Unless you’ve been living in the North Pole for the past few months, and let’s face it, in this unusually warm British summer it’s feasible you may have moved there to cool off, you can’t fail to have heard that Matt Smith is leaving his role as The Doctor in Doctor Who to be replaced by someone as yet unnamed. Worry not though at 7.00pm on Sunday the BBC are hosting a live, yes that’s a live broadcast fronted by Zoe Ball, with actors who have been previous Doctors, Matt Smith and the Moff (that’s Steven Moffat, series Show-runner to the un-initiated) all in attendance. Although I am a huge fan of Doctor Who, and have been since Tom Baker and his unusually long scarf I find this a somewhat odd occurrence. Yes, I am aware it’s the fiftieth anniversary, and that the changing of the Doctor is a huge event to both fans and press alike, I am just not sure it warrants a show all of its own. As a fan, I’d much rather have half an hour of some Classic Who on my screen, or a nice little Documentary, or indeed anythingother than a programme about an announcement, as I do feel we have been somewhat short changed on this most auspicious of years. However this won’t stop me being glued to my television at 7.00pm. Neither will it stop me gaffataping my kids mouths so they won’t talk over the main announcement of who is going to play the twelfth Doctor.
As I’ve already mentioned I’ve been a fan for quite a number of years, I can remember Jon Pertwee but Tom Baker is ‘my Doctor’ I watched religiously for years, ignoring wobbly sets, and bad make-up, right up until the eighties, when boys and weekend jaunts to The Hacienda became somewhat more appealing. I survived the wilderness years with no Doctor Who, mostly unscathed. Then, much to my trepidation in 2005 Doctor Who returned to TV with an episode called Rose, and Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor. I was nervous for this new Who, this was going to have to be something very special to win back the press and fans. Doctor Who had become something of a joke before it was cancelled. I wasn’t really convinced about this new Doctor Who when watching Rose, the Autons have never been my favourite monster; I did however love Eccleston as an actor. I have always liked his earnest face and of course he’s Northern, always a bonus in my book, being Northern lass myself. The End of The World was better and then by the time Dalek aired, a brilliantly written and acted episode I was hooked again, merchandise began to creep back into my home, conventions were attended. Eccleston stayed for one series and then came Tennant. I loved David Tennant’s Doctor, I loved everything about him and am not ashamed to say I fancied him a little....ok, I fancied him a lot. I was absolutely and completely devastated when it was announced Tenant was to leave, and when they declared Matt Smith as number eleven I knew for certain I wasn’t going to like him. I discussed this at length to the amusement of family and friends. He’s too weird, he’s too young, he is NOT the Doctor, who is he? And then came The Eleventh Hour, a wonderfully comedic and touching episode that introduced us to Matt Smith’s Doctor and instantly in his first few minutes on screen I knew he was The Doctor. The writing is so perfect, so attuned to the nuances of the actor’s personality that within minutes I had quite forgotten the previous regeneration, so consumed was I by the story. Within minutes I loved the new regeneration just as much if not more than the last.
One of my main concerns about Matt Smith was his young age, the youngest actor ever to take on the role of The Doctor. I wasn’t sure one so young could play the space and time travelled Doctor, this Time Lord who had seen and suffered so much, however, I really shouldn’t have worried about this. You see although The Doctor is 900 years old, the age of his current face is inconsequential, as long as you believe in his experience and the story is good. After all what is Doctor Who if not a good old fashioned Fairy Tale, and who is The Doctor if not a good old fashioned hero, a good witch, a knight in shining armour, come to slay the dragon, the Dalek or the Weeping Angel. So if the age of the face is insignificant therefore is not the actual face insignificant, and do we really need a live show to herald the next actor to take on the role? Personally I don’t think so, but of course, I will be watching, will you?