Since Matt Smith (Party Animals) was announced as the actor who would play the eleventh incarnation of the doctor in BBC drama Doctor Who, fans have been speculating about how he would make his mark on the role. David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor has become the Doctor for a new generation of fans, just as Tom Baker’s Fourth incarnation was during the original series run. How would Smith’s Doctor measure up?
Before Smith was announced, speculation about who would be the next Doctor was so widespread that bets were placed on which actor would be offered the role. Fans thought up their own dream casting of the Doctor and companion, and debated over whether the next doctor should be older or younger, female or male, caucasian or african? Perhaps due to the speculation, fans had an idealized doctor in their heads and the young, relative newcomer Matt Smith just wasn’t what they had in mind.
Aged 26 when he was announced as the next Doctor, Matt Smith is the youngest to be cast in the role, beating Peter Davison, who was 29 when he became the Fifth Doctor. The first released pictures of Smith worried fans even more. Pictured in a dark ensemble in front of the TARDIS, fans worried that the actor’s version of the Doctor would be too “emo”. The speculation about who would be cast as the Doctor’s new companion began and once again worry about age emerged when Scot Karen Gillan, at age 19, was chosen for the role.
It has been a long wait for actual pictures from the set though, and for any glimpse of what Smith’s Doctor might be like. Yesterday’s pictures from the set revealed an outfit choice that differed greatly from expectations though. After the modernity of the Ninth Doctor’s leather jacket, and the Tenth Doctor’s geek chic pinstripes and sneakers look, the Eleventh doctor’s clothing is a throwback to some of the earlier doctors, complete with a bowtie.
My guess is that it’s a very deliberate choice that reassures older fans that this is still their doctor and not a teenage version of one. With the fuss caused over the actor’s youth, especially when paired with a young companion, it made sense to choose an older styled outfit. This also makes for a great contrast with his new companion, finally identified by name as Amy Pond, who has a very young and modern look, including tights, mini skirt, hoodie, and converse.
The change in apparel also signals a clean break from Russell T. Davies’ Doctor Who. The Doctor has changed, his image has changed, the companion is new, and yes even the TARDIS is being re-designed both inside and out. The exterior alterations can be seen in these new pictures.
Although I’m not sure how I’ll feel about the familiar TARDIS interior being changed, I’m optimistic about Smith and Gillian and I like the chosen costumes, so long as these aren’t the only clothes they’ll be wearing during their time together. Enjoy the pictures but beware of spoilers for a guest star in one of the new episodes when browsing, if you’d rather not know about these sorts of things in advance.
Pictures of Matt Smith and Karen Gillian on the set of Doctor Who can be found here.