If you’re anything like me, you strongly considered handing in your Whovian membership when David Tennant announced his departure from Doctor Who in 2008. I was prepared to hate everything about the new series starting with the new logo and ending with Matt Smith’s hair.
Then something crazy happened: I watched “The Eleventh Hour,” the premiere of the new series, and I loved it.
I loved it so much that, after one episode, I was already prepared to declare this eleventh incarnation my favorite Doctor.
So for those of you who, like me, considered dismissing this new season entirely, let me give you eight good reasons why you really should be watching Doctor Who.
1. Head Writer and Executive Produce, Steve Moffat — Moffat, the man who brought us Coupling as well as the Doctor Who episodes “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances,” has taken over for Russell T. Davies as head writer, and is wasting no time flexing his pretty spectacular writing muscles. With “The Eleventh Hour,” Moffat showed that while his take on a decades-old character would certainly be fresh, he was in no way dismissing the tradition of the ten Doctors who came before him. Even thinking about the Doctor’s monologue from”The Eleventh Hour” sends chills right up my arms and into my brain.
2. Matt Smith — He’s clever; he’s got a great accent; and he’s a true Who fan through and through. Smith slipped into the roll as easily as pulling on a tweed jacket. He looks every inch of a half-crazy alien from the moment he pops his head out of his little blue box. He embodies Tennant’s geek chic, but his mannerisms are even more layered and nuanced. Smith is a perfect storm of intellectual superiority, distracted puppy, and mysterious menace. How can one man be so lovable and so terrifying?
3. Matt Smith’s hair — I changed my mind somewhere between the promo photos and “The Eleventh Hour.” Probably some time around “Hello, I’m The Doctor. Basically … run.”
4. Karen Gillan — Just when you thought The Doctor’s relationship with his companion couldn’t get anymore complicated, in walks the plucky, precocious Amelia Pond. The Doctor meets her when she’s seven: just an orphaned Scottish girl with a terrifying crack in her wall. He means to meet her again ten minutes later, but it works out to be twelve years, and she’s all grown up and ready to ditch the Doctor dolls she made as a child, and save the earth with the real thing. Not content with the angsty looks and delicious subtext of companion’s past, Amy Pond has already tried to seduce The Doctor once. I approve.
5. Karen Gillan’s hair — I want to run my fingers through it so badly It’s lovely enough to be in a shampoo commercial.
6. Big Damn Crack In The Universe — Yes, it’s been a little heavy-handed at times, but I find myself growing increasingly desperate to find out what, exactly, is going on with the huge crack that keeps popping up left right and center.
7. Daleks — They’re baaaaaack, though frankly not looking terribly frightening in their new incarnation. These Daleks were obviously made by Apple. If they were truly evil, they’d be made by Microsoft.
8. This Doctor is happy — Losing the woman he loves and his best friend is enough to ruin any Time Lord’s day, but by the end of David Tennant’s run, the episodes were physically painful to sit through. Couple that with the Torchwood: Children of the Earth mini-series that actually stole my breathe, and I needed a break from my Russell T. Davies-induced nightmares. Smith brings a lightheartedness and youthful excitement to The Doctor that’s a warm, welcome respite from the grief. (For now.)
Big thanks to Jennifer Fitzpatrick for helping me compile my list and screencaps.