It was confirmed on Saturday by BBC that the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, will soon leave us in this year's Christmas special. The announcement has spawned all sorts of reactions from fans across social media ranging from understandable sadness and confusion (announcements from just last month had confirmed him for the eighth season) to the ridiculously childish and hostile lashing out on Twitter to impassioned debates over Steven Moffat's competency as a story-teller and show-runner. But that subject is neither here nor there for this Whovian. That debate is for another day.
In the beginning, it was difficult for me to say good-bye to David Tennant as the 10th Doctor. He was my first Doctor as we got to know each other one fateful day when I was at home, sick with the flu and BBC America was airing a second series Doctor Who marathon. I was immediately pulled in through my feverish haze and when the marathon ended, I sought out the first series and have been hooked ever since. I was a sobbing, snotty mess when Tennant left. His last words, "I don't want to go," always resonated with me because Tennant was very clear about how much he loved Doctor Who. He'd even mentioned in interviews that watching Doctor Who as a child made him want to be an actor saying,
"I can only have been three and I was just enthralled by Doctor Who. But I was quite clear that I didn't want to be a Time Lord, I wanted to be the person who played a Time Lord."
And it was obvious, in those last heart-wrenching moments, that he, David Tennant, did not want to go. But it was his time. The time comes for every Time Lord when he must surrender the mantle and regenerate into a new version of himself.
Over the past four years, I have slowly grown to appreciate Matt Smith's quirky portrayal of The Doctor. He gives him a strange mixture of youthful naiveté with his innocent, confused reactions to River Song and barely contained simmering rage on the brink of exploding all over whatever baddie was dumb enough to put The Doctor in a trap.
But most of all, I will miss his humor; the twinkle in his eye and his crooked smile as he gazes with awe and appreciation at a creature that would scare the socks off anyone else. It's hard not to smile and laugh along as he shouts "Geronimo!" and dives, head-first into the fray, saving the universe with only his sonic screwdriver in hand and his Companion at his side.
Matt Smith's incarnation has given us bow ties and fezzes and cowboy hats (oh, my!) and some of the best Companions the show has ever seen. Watching Rory grow from being an over-sized boy to The Last Centurion during his travels with The Doctor was truly one of my favorite story lines. And River Song showing him up behind the wheel of the T.A.R.D.I.S makes me giggle every time.
And although the announcement has been made and speculation has begun on who will be the next Doctor, I will look forward to watching Matt's final appearances in the upcoming 50th Anniversary Special and have my box of tissues ready for a weep-fest during the Christmas Special.
So, thank you, Matt Smith, for making me laugh, giving me a new adventure to look forward to every Saturday night and knowing how to rip out my heart and break it into a million little pieces. Best of luck as you dive into the fray of your new adventures. Geronimo, Doctor!
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