness he would solve everything and NOBODY DIES TODAY. When Moffat's doctor comes up with a solution, it actually makes sense, and is rooted in something the audience has already seen earlier in the episode.

I am LOVING Smith so far, and though it's early, I would agree he's better than Tennant. I his combination of awe-struck child and eccentric, grumpy old man. Where I feel he wins out over Tennant is his ability to carry bad writing on the merits of his quirky character alone. Granted, he hasn't yet had RTD levels of bad to overcome, but there have been bits where I would have been rolling my eyes in a Tennant episode, but Smith keeps me engaged. (I also am an Eccleston fan and feel he had a similar talent for transcending bad writing). I hope the Tennant-lovers will come to appreciate Smith's take on the role as much as I do, and learn it's okay to love more than one doctor.

I think complaints of Moffat reusing his old ideas are premature. They were great ideas the first time out, and he's entitled to bring them out for a victory lap these first few episodes. They're great callbacks to some of the best Tennant episodes, and serve to tie the two eras together.
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#19 Guest 2010-05-04 09:35
Great article! I did love David Tennant but cringed a bit at the special-Jesus-fairy-James-Bond treatment his Doctor was given, and did NOT like the overattachment to Rose - given that the Doctor's had so many companions in the past it rather felt like shitting on many of them to elevate this one in particular to heightened levels of super-specialness. And yeah, episodes are stronger for me when there is no magic wand or easy answer - and many of Moffat's Tennant-era episodes were brilliant because the Doctor couldn't always fix everything, didn't always have the answers.

Matt is bloody brilliant so far. From a shallow viewpoint, as a female he wasn't instantly as attractive as the lush Mr Tennant but after seeing Mr Smith in action am finding him rather yummy and absolutely loving his take on the character. He's unpredictable and childlike and wise and just the right amount of bonkers. Fabulous.
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#20 Guest 2010-05-04 11:05
Like you, I was scared of series 5. While I trusted Moffat to write well, I was petrified of the production and series arcs and thought Matt Smith was a dire choice. I've been proven wrong on all counts. The writing is ok, but not as good as many of Moffat's previous, the production is excellent and the casting choices, now that I have seen Matt and Karen in action, were exemplary.

I know that Smith is not everyone's cup of tea, but please, give it time. After Tom Baker's first few episodes, there were many that absolutely hated this 'loony'. There is something just so eccentric about Smith, which is what I loved about Tom Baker. Before now, I was feeling that my favourite Doctor was a dead heat between Baker and Tennant, but now I feel it's a 3 way tie between them and Smith, with all others being very far behind. Tennant is clearly the best actor of the 3 but was ruined by RTD's wish to turn the Doctor into some sort of God. Baker was ruined by crappy scripts and a habit of hamming it up, especially in his final years. But so far, Smith seems to be hindered by neither.

To those naysayers, I would encourage you to watch the last 15 minutes of The Eleventh Hour again - do it for yourself and your love of the show! Smith just shines magnificently.
"I am definitely a mad man in a box"
"Ok, what have you got for me this time"
"Should take them about 60 seconds... whooooh, there they are"
"Oooops!... Amy Pond, the girl who waited, you've waited long enough"
"Enough of the 'raggedy'..."

Confident, but not over the top; eccentric, but not barmy; fun, but not light-hearted.

I loved those final scenes so much that I must have watched them about 10 times and since doing so, haven't been able to keep my eyes of this man in every scene he's in.
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#21 Guest 2010-05-04 14:53
The hostility of fans amazes me sometimes. While I don't think Matt Smith has entirely proven himself yet, I do agree with the article. At the same time, I also agree that the show hasn't exactly reached the standard I had hoped for upon Moffat's taking of the throne. Throwing out the wealth of deux ex machinas from the Davies era is a nice touch and I like that the Doctor is more vulnerable and detective-like than before, it hasn't quite reached the point I'd be most comfortable with (i.e., pre-2005 Who).

I'd like to also point out that the comments here reek of fanboy(andgirl) ism. "Matt Smith sucks! Tennant is the best EVER!" sort of comments are disheartening to read, simply because this is supposed to be the most intelligent childrens show out there. We're five episodes in and we've seen plenty of range out of Smith, more-so than with Tennant's first five. So the reasoning simply isn't there, and I wouldn't be surprised if everyone was just peeved because Tennant was just prettier.
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#22 Guest 2010-05-04 14:56
David Tennant was to much like Jerry Lewis. He WAS NOT THE BEST DOCTOR EVER. But Matt Smith (who has past Tennant in many ways) could work himself into being the best Doctor since Tom Baker. All thanks to Moffett.
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#23 Guest 2010-05-04 20:15
It might be a matter of personal state, but Matt Smith became my second favourite Doctor after Eccleston (Tough my undying luv for his version of the Doctor might be a case of nostalgia filter - he was my first Doctor) right after the 1st episode. I'm not saying that DT was bad, but both him and RTD picked exactly the right Moment to leave. It was good that they were there, but now it's time for some fresh wind and I doubt that anyone can deliver it better than Matt, Karen and Moffat.
I hope they stay LONG.

This is my personal opinion: David might habe been mindblowingly awesome, but Matt is INCREDIBLE. It's like he's been born to play the part...
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#24 Guest 2010-05-09 19:54
Quoting Conor:
I completely agree with this article, I'm appalled at the level of immiturity from the other comments, some of them claiming to be adults. me, a 15 year old child has a higher level of appreciation and maturity that these so-called Adults? Pity. I think Matt smith is THE Doctor.

Completely agree with you, and this article. And honestly, some of the so-called adults can't even be bothered to capitalize - which frankly tells quite a lot about them.

Yes, David was a great actor - but RTD tried too hard to make the series more likable to non-Who fans. Was I the only one who found Rose utterly boring?

Matt Smith has a GREAT take on the Doctor, and I cannot wait to see what he does this season. Fingers crossed for 'Amy's Choice' this week!
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#25 Guest 2010-05-10 00:01
I have to agree with what was said by Danno...

Tennant's run was uneven -- he was great sometimes (usually Steven Moffat's eps...hmmmm), but most of the time I felt like I was watching a cartoon. RTD's writing really brought Tennant down -- just a bunch of running around until the big speech at the end about how amazingly wonderful and amazing the doctor is and somehow by the power of his amazingness he would solve everything and NOBODY DIES TODAY. When Moffat's doctor comes up with a solution, it actually makes sense, and is rooted in something the audience has already seen earlier in the episode.

I am LOVING Smith so far, and though it's early, I would agree he's better than Tennant. I his combination of awe-struck child and eccentric, grumpy old man. Where I feel he wins out over Tennant is his ability to carry bad writing on the merits of his quirky character alone. Granted, he hasn't yet had RTD levels of bad to overcome, but there have been bits where I would have been rolling my eyes in a Tennant episode, but Smith keeps me engaged. (I also am an Eccleston fan and feel he had a similar talent for transcending bad writing). I hope the Tennant-lovers will come to appreciate Smith's take on the role as much as I do, and learn it's okay to love more than one doctor.

I think complaints of Moffat reusing his old ideas are premature. They were great ideas the first time out, and he's entitled to bring them out for a victory lap these first few episodes. They're great callbacks to some of the best Tennant episodes, and serve to tie the two eras together.


I have watched Who since the Tom Baker era (and having gone back to Hartnell), I can honestly say that Matt Smith's portrayal so far is closer to what I have come to love in my favorite time lord. RTD while I applaud him from bringing back the series and fighting to make it popular had a tendency to write himself into a corner, and pulled the deus ex machina element far too often with little or no build up (eg last of the time lords, journey's end, end of time).
As for Rose I was not sad to see her go, while she was interesting in the beginning, the love sick puppy routine that she, and Martha were written into was ludicrous to the extreme and way overdone. I am happy to see that Moffat is starting to steer Smith away from this aspect that plagued the previous era.
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#26 Guest 2010-05-16 16:01
Matt Smith has as much Charisma as a garden slug. He lacks the essential Characteristics of a "Doctor" and nothing about him radiates the confidence that a being of his reputation or age would have. Amelia Jessica would make a better Doctor than Matt Smith. She has more charisma and confidence. Please kill this twerp o...ff quickly. The "love interest" angle that the Doctor Who series has adopted is lame as well. Moffat needs to get back to the good writing that he did in the old series. It is tellingly absent from this one so far. Perhaps he was influenced by those around him during the 10th Doctor incarnation, but the writing this go 'round is lame.
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#27 Guest 2010-05-16 19:01
I tend to agree. I was not just skeptical, but convinced that Mr. Smith could not pull off this role. In fact, he is far superior than the blabbering, hyper kinetic Tennant. But this is such a different, watered down series from the days of Tom Baker that I can enjoy it at some level, but find myself returning to those old episodes whenever I want a some great sci fi, and uber-wit courtesy of Mr. Baker. Still, I am very happy that Matt Smith has taken the helm. Hope that he stays for a while.
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#28 Jake 2010-06-01 20:42
As is the case with several preceding comments, I was horrified of the idea that Smith would be the follow-up to the almighty Tennant. But I have noticed, over the years, that each time I see a Doctor go, I worry that the next will never be able to fill his shoes. And as the next season flows, I almost always immediately warm to the next actor. Such has occurred with our young Matt who is unfairly receiving many rude comments on this page from the die-hard Tennant fans who are still not willingly to let go. Just because Smith is young and plays the role differently than Tennant, admittedly the way it is supposed to be played despite having loved David's approach and individual eccentricity. I personally believe Steven and Matt are doing a spectacular job so far and I'm enthralled by the storyline (although I wouldn't mind the complete EXTERMINATION of all things Dalek...).
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#29 Dr Jon Smth 2010-06-03 17:53
I grew up with Jon Pertwee as the Doctor, and by far he was my favorite- but i concider Tom Baker the greatest doctor ever.
But the relaity is the new generation of Whovians don't know the early Doctors, and often dismiss the classic episodes due to the low budget special effects.

Paul Magann was superbly cast as the Doctor in the Doctor Who movie and has been stellar in the Big Finish audio adventures- but the storyline of thetv movie had major flaws- (HALF HUMAN???)
I'd welcome a Doctor Who speciall about the Time War showing him regenerate into the 9th Doctor.

It was a treat seeing the meeting between the 10th and 5th Doctors.

I really like Eccleson's 9th Doctor-his incarnation was vulnerable, traumatized by the Time war and elusive- yet Tennant's 10th Doctor is unbeatable- He has the off putting arrogance of the 6th Doctor, yet the charm of the 3rd Doctor and the 2nd Doctor's tendency to wander into trouble..
So far, Matt Smith is doing a good job... Katy Manning will be reprising her role as companion Jo Grant for an appearance on 'The Sarah Jane Adventueres (the 11th doctor will also appear)-, I'd like to see Tom Baker return for an adventure with the 11th Doctor. Inserted cgi effects could easily disguise the fact Tom Baker has aged and gained weight.
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#30 Dr Jon Smth 2010-06-03 18:00
It may be by design that alpha type incarnations of Doctors with strong personalities regenerate into low key subdued Doctors (and vise versa) . Such was certainly the case when the 4th Doctor regenerated into the 5th, the 5th into the 6th, the 6th into the 7th and the 7th into the 8th, and the 10th into the 11th. In one incarnation the Doctor will be a magnetic personality and a pillar of confidence- the next he will be an unasuming and unsure being with no presense whatsoever. So far, the 11th doctor does not have the 'presense' of the 10th Doctor- as far as I can see, this is how it's aways been. Matt Smith's 11th Doctor is a bit relaxed and low key- and I fully expect the future 12th Doctor will be outgoing and charasmatic.
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#31 Simon 2010-06-15 16:35
I have been watching Dr Who literally since the first episode (OK I was three months old and I don't remember but my father swears we watched it together) and Tennant was one of my least favourite Doctors.

Too much agonising, too much mooning, far too straight and utterly lacking in charm. I couldn't stand him. Almost everyone I know who liked DT either fancied him or hadn't not been a long term fan (or both usually).

Matt Smith has got off to a great start. He is quirky and funny and I have really enjoyed watching him. I have also been very taken with Amy Pond. Too sexy - no. Sexy - absolutely, she is delectable.
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#32 Addy 2010-06-28 21:05
I've been a Doctor Who fan for quite some time. Whilst in my late 20's, the earlier shows over the decades completely drew me in - the author of this article is right, they felt more like an alien Sherlock Holmes and that was brilliant.

Christopher Eccleston's performance in this new generation of the Doctor I found quite interesting. He was full of energy and stark-mad, but between him and Matt Smith, I found DT quite inaccessible to those who weren't die-hard fans.

Truth be told, I couldn't *stand* David Tennant's Doctor Who at all. The level of cheese (the scripts he had to portray at least) brought to the screen left me wondering why the hell anyone would want to watch such dribble. The author is correct - he seemed invincible most of the time which takes away from ones ability to identify with him as a character.

Matt Smith however, was what I consider something of a diamond in the rough. When I first learned he would be the new doctor I was shocked. I thought, who is this emo looking Uni student they expect to play the doctor??.

I was very very wrong though. Not only did Matt Smith embrace what it meant to be the Doctor (we had almost long forgotten) but he does so in a way that makes you BELIEVE he could be real. I've never been so into the new generation of DW that I wouldn't miss a single episode, but for this season thats been the case. It's been amazing.

Suffice to say, I'll be buying this on Blu-ray when it comes out.

For those who think that Matt is a little bland, re-watch the old Doctor Who, forget DT and give the guy a chance. He will surprise you despite his appearance.
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#33 sibby 2010-07-01 20:01
I found that David Tennant turned the show into a drama. He was very dull and over hyped.

Matt Smith on the other hand is amazing! He has brought back the true meaning of the programme. People that slag him off obviously were watching the wrong programme...
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#34 rohale 2010-07-04 05:22
I grew up in the Tom Baker of Doctor Who and for me he became the standard bearer of what a really powerful actor can do with a part like Doctor Who. After Peter Davison I stopped watching the programme until it's return in 2005.
I thought Chris Eccleston did a fantastic job in terms of re-establishing the show. When he left and David Tennant took over, I wasn't really enamoured with Tennant. It took about two series to win me over. By the time of David's third series, I thought he was really remarkable and definitely up there with Tom Baker. By the of the specials I knew I was going to miss him.

When it was announced that Matt Smith would take over as Doctor, I had my reservation as I did with every actor who took over in the lead role. What I found was I was a little uneasy with the first story and half way through the series, I found myself getting used to of Matt Smith and by the first series for Matt Smith, I really like his performance and I'm enjoying what he's bringing to the role.

As a viewer I cant wait for the next series and what Matt is given to work with storywise. Hopefully like all his predecessors, he'll get better with each passing performance and hopefully his popularity will continue to grow with the viewing public.
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#35 andi 2010-07-06 22:17
I feel Matt Smith simply isn't able to pull off the part of the doctor, for me, Amy and Rory make this series what it is. I Have always been a Tom Baker fan and over the last few years, a David Tennant fan because he can bring the part to life and embodies the essence of what the doctor is. I feel Matt Smith is completely unrealistic in his approach to the doctors character and who the doctor should be. However, Steven Moffat hasn't helped and has been very disappointing as a producer for this series. I feel that the series has never really got going and reminds me of the tacky cheap budget era of the Sylvester McCoy days.
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#36 Roger 2010-07-07 11:05
Gonna have to disagree with you on Moffat and RTD's styles, look at a few quotes from Moffat episodes.
"I'm the Doctor and we're in the biggest library in the galaxy, look me up."
"I have defeated you time and time again, I have defeated you, I send you back into the void, I saved the hole of reality from you! I'm the Doctor and you are the Daleks!"
"HELLO STONEHENGE! WHO TAKES THE PANDORICA, TAKES THE UNIVERSE! BUT BAD NEWS EVERYONE! CAUSE GUESS WHO!? You're all whissing about, it's all very distracting, could you all stay still for a minute cause I AM TALKING! Now question for is whose got the Pandorica, answer; I do, next question, whose coming to take it from me? COME ON, LOOK AT ME! Look at me, no plan, no back-up, and I'll tell you something else I don't have, anything. to. loot!
So if you're sitting up there in your silly little spaceships with all your silly little guns and you got any plans on taking the Pandorica tonight... Just remember whose standing in your way! REMEMBER EVERY BLACK DAY I EVER STOPPED YOU! AND THEN! AAAND THEN! DO THE SMART THING! Let somebody else try first."

Now looking at the new series as standalone, would we be able to buy these speeches had it not been for RTD's seas
on finales and two parters and such? Heeell no.
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#37 Taz 2010-07-19 11:16
Matt Smith as Dr. Who SUCKS! He has no complex facial expressions, and a personality that is BLOODY BORING - His eyes always look flat and unappealing, has a vapid smile [when we see it!] and he has no chemistry with anyone whatsoever - Dr. Who is a witty genius and for some reason Matt Smith plays him as a mush mouthed mumbling grade schooler with an atrophied I.Q.!!! What the #%!! happened?! Karen Gillan & the always fascinating Alex Kingston are out-acting & out-classing him completely! He has no rapport with River Song at all! After watching all versions of Dr. Who, I am deeply dissappointed & thoroughly disgusted! Graham Norton who is animated and funny, could have done a better job! Matt Smith is not Dr. Who compatible!
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#38 Andrew Aaron 2010-07-29 18:52
Matt Smith is the best Doctor, his episiodes have the best writing since Tom Baker.
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#39 Lokey 2010-08-02 18:03
I always thought David Tennant's Doctor was about as close to Tom Baker's as the series ever got. He was moody, eccentric as all get out, compassionate, but a force to be reckoned with...you saw that badass side of the Doctor and, at the same time, the vulnerable side. Tennant was absolutely wonderful.

This new Matt Smith is nothing more than fodder for a new, younger audience. Moffat is just being a puppet for the studio and giving them the cash cow they want by making Smith's Doctor as hip and cool as possible. I wouldn't be surprised if each episode started featuring songs from whatever artist is currently at the top of the charts.

And apparently sir, you've not read much Sherlock Holmes if you believe that Holmes never used anything other than his brain.
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#40 David D. 2010-08-07 12:04
David Tennant and Tom Baker were the best, followed by Jon Pertwee and Christopher Eccleston.

The others Im not naming are in the middle of the pack.

This new "young (un)cool guy in a cheap suit" Matt Smith is down at the bottom of the heap with Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. After 1 episode I cant stand Matt Smith. Im not even willing to watch him in another episode - the one new episode I saw looked like a high school production.

Im sorry I wanted it to be good but I just dont think He will last. And even if he somehow does - I wont be watching this tripe.
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#41 Nick 2010-08-11 22:40
Great article.
When you read about Doctor Who or hear the name Doctor Who, TOM BAKER comes to mind. He’ll always be the Best All Time Doctor Who ever.
David Tennant was fun to watch I admit, though he was no Tom Baker nor did he act like Tom, not even close, and this is why I do understand where the article writer is coming from in regards to David and his style and attitude when playing Doctor Who.
Though I do truly have to agree that Matt Smith has some Tom Baker in him when he plays the character. Who knows, perhaps Matt will be 2nd to Tom Baker and re-fuel the Doctor Who franchise.

MATT, study all of Tom Baker’s Doctor Who episodes (1974 to 1981).
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#42 Kickaha 2010-08-12 14:09
I am a lifelong Doctor Who fan and despite being loyal to the original series (am I the only one who spotted RTD's weekly plagiarism?) I found Christopher Eccleston engaging, if slightly too aggressive.
David Tennant was great though - an equal to the hitherto unsurpassed Tom Baker. But after several tears of Tenant him I'd had enough.
I took one look at Matt Smith and cringed. I braced myself for the worst, ready to tune out forever. But I was thrilled to find him taking the Doctor back to the original series and then building on that.
Smith's Doctor is a wonderfully effective mix of Troughton and Baker. There can be no higher praise.
And now that RTD's dreadful influence has been removed, the scripts and stories are already far better than anything we've seen since the early 80's
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#43 Al 2010-08-31 02:34
I know what would be a great storyline for the new series... if the Doctor has to regenerate, and he ends up in one of his past incarnations, and the whole story goes around this being something that has never happened before. Let's say... David Tennant's incarnation? :) No offense to Matt Smith, but he is shit as the Doctor. 10th Doctor is the best to have ever been in the TARDIS
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#44 Scarlett 2010-10-09 10:06
I fell in love with Matt as soon as he said "Can I have an apple?" I cried so hard when David left, but now... *gulp* I've grown to love Matt even more than David.
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#45 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? James Mcdonald 2010-10-15 06:23
Being related to David quite closely and watching both performances avidly, I have to say as a close cousin of David that Matt really does it for me more, my cousin never really portrayed an eccentric old time lord very well, he is a bit annoying in the role and i never thought i'd say that about a very good actor but his performance of The Doctor doesn't do it for me, Matt, however, I can see people will forget David by the end of his second series.
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#46 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? Graeme 2010-10-26 18:27
Matt Smith is amazing, and so was David Tennant. None of us wanted to see Tennant go, and he's an incredibly hard act to follow but Matt Smith is doing amazingly. I hope that he has a reign as the Doctor for at least 5 years!!!!!!!!!
GO MATT UR DOING REALLY WELL!!!!!!!!!
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#47 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? Mazlowe 2010-10-31 20:10
Matt Smith is lovely as the Doctor! I feared the worst when I saw pix of him when first cast, with his emo hair hanging over his too young face, but a few minutes into his debut episode put all my fears to rest. His eccentric charm and curiosity enthralls, and, most surprising of all, he perfectly conveys the sense that he is a centuries-old being with all the collected experience and wisdom that would entail.
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#48 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? Mark 2010-11-12 14:34
I can only guess that most of the commentators on here are squeeing Tennant fangirls. Having watched the show since 1977 I can say that Smith is easily the best Doctor since Tom Baker. He has captured the alien quality and eccentricity of The Doctor, something Ecclestion and Tennant both tried to do but ended up coming across as regular blokes you would meet down the pub. I hope Matt Smith stays in the role for a long time to come, it's great to have proper Doctor Who back again.
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#49 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? Don 2010-11-14 14:57
I agree, more or less, my number one doctor is Troughton and not Tom Baker (although Tom Baker is close behind), I love all the doctors but what is with the Tennant love from everyone, Tennant was good but he ranks sixth for me (behind troughton, Matt, McCoy, Tom Baker and Eccleston)
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#50 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? Sam Loser2 2010-11-28 01:25
Matt Smith is THE Doctor. His preformence sold the entire show for me. He doesn't seem invulnerable, which is good, and his quriks and eccentric behavior I find priceless. He stikes me as a sort of "nutty professer", which I think is excelent for the Doctor
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#51 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? triple-d 2010-12-12 21:17
Matt Smith is good. He doesn't even cut it close to the best, That would be Peter Davidson, David Tennant, and Tom Baker, but he is good. Very good. He is young and at some times, I think amatuer, but he is a very good doctor. My friend Riley would probably shoot the person who wrote the "Matt Smith Sucks" comment, but I think she's overly protective of Matt Smith.
Matt Smith is probably quirkier, but the three doctors I listed were better actors and at times, funnier. The Doctor's character is supposed to be a mix of all emotions and the actor who plays him should be able to change his emotion ON THE SPOT! That is one of the doctor's best traits, and I think that Matt Smith has a bit of trouble with that. He tries to be funny too hard, and the doctor is funny, but he isn't always and Matt Smith has a hard time seeing that.
Matt Smith is not THE Doctor, neither is David Tennant, Peter Davidson, or Tom Baker. There is no DOCTOR. They all do their job well, some better then others and some worse such as Sylvester McCoy, but there isn't supposed to be one major doctor. That is ruining the whole point of Doctor Who. If the producers wanted that, they would've made him immortal rather then able to regenerate. So keep this in mind, before you judge the Actors who play the Doctor. ;)
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#52 Yes and no bill braski 2010-12-13 19:02
I think this season was great. Moffat takes the focus on the Doctor and makes him an observer as much as an instigator.

My wife watched episodes of this season, shrugging off RTD's seasons as too Saturday morning cartoonish. She teared up during the Van Gogh episode.

Matt Smith does a great job, to me. I think Moffat should get at least as much credit though.
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#53 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? ISSA 2010-12-14 09:12
I want to watch The doctor not Zohan....The new doctor is more Zohan that it should be, not passion, not inteligence for his role, just luck and a childish behavior. I hope, some way, that the screening players to resuscitate Tennant. The fifth series was very difficult to be watched...without David Tennant!
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#54 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? tom baker era. 2010-12-14 10:43
i agree with taz and lokey why because i reckon matt smith is trying to hard to BE Tom baker and failing miserably also the fact pointed out that hes actually slower on the uptake then his current companions NOT A GOOD SIGN. i am not a DT fan girl and i hated the rose love story arc it started out ok but then got incredibly tacky . too human dr= not really the dr. i feel dr who has become watered down to sell to hip kool youngsters(whic h is stupid in its self becuase the nerds are the ones who buy all your bloody merch anyway)... and its not a childerns show btw! but it certainly feels like one now .
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#55 TOM BAKER IS GOD! Jay 2010-12-19 04:57
Tom Baker is THE best doctor and always will be. They should just end the series alltogether because no one will ever be able to compete with him. This series would have died in the 70's if not for Baker's revolutionary turn as the Doctor. He is primarily responsible for making the series popular Worldwide. Do you really need to be given all the multitude of reasons as to why Tom Baker is easily the best Doctor?! It's soooooooo OBVIOUS!
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#56 TOM BAKER IS GOD! Jay 2010-12-19 05:03
David Tennant is ok but he's shit compared to the great Tom Baker. The series probably wouldn't still be alive if it wasn't for him. Tom Baker is the ONLY Doctor I bow down too and there's plenty of good reasons for that!
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#57 Smith is a good doctor ysn 2010-12-20 02:02
I personally put Smith in my top four (next to Tom Baker, Pertwee and McCoy). I liked Tennant in the beginning, but started to dislike him by the middle of his tenure and he was rivalled only by Adric in attracting my dislike by his last few episodes (though that's partly RTDs fault.)

I like Smith because he does the role very much like a classical doctor.

Another thing I really disliked with Tennant is how gimmicky he made the Sonic Screwdriver. That thing is bad writing incarnate. In the beginning (the Tom Baker days) it was little more then a screwdriver that could tamper with electronics, but Tennant took it and turned it into a magic wand with powers that would make J.K. Rowling blush.
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#58 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? Dean Wilkinson 2010-12-20 16:09
I think Matt is good.It's still early days though so he hasn't found his feet maybe.David was great to begin with but started to become wearing after a while.
I go back to John Pertwee days as my first Dr,and managed to get Tom Bakers autograph once,but I don't care for nostalgia.Watching back some old episodes I was quite surprised at how basic it all was.
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#59 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? ElizabethSterling 2010-12-21 22:32
Honestly? Matt returns the Doctor to being an eccentric alien being.

Tennant was an amazing actor and brought power to the role but the scripts made him out to be messianic and he was far too human for my liking. What he was didn't feel like the Doctor of old for many of the wrong reasons. He was too brilliant, too capable and too powerful where Doctors in the past, whilst taking advantage of their status as a very witty and competent super-alien had very clear flaws.

Hartnel's Doctor had a Puckish sense of disregard for those around him and was driven only by his own curiosity and want to hide from the Time-Lords.

Troughton's Doctor was frequently frivolous and overly eccentric, damaged by his first regenreation.

Pertwee's Doctor was introspective, self-involved and egotistical like a brilliant but spoiled child, set amongst people he perceived to be his lessers.

Baker's Doctor was vain and emotionally unstable, looking to take back his lost time stuck on Earth and stick a middle finger up at his own people.

Davidson's Doctor was nervous and introspective, suddenly very conscious of the world around him and his responsibility to it more than he ever had been in the past and this made him hesitant and distant.

Colin Baker's Doctor was brash and aggressive, almost as if he felt his past potential had been wasted and he had to put that to rights by proving himself in the eyes of everybody else.

Mccoy's Doctor was tortured, taking his responsibility and grimly pushing on to do what he felt had to be done at any cost, even if this meant his own death or that of someone close to him. He felt the weight of the universe on his shoulders and this made him mercurial and prone to mood swings.

Mcgann's Doctor was seemingly an attempt to return to innocence, to try to explore the universe with the free will and fervour for life he had once had to the point of being juvenile and reckless.

Eccleston's Doctor was psychologically scarred by the Time War making him unpredictable and morose, simply looking for someone who could share his impossible burden.

These little quirks made the Doctor a complex and interesting character rather than an alien Santa-Christ. More, they made him alien to us. The Doctor was, as one former writer put it, 'a far-off mountain range', beautiful but dangerous and intimidating and impossible to put in to perspective. Russel T Davies seemed to just want to put his own tired pop-culture philosophies in to the mouth of an action-hero and as brilliant and passionate as Tennant was this made him rather overexposed.

I also have to agree that the Rose love story was tired and rather insulted all the previous wonderful people the Doctor had travelled with by downgrading them. I don't dislike the idea that the Doctor after the trauma of the Time War needed someone to reach out to but it could have been handled SO much better.

Smith isn't perfect, he has yet to find his feet with the role but Tennant took at least a season and a half to get over his spastic, nervous performances so I'm more than happy to give him the time to grow, thus far he's been a real return to the fundamental things that made the Doctor great.
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#60 Tennant is the best John Harper 2010-12-22 03:47
Matt Smith compared to David Tennant is nothing yet. Much more has to be seen before one can tell if he really matches up to Tennant's role as the Doctor.
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#61 Smith needs time Ali 2010-12-27 02:35
You all make me angry with your outright hatred towards Matt or any other Doctor. Listen, each Doctor is going to have a slightly different personality, thats what makes the show unique! Matt is a modern doctor, young but convincing. Give him more time on screen and you'll find that you might come to like him. David Tennantt, being the first Doctor I ever saw is my favorite. For me the love story between Rose and the Doctor was not unnessesary. I loved Rose's character, a normal working class girl who discovers she is something more(she brought out the Doctor's human side). Although Matt seems to have forgotten her and moved on. I believe that Matt will live up to his expectations and continue to surprise me! Long live the Doctor Who series!!!!
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#62 Time Hayden 2010-12-29 15:06
Ive never watched the old doctor who, so i dont know what Tom Baker was like, from what it seems he was good.
I started watching Doctor Who in 2009, but have seen all episodes, for me David Tennant has been the best for me, because he added life into the doctor, he was funny and was more brainy, Christopher Eccleston for me made Doctor Who too common! Series 5 for me, wasn't very good, the daleks were ruined tbh, weeping angels just aint scary any-more, but i like the idea that Steven Moffat is trying to make the Cybermen sound more dangerous, because when they faced the daleks they got destroyed. Now for Matt Smith, Doctor Who is in the middle of 2 other programs, Sarah Jane Adventures which is aimed at children, Torchwood is aimed at young adults and higher, the Doctor Who is trying to aim for every type of audience, but Matt Smith has made it more childish, then Amy Pond wants to kiss the doctor, trying to make it more adult aimed, which is confusing.
The mystery behind River Song is brilliant, after the episodes with her in, it makes you want to know more, and its buggering me, for who she really is! Rory, is just stupid, get rid off him!

Matt Smith has to work hard, since RTD left, Doctor Who has complete changed, everyone has been forgotten, Jack Harness, Rose, Martha, Donna, all gone! Its like Doctor Who went for another 16 years, then came back, too much changed too quickly! SM is a great writer!
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#63 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? Emma 2011-01-02 00:34
I can understand where you are coming from with Matt Smith.. he is perfect for the part. But to me, David Tennant will always be My Doctor. It's like what David said in an interview about John Pertwee being the doctor from his childhood... thats what The 10th Doctor is for me. No I'm not a 'squeeing Tennant fangirl'. Doctor Who, to me now, is a completely different show to the other 4 series'. Steven changed everything I used to love about the show... The Tardis, The Daleks, The opening/theme tune, sonic screwdriver and of course the Doctor.. but I was expecting that. I miss Doctor Who... It used to be such a huge part of my life but now i barely even mention it.
I did watch some of series 5 and that's why I can say Mat Smith is perfect as the doctor.. but I just can't enjoy it the way I used to when it feels like a completely new show. So for that I can't stand Steven Moffat but Matt Smith himself... I hope he goes down as an amazing doctor just like David Tennant, Tom Baker etc.
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#64 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? Alyce 2011-01-02 13:10
Gosh, some people commenting here take the show too seriously I think. I think Matt Smith is an excellent doctor. Granted, I haven't watched all of the classic doctor who episodes so I'm not a hardcore fan. I never liked the David Tennant episodes to be honest, although he seems to be everyones favourite doctor. Everyone has different tastes. As far as looks go, I find Matt Smith so much hotter than any of the other doctors. And he's cool in an eccentric way. And the episodes seem better to me. Previous comment how has the opening theme changed? It's still essentially the same sequence of floating tardis in a worm hole as it's always been, and the opening sequence has changed over the years anyway? Might have changed slightly but it's not that different a show. Still very recognisably Doctor Who. I think the show looks so much better this season, I got bored with it when Tennant was the Doctor. I had thought that the new, modern revamp of Doctor Who was lame up until this point.
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#65 Agreed. Jon 2011-01-06 16:00
Tennant was a joke. He's a good actor, but his performance as the Doctor was uneven -- sometimes good, but often undermined by bad writing and directing. He certainly wasn't one of the better Doctors -- I feel he's vastly overrated. Also, his wardrobe didn't match the character, though it was an improvement over Eccleston's, which was unacceptable.

Matt Smith, however, is the perfect blend of eccentric intelligence, wit, and warmth that I've been waiting for. His wardrob is spot-on, just the kind of thing I'd expect from the Doctor. While there are still lots of plot holes this season, overall it feels WAY more like Doctor Who that the first four seasons of the revival. I can actually watch now without wanting to vomit every five minutes!
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#66 Could not agree more Conor Parry 2011-01-11 19:37
You are a genius , DT was a very good actor, but if you have any idea of what the Doctor should be like you will agree with this article, all those who think DT is Better than MS havnt watched the old series and seen the similarities and how MS has took DW back to where it should be without overdoing it, he's exactly how the Doctor should be , and in this age of people unable to get over actors , especially with DTs good looks, people are biased and ignorant, these people are David Tennant Fans, not Doctor Who fans
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#67 I disagree Ken 2011-01-16 11:09
I like Amy Pond and Rory Williams, but not so much Matt Smith.

In order, David Tennant is my favourite, with Christopher Eccleston, Tom Baker and John Pertwee tied for second.

As for Eccleston, what the writer of this article fails to remember is that he is portraying a Doctor fairly fresh from the Time War, a war that he had to end by locking away his own people. He has been eaten away by guilt, so it's appropriate that he is the way he was portrayed.

David Tennant took over as a man getting better with Rose's help, and I enjoyed the love story between them (the only thing I didn't like was her treatment of Mickey). I didn't like Martha Jones...too whiney). I LOVED the comic chemistry between Tennant and Tate...they were hilarious together.

So no, Matt Smith is definitely NOT the best Doctor. Too flaky IMO.
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#68 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? Guest 2011-01-17 02:39
People will always be divided on things like this, however I completely agree with the author of this post. Matt Smith is definately my favorite Doctor. While I liked Tennant there was something missing that wasn't apparent until Smith and Moffat came along to show me that they could take good and make it great.
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#69 Matt Smith Adam Edwards 2011-01-17 17:55
Hi all, why does it always come down to a choice between who is the best doctor. different doesnt mean worse and while I agree David Tennants doctor was great there is no denying that RTD gave him all manner of cop out devices to use at the last minute. As for the people slagging off the reuse of the angels or River song. For a series about a time travelling alien I would think its only logical to add this kind of relationship out of order with each other, and why should characters only be one dimensional with one aim. Have you people ever heard of character development?
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#70 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? Rob 2011-01-23 05:05
David Tennant will always be better than Matt Smith. Matt has no fashion sense...a bow tie, suspenders? He doesn't even wear Converse. He looks like Mr. Potato head, his sonic screwdriver isn't as cool. His Tardis is retro in a bad way. His sidekick only has her looks to go on, she can't act at all. I would take Rose Tyler over her any day. The only thing the eleventh Doctor has going for him is Steven Mofatt's writing,all of Tennant's episodes with him writing will never top anything Matt does. Good luck topping Blink.
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#71 MATT IS COOL! Willie 2011-01-25 02:11
I really like Matt Smith although he did take a bit of getting used to.. However am I missing something, as it escapes me why Tom Baker is the seemingly all time fave amongst fans. I know that he lasted 7 years but that doesn't make you great it only gives you more exposure. Sorry but Patrick Troughton gave more than Baker ever could.
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#72 Its so childish its crap Michaela 2011-01-28 23:46
The entire season seems to be aimed at children from the obviously childish new doctor who. Matt smith shows no emotion for the role all he does is make lame jokes about hats and when they are in a real crisis he's not sad at all what's wrong with him. Don't even mention the daleks they look like giant inflatable children's toys with their cheap colours and fat exterior. Another terrible thing is that they cast that ginger hussy as his companion she cannot act the only reason she got the job is because shes thin and every guy thinks shes gorgeous. What is with the scene where she starts kissing him thats awful and only put in to attract audience. Stephen Moffat has completely ruined the series and nothing can save it. Bring back tennant!
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#73 David Tennant the best? Please Christian Farmer 2011-01-29 08:15
seriously guys, you watch the things, and you realize it's just DAvid Tennant hamming it up, traditional British hamming it up style. That's all he ever did. The *only* episode where Tennant ever got interesting was finally in Waters of Mars, and even then the idea of him being slightly bad and cocky didn't last all that long.

If you just watch the Craig Ferguson Late Late Show, you'll notice that every 5 minutes of Craig Ferguson acting is just like David Tennant acting as the Doctor. You could EASILY replace tennant with any old Brit just hamming it up, and it woudl be the same thing.

And RTD Magic? PLEASE! He could never figure out how to resolve even one damn episode. 95% of the episodes the bad guy was defeated purely by luck. Never by the doctor being smart, or brilliant, just by some idiot doing something on accident. Episode where he brought Sarah Jane back, the bad guy was defeated by some poor kid accidentally triggering a fire alarm. That's not Doctor Who, it's closer to freaking PInk Panther than anything.

I have respect for Tennant because he was a fan of the show. But He was nothing but a lothario built to make the women hem and haw in awe of him. Christopher Eccleston did a better job of it. And now Steven Moffat has to do Doctor Who on a SMALLER budget than RTD ever had, and he's doing a damn fine job of it may I add.

Seriously, RTD the best thing for Doctor Who ever my ass.
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#74 as far as the best goes Christian Farmer 2011-01-29 08:16
I think baker in his first few years was brilliant. absolutely brilliant. But I"m still a huge fan of Troughton's version as well. Top 2 ever in my opinion.
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#75 Totally agree Kevin 2011-01-30 15:04
Tennant was great in his first season but then became an arse, all swanky and smug. When watching End Of Time Part 2 all I wanted was the regeneration scene to come.

Matt Smith is simply fantastic as the Eleventh Doctor and pisses all over Tennant.
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#76 Mr d David. 2011-02-05 00:36
Controversial one but i believe Paul Mcgann is the best ever doctor just sadly people never got to see him in a British tv series, but based on his appearance in other sci fi's, dr who big finish and the 96 movie, him being it's only major quality factor, i am definitely going with Paul.
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#77 He's Good But No Tom Baker! John Smith 2011-02-09 17:55
Matt smith is good he manages to pull it off unlike many who try playing The Doctor, he's got talent that is for sure but he's no Tom Baker! neither was David Tennant for that matter, the show needs tweeking a little but everything is better than the 2005-2008 series the specials were appauling.

Christopher Eccleston should have did more than one series that is what I can say about that, sometimes blocking out the RTD era is the way to go about it.
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#78 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? John McCafferty 2011-02-15 07:57
I think Matt Smith has turned the show into a kid's programme. He's not in the same league as Tennant or Ecclestone - two fab actors who could grace any show.
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#79 MATT SMITH IS THE DOCTOR Steve Christopherson 2011-02-16 13:26
Matt Smith has for me, has made a welcome return to a totally unpredictable Doctor. I may stand alone on this, but I think his acting in the role is brilliant and brings to mind a lot of the leprechuan qualities of Pat Troughton. Like Troughton's, If you dare take your eyes of Smith's performance at any point, you risk losing a moment of magic. Tennants performance had grown tiring and I could see what he was doing in the role with my eyes closed.
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#80 Matt Is Jumping Ship! NeilP 2011-02-19 11:09
Matt Smith is a twat! Newspapers are reporting that his second season may be his last as he wants to go to Hollywood. Seems like he has used Doctor Who as a stepping stone!
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#81 Re Matt Smith best Doctor Gareth 2011-02-21 15:38
Sorry but Matt is not even in the same class as Tom, and I know I am saying it with rose tinted glasses as each Dr is great to the one you grew up with (if that makes sense) I grew up with PT, JP and Tom ,didn't Like Troughton at all, to much like a grumpy uncle.Just watched Jon Pertwee seasons and forgot how good he was, but even he had a shaky start. Tom Baker is great though. Matt is Okay but still wet around the ears.
Oh and please please get rid of flowerpot Daleks. Don't mind the tardis changing but Daleks looking like upturned pots???
Don't mind Amy but whats with that Rory.
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#82 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? Ambreen 2011-02-25 08:48
I haven't seen the original series, so I won't comment on who the "Best Doctor" is, but Eleven is definitely my favorite of the newer three. DT was great, but his character felt too human to me; he was too selfish to be the Doctor, in my opinion. When I watch episodes with Ten, I see a Doctor who is in his 30s. When I watch episodes with Eleven, I see a Doctor who might be in a young body, but he is definitely more than 20. I love how energetic and lively Matt Smith is, but more than that, I love old, tired, beaten he can look sometimes. There are moments when I can see everything the Doctor has suffered. With Tennant, I mostly just saw all that he suffered since he lost Rose. Which bothered me. A lot.

He was too concerned with Rose and I hate how much that put down all the past companions, who (save a few) I don't even know. And didn't he have a wife or something at one point? What about her? He's lost his entire race, his family, almost everyone who mattered to him in the last NINE HUNDRED years, but Ten seems more concerned about this nineteen year old travelling with him. Instead of a companion being created for the Doctor, I feel like Ten was created for Rose and that really bothers me. I mean absolutely no disrespect - I love the relationships between the Doctor and the companions and I love shipping as much as the next fangirl, but Doctor Who isn't meant to be some sort of romantic soap opera. I would have much rather Ten/Rose be played down and there be more focus on the adventures.

I really like how Moffat is able to balance the Doctor/Companion aspect without pushing the romance too far (after how RTD set up the show, it's hard do a completely platonic relationship) while still focusing on the stories and the Doctor himself. Frankly, I have little respect for so-called Doctor Who fans who quit the show, because they don't like that David Tennant left. And I have absolutely no respect for fans who won't even give Matt Smith a shot. I've heard of plenty of people who didn't like David Tennant at first, because they were attached to Nine. But they continued to watch and Ten grew on them. Matt Smith has only been around for a season; he still has so much room left to grow.

Give him time. Despite the big shoes he has to follow (constantly being compared to Tennant and Baker), he has done wonderfully. I cannot wait to see what Moffat and Smith have in store now that the Eleventh Doctor has been more established.
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#83 Mr Nicos Griffiths 2011-03-07 11:40
I agree, Matt does not express much I think he is nerves inside himself.

I was thinking last night. That 1. The Russle / Tenant mix and all the other cast was excellent the most exciting, interesting thing I have seen in a long time. The Scrips, the retro affects the whole thing was A treat to the sences. I agree Matt has a long way to go. It;s not because he is young. A dr who should feel right straight away but not in this case. I think and have thought that Russle seemed to go for a more working class case , even tenant was classless which is good. Matt is a bit oxfordish that implies to me and others slightly biseuxal a bit of a rebel maybe arrogant. In fact Moffat appeared to go for actors that are more middle class see Blink and The Libary. What yo get with a more middle class vibe as in now Moffat ,Pond, Who is a posh version of Dr who and this does not work. Dr who was always about street level mums, dads, ordinary but amazing lives. The bland interaction of pond and who is almost unwatchable and one feels driven to watch to support them but knows it's not working in a brilliant manner. I feel as creative person myself that the only way to save this is as follows..

1. Mat has a musicians vibe almost like a singer. So use Pop art, use popular bangs music in the back ground make the show like a Pop music style cool format draw out the art in Matt which I think is there. Give it a retro 60s feel with Black and white two tone clothes and a lot of style. Have guest bands involved. I think this wouls suite Matt.

The problem is no one seems to have built with show around Dr who who is now matt. He is the biggest and most important part. I can understand that one did not wish for the show to crash like in the 80s. But Matt needs some styling some thought, some props to site his musical vibe; so bring in music. I also think that he should have a male person travelling with him , again thats the vibe I feel from him. If that is seen as gay or bisexal surely a time travller is going to understand all of life and experiement now and then as people often and will do. It would give Matt a sex appeal which is waiting to happen but blocked by pond not because pond is a girl because they are dull and unsuited as actors. Donna Noble ( one of the fav members would have been great) or one of russles dish washing actors full of hart, fun and compassion.


Quoting John Harper:
Matt Smith compared to David Tennant is nothing yet. Much more has to be seen before one can tell if he really matches up to Tennant's role as the Doctor.
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#84 Mr Nicos Griffiths 2011-03-07 11:40
I agree, Matt does not express much I think he is nerves inside himself.

I was thinking last night. That 1. The Russle / Tenant mix and all the other cast was excellent the most exciting, interesting thing I have seen in a long time. The Scrips, the retro affects the whole thing was A treat to the sences. I agree Matt has a long way to go. It;s not because he is young. A dr who should feel right straight away but not in this case. I think and have thought that Russle seemed to go for a more working class case , even tenant was classless which is good. Matt is a bit oxfordish that implies to me and others slightly biseuxal a bit of a rebel maybe arrogant. In fact Moffat appeared to go for actors that are more middle class see Blink and The Libary. What yo get with a more middle class vibe as in now Moffat ,Pond, Who is a posh version of Dr who and this does not work. Dr who was always about street level mums, dads, ordinary but amazing lives. The bland interaction of pond and who is almost unwatchable and one feels driven to watch to support them but knows it's not working in a brilliant manner. I feel as creative person myself that the only way to save this is as follows..

1. Mat has a musicians vibe almost like a singer. So use Pop art, use popular bangs music in the back ground make the show like a Pop music style cool format draw out the art in Matt which I think is there. Give it a retro 60s feel with Black and white two tone clothes and a lot of style. Have guest bands involved. I think this wouls suite Matt.

The problem is no one seems to have built with show around Dr who who is now matt. He is the biggest and most important part. I can understand that one did not wish for the show to crash like in the 80s. But Matt needs some styling some thought, some props to site his musical vibe; so bring in music. I also think that he should have a male person travelling with him , again thats the vibe I feel from him. If that is seen as gay or bisexal surely a time travller is going to understand all of life and experiement now and then as people often and will do. It would give Matt a sex appeal which is waiting to happen but blocked by pond not because pond is a girl because they are dull and unsuited as actors. Donna Noble ( one of the fav members would have been great) or one of russles dish washing actors full of hart, fun and compassion.
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#85 Mr Nicos Griffiths 2011-03-07 11:44
I think what people really wanted was a older Dr who a father or mother figure. Someone Solid and full of character like some one Russle Davis T would find and great at that. Someone who does not need to be slim a model and all that crap. Someone from a different culture than we tend to get. A gay man or women ( a transexual would be amazing and very Pop art the thing Dr who has always had ). Dr who is a furturistic being that travells in time. Not a hetrosexal role model
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#86 Meh... Lyd 2011-03-12 02:24
The only problem I have with Matt Smith as the doctor is that he is too childlish. I don't think that it is because he is a bad actor or anything, but rather that he is trying too hard to fill David Tennant's shoes (which, fair enough, must be quite an intimidating task) and ends up acting like a Doctor who is acting like David Tennant, if that makes any sense. Also, I found that the last season on Dr. Who was much too immature. The plot in Tennant's last season as doctor was quite dark, and then this season was just terrible, it just felt like a hiatus/jump from the previous plotline. I don't think Smith is to blame as much as the script he was given, which was absolutely god awful. This being said, I'm happy to give Matt the chance to really develop his OWN spin on the doctor, but I just hope the next season gets its act together.

Karen Gillian is absolutely brilliant though.
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#87 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? Emma 2011-03-16 04:21
It is completely ludicrous to suggest, as some are here, that the bashing, or immaturity is rooted on the side of the David Tennant fans. Lets face it please, people are equally as devoted, and unfortunately that means equally as biassed and prone to bashing whether they prefer smith or Tennant. Every actor that plays the doctor encompasses a side of his personality.
No one is more or less the doctor because of the writing or the interpretation of character and to suggest that Matt is more or less 'doctor-like' isn't very fair. Every doctor that has graced our screens thus far is undoubtedly the doctor, no one is more or less so, and to suggest this is completely preposterous, not to mention non-sensical. Wake up people, the point is that he regenerates, he changes, and he retains, and loses some of the aspects of his old personality, as well as picking up new facets. If he were to always be a dashing, dramatic hero, the show would loose its value, BUT the same can be said if he were to always be geeky and have more of an old mans personality.
I would also like to point out that, as true fans of the show, and I am happy to see that there are many of these people in the comments above, we ought to be happy with the transience of the show. Why should we fight that it is accessible to too many people, or else too little. Quite honestly, whether or not you liked Rose as a character, as is a very heated topic above, does not dictate you value, or dedication to the fandom. Yes, I realise we are all allowed to have our favourite companions, but why bother discrediting one, or else a writer, or a specific doctor, when they are all part of the same collective. I think we should be happy that we have new doctor who, and yes, we can most definitely be grateful to RTD for that. I think we can be happy for the emotional depth and alien nature that DT and MS brought to the roles respectively. There is definitely a line to be drawn between ‘having an opinion’ and unnecessary bashing.
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#88 Yay for Matt but.. Gwyn 2011-03-18 12:56
Peter Davison was the best Doctor ever. Followed by Patrick Troughton and Matt Smith. Tennant was great his first season and then it got constantly tiring with Rose's lovesick drama for the Doctor and the companions of Tennant's time weren't that great. After awhile David's era became a joke, and I actually stopped watching Doctor Who... And I've been watching Doctor Who for 25 years....since I was about 5. So when a fan of that long stops watching...you know there is something wrong. I don't blame David for the things that happened... not in the least. He portrayed a good Doctor... but overall... Peter Davison, Pat Troughton are the best with Matt Smith right after, simply because he reminds me so much of Patrick in his own way, his costume is that of the Classic Series... It has brought hope to me that they can repair the damage RTD did to Doctor Who, although I am grateful he took up the opportunity to bring it to life again... there are just questionable things he did that made me unhappy with it.

People based Peter very quickly, as soon as he became the Doctor, after replacing Tom after he was the 4th Doctor for seven years... it seems to be happening to Matt too. I don't know why fans have to be so critical.. I thought his first season was great.... especially the Eleventh Hour when you get to see glimpses of the old Doctors! Wonderful! I am hoping people will warm up to Matt instead of obsessing over Tennant. That era is gone, move on and try to give some happy thoughts to Matt.... it isn't the easiest job in the world you know. And I think thats one of the reasons they won't get another actor like Hartnell to play the role... it's a very rough job.
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#89 Premature praise for Smith (but not Moffat), I think... Sam 2011-03-18 23:48
I like Matt Smith but I pretty well have to personally credit Moffat 99.9% for the VAST improvement in the show over Davies.

I do not like lazy storytelling, of which Davies was a chronic offender. Moffat, on the other hand, while not perfect, at least knows how to pace a script and tie up loose ends rather than just have everything turn into a mad run-around padded with tedious angst and an often rather nonsensical ending.

As for Matt Smith, better than Tom Baker, really? Tom Baker took the role and made it his own, x10. Even people who find T. Baker not to their liking have to admit he did not follow the beaten path. He clearly got a bit bored in the last bit of his tenure, but during the height of his run, you could believe he was centuries-old and from another world.

Matt Smith is good as the Doctor, but he is still clearly growing into the role, IMHO - the character does not seem fully gelled to me. He has a lot of potential, though. Give him another series or two and then we'll see what he does...
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#90 Bored by Smith's Doctor Cris 2011-03-29 19:07
I found this site, because I just finished watching s4, and the first two and a half episodes of s5. I wanted to like 11, because I was so glad the annoying Rose story would FINALLY be out of the way. But I'm pretty bored with 11 and his companion. Neither of them has much emotional range. The performances didn't make me believe that the Doctor wanted Amy to come with him or that he was the least bit lonely. Nor did I believe that Amy really wanted to go with him -- though considering her imaginary childhood friend just asked her to go for a ride in his time machine, she really should have. Her performance was just so flat. The episode with the girl in the fireplace pulled it off much better. Their performances in the second episode were also very flat. I didn't fell like either of them cared about the people or the whale.

I also don't particularly care for how he dresses like a 70 year old literature professor with too-tight pants. It seems goofy, and not in a good way. It makes him seem even immature. Like a child dressing up in his dad's boots to seem older.

By comparison, I didn't think I would like 10, but after only an episode, I was sold. I agree with this article that the soapy-ness of Rose brought Tennant's Doctor down. Even as somebody who's never watched any of the original, I knew the Doctor had many previous companions, and I it seemed absurd that he would have such an attachment to Rose, who seem seem that special and who I didn't particularly like as a character. But Tennant was good enough to overcome my annoyance with that, and I LOVED mostly Rose-free season 3. I couldn't wait to see more. I watched Tennant's entire run in less than a week.

Judging by these comments, it doesn't seem that Matt Smith's Doctor will improve much. Maybe I'll skip ahead to a later episode and see if I like it any better. If not, I'll just wait for a new Doctor.
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#91 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? guest 2011-03-29 20:42
I suppose i better start by saying that i like matt smith, he's not the best actor in the world, but after a series he's finally growing on me. But David Tennant will still be my all out favourite because i grew up with him. Followed by tom baker and john purtwee. Matt for me lacks acting range, he appears to go blank in scenes when in others he is vibrant and wild. Tennant was always constant and in my opinion is a brilliant actor. I loved him and was so sad when he left.

But i think that what's really smashed up the series is Stephen Moffat's writing, when he did the one off episode a series for tennant the scripts were superb and i loved every minute of the episodes, especially blink and the empty child, that one freaked me out. But now he seems to have dumbed it way down, it's become a childrens show and thats not what it is.

Also for you people out there who say that tennant isn't 'alien' enough and thats what matt brings to the part. how can you say that when we all have a completely different opinion on how an alien would act. In fact any of you how say that matt is THE DOCTOR is also wrong, each actor brings a different bit of personality to the part and shouldn't be influenced by previous doctors because they are their own characters.

I'll just end with saying that people should stop bashing each other over who they like, Tennant fans aren't all girls and the new series isn't that bad. But i am biased as i'm a Tennant fan all the way. I just wished that the stories and scripts would live up to their old brilliant standards. Moffat lost me when he had Smith spitting out food, i only carried on to see how the companions and the Doctor developed. I do wish Tennant was back though!!!!!!
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#92 He finally picks it up in the last 3 episodes Cris 2011-04-02 03:07
So I skipped ahead to Vincent and the Doctor (ep 10). While I still wasn't impressed with Matt Smith's performance, there were a few plot points that made me curious about what I'd missed in the previous episodes.

I went back to episode 3. Amy starts to come alive after about episode 5, but the Doctor takes all the way through episode 11 to really pick it up. In those last 3 episodes, he shows a lot of potential. The plots are good enough to sustain his lacking performance, and Amy becomes a lot more likable once (very slight spoiler) it's apparent she'll treat her boyfriend a lot better than Rose did.

My dislike of Rose was always from her appalling treatment of Mickey, which always made me wonder why the Doctor supposedly had feelings for someone who showed such little integrity in her personal relationships. (That, and I didn't think they had much chemistry.) The whole thing seemed very immature for someone who was supposed to be over 900 years old. It's refreshing not to have to suffer through that kind of thing again with the eleventh Doctor.

I still think David Tennant did a better job in that he hit the ground running and was the strongest part of the show. He also made the appalling romance aspect tollerable. Matt Smith seems to be the weakest part of his show. He's fortunate enough to have been given a better story to work with. His storylines and performance also aren't hidered by trying to make the character still seem ancient, wordly and wise while trying to pull of a relationship which is anything but.

Matt Smith has potential though.
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#93 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? mj 2011-04-09 13:46
Sadly I've given up on the Doctor. Matt Smith maybe closer to what the series once was, but we aren't. It's the 21st century and while I respect those longing for their childhood, I can't agree with it. Even television shows must move forward as not even little children will accept a rubbish bin with a paint roller on one arm and plunger on the other.

Matt Smith is likely a lovely young man but he does not carry the weight of a thosands of year old time lord. He's a soso actor and he really doesn't lend a single thing to the character to make it worth watching after all these years.

I watched faithfully and anxiously up to the last series. I gave up about half way through, tried to watch the finale and gave up on that as well.

I think I'm done with the Doctor until someone less lost in the past takes the helm once again. And I loved Moff's stuff until he took over as show runner. Now I can't wait for him to move on.
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#94 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? John 2011-04-14 15:06
Matt Smith is weak and silly. A 17-year-old.
David Tennant was often good, but frequently just goofy. "Look how wacky I can act!"
Christopher Eccleston is the "modern" #1.
Tom Baker is the "classic" #1.
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#95 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? guest 785 2011-04-16 15:05
i agree with the article matt smith is the best doctor, david was good but his huffing and puffing in nearly every scene was just annoying he couldn't do anything else apart from that in a serious situation. and steven moffet is the better writer.
and i know some people are still pissed off that david left but people let it go matt is the better doctor hands down
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#96 OOH, Alex Iles 2011-04-17 15:28
I admire your bravery, you said this soo early on in matt smiths run you got many people in a rage, but now, more people agree with you. i mean, look on that womans article about how matt smith is worse than david tennant, look at the comments on that NOW, and look at the comments on this THEN, its funny to find how matt smith has grown on people soo much and david tennant has appeared to look worse. But yes, i'm one of the rare people who thought smith was better from the MOMENT i saw him. whereas with a lot its more of a gradual process.
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#97 Very well written Choann 2011-05-13 22:54
While aimlessly looking at different blogs, I found yours and I must say Bravo! as you are one of the few people I have seen who writes an opinion piece without spewing the hate that I have seen in some other places. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, yes, but many don't take the time to back it up with a solid argument as you did. While I am already of the same opinion as you, if I hadn't been I genuinely think you might have convinced me to take a second look.
anyway, thanks for making an afternoon of aimlessness a pleasant one. :)
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#98 Article Misses the Point... Angela Mitchell 2011-05-14 03:28
Nice article, but to me it misses the point.

I loved Tennant, and always will (and adored Ten). But I was also thoroughly impressed with Eleven. Matt Smith is wonderful -- strange, funny, genuinely odd.

But what I'm NOT thrilled about is SM as showrunner. Season 5 was incredibly uneven and so many times seemed to rely on Amy saving the day, or worst, magical revelations out of nowhere. Last season's Beast Below episode with the 'star whale' was one of the worst, most embarrassing things I've ever seen on TV, yet the Vincent and the Doctor episode, meanwhile, was one of the best (so that gave me hope).

However, the Big Plot last season was sloppily written, with a lot of gaping logic holes that just don't hang together. And for all the complaints about RTD's 'deus ex machina' tendencies, having Amy simply 'wish' the Doctor back into existence was laughable. (At least when the world does it at the end of S3, there's some logic and science behind it.)

I thought Moffatt had written some of the loveliest eps of NewWho ever before taking over, and was excited at what he would do. But he's so heavyhanded and clunky. He seemed to go out of his way to change EVERYTHING and try to make it cooler. Cooler TARDIS. Cooler wardrobe. The Doctor is constantly talking about 'cool.' It's just weird. (And for all the talk about Ten's arrogance, Eleven is CONSTANTLY spouting speeches about his own awesomeness and magnificence. Smith is adorable enough I almost don't care, but still...) Meanwhile for all the criticism of Rose/Doctor, to me it was mostly in the subtext, in the background, and very moving to me. Contrast that with Amy, who is constantly flirting with the Doctor (even after her marriage), and whose entire relationship with Rory (whom I adore) seems to be based on treating the poor guy like dirt while reminding him the Doctor is always (possibly) her first real choice. It's just referred to so often and so blatantly (whether for laughs or not), while the Rose/Doc thing was so subtle people weren't even sure there was a romance there at all.

Anyway. And Moffat also seems really sloppy -- he'd much rather jump-cut or cheat a story than actually simply tell it. So this DW doesn't feel like SciFi, but fantasy, and worst of all he is incredibly lazy with continuity. In last year's season as well as the first few eps of this one, he has shown himself totally willing to retcon or spin moments even from his own previous works! So he changes the way the Angels work (from his own previous episode!), he makes the Doctor gleefully genocidal, he has Amy (who is still a total cipher to me) constantly obsessed with wife/motherhood, and worst of all for me, he changes the River Song/Doctor dynamic into a direct ripoff of "Time Traveler's Wife" (a book I hated), in which suddenly we're now told that she's seeing him backwards and he's going forwards (before it was clearly stated that the meetings were jumping around, which was why the need for the journals). So he resorted to a cheap plot device just to add some pathos to the situation -- which it didn't need.

I love River Song, I love Eleven. I just don't love what DM is doing to the show. I'm hanging in there -- I'm still enjoying it -- but it's like I have to do so without thinking too hard now (why the silly faked deaths in the S6 Silents two-parter? Why have River jump -- AGAIN? Why can Rory remember being a Nestene when he is only a reset human version of himself? etc.). If I think too much about the story, as with S5, it all falls apart, and that's sad, considering this show used to make me think like no other.

I still miss Tennant's ferocity and wit, and it broke my heart when he left. But I love Smith too. I don't hate Moffat -- I never could, not after "Silence in the Library" or "Blink." But I don't think he's doing his best work yet. And I can't help but wonder if maybe he needed RTD to really write at his best. So far his tenure as showrunner has been really disappointing. But fingers crossed it gets better. I still love the show, flaws and all.
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#99 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? glacis 2011-05-15 21:30
No, Matt Smith isn't the best since Tom Baker. He's one of the worst. His attempts at being threatening come across as petulance; his desire to show his doctor's brilliance consist of swallowing his lines and spitting a lot; and placing him in frame with his more experienced guest stars shows the limits of his acting range. I enjoyed David Tennant much more (MUCH more) but of the three New Whos, I believe Christopher Eccleston best portrayed the combination of zany and lethal and lost and brilliant the Doctor requires.
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#100 RE: Doctor Who: Matt Smith - the best 'Doctor' since Tom Baker? Tony 2011-05-19 08:01
If there's one thing I've noticed about most people I've spoken to who don't like the new doctor it is this: none of them ever had any intention of giving him a chance. Many people loved Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor, that brilliant, hard, bitter Doctor that brought something to the character we had really never seen in the Doctor before, but with only one season under his belt, few people shed more than a couple tears when he left. Yes, he was wonderful, but we had him known him long enough to mourn for long, and certainly not when faced with the theatrical giant that was David Tennant.

Without a doubt, Tennant was a brilliant Doctor, and we came to love him quickly for his quick mind, his brilliant quips, his torn personality, and so much more. And after 4 years in the role, many Who fans weren't ready to let him go, forgetting that while the Doctor will always live on, each incarnation's song must eventually end. And so, bitter at the loss of there beloved 10th Doctor, many people refuse to see the truth of the shining star that took his place.

The truth is, from the moment he popped his head out of the TARDIS in the Eleventh Hour, asking for an apple, Matt Smith owned the role more quickly and more completely than any Doctor before him. At once so young and so ancient, he displays the wisdom of the very first Doctor, the mad-cap eccentricity of Tom Baker's Doctor, and Tennant's manic personality. He has something of the melancholy and bitterness that plagued Eccleston's Doctor as well (and to a large degree, Tennant's as well), but he has begun to learn from the hurts of the Time War, and he springs into everything with the exuberance of a man who has spent two lives on bitterness and is now reawakening to the splendors of the Universe.

His genius is overwhelming, to that point that thoughts spew from his mind and his lips faster than even he can follow, and he is in control of every situation the moment he arrives on the scene. He doesn't come off as overtly threatening because he has no need to, he has seen the ends of the universe, fought Daleks and Cybermen and other Time Lords, brought down mighty civilizations, and his name and stories are spoken in the farthest reaches of time and space, the Lonely God, and so his soft-spoken words are enough to strike fear in the hearts of even the bravest. Yes, people can say that Matt Smith is too young, or boring, or a poor actor, or that he doesn't live up to the role, but, frankly, they'd be blind to do so.
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