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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Fifty Years in Time and Space 5 - Matt Smith

I never really dug Matt Smith as Doctor Who and originally only watched his first episode, and half of his second episode, before giving up on the series. It wasn't really Smith's fault, actually I thought his d├ębut performance was pitch perfect but rather my own problem. You see, I grew up with the series, Jon Pertwee was the first Doc I ever saw, and to my mind the Doctor was always an old geezer. Even Peter Davidson, a youthful 29 when he took over the role, seemed like an old geezer to me because I was so much younger, but when Smith took over the role I had entered my Forties  and it was absurd watching such a young dude running around the TARDIS and claiming to be hundreds of years old. When the Daleks attacked I half expected the Doctor to start crying for his mother. If the sonic screwdriver malfunctioned I feared he would throw a tantrum and pull out his Gameboy.

I've not really watched the show since Smith took over although I did recently see his two part story The Hungery Earth and Cold Blood because it was doubled on a DVD set with Jon Pertwee's seven part adventure, The Silurians. And you know what I bloody well enjoyed it. Though Smith still seemed incredibly young, like a kiddies version of the character. I've often felt that like the movie Young Sherlock Holmes or the Young Bond books that Smith's tenure should be prefixed Young Doctor Who. I have a suspicion that Smith's casting was forced on show runner Steven Moffat by the BBC, since prior to the casting the producer claimed he was going to cast an older actor.

Still I guess my current problem with the show is my own prejudice because from what I've seen of Matt Smith he is really incredible in the role, but the show does seem to be more lightweight than it used to be.

 I hope that when Peter Capaldi steps into the role we will see a return to the more darker storytelling, which is Moffat's strength. After all I feel that the best episodes of Russel T Davies' tenure where the ones penned by Stephen Moffat and these were always the darker, serious edged stories.

Matt Smith then has proved that he had the mettle for the role, and his era has been successful even if it did alienate many of the more mature viewers, but that, as I've said, is not his fault and I do feel that Smith's time in the role will be fondly remembered.

Doctor's not just for old dudes!

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