Having recently learned that David Tennant plans to give up the TARDIS at the end of the next abbreviated series of Doctor Who (we Yanks tend to be a bit late on the uptake for news like that from across the pond), I just found out who the 11th Doctor will be after Tennant leaves: Matt Smith.
Forgive me, my UK readers, but before I found the BBC press release, I’d never heard of this guy before. (Of course, I had never really heard of David Tennant before he was chosen and only later realized that he had played Barty Crouch, Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and he turned out OK, didn’t he?)
One thing that strikes me right off the bat is that he’s very young (26), perhaps too young, in my opinion. Indeed, he’s younger than Peter Davison was (29) when he took over the role. Personally, I like my Doctors to have a bit more age and appearance of experience to them, like John Pertwee–or even Christopher Eccleston. On the plus side, he does have a nicely “alien” look about him, which could be used to good advantage in playing the Doctor. Indeed, his facial bones almost have a David Bowiesque quality to them from back around the time when androgyny and Ziggy Stardust were all the rage. He also has eyes that resemble Peter Davison’s, particularly in this picture. Unfortunately, I have no idea how good an actor he is.
The commentary from the British press summarized here gives me reason for hope, although some wags have suggested that “they couldn’t have played it any safer if they’d just cloned David Tennant and subtracted a decade.” I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, fellow Who fans, what say you?