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Published on December 25th, 2013 | by Philip Bates

How Will You Remember The Eleventh Doctor?

Tonight, silence will fall.

Matt Smith, the Eleventh Doctor, regenerates in The Time of the Doctor, written by Steven Moffat. He first appeared in 2010, the youngest actor to take on the role, making his debut briefly in The End of Time before announcing himself properly as the Doctor in The Eleventh Hour. In three incredible series and a ground-breaking 50th anniversary special, the Doctor’s eaten fish fingers and custard, made friends and enemies, battled Daleks and Cybermen, and proved that bow ties are cool.

We asked the Kasterborous team how they’ll remember Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor.


Fondly! I see a lot of myself in that man – socially awkward, an old man in a young man’s body, little-to-no dress sense, mind-of-its-own hair, a passion for bunk beds… He’s more fun than I am, though. I will remember him for all these things, plus his energy, and the wiry way in which he ‘dances’ through his adventures, almost oblivious to the chaos around him. He’s going to be a hard act to follow…


He burst onto the scene in what, for me, has to be the most assured debut from anyone who ever played the part, fully demonstrating why Moffat and co were prepared to take what must have been a hell of a risk in casting one so young. His tenure has, for me, been a little too whimsical at times, the ‘fairy tale’ element not quite in keeping with how I see the show. But I can’t deny it was right for the Eleventh Doctor’s character, and it was a treat to see the journey of Amy Pond and the Raggedy Man played out from beginning to end. I have a friend with young children, too young even to remember Tennant, who tells me they simply adore Matt Smith, that he’ll always be ‘their Doctor’. I think those kids are going to need a hug come Christmas night…


Matt Smith’s Doctor was my first Doctor, and even though I’ve loved pieces of all the other incarnations, the Eleventh is my Doctor. What I’ll always remember the most from Matt Smith’s terrific performances is how full of hope Smith’s Doctor was; the Doctor, at his best, brings hope to all those that he crosses paths with. While Smith gets plenty of nods about how he looks young but plays an old Doctor, I’d say that his playing of the Doctor always had a bit of child-like wonderment; not unlike the look upon a child’s face on Christmas morning when you can see that for that child, anything is possible. So, definitely that. Also, the whole dialogue from The Eleventh Hour, as I’m not sure any other actor could have spun the lines from Moffat’s pen with as much excellence as Smith did. 


At first, I was not a fan of the Eleventh Doctor.  He was too young and too hyperactive.  He seemed to be doing a bad David Tennant impression – I hate it when the Doctor excitedly rattles off a bunch of information under his breath super-fast.  It’s supposed to be funny, but it’s not.  I also was not a fan of the Ponds.  I did not hate them, but I thought they were pretty boring, and still do.  I was anxious to see Matt Smith with a different companion, and I think he has come into his own with Clara.  He seems more relaxed, more sure of himself, and well, more mature. Or maybe it was the change away from the tweed coat?

Honestly, I don’t know how the Eleventh will be viewed in the future compared to the other Doctors, but I suspect somewhere square in the middle.  A person cannot deny, though, that Matt Smith’s time has seen an explosion in Doctor Who‘s world-wide popularity. And the actor himself is a great ambassador for the show.  Now it feels like he’s leaving too soon, just as he got going.

I hope the Eleventh Doctor comes back in a couple years for the 10th anniversary of the “new” show.

Doctor Who: Fish Fingers and Custard


That’s easy. He’s “MY”  Doctor. I once said, when asked who my Doctor was, that Nine, Ten, and Eleven were all my Doctor because I watched the whole new series so quickly. But since then I’ve come to realise that while I love Eccleston and Tennant, Smith is the one that really wrote the Doctor on my heart. His smile, his utter seriousness one moment and silliness the next, his constant curiosity – they all came to exemplify who the Doctor is and always has been the more I look back on the shows from the classic era. I knew I liked the show before I began his episodes, but I fell in love with it because of Smith’s Eleven and will be a fan for the rest of my life.


Whenever I feel like testing the very limits of language by describing just how wonderful Matt Smith has been in the role of the Eleventh Doctor, I’m always drawn towards The Eleventh Hour.

I cannot overstate what an amazing hour it was: here was the youngest Doctor, the most alien of Doctors; pushed to his limits, forced to improvise and hurting from regeneration –  a man with no means and no plan; forced to rely on his wits while his wits were ‘still cooking’.

But perhaps the most enduring aspect of that episode and all subsequent episodes was the Eleventh Doctor’s charm, his heart, and his ability to be a clown and a battle-hardened warrior and not have that seem like an improbable, unlikely combination – it’s within that combination, wrestling with untold evil and perilous foes where the Eleventh Doctor truly shined.

We’ll miss you Matt!


Choosing your favourite Doctor is a tough one. And I maintain that I don’t have a favourite. They’re all the same man and they’re all just brilliant.

Ah, but my Doctor – that’s different. He’s the one that connects the most; the one that helped you out in tough times; the one who helped form who you are. I have no qualms in saying that Matt Smith is and will always be My Doctor. His every performance is perfect, his entire era simply fantastic.

I will be truly hearts-broken when he regenerates, but I know that he is the Doctor, no matter what. And he’s just like us. He’s fallen in love with the show and is a true ambassador. Thank you, Matt. It’s been an honour.

And as to the future? Geronimo…!



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About the Author


When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything.

8 Responses to How Will You Remember The Eleventh Doctor?

  1. avatar bonobobananas says:

    I liked Matt Smith, although for me he didn’t quite fulfil his potential. I thought he could have gone a lot ‘darker’; episodes which allowed him to show anger and contempt revealed more of his range. I would have liked to see more of this than the jumpy shouty stuff which I would have preferred to have been left with one of my least favoured Doctors Mr Tennant. It’s a shame that my favourite episode of his remains his first. Eleventh Hour is in my opinion the greatest ‘first’ episode and one of my all time faves.

    Goodbye Matt, I hope Mr Capaldi carries on the fine tradition.

  2. avatar wiredwizard42 says:

    I’ll always remember him w/ fondness & a bit of a chuckle over some of his zanier antics.

  3. avatar Geoff says:

    I have liked all of Matts series and think his performance as the Doctor his spot on. Right up there with Tom Baker 74-77 version for my money…but I felt the Pnds and River Song plot lines bogged the show down a little bit (not too much but they took some of the freewheeling standalone adventure out of it). I think 11and Clara have really clicked a lot better and there’s a real chemistry there. I’d loved to have seem one more year from Matt with Jenna, not huge story arcs and lots of recurring characters just a series of 13 one off adventures in time and space starring those too very talented and annoyingly striking actors!

  4. avatar BOJAY says:

    As an actor who gamely met the challenge of following an enormously popular and brilliant Doctor in David Tennant, and made the role his own. He had, in my opinion, some exceptional material to work with on the whole, but it took real talent and investment to deliver as powerfully and wonderfully as he did. And as the actor, who in concert with great writing, production teams, a thoroughly supportive and enthusiastic BBC, and global access to Doctor Who accelerating, saw the show scale new heights in worldwide success.

  5. Pingback: In memoriam of the bow tie | The Geek Chick

  6. avatar Matthew Riet says:

    As is pretty much the case wherever you look on DR WHO fan sites all the comments here about Matt Smith are glowing and hyperbolic. In the interests of balance and because I believe (to quote Paul Cornell) “dissent is good” I would like to offer an alternative point of view. Matt Smith was for me the most annoying. least engaging and least charming incarnation of the Doctor. The child-like elements of the way he chose to pay the part (as well as the way writers chose to portray him) quickly became childish and by the 2011 series I found myself actively disliking what used to be my favourite series. Tom Baker’s Doctor famously said “there’s no point in being grown up if you can’t be childish sometimes.” However, please note the word “sometimes”. For me, there’s no point in being childish if you’re an adult when you can’t be a grown up most of the time. Smith’s cutesy way of talking like a little boy lost it’s charm somewhere in 2011. His episodes have included some of the most nauseatingly saccharine and undramatic ever. I draw your attention to the execrable RINGS OF AKHATEN, CLOSING TIME and THE DOCTOR, THE WIDOW AND THE WARDROBE. I felt at times as if I was watching a Disney TV movie! Capaldi couldn’t have arrived too soon for me. Now at last we might have a Doctor who has a bit of gravitas and genuine twinkly charm. Sorry Smith fans,but some of us honestly couldn’t see what the fuss was about.

  7. avatar Lozzer says:

    I initially thought 11 was a bit Frank Spencer, and I’m not ashamed to admit his performance wound me up a little. I was losing hope and then something happened… Whenever I thought about the Doctor, I heard ‘his’ voice, 11′s voice rattling the Doctor’s words, and in my minds eye I saw ‘him’. It was then that I realised I had been won over – it was around the time of his second series that I finally got this Doctor. He’s not my favourite, I don’t think I’d put him in my top 3, but I like him a lot. I would say that Matt’s performances during his last series were without doubt his best. He had somegreat stories, and some not so great, but still, he was the Doctor, and he gave the role his all. So uncool he was cool.

  8. avatar chris says:

    How will I remember Matt Smith as the Doctor? One word is all I need,brilliant.

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