In preparation for his departure from “Doctor Who” following December's Christmas special, BBC1 posted a video of star Matt Smith today (watch it above) saying his goodbyes to the people who made his time as the Doctor possible.
In it, he extends his heartfelt thanks to everyone from co-star Karen Gillan to executive producer Steven Moffat and (last, but certainly not least) the fans.
But perhaps more saddening than Smith’s departing words is the knowledge that come wintertime, we will have lost the Eleventh Doctor, the Time Lord who captured our hearts and our funny bones with his new and inconceivably wonderful version of a character the world has known and loved for decades.
So as we wave goodbye to the Eleventh, still hopeful that his last couple of episodes will live up to his already impressive legacy, we’re eager to share just a few of the many reasons we will miss Matt Smith as The Doctor.
1. The Ensemble
Ever since that first moment when he popped out of the TARDIS, revealing his new self to the young Amelia Pond, we were hooked on this new, young version of The Doctor. He may still not be ginger, but he captured our hearts with suspenders and a bowtie.
2. The Catchphrases
The Doctor is known for his catchphrases. The Eleventh, however, can be characterized by quite a few. He did not simply reuse the quintessential “Run!” that is so often uttered by previous incarnations. So in three years, his words have stuck to the Who fandom like a beetle stuck to Donna Noble’s back.
As with the Tenth Doctor and “Allons-y,” Matt Smith has his own catchphrase to get his companions going when they’re on the move into some intrepid adventure. “Geronimo!” he says, and others must follow. And so did we.
Bowties are cool. Fezzes are cool. Glasses are cool. Stetsons are cool. It has become an inside joke among Whovians to proclaim that things are cool. Perhaps it’s a mechanism to get us through the lonely nights on Tumblr when our friends tell us that they don’t understand our obsession. “But ‘Doctor Who’ is cool,” we retort. “Matt Smith is cool!”
3. The Energy
All it took were some fish fingers and custard, and The Doctor was back on his feet again after the Tenth’s regeneration. And not only was he one of the most energetic Doctors, he was also the youngest. Well, youngest in appearance, that is. Not in actual age, as the Doctor is actually 907.
Matt Smith was 27 when he took on the role, the youngest actor ever to take on the beloved character. And it was his energy, as evidenced by his dance moves among other youthful attributes, that made the Eleventh so fun. Whether or not the next Doctor is younger or older than Matt Smith, his youthful vibrancy will certainly never be matched.
4. The Moodiness
Even though he was the most youthful and animated Doctor, the Eleventh had a serious side that made for some amazing teachable moments. In his relationship with the Ponds, he functioned as a friend, a (sometimes) lover, and a guardian. And in being so, he was always looking out for their well-being, always providing a moral to their story.
But he balanced that equally with a level of snark that was just pointed enough to be startling, yet just silly enough to be laughable.
5. The Legacy
Every time another Doctor departs, so does his legacy. The personality, the wardrobe, the catchphrases, the cast of characters that accompanied him — they all get left behind to some extent. There is always some crossover, but with each regeneration passes a unique era in “Doctor Who” history.
Everything has an ending, and as fans of television, we all know that. But the loss of a character, however small his window might have been in the continuum of television stardom, is always a sad one.
But as the Doctor said, “Better a broken heart than no heart at all.” As we wave a last goodbye to the Eleventh, our hearts are broken, but we are ready for new adventures with the Twelfth. Geronimo!