By: William G. Muir
This is going to my first post addressing Matt Smith leaving Doctor Who. I have waited this long to say something because honestly all I would have had to say is how much I have enjoyed watching Matt as the Doctor and that I am going to miss him. Matt has done a great job of making the role his own. Which I believe was a difficult task for him since so many David Tennant fanboys/fangirls were willing to write him off before his first episode had aired.
There is one thing I have been wondering about, when did Matt Smith decide he was leaving the show? Had he planned on this being his last season before the it began? Did Steven Moffat know this would be Matt Smith’s final season before he started working on it?
I would have to think that Matt Smith did know he was leaving before this season began and that he told Steven Moffat about it. I just wonder if the departure of Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill had anything to do with his decision? They had all come into the show at the same time and from behind the scene stuff and public appearance they looked like they were really close friends. With them gone did he feel like the job was just not the same?
Did Matt stick around to finish this season because there were story lines that needed to be finished before he could leave? I think there is a good possibility the answer to that question is yes. They had to wrap up the Trenzalore plot before Matt could leave, and I think Matt’s decision for this to be his last season might have caught Moffat off guard.
When Trenzalore first popped up I figured that it would be sometime before we got there. I thought Matt had a few good years in him. Which made me think Trenzalore was a few years down the road. I didn’t think that it would have been season 7’s finale. There certainly was no build up to it.
I think Moffat had already had the season 7 drawn up when Matt came to him and let him know that he was going to leave. I think this caused Moffat to have to try and fit the Trenzalore story into the scripts he had already green-lit.
The fall of the 11th, a battle, the ultimate question, these are not things you just throw into one episode. These are the kind of things that you spend an entire season, two seasons building to. These are important event that are to come. You don’t brush them aside by saying the battle has already taken place. The way you handle it is the way Moffat did with the cracks in season 5 or Russel T. Davies did in the first season with Bad Wolf. You slip it in there a little bit at a time.
I have already gone on read on with my opinion on why I thought the first part of season 7 was so lackluster. We all knew the Ponds were leaving so there was no real surprise in that. I had thought maybe the second half of season 7 failed to deliver because Moffat was setting his sights on the 50th Anniversary episode, he had let the ball drop on this season. Or that maybe I was just missing something and that things would be revealed in the season finale. That I would then look back and go, oh that was what that meant.
I no longer fell that way. The more that I think about it, the more I am convinced that Matt Smith leaving was what really hurt this season. I think Moffat did his very best to try and wrap up the Trenzalore story line and fit it into his existing plans for this season. But his best just wasn’t good enough. There just wasn’t enough time to do the story properly.
I am going to miss Matt Smith. I think his portrayal of the Doctor has been one of the best. He is easily my favorite Doctor from the new series and is my second favorite out off all the Doctors. Just right behind the 4th Doctor. Goodbye Matt Smith, this Whovian will miss you. And good luck in your future endeavors.