So the new Doctor Who — who we presumably won’t see until 2010 — is some young guy that nobody expected. His name is Matt Smith, and while he’s done a bit of stage and TV work, he’s basically an acting newcomer. Die hard Who fans being what they are, I’m sure this poor guy and the decision to go with him instead of one of the other more high-profile names that were bandied about will receive a crapload of criticism for the next year or so. I’ve already seen some of it out there in the blogosphere. Which is a shame. Because I’m sure Smith will do just fine, especially if the writing is strong … and I expect nothing less than brilliance from the new head writer Steven Moffat. (If you don’t believe me, go watch Jekyll.)
The bigger shame is that we should even know about any of this already. The surprise switch from Christopher Eccleston to David Tennant at the end of the first season (of the new show) was, as Eccleston himself would have said, “FANTASTIC!” But the politics of casting a hit TV show like this being what they are, I guess it was impossible to pull off that brand of surprise magic twice. So instead, we’re kind of stuck with watching a handful of David Tennant specials in 2009, knowing that it will all end with his Doctor dying, so that this Matt Smith can replace him in 2010. My hat’s off to the writers responsible for milking any kind of suspense out of THAT scenario! Let’s hope they can be clever about it.
No solid word yet on who the Doctor’s companion might be. Lily Allen’s name is in the rumor mill, and if that happens, I’m betting my wife will actually start watching the show with me.