“And now it’s time for one last bow, like all your other selves. Eleven’s hour is over now. The clock is striking twelve’s.”
Following the departure of Russell T. Davies and star David Tennant, newly-appointed showrunner Steven Moffat took the bold decision to cast the youngest Time Lord yet in the shape of relative unknown Matt Smith. The widely beloved Tennant left big shoes to fill, not to mention the broken hearts of innumerable lusty fangirls, but from the moment Smith took the stage, relieved to discover he still had legs, it was clear Moffat had struck gold.
Joyful but reflective, whimsical but unknowable, Smith adopted Ten’s mercurial nature while adding an alienness all his own. Despite his youthful face, few actors have sold the Doctor’s centuries-old age quite as movingly. Just as Smith made the almighty challenge of taking over from Tennant seem effortless, Capaldi too now has to prove himself worthy of succeeding one of the all time great Doctors.
Despite Smith receiving nothing but acclaim for his interpretation of the fifty year old character, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing during his time in the TARDIS. Moffat struggled to maintain the excellence of his first season into the later years, and disrupted scheduling meant seasons six and seven were split in half, with the latter uncomfortably straddling autumn 2012 and spring 2013. Even with that inconsistency, Smith’s performances were never anything less than outstanding, and with silence set to fall on the Eleventh Doctor in just a week’s time, let’s take one last trip into the past to remember his 11 finest episodes. Geronimo!
This article was first posted on December 19, 2013