Too young. Too pretty. Not right for the role. Pandering to teenage girls. These were the things being said about Heath Ledger when it was announced that he would be playing the Joker. People on different internet forums were quick to criticise and at times, get quite nasty about it. I guess that’s human nature. As history has shown, Heath turned in a brilliant performance, earning praise from all quarters and the buzz is that he may very well be nominated for an Oscar.
On the weekend, it was announced that Matt Smith would be taking over the role of Doctor Who from David Tennant. At 26, he is the youngest actor to play the Doctor (although Peter Davison was only a couple of years older) and yes, he is good looking. And guess what? Many people are saying the same things about Matt as they did about Heath without even waiting to see him in action. Hopefully, they will be proved wrong like with Heath.
I suppose that some people are mourning the upcoming departure of David Tennant. David has been a brilliant Doctor and I will certainly miss him. I am also very much aware that he could not play the role forever and that the very nature of the show is the changing of the lead actor. Matt will be the eleventh Doctor since the show started in 1963.
My first reaction was “who?”. I had never heard of Matt Smith. I watched the interview with him (see below) and surfed the web to find out what I could. The feeling I was getting was that he was an actor who could bring something special to the role. Also, I trust the new executive producer and chief writer, Steven Moffat. He is a devoted fan of the show and has written some of the best scripts for it in recent years. He knows Doctor Who inside out and I am sure he knows what to look for in the Doctor.
Matt has an interesting look about him. He is not the traditional good looker. There is something quirky and even a bit alien about him, qualities essential in the Doctor.
The ABC are screening Party Animals here in Australia at the moment and Matt is one of the stars of that show. I watched an episode last night and was impressed with Matt’s performance (I actually enjoyed the whole show and wished I had discovered it earlier). Although I didn’t get a feel for how he may play the Doctor, I am feeling confident that he is a good enough actor. That combined with Steven Moffat and the BBC’s endorsement is enough for me to get excited. I will make my final judgement when I see him in the role.
Give Matt a chance without any prejudice.
By the way, am I the only one who thinks that Matt looks a bit like Peter Davison in the face (definitely not the hair)?