Over the weekend it was announced that Matt Smith would be leaving Doctor Who, and while I can’t say that I’m surprised (he has had a long run), I am both happy and sad.
Happy that Matt Smith’s career has taken off (because Doctor Who has proved how immensely talented he is), and sad because he was my first Doctor.
That isn’t quite true. I’d caught an episode or two of Nine and Ten, but hadn’t really started watching the show. I started with him and was immediately taken in by the ancient man who sometimes acted like an 5 year-old.
Doctor Who was something I shared with my best friend Jerad, and he died before the first Smith Christmas Special aired (which I still can’t see without being reminded that it was something we’d both been looking forward to, and was the first thing I had to experience without him). And the more I watched the Eleventh Doctor, the more I realized that he wasn’t just dear to me because he was my first Doctor. It was because… he was like Jerad. Jerad was clever and kind, but incredibly hard on himself. He used humor to mask the pain he felt inside, and…
I’m getting sidetracked. Even with all my attachments to Eleven- and I suspect that I will be a sobbing mess because it will be like losing Jerad all over again, I’m still looking forward to the future. Because it’s the nature of the show. We know that each end is a new beginning. That companions come and go, and that the same is true of the Doctor.
I hope that Doctor Who is ready to take the next step. In the grand scheme of the series, we’ve only had a couple of non-white companions, and there absolutely zero regenerations have been a POC or woman. Considering the show has explained that other Time Lords have regenerated as a different gender, and certainly, Melody Pond regenerated as a black girl to become Mels- there’s no canon saying it couldn’t happen.
It would be fantastic, too. The Doctor would be treated differently as a woman or a person of color, and that would be amazing story-wise, seeing a character we’re so familiar with actually have to grapple with how the Universe treats someone else. And it isn’t as though the show would actually change its focus. S/He would still be running around saving people
hunting things. Just seeing it all from a slightly different place.
What are your thoughts on Matt Smith leaving? Or are you waiting until the Anniversary special to even start processing it?