When the Doctor Who Christmas Special airs tomorrow, "Whovians" everywhere will be saying goodbye Matt Smith as The Doctor. After 3 seasons, Smith will be leaving the show and handing the reins over to Peter Capaldi who will make his debut in the special.
It’s a ritual that is quite familiar to most Doctor Who fans, and one that many have been preparing themselves for since the change was announced months ago.
(For the uninitiated, whenever an actor decides to move on from the lead role of the long running British sci-fi series, their iteration of the character is written out and “regenerates” into a newer version played by a different actor. It’s a clever way of explaining the casting change and keeping the show fresh.)
For some Whovians, they will be saying farewell to their Doctor, the actor who turned them into a fan of the show.
And that’s gonna hurt.
For myself, I’m very sad to see Matt Smith go. After being drawn back in to the series by David Tennant – geek confession: I didn’t care much for the Chris Eccelston version – I was skeptical of how the youngest actor to ever play the role would fare.
But after wiping my tears away from Tennant’s exit in “The End of Time Part 2”, I was almost immediately taken by Smith in “The Eleventh Hour.”
Smith was quirky, funny, physical and somewhat scatter-brained. He was also passionate, empathetic and downright commanding in the role. He made wearing bowties and fezzes cool. He made being a geek attractive. What wasn’t there to like?
I asked my followers on Twitter to share their own thought on saying goodbye to Smith’s “Eleven” (or is it “Twelve” now? I’m not sure.) Here’s what a few of them had to say:
“A few decades ago, Doctor Who was huge under the steady hand of Jon Pertwee. When it was announced he was leaving the show and an actor by the name of Tom Baker would be replacing him, there was skepticism as to if Tom could be as popular as Jon. The rest, as they say, is history.
Fast forward to a few years ago, when at the height of the Doctor Who renaissance, popular Doctor Who actor David Tennant announced he was leaving and an actor by the name of Matt Smith would be replacing him. Again, history.
“As sad as I will be to see Matt go, I know the show will continue to be in good hands. There hasn't truly been a bad Doctor yet.
“In the meantime, I will miss the child-like personality of the Eleventh Doctor, the energy he brings to the screen, the happiness. I will miss the fezzes and bowties as they fade into the nostalgia of bananas, Chucks, cat pins and scarves, but I know they'll never go away.”
-Ken T., @DoctorOddfellow
"Matt Smith will not be difficult to say goodbye to, alas, and it's not his fault. He did well, quite well, when considering the uneven and frequently lackluster scripts and clunky season arcs he had to work with. His Doctor was enjoyable but deserved better overall."
Marius Riley, @Mr_McQwerty
"Saying goodbye to Matt is going to be hard, as it always is. This year I've spent quite a bit of time watching the entire classic series of Doctor Who, followed by re-watching all of the new series. So I've seen all of the regenerations and experienced the emotional roller coaster of saying goodbye to one Doctor and meeting another.
"Matt has been a terrific Doctor, full of energy, but I am looking forward to seeing what Peter Capaldi brings to the table!"
Mary Jo Chrabasz, @KnitChick1979
“I'll be sad to see Matt Smith go, but like the Louis CK bit about family pets, you know when you get a new Doctor that the goodbye is inevitable.”
Chris Rathjen, @improvstartrek
While many share the sentiment that the Doctor’s future is in good hands, I approach the coming regeneration with a wary eye. If there’s anything that this geek has a hard time dealing with, it’s change. And even though in the case of Doctor Who, change is inevitable – and mostly good – I’m wondering how show-runner Steven Moffat is going to make the Christmas Special an uplifting experience when it includes the “death” of the Eleventh Doctor.
Cuz’ I don’t want him to go.
What do you think? Let me know in the comment section on hit me up on Twitter!
THE DOCTOR WHO CHRISTMAS SPECIAL (2013) AIRS CHRISTMAS DAY AT 8PM CST ON BBC AMERICA. Check your local lsitings.
CATCH "DOCTOR WHO: FAREWELL TO MATT SMITH" AT 7PM CST ON BBC AMERICA
Elliott Serrano is a Redeye Special Contributor and Resident Geek. His first Doctor was Patrick Troughton, who he first discovered when he saw his father watching Doctor Who on PBS.Copyright © 2015, RedEye