Today is a day that arrived a good ten years earlier than I expected. Today the next actor to play the Doctor is younger than me.
When the talking heads on Doctor Who Confidential let slip the first clue – that the new Doctor is the youngest ever – I envisaged writing something along the following lines in this post: a young Doctor strikes me as a mistake, but Steven Moffat is a great writer and producer who is rightly paid to take these decisions, and he will get it right and prove me wrong.
Moffat himself evidently had the same preconceptions, and expected to cast an actor in his forties.
But actually… my first reaction is that Matt Smith is likely to be very good. From the clips shown – and I’ll confess Ruby in the Smoke and Party Animals are both programmes I intended to watch and then didn’t, bar a perhaps unrepresentative ten minutes of the latter – he seems to have that magnetic charisma on-screen that the part requires. He also has a face that is 50% chisel-jawed heroism and 50% wonky excess head area – a quirky combination that must be right for the role.
So: four more David Tennant specials, then Matt Smith in 2010. Excellent!
Just in case anyone missed it: Smith’s first appearance is promised for Spring 2010. The date of Tennant’s last special has not been announced, but the latest rumour seems to be Easter 2010 rather than Christmas 2009. Could it be scheduled to kick-start the first Moffat-Smith series? Could be a great move, or a dreadful one. Or maybe it’ll be a Christmas Day regeneration after all.
Though, to come back to the age thing… if ever there’s something to make you feel like you’ve totally wasted your life to date, it’s seeing the title role in Doctor Who go to someone younger than you.