BBC makes questionable choice for Doctor Who

By Michael Vass | January 5, 2009

Matt Smith is the new Doctor. Who is he? Good question. He was nowhere on my radar screens, nor those of any Brit I have read about.

For those not familiar I’m talking about the 11th actor to play the titular role of Dr. Who. The show has been on the BBC for 45 years, and has been on American television (and BBC America) for decades. It is probably as popular and well-followed as Star Trek and/or Star Wars. It is definitely one of the top programs in the world, and likely the longest running non-news program (not including soap operas) ever.

Currently David Tennant is the Doctor. His appearance was debated long and hard, but he quickly won over fans with his quirky, witty, fast-paced portrayal of the Doctor. His version is brash, playful, and perhaps one of the most violent of all the Doctors. When he stated he was leaving the program after 3 years – which is a shame really – there was no end to guesses of who might replace him.

I too joined in on that game with a list of possibles, plus the insane postulation of a couple of Americans. And since that post I have had several friends debate the likelyhood of the first female Doctor (never going to happen), the first Black Doctor, and my insanity about an American Doctor. Suffice to say the debate over this role has been vigorous, especially in England.

But now the answer is before us. I present to you the new Doctor as of 2010

Photo found at

They have seriously lost their minds at the BBC.

Yes the Doctor is a geek. He is the ultimate nerd, given. But he is also cool and powerful and a hundred other quirks. He has been relatively plain (or ugly depending on your preferences), tall, short, old, young, and now he seems prepubescent.

Honestly, with no insult intended, Matt Smith looks ugly, way too young, and completely immature. I cannot for the life of me envision what makes him seem like the Doctor to anyone at the BBC. And I must admit that I say this without ever having heard his voice, nor seen his acting. Such is the difficulty of being in America.

Still I am a fan. And I am sure I will still watch the program. But with a great big cringe. Hopefully they will at least give the Doctor a companion of ample assets and beauty suffice to distract viewers from his visage. But that is more an American trick than British. [Seriously, like Baywatch had any substance beyond the cloth for the swimsuits]

From what I gathered there are a few things we can hope to expect from a Matt Smith Doctor. An new hairstyle – bald is preferred to what he has in the photo. Far less wit, delivered at far slower speeds.

Matt Smith is no Tom Baker, and decisively no David Tennant. He is young and these days on either side of the pond that is worth a lot to television and movie executives. Sadly that does not often equate to zealous or even moderate approval of the viewing audience.

But I am a fan of the Doctor. I have been for decades. I will watch and cringe, and hope to be amazed – or just not overly disappointed. I will hope for a buxom, brilliant, assistant. I will read the tea leaves for clues to the major villian. I will be a fan. Just that much more reluctantly, and far more willing to see the re-run than the first run.

[Patterson Joseph would still have been the best choice I think.]

Topics: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “BBC makes questionable choice for Doctor Who”

  1. M. Vass

    The following are comments as found at, where I am a contributing author.Andrew Says: January 6th, 2009 at 3:23 am e I was not immediately taken with him either, but I do have faith in the new producer Steven Moffatt (who is a lifelong fan) and also in the BBC not to kill what is arguably their most important and successful show in years. They have seen something in him that annoyingly we will have to wait a year or more to see for ourselves. I literally cannot wait…

  2. M. Vass

    Isabel Guymer Says: January 5th, 2009 at 7:46 pm e Matt Smith is too young, and too ugly. Being ugly is OK for the Doctor, but not “creepy” ugly like Matt Smith. Children won’t like him. Bad choice. Very bad choice. I won’t be buying this series. The Doctor should always be played by a mature actor. (Still reeling from all those horrid Sylvester, Sophie, Mel, Peri, Adric and Freema memories… grrr…)

  3. Simon

    A bit belated, but I only just saw that the next season of Doctor Who is coming back April 3. I’m not a fan of Matt Smith’s rather freakish appearance, and do wonder why the Beeb couldn’t wrap their collective heads around using someone other than a generic-looking white guy for “The Doctor.” A bit of research indicates that as far back as 1976, the series has shown non-white Time Lords (as in “The Deadly Assassin”) — so why couldn’t the Doc have regenerated as another ethnicity?

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