Matt Smith’s fond farewell
By Valerie Milano
Pasadena, CA (Hollywood Today) 12/26/13 – Most of us don’t actually know Matt Smith however to fans of Doctor Who he has become a beloved family member…that raggedy old doctor whom we all know and love left us last night.
We knew it was coming, BBC has been promoting it for several months, but to actually see his farewell, on a holiday night warm with friends and family, was a heart-wrenching moment, one that had this Whovian softy weeping in her Tom Baker scarf.
For those who have been living under a rock, the wildly popular 50-year-old show tells the story of an alien who travels through space and time and takes human companions along on his explorations. Each time he dies he regenerates as a new Doctor, same memories, different personality.
Show runner Steven Moffatt said in a recent interview, “It’s almost a genre mistake to call it science fiction. It doesn’t look like those shows. Doctor Who is an amazing, funny, heroic, colorful character. It’s accessible to people who wouldn’t normally watch this kind of nonsense at all.”
In a recent interview Smith talked about his arrival as the Doctor, “there was a backlash when I was cast. I was 26 and I was unknown. People were like ‘That is NOT Doctor Who, Doctor Who is older and he’s someone we know, at least.” When Smith took over the lead role as the eleventh Doctor, in the cherished television series, he was the youngest person to play Doctor Who. He also brought a dashing new sense of style to the Doctor, in fact, bow ties and fezzes have made a comeback largely due to Matt Smith and The Doctor.
In a media discussion between David Tennant and Smith, Tennant talked about Smith’s first day. “I remember very well the day that Matt came on set for the first time, there was a sense of occasion about it, executive producers were arriving, apparently there were busloads of people coming in from London.” Smith added, “It was a huge pressure but huge pressures and creativity can be quite a good combination.”
Over the years Doctor Who has battled many creatures and monsters, several of which have become his archenemies; like weeds they’ve continued to appear and reappear over the years. However, during Matt Smith’s three year tenure as the Doctor, new monsters came out of the woodwork. Monsters like the Silence, a species that has lived on Earth since man’s beginning. They’ve been manipulating mankind to do their bidding since the dawn of time. Because, you see, once you look away from them they are wiped from your memory. A frightening thought. In his farewell interview Smith reminisced on his favorite monsters. “The Weeping Angels, I think they’re one of my favorites because they can be completely still and they’re not that dangerous when they’re still. but turn your back for a quarter of a millisecond and you are mincemeat. They are brutal and fierce and they take no prisoners whatsoever.”
Peter Capaldi has now been welcomed as the twelfth Doctor, but Smith commented fondly, “Of course, there’s always a part of me that goes ‘I never want to go’; there are no parts like this. He’s the Doctor. You know? It’s the coolest character…and what a character.”
Who knew, 50 years ago that the world of Doctor Who would become so popular and such a part of pop culture that it would be around in the 21st Century? To the Doctor it’s a mere blink of an eye but to us it’s a tattered and torn but oh-so-loved security blanket, one that holds us extra warmly when changes to the Who franchise happen. Matt Smith, have a safe trip and be sure to write home once in a while. We’ll be waiting.