The End of the Eleventh Hour
By Mickie Newton
It is almost a week since I had the joy of seeing not 11, not 12, but 13 Doctors save the day. The Day of the Doctor was the day he finally accepted the self that was the War Doctor, and who is now really the 9th Doctor, making his present incarnation the 12th. But we shall not worry ourselves about that latest wondrous turn of events. I wish to think more about the Doctor who loves fish fingers and custard.
A few days after watching the Day of The Doctor I was chatting with a friend via text messaging and of course we were talking about one of our many shared loves, Doctor Who. We both spoke about many of the highs of the 50th anniversary special including the moment all the Doctors came together. I added how brilliant it was to be including the soon to be 12th/13th Doctor, Peter Capaldi. There was a pause in our texting. Then he said he wasn’t convinced by him and wasn't looking forward to when he took over. He'd made the decision from one tiny moment in the Whoniverse. I said I was going to wait until he actually started. There was no way they'd give ANYTHING away in that one moment, absolutely nothing. So back to The Eleventh Hour and what I thought of this funny faced mad-man in a box.
I loved the 10th Doctor and when it was announced he was hanging up his Converse I feared on who the next Doctor would be. Unlike the younger fans I'd seen errors of choice, or what I at the time thought were errors. Now, after all the celebrations and the programmes that came with that I now know that the 6th Doctors obnoxious behaviour was the damned writers and not poor Colin. So when they announced who it was, who is Matt Smith? AND How old he was I panicked a little. No I panicked a lot. Much like I did when they announced 29 year old Peter Davison was taking over from Tom Baker and I was a mere teenager then. Imagine how it felt to hear a 27 year old was taking over when I was now in my forties?! I'm digressing again....sorry...
I knew who Peter was, but had no clue about Matt. Never heard or seen of him before. And the same was of Karen Gillan. And even before David's final moments were even aired we were seeing pictures on the Internet of filming of the new series were popping up. I was now getting worried. He looked 12 for goodness sake and he most certainly didn't look like the Doctor. 'Calm Mickie, give the boy...I mean man a chance. Make no harsh judgements yet! It's a picture, it means nothing. But my god he looks like a bloody child!'
Then it finally arrived "I don't want to go!" 'Christ David nor do we! Stop now for goodness sake! Stop your silly regeneration and stay...Please!!!'
'Damn...too late....there he is, the 12 year old with a funny face!' After he'd moaned he still wasn't ginger and the credits ran past I still was NOT convinced. Even with a few visual moments I'd decided he wasn’t the man. He wasn't the Doctor. No...No way...not the 12 year old with the funny face!
But...deep down in my heart of hearts I knew I had to give him a chance...so I waited....
Then it came "The Eleventh Hour" was upon us and as the minutes passed my view on this funny faced Doctor started to change. As he looked over the edge of the TARDIS at Amelia Pond he had the most whimsical and delightful smile. What child wouldn't feel safe when faced by something as strange as a mad man in a box that made odd noises and steamed (that's the box, not the Doctor). And when he was all serious, you believed him even then. In that one episode I knew he was right and I realised I was right to stick with him.
As these few years have passed Matt has proven to be well worthy of carrying the name The Doctor. He has made him his own, until he passes on the Sonic baton to the next man. And he has most certainly proved his worth as an actor. He may be, to date, the youngest to play the roaming Time Lord, but also seems to be the oldest at times. When someone said the Doctor had a young face, but his eyes betrayed him, it was very true. Matt has had the skill to look much older than his years. He'll look at the camera and you can almost see all his other selves looking back. All those thousand and odd years seems to look back at you. All the loss and pain this alien has felt is there, hidden behind a child-like face. There are few actors who reach their sixties who have that capability and Matt was there before his thirties.
So now we are fast approaching the end of The Eleventh Hour. Fast approaching the end of Matt’s reign as the Doctor and I know I shall miss him terribly, even the brilliant Karen Gillan proved me wrong as she was a brilliant and feisty companion who took no crap from the Doctor and would have made Sarah Jane proud, so to say he was amazing and brilliant would be a massive understatement. In the words of the 9th Doctor he was fantastic!
I cannot choose who my favourite Doctor is; between David and Matt...I couldn't. So they shall both have to share that top spot. They have both fetched something of their own to this mad-man-in-a-box and I hope that Peter will also prove many wrong.
I am going to miss you Mr Smith we had a brilliant time with you. They were some of the very best! Well done and good luck. I know you will achieve great things as an actor. But you will always be one of the best Doctors in my opinion.