The Britophile: Why I like the new Doctor Who
Melissa may be 'The Britophile' but Doctor Who has never been one of her British loves. David Tennant was 'easy on the eyes', but how does the new Doctor -- one Matt Smith -- fare in Melissa's estimation?
To be a Britophile or an Anglophile and not be one of those two things seems almost sacrilegious, but there you are. Don’t hate me. (Phew! Glad to get that off my chest.)
I only began watching Doctor Who when David Tennant became the tenth Doctor; I was attracted to Tennant more than the character or the stories. I was sad to see him go, not because he wouldn’t be the Doctor anymore but because I wouldn’t be seeing him on my television screen every week.
So what do I make of Matt Smith, the new Doctor Who? I considered not watching the show at all, sort of a personal protest against losing Tennant. How silly is that? But like I said, I wasn’t a Whovian to begin with. Besides, Smith isn’t nearly as easy on the eyes as David Tennant. Shallow? You bet.
But still, I watched out of curiosity. Would he live up to the legacy that is Doctor Who, or would he fall flat on his face? Who was this Matt Smith guy anyway?
I’ll tell you who he is – he is a brilliant actor, fresh faced and full of energy. Smith ‘regenerates’ the Doctor Who character with a hell of a lot of spunk and charm. He’s clever, funny and at times, down right silly. I like silly.
Yes, Tennant had his silly moments too, but not like this. Matt Smith is a master of using body language to express curiosity and excitement – he is oozing Doctor Who out of every pour. You can just tell that Smith is loving every minute of playing ‘the raggedy doctor’.
While I used to watch Doctor Who for Tennant, Smith makes me want to watch Doctor Who for Doctor Who. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
In my view, Matt Smith appeals very much to teens and young adults like my son, who while walking through the living room, stopped, watched and then sat down and enjoyed the rest of the show with me. Now that’s good television!
Of course, big props go to the writers as well. The first episode featuring the eleventh doctor called ‘Eleventh Hour’ was very well written and just a hoot to watch. The opening scene shows the Doctor hanging on for dear life as the Tardis spins out of control over the London skyline.
He later meets his newest sidekick Amelia Pond or ‘Amy’ played by Karen Gillan. She is quite endearing and in my book has two things going for her from the start: she’s Scottish and a ginger. Yay for gingers! There is definite chemistry between Smith and Gillan that is enjoyable to watch.
I knew Matt Smith had done a superb job when I found myself still thinking about the show days later. I wanted to watch it again, and I did. Even if you are a die-hard Tennant fan, I hope you’ll give the new Doctor a chance, if for nothing else, the great writing and storytelling. Enjoy it with your kids!
For those in the States, the series is showing on BBC America on Saturdays.
Want to watch UK telly anywhere in the world? Check out UKTV2C.
Melissa, an American with an insatiable appetite for all things British, shares her passion for her former adopted country in her blog Smitten by Britain. Visit her there to share your favourite things about Britain!
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