An Open Letter to My Niece (and Other Matt Smith Fans)

New TARDIS interior

Dear Patricia,

I imagine you’re taking the news of Matt Smith’s departure very hard.  You only just got hooked on Doctor Who a few months ago and now you’re losing your Doctor.

I’ve been in your shoes.   Back in the 1990s I stumbled across The Sontaran Experiment on PBS.  It was love at first sight.  For the next ten months I watched enraptured as the Doctor explored the pyramids of Mars, survived an encounter with a deadly assassin, fought an invisible enemy, searched for the Key to Time and circled E-Space.  And then one night, he murmured, “It’s the end.”

I had no clue about regeneration back then.  All I knew was that my wise and wonderful Doctor had somehow transformed into a feckless idiot, his iconic scarf replaced by a stalk of limp celery.  I felt betrayed – the Doctor was, quite literally, no longer the Time Lord I’d fallen in love with.

You never really get over your first Doctor.  For the rest of your life, whenever you hear the phrase “Doctor Who” you will involuntarily recall Matt Smith’s portrayal.  The Eleventh Doctor will always be the standard you use to measure past and future Doctors.

But there’s a good chance you’ll love the next Doctor just as deeply.  That’s the genius of the show: one Time Lord, many faces.  Each actor creates his own persona and style, but at his core the character of the Doctor remains the same.  It probably won’t happen right away – it took me a good three months to warm to Peter Davison.  Maybe it won’t happen at all.  Just promise me you’ll give the next Doctor a fair shake.

And there’s one other thing I want you to remember.  Matt Smith might not be actively filming the show anymore, but he will ALWAYS be the Doctor.  Doctor Who is like a great big family and while it’s occasionally dysfunctional, no one has ever been disowned.  So keep on wearing your bow tie with pride!

Sharon Essex

Sharon loves Doctor Who, waterfalls, British accents, autumn, and chocolate. She lives with two demanding cats and a large collection of books and lightsabers. Her hobbies include blogging, blinking and breathing in and out.

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