Farewell To Eleven
Later today we’ll see the end of Matt Smith’s era on Doctor Who, and his regeneration into the Twelfth Doctor which is being portrayed by the fantastic actor, Peter Capaldi. I’ll be extremely sad to see Matt go as he is essentially my Doctor, and the one I’ve really gotten attached to more than any other actor who’s been in the role. However, I’m also really excited to see Peter take over the helm of the TARDIS, and have some adventures of his own.
As a sort of tribute to Matt Smith, and the beloved Eleventh Doctor, I’ve decided to compile a list of my favorite episodes, and moments featuring the Raggedy Man himself. Warning, if you’re not caught up on Doctor Who there will be spoilers in this list. I’ll also include clips of said moments as reference. Eleven moments, to commemorate the Eleventh Doctor.
I wish there was a way I could put Matt’s regeneration scene into this list as I imagine it will be spectacular when it airs later today. However, this is a list of all of his adventures, and best moments to date before the airing of Time Of The Doctor. Either way, Geronimo!
1. The Rings Of Akhaten – The Doctor’s Speech (S07E07)
I know not many people enjoyed this episode, but I had a great time with it. The setting was interesting, the villain was pretty unique, and we got see a very emotional side of Matt’s Doctor and to which he had one of his best performances to date as the Timelord. Of course, the whole bit with Clara and her leaf memories saving the day seemed to take away from Matt’s speech, and really didn’t make much sense to me. It’s no doubt that the Eleventh Doctor was great with speeches, and it’ll be sad to see that go when he regenerates. But, who knows? Maybe Peter will be stellar in that aspect too. But in all seriousness, this is one of Matt’s defining moments as The Doctor and he really came into his own with this. Plus, the song in the background really aided the scene. One of my favorite moments in all of New Who.
2. The Eleventh Hour – The Doctor Will See You Now (S05E01)
Matt’s first debut episode as The Doctor, and he did a brilliant job taking over from David Tennant. We get some crazy antics with him eating fish fingers & custard, having banter with a young Amelia Pond, all while saving the planet during a post-regeneration state, and without his TARDIS or trusty Sonic. Near the end of the episode he saves the planet from the Atraxi burning it to stop Prisoner Zero’s escape, and in turn causes Matt to call the Atraxi back and deliver this nice bit of dialogue all while he puts on his initial outfit and a hologram shows all of his previous faces. This part of the episode made me get hooked initially on the show right away, and caused me to plow through all of Matt’s stuff, then onto David’s, and Christopher’s all while I waited for Series 7 to start.
3. A Good Man Goes To War – Colonel Runaway (S06E07)
A moment where we get to see a sort of angrier/darker side to Matt’s Doctor when he confronts the Colonel and gets extremely angry. He heads to Demon’s Run, where Amy Pond and her daughter Melody are being held by the religious order called The Silence. He recruits numerous allies to help in a bloody battle, and where we also see the debut of the Paternoster Gang (Strax, Jenny and Vastra). What ensues is a battle where casualties happen, and we find out that Melody was just a flesh-duplicate and disintegrates as Kavorian escapes, however in this episode we also find out that River Song is actually the daughter of Amy Pond, and Rory Williams. Very fun episode, and emotional at bits too!
4. The Angels Take Manhattan – Pond’s Farewell (S07E05)
Another scene showing the amount of emotion that Matt can portray as an actor, but also showing how much his Doctor loved these companions. Sure, Rory’s departure was kind of lackluster but when Amy gets zapped back from the angel is what truly breaks The Doctor. She was the first face that his face had seen, and he had known her since she was a little girl. He called them his best friends, and you could tell there was a very strong connection, and sense of love between them. After creating numerous paradoxes in New York to save Rory, them being zapped back made it so The Doctor would never be able to see them again. An emotional exit, and we see some really tremendous acting from Matt Smith. Apologies for the clip used in advance, couldn’t find a good one on YouTube.
5. The Snowmen – Sherlock Holmes (2012 Christmas Special)
Lots of funny banter, an emotional Doctor after the death of the Ponds, the sort-of introduction to the new companion, and the return of an old enemy, The Great Intelligence. We also get a somewhat “darker” Christmas story with the Snowmen whom devour people, and are just truly menacing looking things. We see the return of the Paternoster gang with a very much alive, Strax whom was presumably killed in the battle of Demon’s Run. The Doctor refuses to help the human race while these weird Snowmen creatures start popping up but decides to help after Clara makes a reference to a “pond” which sparks The Doctor’s interest and causes him to investigate. We also learn that this girl, Clara was also in the Dalek Asylum in the first episode of the Seventh Series and we learn this when she mentions souffles, and telling The Doctor “Run you clever boy, and remember” which she said in the Dalek Asylum, but as a different version of herself which gets explained in the Series 7 finale, Name Of The Doctor. The scene in question for this moment is The Doctor acting like Sherlock Holmes, all while making some “snow” related jokes and annoying the villain.
6. The Name Of The Doctor – River’s Goodbye (S07E13)
The finale of Series 7, and Matt’s last full-length series as The Doctor. This episode ties up the mystery behind Clara, and we also get a glimpse of Trenzalore where The Doctor’s final resting place is. The Great Intelligence returns in the body of Simeon from The Snowmen, and it also introduces some creepy new monsters called The Whispermen. The episode also has a post-library “ghost” of River Song talking, and interacting with Clara which leads the group into The Doctor’s tomb which results in the culmination of the episode, as well as revealing John Hurt as an unknown incarnation of The Doctor (Between 8 and 9/The War Doctor) and revealing that this is the Doctor’s biggest secret, the incarnation that fought in the Time War. Really neat episode, and it also proved a very emotional scene with River’s possible farewell. I really hope this was the last we saw of River. It’s an emotional exit, and it worked really well for her character. The emotional bit being River thinking The Doctor can’t see her, but the truth is that he can.
7. Nightmare In Silver – Mr. Clever (S07E12)
I really enjoyed seeing Matt take on a more villainous approach in an episode, and he worked wonders as Mr. Clever. Going from imitating two of his previous incarnations (Eccleston, and Tennant) to battling his own self within his mind in a game of chess. Some excellent acting from Matt Smith in this episode, and the whole concept of Mr. Clever whom was the Cyber Planner’s name for himself after taking over Matt’s brain. A fun episode, with some hiccups here and there (those kids were awful). I’m still speculating that Mr. Clever, or the Cyber Planner will make a return appearance in Matt’s regeneration story later today.
8. The Pandorica Opens – Pandorica Speech (S05E12)
Another example of Matt Smith’s stellar example of doing speeches. This speech is referencing the opening of the Pandorica, and the essential end of the universe that culminates in the Big Bang happening again in the finale for Series 5. We also see a whole slew of monsters from the past come to the Pandorica to stop The Doctor, which we find out is essentially a prison built to cage him, in which they think will stop the end of the universe. They’re wrong, and it ends but no worries. The Doctor, Amy, and Auton Rory save the day in the following episode with an emotional scene of Matt Smith flying into the exploding TARDIS via the Pandorica, and sealing all the cracks in time.
9. The Eleventh Hour – Fish Fingers & Custard (S05E01)
This whole scene with Matt Smith having essentially just regenerated and crashing into Amy’s shed is hilarious. It’s his true first scene as The Doctor and it’s fully of oddities, and some weird food related jokes. We also meet his first companion when she was a young girl, and he soon investigates a crack in her wall which sets up the entire plot for Series 5, which the cracks are made from the TARDIS exploding, which will be explained in Matt’s regeneration story tonight in Time Of The Doctor. This also spawned a food combination that some brave Whovians have tried which is taking Fish Fingers and dipping them in custard. A pretty neat and fun way to introduce the Eleventh.
10. The End Of Time – Ten Regenerates (David Tennant Specials)
Regeneration scenes are pretty crucial in the history of the show. You have to give the exiting Doctor a tremendous goodbye, but also give the new Doctor a pretty good welcoming scene so they aren’t hated right off the bat. Sadly, Matt’s run was filled with people complaining about him taking over from David Tennant, and that Matt was a horrible Doctor. It’s a shame that so much negativity had filled his run from these Tennant fan-boys that it’s quite upsetting, but it didn’t stop Matt from being a tremendous Doctor, and also having one of my favorite post-regeneration scenes in the history of the show. He soon made me forget that I was sad about David’s “I don’t want to go” and I immediately welcomed in Matt with open arms. I know the same will be for Capaldi when Matt regenerates into him later today. I can’t wait.
11. Day Of The Doctor – The Great Curator (50th Anniversary Special)
Alright, so this scene may be more of a tribute to Tom Baker, but I just loved the interaction between Matt and one of the actors whom had portrayed a classic Who Doctor, the Fourth Doctor to be exact. Tom Baker is my favorite Classic Doctor and seeing an interaction between him and Matt Smith on screen at the same time warmed my hearts, and ignited the little fanboy inside me. Sure, Tom drove the scene but just the whole reaction from Matt in this scene was what helped sell the scene and is a moment that I’ll remember for the rest of my life as a fan of the show. Two incredible actors, whom in my opinion played the two best incarnations of the Timelord. Spectacular scene. And, from what I remember it’s pretty much the only time Tom Baker fully appeared back in a Doctor Who anniversary episode.