It has been plastered all over the national media, the front pages of newspapers, TV news, websites and the minds of fans everywhere – The 11th Doctor has been announced, and his name is Matt Smith. He is the man that has been chosen to take over the TARDIS when David Tennant’s tenth Doctor regenerates at the end of the 2009 special episodes – most likely within the closing minutes of the Christmas 2009 special.
It has been a casting choice that has surprised many people, and after the hype and theories that have been circulating in the run up to the announcement, some have seen it as something of an anti-climax. Mind you, it would have been an anti-climax whoever had been cast, after the huge build up.
Matt Smith is the youngest actor to ever be cast as the rogue Time Lord known as The Doctor, contradicting new show-runner Steven Moffatt’s claims that an older actor would be cast this time. It would seem that, as it should have been, they instead went with whoever fit the bill the best. While he may not share David Tennant’s unabashed love of Doctor Who and it’s history, he does seem to have what it takes to give us a great new portrayal of this most enduring of Science Fiction characters.
Mr Smith has already appeared on TV alongside former Doctor Who companion Billie Piper in the adaptations of Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart mysteries: The Ruby in the Smoke and The Shadow in The North. He has also acted in the stage version of Alan Bennett’s much loved play The History Boys, as well as TV series Party Animals and other stage work. He has a very unique look about him, and certainly has the alien quality that is so essential to the character of The Doctor.
It is said that his portrayal of the character will see a darker feel to the series, more dramatic, more mysterious, and dare we say- gothic. Many are already describing matt Smith as ‘The Goth Doctor’. The first promo photos of him beside the TARDIS certainly hint at a darker direction, but we will have to wait and see!
The run-up to the announcement of Smith’s casting captivated fans and critics ever since David Tennant announced that he was leaving, with some rather odd suggestions for his successor! They ranged from the sublime (Patterson Joseph, the bookmaker’s favourite) to the ridiculous (Paul McGann- who has already BEEN the Doctor). Much was made of the rumours that the Doctor would this time regenerate into a woman or a man of another ethnicity, but those rumours have persisted every time the Doctor has regenerated since way back in the show’s history.
Matt Smith’s casting as the 11th Doctor is certainly interesting, as it does hint at what Steven Moffatt wants the show to become- a darker, more intense series that will show some marked progression. Fans are confident that Moffatt will steer Doctor Who in the right direction, and as long as Matt Smith’s portrayal of the Doctor is as good as the crew say his audition was, then we are in for some truly special adventures in time and space.