So Long & Thanks for All the Fishfingers and Custard
written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
It is now official, Matt Smith will be leaving behind the bow tie and step down from his role as The Doctor on the iconic BBC television series. His remarkable turn as The Doctor saw this show truly going global, beyond just the die hard few that followed the shows since the early days or since Christopher Eccleston helmed the return of the show back in 2005. It's been a wild ride and they say you never forget your first (Doctor that is).
"I have a very close relationship with my baby sister and sitting down and watching Doctor Who is one of the highlights of our dynamic"
Having watched reruns as a kid on PBS, my first Doctor was Tom Baker... the 4th incarnation of this character and the man with the "scarf". But when I first got my little sister into Doctor Who, she started with Eleven... she watched "the Eleventh Hour" and the entirety of that series, then she decided to go back to Eccleston... then Tennant, and after re-watching Matt Smith's first turn as The Doctor she got caught up and we started watching it together. I have a very close relationship with my baby sister and sitting down and watching Doctor Who is one of the highlights of our dynamic. I remember when we got into the Doctor Who panel at SDCC 2012, boy was that a great time, it made the anticipation for the return (and inevitable fall of the Ponds) something to truly look forward too.
Here is Matt Smith's official statement regarding him leaving the role:
"Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show.
I'm incredibly grateful to all the cast and crew who work tirelessly every day to realise all the elements of the show and deliver Doctor Who to the audience. Many of them have become good friends and I'm incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the last four years.
Having Steven Moffat as show runner write such varied, funny, mind bending and brilliant scripts has been one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges of my career. It's been a privilege and a treat to work with Steven - he's a good friend and will continue to shape a brilliant world for the Doctor.
The fans of Doctor Who around the world are unlike any other; they dress up, shout louder, know more about the history of the show (and speculate more about the future of the show) in a way that I've never seen before.
Your dedication is truly remarkable. Thank you so very much for supporting my incarnation of the Time Lord, number 11, who I might add is not done yet - I'm back for the 50th anniversary and the Christmas special.
It's been an honour to play this part, to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the Tardis for a spell with 'the ginger, the nose and the impossible one'. But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls. Thank you guys. Matt."
But back to Matt Smith. Having been the Mad Man with a Box for 4 years, it's time for a change. With all things, one thing is constant... there's always a man, and a box, and a companion... and as the companions change so much The Doctor. I have to say that i am quite sad about this, I remember how I felt when I first saw David Tennant regenerate into Eleven, my heart damn near exploded when Ten said "I don't want to go..." right before his regeneration. But... looking forward... and as the header promises... this is a "dream cast" post. So with Twelve on the verge becoming the new mad man with a box, allow me to wax a bit on who I'd like to see as the next Doctor. I just hope we get another "Geronimo!" before the final scene.
You'll recognize him as Prince Caspian from the Chronicles of Narnia film series. Usually starring in Fantasy tales and period pieces, he isn't one to shy away from the fantastical... pretty much a pre-requisite for being The Doctor. He could bring a new level of physicality to the role, and while the role never really required the the lead to be involved in many intense fight scenes, it would be a nice change to number Twelve.
Coming from some impressive acting stock, the third son of James Fox (Merlin ) he also has some times to the series already, having wed Doctor Who alum Billie Piper. Able to muster a more dry delivery, he's played DS James Hathaway on Inspector Lewis and Sir Christopher Hatton in Elizabeth: The Golden Age . Beyond his father, he coems from an acting family and posses the chops to play the hero.
Most likely the most recognizable from my list, you first saw this young actor as Draco Malfoy in the mega franchise that is Harry Potter . With the actors chosen to be The Doctor seeming to be younger with each incarnation, this seems like a good progression for the character. I toyed with the idea of suggesting Rupert Grint for this particular choice, but while I do revel in the fact that he always wants to be a ginger but it never happens, the joke of it is worth it to just have him go like "not ginger again?" Felton has a wit and charm about him that would fit well with the role, and if they choose him I would not be disappointed.
It's Kili, having played the "handsome" member of team Oakenshield, he's not opposed to fantasy stories. Also playing Mitchell (the vampire) in the British supernatural series Being Human. The perfect mix of physicality and charm. Aidan Turner could bring a whole new perspective to the role. The super likable delivery that The Doctor posses would fit very well with the way that Aidan Turner portrayed Kili. A good fit and one of my personal favorite picks.
My personal number one pick for the role. Personally, I think it's about time The Doctor wasn't white. While I don't want this to become a debate on race, Richard Ayoade could definitely take this role and truly run with it. If you've ever see The IT Crowd or The Watch (where he damn near stole the show) you'll see just how charming this bloke from Whipp's Cross is. A sort of awkwardness to his delivery reminds me a lot of Matt Smith in many ways. I would be absolutely giddy if Ayoade becomes the next Doctor, it's just a role that would be so fitting for him and a great way to further launch this amazing British actor.
With that, I want to say my goodbyes, and while he isn't done yet (with the 50th anniversary and the Christmas Special) Matt Smith was indeed such a great Doctor.