o we thought that the previous incarnation of the Doctor was going to die and that was going to be it. However, the future of show was a young actor with a bit of a chin with Steven Moffat in the driving seat as Head Writer and Executive Producer of the show. A new era was born! New, new, new Doctor, new, new Head Writer and new-ish TARDIS. “It’s a different tint” (Matt Smith. Jonathan Ross Show. 2010).
It’s a brand-new dawn for the world of all things Doctor Who, an era that had gripped teens across the nation was brought to a close and an exciting brand-new era was being broadcast on TV sets on a Saturday evening. The opening series for the Eleventh Doctor’s run was dramatic and exciting, and targeted towards a much wider audience.
It was during Moffat’s reign as Head Writer that the show would play homage to the classic era in a far less subtle stylisation than Davies brought to the show. The time of enticing teenagers was over, it certainly seemed that Moffat toned down the dark themes of the show until Smith's replacement joined the show but “spoilers!”
Matt Smith was a young face for the show and like other actors who were took over the role of the Doctor, I was somewhat apprehensive of the young actor portraying my favourite time travelling Doctor. I was worried that he was going to be rubbish, I was mistaken. I found Smith’s first series to be exciting and entertaining. The rainbow Daleks didn’t bother me in the slightest as I took to them due to the show being the early days of a brand-new era. Other fans however, weren’t as impressed.
Speaking on a personal note it was during Matt Smith’s time on the show that I had the opportunity to achieve a lifelong ambition, and that was to appear as a Supporting Artist (an Extra) in an episode of the series. I’m sure if I told my younger self he would think I was stark raving mad! The episode in question that I appeared in was The Power of Three (2012), it was during the shoot that I meant Matt Smith, Karen Gillain and soon to be regualr occuring character Kate Stewart (Gemma Redgrave). The overall experience was, as the Doctor would say, “A trip of a lifetime.”
With this era having an exciting start the world of Doctor Who suffered a devastating loss. Many fans of the show were shocked and upset to hear of the deaths of Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith) and Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier). Both actors/characters played a crucial role in the show and that they are still today missed sorely by their friends, family and the fans. I remember reading the news and being left shocked by it, a moment passed and I saw a tribute for both actors and it was one moment of that tribute that destroyed me and I was reduced to nothing but tears. However, their legacy will live on!
The Doctor at this time travelled with the Ponds, River Song and Clara Oswald. Amy and Rory Pond. Sorry, Williams! (Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill) departure from the show was heartbreaking and was over in an instant. As they left, in stepped Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), a charatcer steeped in mystery. The Impossible Girl was the name the Doctor called her, Clara’s first time in the TARDIS was during the year of the 50th Anniversary, 2013.
It was during the second half of Season Seven that the Doctor embarked on his adventures with Clara to investigate how she seems to be finding her way throughout his timeline. The episodes as the Doctor and Clara drew near to how he knows her was steeped in tributes and references to the classic series, I believe this was done in preparation for the anniversary special. So that many of younger audience would take to it and understand the little easter eggs that were soon to be blasted onto our TV/Cinema screens.
The 50th Anniversary was in my opinion some stellar writing! The Special introduced us to The War Doctor as portrayed by the late John Hurt. The Special also explained what happened before the shows return in 2005/during the Time War. We were also treated to a mini-episode prior to the Special’s transmission that explained where/when the Eighth Doctor regenerated and it did answer a lot of questions. The Special didn’t just look to the past but to the future, as we caught a glimpse of the soon-to-be Doctor (Peter Capaldi) assisting his other incarnations in saving Gallifrey and preventing its destruction.
It was moments after the explosive climatic rescue of Gallifrey that made it for me, after seeing all those other incarnations swooping in to save the day. The scene featuring the Curator as protrayed by Doctor Who legend Tom Baker destroyed me. I fanboyed to the extent that I couldn’t contain my excitement. I gasped, cried and was buzzing in my seat, that was one huge surprise that Moffat and the BBC kept tightly under wraps and seeing Baker with Smith having a little heart to heart in that short scene was pure poetry, bravo!
Smith’s era came to a close the following month in the Christmas Special titled Time of the Doctor. It was the concluding part to “The Doctor Trilogy.” The special wrapped up all the lose ends from his era and pathed the way for Peter Capaldi to make his debut and that’s when everything became much darker, and Scottish…