Matt Smith, Doctor Who and a New Regeneration

Posted on June 2, 2013

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Matt Smith and Tardis courtesy of unicornsandligers.wordpress.com.

Matt Smith and Tardis courtesy of unicornsandligers.wordpress.com.


So the day has come that Matt Smith has given up his part as the Doctor in BBC’s hugely popular Doctor Who.
We all knew that this time would happen soon but he did say that he had signed up for at least one more series which would have been his fifth in series eight; or 34 to those who have travelled with the eccentric Timelord for longer. He’s obviously getting offers he can’t turn down now.

Matt Smith to me was the best Doctor since Tom Baker for he brought a new dynamic to the part and seemed all of his nine-hundred and three years. An old man in a young body was the first thing I thought in his début episode and this continued on throughout. He now has only two more appearances in the fiftieth and the Christmas Special where he regenerates into an as yet unknown actor.
So who will that actor be? This is the crux of the question and the debate has been strong already on social network sites. Some of it positive and some of it strange. There has been some nasty and bad comments too towards former writers and anyone connected with the show directly that I find quite sad but such is the shows popularity and place in not just British culture but world culture. A monster was indeed created fifty years ago and one that belongs to everyone now. I don’t know who said it but someone once mentioned that once a book was written, it ceased to belong to the author and became the public’s property so to speak. And they were right of course.

The Tardis courtesy of untitledunited.wordpress.com

The Tardis courtesy of untitledunited.wordpress.com


Doctor Who is the most iconic show in British history and there really isn’t anything that can touch it for it is unique in what it does.
It has the hook of not knowing who he is and the real reason why he stole the Tardis. Nothing is known about his past although these later versions have decided to touch on those subjects. We have seen his mother when Gallifrey looked as though it was coming back to the series; and we are close to discovering how he became the Doctor and possibly his name with John Hurt playing the original incarnation possibly or were there many others of whoever he was before becoming the Doctor? He does seem to be the man before the Doctor became who we all now know.

Now the reason I say all of this is because wherever they are going to take it, it has to stay true to the mythology of Doctor Who. If you give the Doctor a name then it is pointless calling it Doctor Who even if it is only between the audience and the screen and the Who universe doesn’t know.

But the big thing seems to be who will be playing the next incarnation of this most iconic of characters.
The rumblings have been about a woman playing the part which would go down in television history if this happened. The ever brilliant Helena Bonham-Carter has been mentioned as well as Tilda Swinton. Indeed, there are many women who could take on the role of the Doctor and do it justice I believe but for me and a surprisingly large number of women this can never and should not be.
The part has always been male and even though it doesn’t state that he can’t regenerate into a women anywhere, it was always taken for granted that this was always the case. Tom Baker was the one who mentioned when he left the part that the Doctor should become a woman and ever since then this has been brought up everytime he regenerates.
Russell T. Davies was the man that took the Doctor’s home planet of Gallifrey away and Steven Moffat could easily bring it back, giving yet more strong roles for women within the show for this is what the fuss has always been about. It just seems people want to see a female Doctor just because it’s fashionable and also possible. What next though if this is the case; A Bond called Jane? Darth Vader somehow suddenly female? Sherlock Holmes becomes Shirley and so on.

The Doctor has always been a white British Male and there’s nothing wrong with that but I do find the idea intriguing if he was to become Chinese, Indian or black maybe? As long as he stays British in voice and his characteristics and of course male, then the possibilities are there.

River Song played by the brilliant Alex Kingston. Picture courtesy of www.boomtron.com

River Song played by the brilliant Alex Kingston. Picture courtesy of http://www.boomtron.com


Doctor Who has always managed to give strong parts to women, especially in the latter years, from his assistants who always play a central role in his life and the show, to his enemies and others that he meets along the way. There are many possibilities of spin-offs for a strong female lead. The Sarah-Jane Adventures proved this as did Torchwood but what is needed is a strong enough female lead to stop this nonsense of turning the Doctor into a woman.
So my idea is this; how about giving River Song her own show and regenerative powers back, calling it the Song of Time maybe where she will be the Timelord in all but name and character. It has the possibility to be HUGE!
Also, if Gallifrey is brought back to the show on a permanent basis, then the opportunities are endless for a spin-off set on Gallifrey itself maybe with a strong female lead? He also has a daughter or two around somewhere as well as grand-kids so possibilities are there too for a spin-off. I have many ideas written down for spin-offs and future Doctor Who episodes; three series worth in fact.
The saying goes don’t go fixing it if it ain’t broke and this is the case with Doctor Who.

So, who would I want to play the twelfth incarnation of the Timelord besides myself of course?
There are many being banded about including Benedict Cumberbatch, Bill Nighy, Russell Tovey, Stephen Mangan, Patrick Stewart, to name but a few of the actors who could play him. Peter Capaldi is the current favourite to take on the iconic role.

Personally, I would like to see Robert Carlyle become the Doctor for he would give a very different and dark spin on the Timelord which is long overdue. I also think the Master should return and be played by someone other that John Simm who is an excellent actor but found his Master too certifiably insane. There needs to be someone who can pull off a very mad but in control Master. Douglas Henshall could play either the Doctor or the Master as could Robert Carlyle. Both have staying power too I think for the roles.

Picture courtesy of www.redcarpetcrash.com

Picture courtesy of http://www.redcarpetcrash.com


Eddie Marsan also has the ability and charisma to play both roles and bring a whole different dynamic to the show.
I still would like to see Paul McGann’s incarnation given more of a chance to shine on screen for he was brilliant in a terrible film. There are also rumours that Roger Moore wants a part in the show and the thought of having him as a council member of Timelords along with another Bond in the brilliant Timothy Dalton sharing a screen together sends me into overdrive! Can you imagine that? The screen would be electrifying.
Then there’s the hugely talented and underused theatre and sometimes screen actor Ian McDiarmid, better known to most as Emporer Palpatine in the Star Wars saga. He also played an excellent nemesis in Inspector Morse called Hugo De Vries who almost brought Morse down, driving him to the edge.

Whatever Matt Smith does with his career next I’m sure he will shine and his CV will grown bright from his experience with Doctor Who. He will be missed greatly my many fans, especially this one. Women loved him and men wanted to be him. Good luck Matt, you were fantastic.
Here’s to the last two adventures and the next Doctor whomever that may be? We shall find out on Sunday 4th August 2013 at 7pm on BBC1.

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