Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Why I Hate The Eleventh Doctor

As the leaves wither and die on the trees and the kids prepare their costumes, I contemplated a Halloween-themed blog this week. Then I decided, since many have cause to question my reasoning, to detail, finally, the 10 reasons I hate the Eleventh Doctor, instead.

Why, you ask? Because in my days as co-host of  'The Whostorian' podcast, and frequent contributor to the various associated media, from Facebook fan page to the Twitter account, I've indulged in spirited debates with fellow Whovians and those called 'Nuvians', fans who have been minted in the years from 2005 to the present, who are barely aware the very series they have come to know and love in it's present form has a near-50 year history already, regarding the current merits, or distinct lack thereof, of  'Doctor Who'  And it seems to my mind, as a fan since 1989, that the bar has been set quite low lately.

I'm all for change; the series itself depends upon it, through the nature of regeneration. Without a periodic shuffling of the creative deck, 'Doctor Who' would have died when William Hartnell either grew too ill to soldier on as the First Doctor, or else his cantankerous ways would have led to the BBC firing him and/or cancelling the series by the mid-1960's. In the decades since, Whovians have both enjoyed the brilliance of Tom Baker and the aborted violent excesses of Colin Baker; the highest highs and the lowest lows, as it were. Yet throughout it all, fans could rely upon one thing; that despite its status as the lowest-budget science fiction television series possibly in the history of the genre, the stories would lift it higher. Sure, the monsters are made of tinfoil and every alien planet is just a rock quarry in Wales...but damn, the acting was great, and the stories really resonated, brimming with the finest messages dressed in science fiction trappings that the BBC could present, until now.

Why do I hate Matt Smith's Doctor 'so' much? Why after 20-plus years of devoted fandom, after mapping as many corners of the Whoniverse as is humanly possible for a fan to do, often on incomes that rarely supported the purchases, do I feel that finally, I have reached the point where I find the series I love so dearly nearly unwatchable? There's a myriad number of reasons, but for the purposes of this blog, and in order to silence those critics who feel I'm being unjustifiably harsh in my viewpoint, I present to you the top 10 reasons I've come to feel this way.

10. The Clothes Make The Man: Sure, 'Doctor Who' has often dressed its main character in ludicrous clothing (6th Doctor). The clothing has been eccentric versions of casual clothing, often from different time periods in Earth's past (1st, 2nd, 8th), present (4th, 7th, 9th, 10th), or even very bad ideas (the 5th Doctor wears basically a cricketing outfit, which was pointed out by British fans to be akin to putting Captain Kirk in a hockey sweater). In the 'classic series', the majority of the Doctors (or at least the ones who didn't have to deal with John Nathan-Turner as producer) sorta dictated what their Doctors would wear (Tom Baker, Jon Pertwee, and Sylvester McCoy all either influenced the clothing, or outright wore whatever they damn well wanted), and by the Davison era the stuff really began to get all cartoony. The modern series strives to reflect maturity, in order to appeal to modern sensibilities; after all, had Christopher Eccleston shown up in 'Rose' wearing what Colin Baker wore in 'The Twin Dilemma', the only dilemma would have been how quickly the BBC could cancel the series amid the howls of laughter from the public. After all, this isn't the gaudy 1980's, this is a post 9/11 planet with a generation now raised on reality TV and social media; appearances matter now more than ever, and even mild critical analysis can be damning in the long run. And what does the Eleventh Doctor look like? The Nutty Professor, that's what. Complete with a 1960's Walt Disney-film console room.

Eccleston captured what was intended to be the 'mood' of modern 'Doctor Who' with the simple-yet-effective black coat and dark jumper, dark pants, and dark shoes. It was a departure and took some getting used to, but, somehow, it worked and it worked well. Audiences could well believe this was a Doctor who had lived through the death of his homeworld. 'Nuvians' were not turned off the series because the main character dressed in a manner that evoked sympathy (black is a universal mourning color, after all), in a manner not dissimilar to millions of regular, everyday humans.

David Tennant, given free rein to explore the character far more than Eccleston did (or, more accurately, than he 'chose' to do), was able to 'brighten' the Doctor significantly, though still anchoring him in reality with variations of a simple trenchcoat and hipster-styled clothing. Not too dissimilar to the clothing options of thousands of others throughout the world. So far, so good, right?

Now, we come to Smith. Let's first examine the blow-tie. Despite his assertion that 'bow ties are cool', the fact is, no, they aren't, nor have they 'ever' been. Bow ties were and are the province of nerds, and always have been. Granted, many Doctors have taken to wearing clothing from Earth's past that has long since gone out of fashion, and have managed to pull it off. But in those cases, the Doctors themselves have won the day by wearing unusual clothing and 'still' managing to be the coolest people in the room. Smith wearing a bow-tie not only places him on the same level as every science nerd in the world, it detracts from each and every scene in which he is meant to convey serious, dramatic, universe-altering messages...because you just can't take your eyes off the ridiculous bow-tie.

Can it get worse? Yep, it sure can. Because nothing screams 'badass' like a tweed jacket. If bowties are for science nerds, tweed jackets are for the pipe-smoking professors of little Midwestern colleges that correct the nerd's science exams. But at least he doesn't wear suspenders, right? Wait...sigh!

While previous Doctors have made fashion fatalities before, Smith's outfit is simply the height of hilarity. He doesn't have the excuses of this being the 1980's...of JN-T dictating what he is to wear...this is 'supposed' to be the 'same' person to whom the Time War happened, after all, this is 'supposed' to be the same person who looked thousands of Daleks in the face and sacrificed his own PEOPLE to stop their evil. And he's wearing suspenders, a bow tie, and a tweed jacket...?

9. The Doctor Can't Act. This is, you know, kind of a big deal. Think about this little fact: when 'Doctor Who' re-debuted, in 2005? Yeah, Matt Smith was just BEGINNING his career in acting, after injuries ended his sporting career. Look at the history of previous Doctors for an excellent example of how, in acting, experience usually counts for a heck of a lot. Sure, there are excellent child actors, and sure acting is a vocation in which one can shine without benefit of years and decades of experience. But to play the central role of The Doctor, there's a very good reason that William Hartnell was cast in the series, and it's because he made 65 films BEFORE he ever harrumphed his way through the TARDIS doors. Why is Tom Baker the longest-serving Doctor but Sylvestor McCoy is embarrassingly incapable of delivering even the tiniest speech without it sounding fan-film bad? Because Baker had been acting in theater, films, and TV for over 10 years BEFORE he became The Doctor, while McCoy was stuffing ferrets down his trousers to entertain children in light entertainment plays. Jon Pertwee was a household name in acting circles before he was The Doctor, and was such a showman he could do comedy, drama, spooky, you name it, all at the same time and often in the same episode! David Tennant is such a superior actor, he could play the shark in 'Jaws'.

So, what happens when you give an actor in his mid-20's the role of a lifetime and he doesn't have the acting chops to pull it off? You get a Doctor completely incapable of emoting. In scenes in which he is required to play anything other than all bouncy-Attention-Deficit, he fails miserably. When he is required to convey sadness, he looks down to his shoes like a scolded child. When he is required to convey contemplative, he purses his lips. Defiant? He juts out his chin. Compare this to the tour de force performances of Eccleston in 'Dalek' and the why-didn't-he-get-a-freakin'-Emmy 'Human Nature' turn of David Tennant (or, really, 75% of  Tennant's entire career AS the Doctor), and you'll see, the fact is the writers are hampered with an actor who simply isn't that 'good', and the actor is consequently saddled with trying to portray a centuries-old Timelord in a bow tie who can do little more than frown after waving his sonic screwdriver and checking it's readings, and bounding about the console room set like a demented child shrugging off Ritalin. Sorry. But the truth hurts.

8. Every Episode Uses 'Time Itself' As The Antagonist. Remember when 'Father's Day' dramatically illustrated the effects of time gone wrong? Wasn't that a great episode, full of excellently-conveyed moments that really brought home to the viewers 'hey, time itself can really be screwy, kids, good thing we got the Doc here to fix it'? Remember how new and novel the concept of Time Itself was within the new series? Remember how the vast majority of episodes of the Eccleston/Tennant eras were essentially self-contained stories with little nods to some of the over-arching storyline threads spread throughout a season, such as the whole 'Bad Wolf' thing? When it was all in the background and didn't get in the way of telling the ACTUAL stories? Now, how about trying to sit down and recounting how time itself was all screwed up week in and week out for the last three YEARS of the show? Can you even 'do' that? The Doctor and company have been to the end of the universe, re-written time, died and come back to life, hit the cosmic 're-set' switch just HOW many times now? When did a show about time travel become a show about TIME, period? There was a time not too long ago when the TARDIS was used as what it was intended; a vehicle to spirit our heroes to their destination of the week. Now, the TARDIS and all of time and space have been messed with 'so' much in the last few years, it's like trying to re-trace the footsteps of those kids in 'Family Circus'. I'm all 'for' visually depicting the power of time, and of the scope of history to bring the Doctor to the distant past and the far-flung future. But, hell, didn't we wreck the entire universe and put it all back together again LAST week?

7. Historical Characters Are Basically 'Bill And Ted' Versions. Remember the excellent episode 'The Unquiet Dead', which featured an aged Charles Dickens encountering the Doctor? Weren't those great moments, revealing the private pain and the genius of this real-life person from history? That cute little moment when the Doctor says he's a fan? That pensive and dramatic moment when the Doctor tells Rose that despite their adventures together, Dickens will die in the following year? Dickens, a real person who really lived, was handled with sensitivity and pathos. Now...put Hitler in the closet. Yep, that's right, take the most evil and ruthless man in history, the man who ordered the deaths of countless millions and plunged the world into the bloodiest conflict it has ever had the misfortune of enduring...and shove him in the damn closet.

'Unquiet Dead' established a pattern in which historical people would be treated properly, as befitting their importance to the realms of history. Sure, you can 'have' your fun, you can 'have' the Doctor joke that the 'ladies call you Chuck', but at the end of the day, IF you are going to go the route of peppering your stories about a time traveller with real-life people who made their mark on science, literature, and the world at large just in there really ANY need to make them appear buffoonish? Do we REALLY need the man who, once again, sacrificed his own PEOPLE to stop the Daleks...getting felt up by Egyptian Queens? Is there 'any' good reason that the Doctor, who once refused to alter history and save Adric, his companion, despite the pleading and the tears of his other companions to do hide under the beds of medieval kings? What purpose does this clownish behaviour serve a story other than to elicit a cheap laugh? We are also supposed to believe that the same man who kidnapped Barbara and Ian because he was afraid they MIGHT breathe a WORD of his existence to the authorities of their time, a man who worked for the most secretive Intelligence Taskforce in the world, a man who forced Mickey to wipe out 'every' trace of his existence from the internet and intelligence agencies worldwide....lets Winston Churchill speed-dial him? Makes NO attempt to disguise his obvious alienness (or even his bow-tie) when he bounds out of the TARDIS in what, over time, seems like 'every' major world event in history? I don't know about you, but it was bad enough that Indiana Jones came face-to-face with Hitler. The very same man who pressured Davros to tell him if he had it in him to unleash a virus that would wipe out all life, is the very same man who blundered into Adolf friggin' Hitler's office and had no recourse whatsoever but to shove him in a closet...I mean, really?

6. Companions Used To, You Know..NOT Comment On EVERYTHING. In a hilarious moment from the charity episode 'Time Crash', the 5th Doctor chides the 10th that he is basically just commenting on 'everything that happens right in front of him'. It's a playful dig at the writers and producer of the modern series, and thankfully self-deprecating, indicating they were aware of the tendencies on their part and were, hopefully, going to correct it. While it's been an issue with the modern series as a whole, it's really been ramped up lately with the Rory and Amy characters (and allow me to say it, because I just do not 'care' anymore...boy, am I ever glad they are gone!). Constant, inane chatter from the companions that does nothing other than to serve the teen-beat viewers watching with yet another arch and self-aware TV series. A Dalek invasion force? Well, sure, companions in the past would, you know, cower in fear and shut their damn mouths and just help the Doctor defeat them somehow. Now? We get running commentary on the state of the companion's relationship, what the frowny face on the Doctor 'really' means, and some inappropriate comedy witticisms involving button-pushing. Emo, angst-ridden dialog has replaced the real thing. And all it's done is turn dramatic moments into cartoony jokes, ruined the suspense and surprise of many a plot and monster, and just made it impossible to enjoy an episode of 'Doctor Who' without feeling trapped on an elevator with a teen girl next to you loudly making plans to hit up the mall on her iPhone.

I'm not just imploring you, readers...I'm BEGGING you, go back and watch 'Genesis Of The Daleks'. 6 episodes of creeping, dripping evil all about war, slavery, revolution, hate, bile, and terror...and not ONCE does Sarah Jane Smith metaphorically poke the Doctor in the ribs, wink to the camera, and start talking about stuff that has NOTHING to do with getting the hell OFF the planet full of Daleks. When did 'Doctor Who' become 'Stream-Of-Conscious-Companions-Hour'?

5. Hey, Cybermen Have Feelings Too, You Know. Boy, is it possible to NOT explore the inner emotions of millions of robotic death machines who want nothing more than to extinguish the life force of every being they encounter in the cosmos? Valuable screen time has been devoted to depicting the motivations of just about every alien baddy that the Doctor has dedicated his life to defeating, and you know what? Apparently, they aren't so bad when you get to know them. Yeah, this is the 21st century, and yeah, science-fiction is meant to be utilized as a medium in which one can impart universal messages of peace and love and acceptance. But hey, the friggin' Daleks DESTROYED THE DOCTOR'S PLANET. He's ALLOWED to get a little pissy with them. Less 'oh those poor innocent people became Cybermen, let's kneel at the fallen shells and glimpse the life they could have still had were it not for the conversion' and more 'those evil soulless Cybermen need to be blown up eleventy billion times and I'm not going to stop until they are', please. If viewers are given the chance to explore the tragic elements behind EVERY monster race, then they become less horrific and more sympathetic. And if they become more sympathetic, then the Doctor wiping them off the face of the Universe every damn time he encounters them just makes him come off as an uncaring dorkwad, doesn't it? Sometimes, a Dalek is just a Dalek. Enough with the 'Behind The Music' monster moments, let's get back to what the core of the series IS: the hero (the Doctor) stopping evil baddies (the monsters) from killing/converting/exterminating everything that the hero (the Doctor) has ever cared about. While we are far from the black and white era now with 'Doctor Who', it sure could use more black-and-white motivations. Lest the next time we see the Daleks, they are all singing 'Koombaya, my Lord, koombaya'. And don't even get me started on the power of 'love' somehow defeating a Cyberman conversion process. That may fly in 'Care Bears', but millions of dead husks of planets that once thrived on 'love' and now are among the ranks of Cybermen ought to attest to the fallacy of THAT notion.

4. Sure, He's A Timelord. But He's Just Like You And Me. 'I'm not human, Sara, I'm a Timelord. You don't understand the implications'. That's a quote from the 4th Doctor when Sarah Jane tells him to lighten up, that he should be happy to be returning to Earth. 'The Earth isn't my home', he tells her, accurately. In other words: the Doctor may walk like a man, the Doctor may talk like a man, but he ain't a man. He's an alien from an impossibly-old world that all but worshiped and certainly served the power of time travel....and dressed like pimps doing so, too. But somewhere along the way, and this 'didn't' start with the Smith years but it sure has taken root here as well, the writers and producers just gave up on even trying to write him for what he ancient alien, and not the kind you see on the History Channel, either. The Doctor sings, cries, hugs, cries, kisses, cries, laughs, cries, jokes, cries, and did I mention cries...JUST like any normal human adventurer would. If you turned on a random episode mid-way through and had no prior knowledge of it, you'd swear the Doctor was as human as his companions were. Tom Baker played the Doctor with what he called 'Olympian detachment' for 7 damn years, because he (and the writers and producers) were terrified that they couldn't buck the trend of 'humanizing' the Doctor that had sorta begun in the Pertwee era. Colin Baker's Doctor was as far from 'human' as it was possible to get and still stay on the air...and even then, they got screwed up for 18 months as it was. Point is, when your Doctor wears bow ties, laughs at the same things your human companion does, is good for a hug and some face time, and the only concession made to his 'alien-ness' is a penchant for fish fingers and custard (which makes him more of a pregnant human with odd cravings than a Timelord), then the drift away from 'not human' is in full force. The series is littered with character-defining moments that perfectly convey that the Doctor ISN'T human. Maybe a good way to start getting him back to that is have him actually tell his chatty and nosey companions to shut the hell up and NO he's not in the mood for hugs and tears just right now. An occasional spontaneous outburst, having the Doctor screw up his face and petulantly say stuff like 'nobody human has anything to say to me today' just doesn't cover it...especially when not long afterward, he's kicking a soccer ball. A little more effort in putting the 'Timelord'  back into 'The Doctor', please.

3. When In Doubt, Put EVERYONE In The Tub. Picture a trip in the TARDIS like it's a weekly bath night. You want to meet the Silurians? Ok, put the rubbery ducky in there. Wait, you want to add the Daleks? Ok, that thimble from the sewing kit in the closet will represent them. What, now you want the Weeping Angels to come along, too? Ok, that little ceramic statue on the shelf will suffice. Wow, this bathtub is now full to bursting with lots of different objects, cluttering the entire tub and ruining happy fun bath time. And all because you weren't satisfied to 'just' play with the rubbery ducky.

That's the problem with Stephen Moffatt's outlook as producer. Why give the audience ONE Dalek (which seemed to work just fine in 'Dalek', but I digress)...when we can give them ALL the Daleks! And not just Daleks, but big-ass Daleks with flamethrowers and spikes and weird light bulb thingies and oooh hey, all the colors of the rainbow, and even more rubber skirts and did we mention these puppies are like 20 feet tall? Yeah, man, that's how you do it. Moffatt seems to be approaching the series the same way a 9 year old boy does to playtime in the backyard, when G.I. Joe goes toe-to-toe with Optimus Prime, presided over by Stone Cold Steve Austin. And maybe a Super Soaker. Wait, Optimus Prime WITH a Super Soaker. Yeaaaaaah!

Sometimes, less is more. Not 'every' baddy need be armed to the teeth with Universe-Shattering-Weapons 'every' time they are encountered, nor do they need to be completely re-designed from the ground-up in order to illustrate, loudly and with extreme prejudice, that you are watching a STEVEN MOFFAT PRODUCTION OF DOCTOR WHO WRITTEN BY STEVEN MOFFATT PRODUCED BY STEVEN MOFFAT CHARACTER RE-DESIGNS SUGGESTED BY STEVEN MOFFATT. Yeah, OK, we 'get' it, dude, you are running the show now. But do the Daleks 'have' to look like Power Rangers?

The Doctor never encounters a 'couple' of Daleks...he addresses ALL OF THEM. The Doctor never meets a 'few' Angels...he needs to fight off an INVASION OF THEM. Yes, the series is basically a hero fights bad monsters using nothing but his wits (and overusing the hell out of a sonic screwdriver)...but sheesh, I'm starting to get tired just WATCHING that many Daleks on a TV screen at once! Moderation is the key. Because if the Doctor constantly beats entire invasions of millions of monsters...then he's not the Doctor anymore, he's friggin' Alexander The Great. Better not state that too loudly, though, otherwise next season the Doctor will be seen wiggling out of one of Alexander's war elephants' butts.

2. The Question That Should Never Be Answered Is A Freakin' Joke. Not much to say here to this one, really. Only that it's a sad and pathetic day in the annals of 'Doctor Who' when the producer feels the need to pen a season-spanning storyline out of what was previously regarded as a barely-tolerable in-joke. Yeah, the show is called 'Doctor Who'. Yeah, the main character calls himself  'The Doctor' and despite a few jokey exchanges over time, has never appended a name after the honorific title other than the obviously-fake 'Jon Smith'. And yeah, that means he essentially is 'Doctor...Who?' It's been that way for achingly close on 50 years now, and it looks to continue to be that way for some time to come. But to turn it into, variously, a long-running 'gag' AND as the final destination point of a season's worth of stories? That takes the cake, it truly does. Sometimes, you can really see that the true blueprint for Steven Moffatt's version of  'Doctor Who' was 'The Curse Of Fatal Death'.

..though, to be fair? Rowan Atkinson would make a better Doctor than Matt Smith, hands-down, and that special was proof of that.

1. THIS Incarnation Of The Doctor Will Usher In The 50th. The previous nine entries are testament to how I feel about Matt Smith's era and Steven Moffatt's producer ship of  'Doctor Who'. And yet, for all the hundreds and hundreds of dollars I've spent collecting various Whoniverse items, for the pages and pages I've written in stories, reviews, news items, as well as editing them in the pages of 'The Whostorian' magazine and the hours of work it took to produce usable material as co-host of the podcast...THIS adolescent cartoon is what will be the platform that 'Doctor Who' celebrates its grand 50th Anniversary? An event I've personally waited upon for well over 20 years of my life...and it will be brought to me by the same producer who gave me bow ties, Power Ranger Daleks, and 'Dinosaurs On A Spaceship'. Really? Now, if THAT isn't a collective kick in Rassilon's Tomb, I don't know what is!


  1. Although overall I like the Eleventh Doctor, I also agree with most of your criticisms of him. Just one thing I'd like to pick you up on (and I'm being nit-picky here) but, at least over here in London, the Eleventh Doctor's outfit is really quite fashionable, especially among the hipster-crowd. Seriously, I see like 20 people wearing similar things most every day. Now, whether this is a result of 11 or the other way round is lost on me. Anyway good to finally see the reasons for your dislike, I greatly enjoyed reading it.

    1. I like his outfit very much too, i don't really follow doctor who, it's also most likely before my time (1993(, but i have seen a bit of it.

      in my opinion, a character need not to look badass to be badass, look at Eric Cartman, he's a fat ugly child, he is dressed in winter clothing, does he HAVE to dress badass to be badass? hell no.

      Though, then again, I guess the point of this rant is that all the doctors had some badass apppearance, but the OP thinks the eleventh doctor doesn't look badass and for him, maybe that's "important" somehow.

  2. Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated. I don't personally believe that the 11th Doctor's outfit was based upon existing fashion, simply because it was not initially 'meant' to be his outfit; it was a very late date that Matt Smith insisted on that look, as he has viewed 'The Tomb Of The Cybermen' and wanted to base his Doctor's look somewhat on Patrick Troughton's; the plan prior to that apparently was to have him wear something described as being similar to Johnny Depp in 'Pirates Of The Caribbean', believe it or not! LOL..Again, thanks for your comments, and for reading and enjoying!

  3. I never really liked the Eleventh Doctor before and now, after I have read this, i realize how much I like him. I almost felt offended. I do agree with some of your criticisms but....Bowties ARE cool. I'm sorry. They just are.

    1. Thank you before reading this I wasn't to sure but now i realize that I love the 11th doctor he may never pass the 10th Doctor but I don't think anyone ever will.!

  4. david tenant was by far my favorite and i believe matt smith is by far the worse, i have been arguing the exact same points in the same fashion ever since matt smith became the doctor. i started re-watching the tenant episodes and it make me So So sad to think that it will never be as good as that ever again because matt smith and all the damage to the daleks and cybermen and the structure of the show itself has left the show with an unbearably weak foundation to build up from.

    1. I am so glad you think so!!!! David Tennant is the best BEST BEST BEST Doctor in the New Who series. (Sorry to all ya'll smith fans, but he is, no doubt about it) Matt Smith was too childish, in my opinion. He would be super funny, and childish, and immature, and having fun, and bla bla bla, then SUDDDENLY he's all like, "oh I'm the Doctor I'm gonna destroy I'm so bad I'm so super cool and totally DON'T act like a 5 year old!" (that was sarcasm btw) I think that David Tennant is just the best and I want him to come back. After all, in "The Day of The Doctor" the curator says,
      "Maybe we'll be seeing some new faces, but only the old favorites" (sorry, I do not remember the exact words)
      David Tennant is DEFINITELY a favorite! I do understand that he left because he didn't want to get stale, but (for me and probably a billion other people) he will NEVER get old or stale. Every time I watch 'The End of Time' (his regeneration) I am sobbing tears all over the computer and, when his face changes, I get so mad at Matt Smith for stealing my favorite Doctor (I know that's not true, but it feels like that) that I slam the computer closed and yell, "SHUT UP, SMITH, NO ONE CARES, GO AWAY!!!!"
      That is just how I feel about the 11th Doctor. I just really don't like him... 'nuff said. :)

  5. Another thing that I don't like is that they took what I thought was the MEANING of doctor who, and they threw it in the trash. What I thought the meaning was that anyone could be brilliant. The doctor said several times that he thought humans were magnificent, or thought they "looked like giants" to him. The doctor would take a temp, or a store clerk, or a trainee doctor and show them the universe. He would show them that they are amazing, Donna being an extrodinary case of that. But now, the doctor seems to get annoyed with humans all the time. Now I'm only a young teen, so no one normally listens tony opinion, so I'm glad to have found this and I enjoyed reading this post.

    1. I'm 20, and I think your opinion is close to be deep.

      But to be honest, not all doctors has to be all human-loving.

    2. Eleven has lived far more than any other Doctor (WIth the brief exception of Hartnell) and has been disappointed, frustrated and is, in truth, the most 'sad' Doctor. He realised that everyone he gets close dies. He simply shields himself in an illusion that he hates humans so he can leave them to have happy lives. THIS is deep acting and i have to admit that ypu ARE right in some aspects, Smith's acting and clothing style are OK< but Moffat's writing is bad; Moffat is trying to make New Who a clevery-wevery thing and return with the story arc system when it's obsolete, by making story-arc-esque episodes. Of course he is not that bad, at least he can think on original plotlines, but he doesn't have to be THAT clever when working them. I hate S6, and Moffat's fixing his faults by S7 P2, with the 'Impossible Clara' story-arc-esque episodes being less clever, yet intriguing. He also seems to be lacking on emotion, and he has this thing about introducing characters and not working them correctly. Davies introduced Capt. Jack, and worked with him so weel that he gained a spin-off; Now Moffat introduced the Partenoster Gang as supporting characters that the one and only reason to exist on the show is to add an homossexual character and bring the Doctor to Trenzalore.

    3. Damn I swear I do hate you David tennant fans. I suppose you don't remember the ninth doctor calling humans apes on multiple occasions.

  6. I agree entirely on ALL your points. Not only did they MURDER my favourite doctor (David Tennant), but they replaced him with a bow-tie loving nerd that made me want to throw up after the FIRST episode. To add insult to injury they made that annoying professor River Song as a main character. I hated her in the Library arc, I loathe her now.

  7. Completely agree with everything you said. I find Matt Smith's performance forced and much too "crazy" for my taste. He just reminds me of an immature smartass condescending self centered adolescent. No gravitas, no poise. As childish as the doctor has become, so has the show. The storylines are either cliché (the fillers) where the writers can only come up with the Doctor talking his ennemies to death or using his goddam awful screwdriver, or then about intentionnally incomprehensible storylines about time and time and gigantic time and how the doctor is literally the center of the universe. Seriously if you took Smith's screwdriver and his voice for one whole episode, we would get a 12th doctor by the end of it. The companions are pretty rubbish but I have some hope for the new girl: could not stand Amy and her boring Rory. Not enough grit, not enough serious. Moffat needs to hand in the reins to somebody who actually cares about the show, because at the moment the show is just getting unsufferably sloppy and unwatchable, relying more and more on pretty faces, oneliners, fez hats, bow ties, cheap emotion and CGI. End of rant. Thanks for the excellent read!!!!

    1. I agree about the shit about fex hats, bow ties, who the fuck cares if he likes glasses, ties, bow ties, fez, i mean for fucks sake WHO?

  8. This is, by far, the biggest pile of BS i have ever read.
    I disagree with basically everything.

    1. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and if you disagree with Shannon, then that's cool. Thanks for reading.

      - Steve

  9. I personally LOVE the 11th Doctor and I feel like the way he is just makes the show funny and not WAY to dramatic and he doesn't take it to seriously.!
    Though I agree with all the people that said David Tennant was amazing he was far beyond amazing actually.! And I personally think following Tennant would be hard, but I think that Smith got what he was going for and I LOVE him.!
    His bowtie may not be the coolest thing but it sets him apart from said other Doctors

  10. I can't say I agree with your opinions, but you did a very great job putting them out there. I do see issues with Smith. Tennant is by far my favorite doctor. I do see that Smith has brought much too much slap stick to the character, and the Doctor's reverence for the human race seems to be gone. I do however understand why this has happened. It's an unmistakeable fact that Smith has brought the series "main stream" and has probably increased sales for all the merchandise 100 fold. This is not to discredit Eccleston or Tennant who definitely played huge parts in making the series what it is. And I would love to see some of the seriousness brought back from there era, but the fact is they would probably lose some of their newly found fan base and thus would cancel the series. TV executives don't really put much thought into content vs following. I do enjoy the cheekyness of Smith with some things. I don't mind at all the "I wear ______, ______ are cool" it's kind of a catch phrase for this incarnation of the doctor. After all Tennant had "avante". I really didn't mind either the implied romantic interlude with Amy and The Doctor. In fact I was very sad when she went. She was the perfect balance for the current Doctor's high holy hand, she was there to put him in his place. Overall I'm still fairly happy with the series I don't want to poke too many holes in the plot, but I really think until the income for the series finally plateaus that we'll have to put up with the slap stick and cheekyness of the current incarnation but I think we'll see maybe in a year or so when they finally retire Smith, a return to the Eccleston, Tennant type Doctor.

  11. I agree with most of the article except the bit about the 11th doctor's costume - which is fine by British standards and pretty much in keeping with the show's history. The problem is basically Steven Moffatt's approach. The show has lost its connection with the mainstream public because it's tried to be too clever and complex with its incomprehensible 'story arcs' (which are always such let-downs at the end that they make me shake my head and switch channels). The companions are getting more and more irritating. Amy Pond was sulky and often unpleasant. The scripts are an incoherent jumble. Neither Pond nor Clara nor the current Doctor seem capable of opening their mouths without uttering some 'clever' or 'snappy' sound bite - usually at 100 miles an hour. Dialogue in the TARDIS isn't dialogue any more it's just a one-liner competition - most of it embarrassingly juvenile. If the programme doesn't shape up (preferably by changing producers) and calm down, the 12th Doctor will be the last.

  12. I agree, totally. I just can´t understand how come so many people can LOVE the 11th, I hated his guts since the first episode. after all i managed to watch most of them, but NEVER more then once. As for the 9th and 10th - I rewatched them several times. Lately rewatching some I realized one thing: with the 9th regenerating to the 10th it was a smooth proces and we really felt it still was the same Doctor - thought different, but the same, and the universe he lived in was the same. But when Smith appeared his performance had absolutely NO LINK with the previous incarnatios of the Doctor exept for his desperate attempts to act like Tennant. As if we started to watch a completelz new series. Definitelly, Moffat is to blame: he changed the whole doctor who universe and he cast Smith.. Although it is quite surprising he did such a wonderfull job on Sherlock and spoiled the whoverse so much.. And also episodes he wrote during the RZD era were amazing.. Well, maybe he is just better at writing particullar stories than creating whole series, unfortunatelly.

  13. I've just begun watching the sixth season of Doctor Who, and I can agree with all of your points, with the exception of one.
    True, Matt Smith hasn't had much experience and I don't think he should have been chosen to be the doctor with such little experience, but I feel that his acting is just average. It's not horrible, but after Tennant's stunning portrayal of the Doctor it's hard to compete.
    The Doctor's clothing, though definitely eccentric, was not as big of an issue to me. However, I don't think it speaks to his psychological state. We dress how we feel, usually, and I am a bit bothered that the Doctor chose to continue dressing in a happy manner. If I remember correctly, he "didn't want to go". Why would he dress like he's ready to have himself a good time at the Spoken Word cafés down the way?
    I also don't feel that it is completely Smith's fault for my dislike of the fifth season and the eleventh doctor's run in general. His companions, specifically Amy Pond, have completely begun to take over the show and make it more about themselves rather than the time travelling adventures they have.
    From what I had heard prior to watching the eleventh doctor, I was expecting a fun, whimsical, though slightly immature, doctor but instead received an immature, out of character (yelling at Amy to "shut up"? Really?) Time Lord that I really haven't enjoyed so far. I'm really hoping that it is just Smith following Moffat's orders and not the beginning of the end (which is soon in sight if Moffat continues to be an ass).
    I hope that Peter Capaldi is a better doctor than Smith because I won't be able to watch the show if it descends to nothing more than a horrible attempt to blend two minutes of science fiction with snogging in a blue box while complimenting the doctor (oh wait...)
    I could be completely wrong. I am 15 (obviously a NuWhovian), and I hope I'm not completely missing the point here. As soon as I catch up on NuWho (and have time) I want to watch Classic Who. It was always my plan since I first began watching, but reading this review has definitely made that goal much more important. I applaud your critiques and I hope to watch classic who asap.

    1. I agree about his clothing issues. I loved David Tennant's "I don't want to go" and now I'm like, well you don't seem to have a problem with it! I mean he is the same person, I would like it Matt Smith tried to remember a bit of his life as the 10th. The 10th talks about Rose all the time, but now it's like, "Rose? Isn't that a flower?" Like, dude! Seriously! I want to see some of the doctor's past mentioned some more. I would be so ecstatic if, somehow, they would bring back my old faves...
      BTW, Was anyone super let down by the 11th's regeneration? I mean, where'd the fire hands go???

  14. Although the eleventh doctor is much more childish, he is still the doctor. He has the same emotions, just stuffed in a bucket. Unlike the tenth, who would talk with his companions about his emotions about the time war and what not, the eleventh hides it and it comes out in outbursts, i.e. The Angels take Manhattan, the Snowmen, the Pandorica Opens, etc. He just tries to mask it up. Matt Smith did a great job taking on the role of the doctor, he made bow ties and fezzes popular and the doctor is still that witty time lord, he still gets angry, he still gets sad, he just masks it in his new personality. Also, the 7th series outfit makes him look much more mature.

  15. Most of your points seem to be about Moffat and the writing of Matt Smith's era rather than the Doctor himself... and though I agree that some episodes are far from brilliant, I think it is unfair to blame any of the actors for that. Personally, I think that Matt's costume fits his Doctor's personality perfectly, and why should he have conformed to something similar to Tennant or Eccleston (both brilliant)? Yes, the Doctor went through the Time War and became darker but perhaps the Eleventh Doctor deals with this differently to his previous incarnations, by acting carefree and childish. That could also apply to your point that the Doctor is more human. After all, he spends most of his time around them, it's not surprising that they've rubbed off on him.
    I think the point that Matt Smith can't act is a matter of opinion, and in my opinion, he is brilliant. A prime example is 'Nightmare in Silver'.
    Finally, a note on the historical figures
    ... what about Vincent Van Gogh? A brilliant episode with an insight into his insanity and some beautiful lines from Bill Nighy. One of my favourites :)

  16. In my opinion i do agree that Matt Smiths performance of the Doctor is not the greatest as an actor but i think most of the issues with his character is horrible writing and horrible stories i think Matt Smith is just doing exactly what his script says which in turn makes him a horrible Doctor. I have been a fan since 1988 and have actually stopped watching it after Amy and Rory left and not because i liked them no i absolutely hated their characters but i guess it was like watching a train wreck and you have to see it finish i stopped as the new trains started chugging along directly into each other once again. I will be watching the special this weekend mostly because of David Tennant and i will be back for the Christmas special just to see the eleventh doctor die but if the series continues with its horrible writing i might pack my bags and leave until this version of the series is canceled and returns in 2025.

  17. I love the fact that you focused more on the producing and story wise than just the actor..
    I'm not going to say that he is a bad actor. i just think that writing is bad.
    The reason i hate the bow tie is because every other episode i hear him say "bow ties are cool". I'm getting tired of the producers trying to force me to think that something is cool. All the doctors had cool outfits because they were awesome in their own way, not because they were pushing it down my throat all the time.
    I seriously blame the producing part. They saw Tennants playful way of the Doctor and pushed it further unfortunately giving as this. Doctor Who now has some elements that lead to a childish show (for me at least) and i find it really annoying..

    That's why i'm really excited for Peter Capaldi. I'm pretty sure it's gonna turn the show 180degrees to its right place :)

  18. Matt Smith is not a "Bad Actor" by any stretch of the imagination.

  19. I actually agree with you, completely-other then the last point...the 50th was worth watching, 11 made no sense to me, and his final episode i just don't like the Amy Pond either....
    don't mind me if i share this on tumblr, you bring up a lot of good points, that people don't see

  20. bow ties are used by all people who lack a personality
    "just wear a bow tie" he thinks "itll make up for being a crushing bore"
    or a bad actor

  21. Wow so much hate for the Eleventh. You shouldn't call yourself a fan because everyone has their favourites but I haven't seen such amount of hate from a fan for any non-favourite incarnation. You need to accept the change. I am disappointed that such fans exist in the fandom.

  22. SPOILERS through season 5, part of 6:

    Oh my god, thank the cosmos for you and this post. I just discovered the Whoverse and tore through every episode of the Ninth and Tenth doctors. I loved Eccleston SO EFFING MUCH that I was gutted when he regenerated, thinking, who the hell is this new guy? And then very soon I was absolutely MAD about Tennant, I loved him so so much. Like, I was like Donna "you fought a rock monster with a water pistol. I bloody love you!" Anyway, I hadn't become such a giant fan of anything since I was a little kid and reading fantasy/sci-fi for the first time. Seriously. I sobbed when Rose said goodbye to Ten. I cried like crazy when Ten finally regenerated with the heartbreaking "I don't want to go."

    Throughout Tennant's tenure, people kept saying to the Doctor "he's the most wonderful man" - and he was. But then ... but then ... came season five. It was like ... like ... the WB network took over Doctor Who. I agree with everything you wrote and could add fifty more things. Everything is messed up. I hate that they revamped the TARDIS to make it shiny and new. I hate all the affectations - because that is only what they can be called. The typewriter on the TARDIS console. Making random crap out of egg beaters. It is so self-consciously twee and I can.not. stand. it!
    (Continued ...)

  23. (part2)

    Please pardon my rage, but it's like someone murdering your best friend. I just don't get it, either ... because I love Sherlock, and Moffat's episodes pre- series 5 were usually great. Blink! The Empty Child! But there is so much that he gets wrong in this it's staggering.

    When Ten meets River Song in the library, it's the first time the Doctor is meeting her, and she says "I've never seen you look so young." What the actual f**ck? Because then she hangs around baby-faced Doctor endlessly. And ... this will make me seem obsessed, but ... the Judoon should NOT have been among the alliance of enemies that put the Doctor into the Pandorica. They weren't his enemies! Just clumsy cops. They are in charge of the Shadow Proclamation! Allies! And how is it that all of the enemies can suddenly just Time Travel at will? It used to be that they at least tried to explain how it was happening ... how a single Dalek ends up in 2012 or whenever it was that they found it in the museum in Utah. It's like the Moffat Whoverse literally doesn't care at all what came before. It's like everything before never existed, except for River Song. It's become Harry Potter gone bad - anything is possible, but the writing still sucks. Does he just not care at all about Donna anymore? Or Wilfred? Nothing? Not to mention Rose and Martha? NOTHING AT ALL? Did the whole world where Harriet Jones was Prime Minster and London on Christmas was always the most dangerous place in the whole universe just ... never happen?


  24. (part3)

    When RTD was running things, one of the best episodes of sci-fi TV I've ever seen was 'Midnight' - all down to incredible acting, amazing writing, and excellent sound. That's it! The whole thing basically in one room. And now they have all the money in the world and it's shallow, petulant, awful. They shoot on location at the Musee D'Orsay and in Province and it looked better, in my opinion, when it was always a sound stage in Wales.

    I don't even care about the Bow Tie. Wear a fez! Be my guest! Tennant wore chucks and spent an episode putting 3D glasses on and it took forty minutes for anyone to ask him why and yet IT WORKED. He even had fake glasses! That he would randomly wear! When he wanted to look smart! Even in life and death situations, he's suddenly just need glasses, when he wasn't even reading. But I loved it, because Tennant sold EVERYTHING so well.

    I don't like Smith's choices for the Doctor, but they wouldn't be so awful if the writing didn't suck so much and there wasn't such wild, blatant disregard for the pre-existing Whoverse. I was so happy when I thought they'd finally killed Amy when robot-roman-Rory shot her. But then no! Still there! The woman who wanted to have a one night stand with THE DOCTOR the night before her wedding.

    And the Ikea Daleks. What? Seriously.

    No continuity. No regard for ... anything. So they're there during the Blitz, talking to Churchill, yeah? So somewhere out there, aren't there also a bunch of weird people with gas mask faces, and Captain Jack Harkness trying to sell a crashed alien hospital ship? And the Ninth Doctor and Rose running around? OR WAS THAT JUST A DIFFERENT BLITZ?

    And time was so dangerous to mess with that Rose's dad had to die. And putting Rose in a parallel world was so necessary, and meant that she HAD to stay there, and they couldn't be together even though it BROKE HER HEART and the hearts of everyone else watching. That she, a normal human being! - spent however long trying to CROSS SPACE AND TIME to find him again - for god's sake ... after all that you're really just going to toss aside everything that came before, Moffat? So it doesn't matter now? Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers' - painted in France by a Dutchman - say "For Amy" on them IN ENGLISH?

    I weep. I really do. Don't spoil anything specific, but is Twelve better? Does Peter manage to right the ship at all? Can it be saved? Or should I just get my mourning over with and accept that I am no longer a fan of Doctor Who ...

    1. ohhh i can totally relate to you..thank you for putting it all into words..i agree with you completely..

  25. Despite all the comments down here, I agree with everything you said. Thank You.

  26. I'm probably older than most people on this thread, being 42. The first Doctor Who story I remember watching was The Hand of Fear in 1976. So I grew up with Tom Baker as the Doctor, and was stricken when he regenerated because an important aspect of my childhood was flushed down the drain. I continued to watch Doctor Who for the next few years, but never saw much of Sylvester McCoy as I thought the programme by that time had got too camp and silly.

    I was elated when the new series of Doctor Who came out in 2005. I watched it avidly. But over time I saw the same degeneration, in that my interest dwindled once the programme became camp and silly again, largely due to Steven Moffat's input. Remember that he is romantically involved with Sue Vertue, which means that the Doctor Who production team centres on this couple. (This aspect of the show is downplayed on the internet.)

    In my view Matt Smith is probably a good actor but he was mis-cast. How can a fledgling portray an extremely old alien? How can the chemistry between the Doctor and River Song work with an actor who is young enough to be her son? It can't.

    Matt Smith's wardrobe was overly designed. Actually, he looks like a nerdy public schoolboy. How alien is that? Seeing the teaser trailer for Peter Capaldi makes me think that the same mistake of over-design is being made.

    You just have to consider that Moffat is not a good character writer. During Russell T. Davies' tenure the characters were the washing-line on which to hang the plot; during Moffat's tenure the plot has been a washing line on which to hang the characters.

    You end up not caring for them. Rory and Amy can go to hell as far as I am concerned.

    Moffat needs to be got rid of. He fucks around with the format too much, for the sake of his own self-aggrandisement. He think's he's the best in the business. He thinks that keeping the fans guessing is a good move - but re-scheduling the programme into twice-yearly bursts is just a testament to his own ego.

    I bought the first three new series on DVD, but I find myself too uninterested to carry on buying them. Do you feel the same way?

  27. Sorry, but you were wrong with number 4 I think the Tenth Doctor is more "human" than any other Doctor (He falls in love, says constant references to pop culture) and that seemed to me an insult.


  28. The thing I will miss most about Matt is (as cheesy as it sounds) Number 11 as a whole. Matt brought so much to the role, no matter what people said.

    I personally feel that his Doctor was relatable, on a note; as he acts quirky and happy-go-lucky and marvels over fezzes and Stetsons, when in reality, it's all just a mask to conceal his dark past that always haunts him to this day.

    The reason I feel he is relatable is because what do you usually do when you are faced with a big problem that you don't want to solve right away? You run away from them. But the thing to remember is, he finally faces what he did and learns to live with his past (while also taking off his cool bowtie!!) and accepts his fate by being his old goofy self.
    And that, for me, is proof that Matt was indeed a great Doctor and his legacy will live on.


  29. Sorry, but it seems unfair to criticize in such a hard way to lean Eleventh Doctor when the Tenth Doctor jerk was much worse.

    Matt Smith did a good job, and always will remember him as my Doctor.

  30. As the leaves wither and die on the trees and the kids prepare their costumes, I contemplated a Halloween-themed blog this week. Then I ...

  31. This is so... accurate! My doctor is the 10th, I was impressed by him since he appeared on the screen and Tennant's acting was incredible. "David Tennant is such a superior actor, he could play the shark in 'Jaws'." <- I agree, I wish I saw this.
    Oh, and now I'm re-watching entire show since 2005 and 11th... annoyes me so much! I don't know why some people are obsessed with him and his clothes. When he changed 10th's clothes to 11th's in s05e01 I was like: 'Are you kidding me? Bow tie? Tweed jacket??? My grandpa's got one! Okay, now you can talk you're more than 900 years old.'
    Yep, let's say that's all Moffat's fault 'cause he's been creating DW since 5th series. I'm not sure if it was really good decision. IMO he didn't create the-doctor-who-saves-the-world-every-time. I'm glad it's the end of his era. Instead he could write new episodes of Sherlock, maybe? ;) #sherlockiansandwhovianshatemoffat