I’ve made it no secret that David Tennant is “my” Doctor. He was a brilliant choice for the part and evolved the character in ways no one had thought of before. He was perfect for the role. And saying goodbye to him, hearing “I don’t want to go,” watching him exit broke my hearts. And as most Whovians tend to do, I unconsciously swore to hate the face that replaced my Doctor’s.
Of course it didn’t last, it never does. The people behind the show understand better than most how critical the actor is, and have always done a terrific job picking the person to portray our beloved Gallifrayan. Matt Smith had won me over before he ever made it to Stonehenge. I had a terrific time as we watched him traipse unknowingly towards his own death at the hands of the astronaut, grieved with him as Amy stared down an angel, and tried to solve the mystery of Clara with him.
Now as I wait (im)patiently for the 50th anniversary and ponder the news of his departure at Christmas, I can’t help but look back at 11 and his madcap adventure. I visited some of the high points of Smith’s reign and found myself watching The Rings of Akhaten. Namely, the speech at the end. As Murray Gold’s music worked it’s magic and Matt Smith recapped the Doctor adventures I saw something I hadn’t seen previously (or at least didn’t remember). There is a profile shot of the Doctor and you can see a tear work it’s way down his cheek.
I’ve been known a time or two to get emotional while consuming media if the situation warrants. For example Fred’s death in The Deathly Hallows, David Tennant’s regeneration scene, any depiction of harm to or death of a child (I was a mess all through the Hunger Games trilogy). So I’m not afraid to say that, *ahem* there was some dust in the room. That’s all it was.
Matt Smith has proven beyond a doubt that he was the right choice for the Doctor in my opinion. I truly wish he had gotten more episodes like Nightmare in Silver, where he could show that he was capable of deeper roles than just a goofy, really tall kid in a bowtie. He brought so much to the character. I would argue that he brought more depth in the end than even Tennant did. (please direct all hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org)
With Smith at the TARDIS controls, we saw the Doctor develop and become part of a family. We saw him get married and love River despite the tragic nature of their romance. We saw him destroyed when he lost his family, and then come back with the help of his friends. We’ve seen so much, shared so many emotions, and have such fond memories thanks to his Doctor.
Now there may be some out there who say that I’m only saying this because I’m emotional. That I wouldn’t feel strongly enough to write this if Matt Smith weren’t leaving. And to them I say, that’s the point! The fact that his departure can make me feel this strongly, that I am affected like this because of his departure proves that he wasn’t a weak Doctor. He made the role his own and I will be sad to see him leave it.
So thank you, Mr. Smith. Thank you for three wonderful series. Thank you for your contribution to a show so many of us hold so dear. I wish you the best of luck in the future. And I’m sure once Christmas comes, despite my feelings at your appearance, I won’t be able to help but shed a tear as I am once again forced to lose a Doctor I have come to love as much as any other.