Matt Smith Tribute

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By Will Barber – Taylor

On Saturday the first of June 2013, Matt Smith announced to the world he was quitting Doctor Who only 15 days after the end of Series Seven. During Smith’s era Doctor Who has climbed to new heights and has managed to bring in more viewers from across the world. In this article we say ‘thank you’ to Matt Smith for being the Eleventh Doctor.

Smith first jumped aboard the TARDIS on the 1st of January 2010 taking over from David Tennant. Fans at the time were anxious to see The New Doctor in action. Many worried that Smith would not live up to his predecessors. They, however, were wrong and Matt was embraced not only by the fans but by the production team also.

Saul Metzstein, director of Dinosaurs on A Spaceship, The Snowmen, A Town Called Mercy and many other brilliant episodes had this to say:

Matt Smith is the very best thing about directing Doctor Who. The way he moves around on set makes it incredibly easy to shoot scenes; he’s like Gene Kelly, a man at one with the flow of camera movement and the rhythm of editing. I’d only be half-joking if I said that, stylistically, Doctor Who is a celebration of Matt Smith head turns.  Matt’s also a wonderful, witty and intelligent human being. He’s a peculiar mix of genius old man and teenage boy, not unlike that fictional guy who travels through space and time in a blue box.

Smith’s first full season began several months later with the stunning “Eleventh Hour” which aired on the 3 April 2010. The episode brought in 10.8 Million viewers the highest premier for the series since the first episode, Rose. The new Doctor was being accepted with open arms. Series Five was seen as a roaring success for critics and fans alike and cemented Smith’s reputation as one of the best, for some  – the best Doctor.

Jonathan Swales a youtube user had this to say about Smith’s tenure:

The last three years with Matt Smith have been fun, entertaining and exciting. He’s brought a particular charm to the role of the Doctor and livened things up, making us laugh yet engaging us in the serious drama of the stories when it’s time. The consensus in the NerdSoup community, and the Whoniverse as a whole, seems to be that Matt Smith has been a great Doctor and will be sorely missed. The writing has sometimes been debatable and hasn’t always been enjoyed by everyone, but a great majority of us can all agree that we will miss Matt Smith in his role as the ‘Mad Man with a Box.’

After a spectacular Christmas Special, Smith’s second run began in style on the 23rd of April. After battling with the sinister Silence, Putrid Pirates and Fierce Flesh, Matt’s Doctor was to come face to face with the truth of River Song leading to an exciting mid-season cliff-hanger. Both fans and critics still loved the series and Smith’s incarnation of the Timelord was going from strength to strength. Ray Holman, the costume designer on Matt’s first season had this to say about working with him:

I was one of the first people to work with Matt on the search for his Doctor. We looked hard and long at many ideas and Matt formulated his Doctor and the look in his head during this process. He worked hard at every stage to get everything as well researched as it could be so it could move forward and be a brave new start. He is conscientious and charming and I hope he has as much success in his future career as he has with Doctor Who. It was a pleasure to go through the process with him and sometimes it wasn’t easy, but we did it. I know he has a very good mind and a great interest in film making which is why we will see much more of him in films in the future where he can show the diversity of his talent.

The second part of Series Seven appeared in 2013, debuting with The Bells of Saint John. Though viewing figures were lower than normal, fans still tuned in and critics on the whole enjoyed the series. With the finale The Name of The Doctor ending on a major cliff hanger, fans were even more excited about the 50th than ever. Then, Smith announced that he was leaving. I leave the final words to the brilliant Matt Smith himself:

Doctor Who land, this is a message to say thank you for all your support of the past four years, to Steven Moffat, to all the brilliant cast and crew, it just made the whole journey a marvellous one but what really makes this job truly spectacular is the fans and the support from the fans so, thank you!

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