Saturday, January 3, 2009

Matt Smith is Doctor Who's Eleventh Doctor

Sorry there's been no review of this year's Christmas Special, "The Next Doctor,"  yet. I didn't really love or hate the episode, so it's hard to get worked up enough to write about.... I do plan to force myself to review it soon, though.

Of course, the lackluster Christmas Special is now old news given today's announcement. Earlier this evening, the BBC broadcast a special episode of Doctor Who Confidential revealing the name of the actor who will replace David Tennant as The Doctor. After months of speculation (with the odds being on Patterson Joseph, who would have been the first black Doctor), the big reveal for the Eleventh Doctor is kind of a head scratcher.

Matt Smith.

Cue the crickets chirping.

So, who is Matt Smith? Here's what we know. 1.) He's 26, making him the youngest actor to ever tackle the role of The Doctor (Peter Davison, the Fifth Doctor, was 29). 2.) He has appeared in TV movie versions of Phillip Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke and The Shadow in the North as well as an episode of The Secret Diary of a Call Girl, all alongside Billie Piper (Rose from Doctor Who Seasons 1, 2, and 4). Maybe she vouched for his Doctorness? 3.) He's done just a few other TV shows and some theatre work. 4.) He has an, um, interesting look to him.

I must admit, when Matt first appeared in tonight's Doctor Who Confidential episode, I was a little taken aback. To be blunt (and a little rude), I thought he looked like an emo version of Frankenstein's monster. Or Eric Stoltz in Mask. Still, I also thought David Tennant was quite a homely sort when I first saw him, so maybe I'll get used to Matt Smith's look. And besides, who cares what he looks like, right? The important question is -- can he act? Because I have seen none of his previous work, I really can't address his talent. I'm just going to assume that Steven Moffat knows what he's doing. I have no reason to doubt him, so I'm remaining cautiously optimistic. Perhaps the Eleventh Doctor will meet up with Professor River Song (from last season's "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead" two-parter) and begin The Doctor's relationship with her. The older woman/younger man dynamic would be very interesting following The Tenth Doctor's perpetual cradle robbing.

I do hope the production team trims Matt's Flock of Seagulls haircut before they begin filming, though. Not everything from the 80s needs to make a comeback.