Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Doctor Is In!

OK, the announcement has just come through, seconds ago on British TV! The new Doctor will be...

...drumroll please...

Don't look if you don't want to know!

It's...

...

...

...some guy I've never heard of!

Apparently the honor goes to one Matt Smith, and the fact that I've never heard of him probably counts in his favor, as far as I'm concerned. Every time we go through this, famous names get bandied about, and so far, every time they end up casting someone I don't know (or, in Christopher Eccleston's case, had seen in something once, but wouldn't have recognized if I'd passed him on the street), and every time it's worked out well -- all the more so, I think, because I get to meet the new guy as the Doctor, without any pesky preconceptions.

The only thing I'm a little uncertain about is the fact that, apparently, this guy is all of twenty-six. Twenty-six! Dude, the Doctor should not be a decade-plus younger than I am! Should he?

25 comments:

  1. Nowadays it seems that every actor playing the Doctor has to be younger than the previous one. It can only be a matter of time before we get a babe in arms.

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  2. I really would love to see an older person in the role again, although I do remember RTD saying at one point that he believed it would never happen, because the production schedule on the new series would kill anybody who wasn't young and fit. :)

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  3. Though there are some fifty year olds you are fitter than some thirty year olds.

    I wasn't able to watch the revelatory programme live, but recorded it and have just watched it. Based on the little we saw of him, I was favourably impressed by Matt Smith. I think he could be good.

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  4. True. There are certainly 57-year-olds who are fitter than me!

    I ought to check and see if the Confidential is available online now...

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  5. The way I see it, Moffat and company picked the person they thought was the best fit for the type of Doctor they want the 11th to be. Whether Matt Smith will be, or whether I'll grow to like that Doctor...well, it's much, much too early to tell.

    I do think Tennant will be a tough act to follow -- but then, I thought the same thing about Eccleston, and I took awhile (almost a whole season) to really warm to Tennant.

    But still, "change" is the operative word on Doctor Who, isn't it? And this does mean that the Doctor will now really and truly be Mr. Smith.

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  6. The way I see it, Moffat and company picked the person they thought was the best fit for the type of Doctor they want the 11th to be.

    I'm already hearing people bitching and moaning, though. Oh, they picked him because he's pretty, because he's young, because he'll appeal to Americans, because he looks like David Tennant, because they're racist and wouldn't cast a black guy, etc., etc., etc. *rolls eyes* I adore Doctor Who, but its fans can be a whiny, pessimistic bunch.

    Whether Matt Smith will be, or whether I'll grow to like that Doctor...well, it's much, much too early to tell.

    It really, really is. I'm optimistic, though. I'm always optimistic about Doctor Who. And, hey, even if I turn out not to like him, there'll be another one along in a few years. :)

    There's a brief clip featuring him at this article, by the way. It's the first I've seen of him, and it's also not much to judge on, but he strikes me pleasantly enough.

    I do think Tennant will be a tough act to follow

    Yeah, Tennant has turned out to be wildly popular. Much as I like him, though, I'm not going to miss him the way I missed Eccleston.

    But still, "change" is the operative word on Doctor Who, isn't it?

    It so is! And as I've said often enough, it's one of the things I love best about it.

    And this does mean that the Doctor will now really and truly be Mr. Smith.

    Which is kind of cute. :)

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  7. The extended interview with Smith is here.

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  8. A really nice touch in the programme was that amongst the clips of past Doctors that they included was one in which Pertwee's Doctor was using the alias of Smith.

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  9. Some 62 yr olds are pretty fit. I can do a fair British accent as well.

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  10. I remain skeptical about that, Dad. ;)

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  11. Incidentally...seen the Christmas special yet?

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  12. Oh, yes, I have! I thought it was a bit silly, but enjoyable, and rather charming.

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  13. The fact that he is on a show called "Party Animals" is a little worrisome for me though.

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  14. Well, Christopher Eccleston was in 24 Hour Party People...

    And while I've never seen Party Animals, the parties in question appear to be political, judging from IMDB.

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  15. the Doctor should not be a decade-plus younger than I am! Should he?
    No, he shouldn't. In fact, no one on TV should be younger than us (well, except for child actors). We should stay young and vibrant forever, just like Dorian Gray.

    they picked him because he's pretty, because he's young, because he'll appeal to Americans, because he looks like David Tennant, because they're racist and wouldn't cast a black guy,
    He's pretty and looks like David Tennant? I disagree with both, but maybe I just don't find most Englishmen appealing.

    Speaking of appealing, who cares if he appeals to Americans? The key point is that he should appeal to Whovians, regardless of their country. (Speaking of Americans, we can't even agree on finding elected officials appealing, so why worry about another country's TV show?)

    As far as being racist, have the people saying that actually been to England? They'd be more likely to cast an Indian or Pakistani, if they want to court a minority. (Plus, have you ever watched a British program with a black actor and not thought, "Wow! He/she has an English accent!"?)

    I'm not going to miss him [Tennant] the way I missed Eccleston.
    Nor am I -- and since I'm already repeating myself, I might as well echo my earlier comment that they should have transformed the Doctor at the end of the last series, when they had the chance (plus, it would have spared us the Love Connection portion of the episode).

    I wonder if Brits are falling back on common American TV-isms (which is, of course, a bad thing). Maybe the last episode had been written while in contract negotiations with Tennant and they didn't know if he'd return or not, so they put in the regeneration scene in case negotiations broke down.

    That being said, I'm not going to miss Tennant because he signed on to do more episodes before announcing that he's leaving.

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  16. Oh, one more thing...

    I really would love to see an older person in the role again, although I do remember RTD saying at one point that he believed it would never happen, because the production schedule on the new series would kill anybody who wasn't young and fit.

    How about casting Angela Lansbury as the Doctor's mother for an episode?

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  17. Even RTD, with his obsession about mothers, spared us the Doctor's mother. :) Now that the Time War has happened, it's hard to see how they could introduce her now.

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  18. We should stay young and vibrant forever, just like Dorian Gray.

    I tried to stop aging at 25, and it didn't work, damn it. Clearly I need a better picture.

    He's pretty and looks like David Tennant? I disagree with both, but maybe I just don't find most Englishmen appealing.

    Well, I don't think it's just you. Paul McGann was a pretty Doctor. This guy, I'm less sure about. :)

    Speaking of appealing, who cares if he appeals to Americans? The key point is that he should appeal to Whovians, regardless of their country.

    I don't entirely understand that argument, myself. I think the accusation is that the BBC is greedily focusing on how much money it might get from an international market, or something like that. But, y'know, I saw an interview with Moffat once in which someone asked him how much the show was deliberately trying to appeal to Americans, and he just looked like that was the strangest, most incomprehensible question he'd ever heard, and said he'd never even thought about it. :)

    As far as being racist, have the people saying that actually been to England?

    Well, the rumored front-runner for a long time was Patterson Joseph, who happens to be black. And who, IMHO, actually would have been very cool in the part. I think a lot of people took the rumor too seriously, and are now upset to learn that it's not going to him, and feel it's some sort of cop out, to say the least.

    (Plus, have you ever watched a British program with a black actor and not thought, "Wow! He/she has an English accent!"?)

    Um... no? :)

    I wonder if Brits are falling back on common American TV-isms

    Those are sadly pervasive.

    Maybe the last episode had been written while in contract negotiations with Tennant and they didn't know if he'd return or not, so they put in the regeneration scene in case negotiations broke down.

    I don't know. That could be, although I kind of suspect that it was just a coincidence.

    That being said, I'm not going to miss Tennant because he signed on to do more episodes before announcing that he's leaving.

    Although there was some question of whether he'd be able to do them all, after having injured his back. Last I heard, though, they were claiming he was good to go.

    Oh, and I'm totally with JH on the "Doctor's mother" thing. Eep. :)

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  19. Just had a thought. For all we know, they may have asked Patterson Joseph to audition, or even have been so keen on him that they asked him straight out idf he would take on the role. He coulf have turned them down for all sorts of reasons: that he didn't think that he was right for the part; that he thought that it was a very silly programme that he wouldn't be seen dead in :) ; that he was already committed to other things; that he didn't think that he could put up with the enormous attention from the public and the media that the actor playing the Doctor now has to try to cope with.

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  20. I seem to recall hearing somewhere that he'd mentioned kind of liking the idea, but I'm not positive about that.

    In any case, yeah, casting actors is a complex process, and there are a lot of factors involved, including the availability of said actors. I am really bemused by many fans' inclination to automatically assume the most unpleasant of motivations. But that seems to happen every time there's any kind of significant change. It always means The End of Doctor Who As We Know It! and is always clearly done with the intent to personally offend whoever is voicing the objection. ;)

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  21. Now that the Time War has happened, it's hard to see how they could introduce her now.
    Flashback?

    I'd really like to see if his own mother ever slapped him, or if it's only human mothers that do it.

    Incidentally, my word verification is "bakers". Since when have they started using real words?

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  22. If you believe what was claimed in the TV movie, his mother was human. But, uh, most people don't. :)

    And, huh. Maybe they ran out of gibberish.

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  23. Well, the rumored front-runner for a long time was Patterson Joseph, who happens to be black. And who, IMHO, actually would have been very cool in the part. I think a lot of people took the rumor too seriously, and are now upset to learn that it's not going to him, and feel it's some sort of cop out, to say the least.

    I liked Joseph quite a lot in his Who appearance, but I think it was on the basis of that appearance alone that he was the rumored front-runner. The names bandied about are usually people who've appeared on the show. But, with the exception of Colin Baker, I think that makes someone less likely to be cast, not more. And while I believe they cast Smith because they think he's the best for the job, there's a lot of inside information we don't have. Maybe he wasn't the first person they wanted. As JH pointed out, maybe they even offered it to Joseph and he turned them down. Last I saw, he was busy with the remake of Survivors. (He's very good in the pilot, but the pilot itself isn't that great, and I hear it gets worse.) Maybe he auditioned and wasn't very good, or wasn't right for the part. Thinking someone might be right for a part doesn't make it so, and it's silly to get mad at the BBC for not casting that person anyway.

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  24. I think it was also largely inspired by his remarkably Doctor-ish performance in Neverwhere, too. But, yeah, people who are already associated with Who, or who are fairly high-profile already, are the ones who's names tend to come to mind, and they're not necessarily the most likely candidates. (This is one reason why I've long since stopped joining in the speculation game, except to offer "somebody I've never heard of" as my likeliest guess. :))

    I saw a quote somewhere in which it was asserted that they picked Smith just because he seriously knocked them out with his audition, which seems like a good basis for a choice to me, although of course there are always other factors in play as well.

    Anyway, yeah, it is silly to get mad because one had one's heart set on a particular choice and it didn't happen. But no matter what decision gets made there are always people who are upset.

    (I haven't seen the new version of Survivors by the way, but most of the response I've seen to it has been pretty lukewarm. I've always kind of wanted to check out the original, but as far as I've seen, it never made it to DVD in the US, and I wasn't quite motivated enough to try tracking it down by other means. )

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  25. I've never seen the original Survivors, but I've heard good things. While it might now seem dated, it was very good for its day. (You could say that about a lot of Terry Nation stuff, I think.) I checked this one out just recently because Freema Ageyman was in it. And she is, very briefly. It's not terrible, and there are some genuinely good bits, but it's a little creaky around the edges and obvious. And what I've read suggests it goes downhill from there.

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