By Abhilasha Singh:
When I started my journey with “Doctor Who“, I remember having a certain fondness for Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor. It probably had something to do with the fact that he was my first Doctor ever, and a little more to do with the fact that his body language reminded me of someone very dear. He was energetic, mysterious, playful and a complete badass, but before I got to fall in love with him, he was gone. Poof. Regenerated.
My love for Eccleston kept me from being all that generous with my love for David (Tennant) for the first two episodes. How could I let some new actor replace my beloved, selfless Doctor who’d just begun to shed his armour and exhibit tenderness?
I tried hard to hold back but after a point, I couldn’t help but give in. 10 (Tenth Doctor) was emotional, reserved and childlike, all of which I found appealing, and with a face like that, who can really resist? My love for 10 was (sadly) short-lived, though. When Rose left, something else left with her. I realised that I didn’t like him as much as I thought I did, and part of why I liked him had something to do with her. Needless to say, the season with Martha was my least favourite. Firstly, because she came too soon after Rose and, secondly, because she fell in love with the Doctor. Rose’s Doctor.
Donna was a lovely companion, a welcome relief from Martha, and with their occasional squabbles, my entertainment was ensured. “The Fires of Pompeii” restored my faith in David Tennant’s Doctor, who had by then begun to turn a tad bit whiny and I’d almost begun to fangirl over him again. Too bad he regenerated soon after. Was I heartbroken? Yes. Was I devastated? No.
Before my tears dried up after Tennant’s regeneration, I caught myself smiling. Matt Smith was on screen and damn, was he a blast from the word “go”.
Oh, that man. Fantastic Doctor, he was. Fantastic enough to make me cry my eyes out and refuse to watch season eight for an entire week. A girl who’d previously had no trouble binge watching even seemingly awful TV shows was now too hurt to watch more than an episode of season eight at a time. I suppose my acceptance will come along with Clara’s, in time.
You must be wondering why I like Matt Smith so much, and it is a perfectly legit question for someone who probably hasn’t watched the series or is a Tennant fan. (Are there still any Eccleston fan’s out there? I wish there are, he was fantastic.) Anyways. Back to Matt Smith.
If anyone has seen a single video clip of his outside of “Doctor Who”, they can’t not agree with the fact that he is nothing short of perfect, even when he’s asking people to look at his muscles on a loop. He brings to the Doctor what nobody else, in my opinion, has and will forever be the only person to pull off a scene depicting internal conflict with a cyber-self as effortlessly as he did.
Not only was Matt a brilliant actor, but 11 a brilliant Doctor as well. The kind of Doctor I never wanted to let go of and the kind of Doctor I’d never want to see regenerate. He had a bounce to his step and a glitter in his eyes, and though his spirit was unbreakable, he was so beautifully vulnerable and sensitive. He was the same old Doctor with the same conflicts, pain and memories, but was so amazingly fresh at the same time. He was so very old, but still so young and fascinated with the universe and all it had to offer. Whenever he looked at anything new, a planet, a creature or a species, he looked at it with awe and delight, never judgement. He made everything and everyone he met feel special and marvellous, never letting them for a single moment believe that they were unimportant. In a world as cynical and wounded as ours, we need more people like the 11th Doctor. To restore our faith in human life and our inherent goodness, and make us believe in something greater than ourselves.
The 11th incarnation of that child of Gallifrey gave me hope and something to believe in while providing answers to a question nobody wants to ask or answer as he left. He made me feel like I belonged and he made me feel important and beautiful in a way that is very different from the way those sentiments are conventionally interpreted. He gave me something to identify with and made me think. Anyone who knows me knows how much I appreciate that last bit. (And he also claimed to be a Sagittarius, so double win.)
If you still aren’t convinced that this man is amazing and worth giving a damn about, read his last words and you will be. On this post, those are to be mine too.
“..Times change, and so must I… we all change. When you think about it, we are all different people, all through our lives and that’s okay, that’s good! You’ve gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this, not one day. I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.”