Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Matt Smith in Doctor Who (BBC 1)

I know the rest of the world was all sobbing because David Tennant's "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry" Doctor was dead, but I was gung-ho for Matt Smith's Doc as soon as they announced him- well, half an hour before they announced him actually, when sitting around the dinner table with the family wondering who it would be, "J.J. Field perhaps?" my sister hoped, "Imagine if it was Lankenstein!" Said I.
Well, it was Lankenstein.
You see, my sister manages to fall in love with up-and-coming actors after seeing them in a local play or hearing them on the radio reading Book of the Week. We went all the way to Edinburgh to see David Tennant who had previously been seen as the creepy vicar in He Knew He Was Right and NOTHING ELSE in a play because Anna fancied him. Then he became world famous as Doctor Who and everyone loves him. Matt Smith Anna saw in Cast B of the History Boys original tour (he was Lockwood) and then heard him read God's Own Country on Radio 4 where he played a psycho-rapist who was fond of Heartbeat and had the unfortunate nickname of Lankenstein. Anna laughed at my flip prediction, she secretly hoped that Lankenstein (Matt Smith to you) would never become famous and she could marry him, so when he appeared it was shock, thrills and horror... Lankenstein was no longer hers, he was to be the nation's favourite alien. The Doctor.
And on Saturday we saw his debut episode. I thought he was bloody good. Instantly engaging, and throughout he was in no way cringy or sentimental- makes a change- well done, all memories of Tennant are erased, Lankenstein, you are The Doctor.
It was time for a young Doctor. Doctor Who is aimed at a young audience- get a life 40 year old sci-fi fans, this is obviously a kids show- Tennant had to go, It was good when he started, really good, because he was relatively young and he had Rose and Martha; twenty somethings that the audience could relate to. His final series with Catherine Tate lost it for me and I'll tell you why, kids don't want to watch two 40 year olds having adventures. Matt Smith and his young sidekick are exactly what the show needs, leads that the target audience want to be friends with.
Problem though (not for me, I loved all of it): Americans don't get Scottish accents. She's lovely and feisty and all but Doctor Who might just have lost it's American following. And another thing Americans like; shmaltz, Tennant was good but sometimes there was too much of that embarrassing sentimentality, *shudder* So American! Of course this was not just Tennant's doing, it was Russell T. Davis, now that he's gone we will have good well-written scary episodes of science fiction. I really look forward to watching the rest of the series.

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