Matt Smith as Doctor Who: New Preview from BBC

I’ve been pretty clear on the blog that I don’t like the tweening of sci fi in the states or Britain; while increasingly younger actors bring in new, younger audiences, average age actors attract audiences across the spectrum. And as I’ve said, I think it is short sighted, at best, of the BBC to chase tweens at the potential cost of everyone else.  If you’ve ever read this blog you probably have already guessed that David Tennant is among my top 2 favorite Doctors of all time. I have seen them all and disliked only a rare few. I’ve watched this show my entire life (except when it wasn’t on the air and even then I was probably watching it in rerun). I even made jokes about it while playing lacrosse (ie that our safety gear looked like a “bad” Dr. Who episode.) Through various means, I have even had an inside line to production on Who for several years despite just being a wee little academic who blogs; and, I have been blessed by the anonymous Who-affiliated commenters throughout the years, including when they catch me on a bad day and I curse them out. (Yes, I’m hanging my head in shame on that last one.) And as an academic who studies media, among other things, I have a particular intellectual investment in the current reboot of Dr. Who for it’s contributions to race, gender, and sexuality discourses in modern science fiction. And so it has been both with trepidation and interest that I have watched Eccleston turn into Tennant and now the arrival of Matt Smith.

I cannot imagine a day that Dr. Who is on the air that I would not be watching. Even though I have many complaints about the proposed changes to the show, I am actually excited with the video I have seen so far (only some of which appears below). Despite my misgivings, these “insider clips” seem promising.

Make up your own minds from the 2 clips released by the BBC in anticipation of Matt Smith’s Spring debut; as I said, I think it looks fairly solid:

Goodbye David/ Regeneration Scene

Preview of 11th Doctor

Sorry I can’t give you anything else, but I don’t want anyone getting in trouble.

As always, I will be watching when Dr. Who returns in the Spring and I will be commenting both as a fan and an academic. Unfortunately, having recently met Matt Smith and found him to be cocky, cavalier, and completely out of touch with what it means to be playing the next Dr. Who, perhaps b/c he claims to have never seen the show prior to getting the job, I doubt I’ll be offering too many posts about him. What made Tennant great was that he was an amazingly funny and personable man, an immensely talented actor, and a bigger fan of Who than even I. Matt Smith has a fail on two of those things and the third remains to be seen. What I know about having met him, I would be willing to chew off my own skin to get away but hopefully that will have little reflection in the version of Dr. Who he offers us this upcoming season. We shall see.

6 thoughts on “Matt Smith as Doctor Who: New Preview from BBC

  1. It’s not that surprising to hear that Matt Smith is cocky and arrogant. From the little seen on the clips, he kinda leaks that on screen. He seems like a mistake.

    Still, I also am trying to reserve judgment. After all, I was skeptical about Catherine Tate becoming a companion after Martha left. Tate, though, turned out to be a great addition.

    • the good news is that they have no qualms with changing directions when things aren’t working, so he may be there for 1-1.5 years tops if he doesn’t woo audiences.

      Funny, I wasn’t skeptical, but I liked Tate least b/c I think she complained too much; ultimately I invested in her. We’ll have to touch base again on the new companion who looks to be about 12.

  2. Oh, the old comment that he looks 12. Never heard that before. Personally, I trust Modfat over you. Tom Baker was not a Who fan when he took over the fan or had watched much of ut. DT is the only actor to be a fan to get the role so he is the exception. I welcome the change and wish people would stop bitching.

    Remember, Moffat wasn’t looking for an younger Doctor but was blown away by Smith.

    • I’m not asking you to trust me, I am speaking my opinion as a long term fan and academic whose research includes Dr. Who and its spin-offs; and as someone who has met and does not like Matt Smith as a person (I have no basis for dis/liking him as an actor & will have to wait to form an opinion on that).

      I think the difference between critical engagement and fandom, is that I can be happy to see other fans who disagree with me. I can also remain concerned while hoping that they are right about Smith’s turn as Dr. Who b/c I always want Who to succeed. If all you want to do is slag off there are fan forums for that, around here we value each other’s opinions and engage them openly and honestly.

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