MIKE: Matt Smith.
RICK: Oh, Matt Smith, of course! Wait a minute. Brilliant thespian and heir to David Tennant as the Eleventh Doctor Who? Matt Smith? Are you sure, Michael?
MIKE: Of course I'm sure. It's was only on Doctor Who Confidential just now.
Surely it will be "Matthew Smith" for the opening credits, though. Try sounding impressive by saying "AND MATT SMITH AS... THE DOCTOR". It doesn't work. Not enough syllables to sound important. Probably the same way other Doctors weren't credited as Bill Hartnell, Pat Trout, Pete Moffet, or Dave Ten Inch.
Still, I can't complain. I went to bed in a cold sweat the new bloke would be Mark Gatiss, but now I can console myself that instead something not dissimilar to the scene with Lorne and Linsday in the final episode of Angel occured between Moffat and Gatiss ("I could audition for you if you like!" "I've already SEEN you 'act'." BLAM! BLAM!! "That's for Jekyll. Goodnight folks.") And it wasn't Russell Tovey either. Seriously, RTD, you fancy him? I mean, I could comprehend Spara fancying Rickitt but come on...
Mind you, looking at the almosts I think we might have missed out. The BBC found the most Doctorish of scenes from Survivors with Patterson Joseph (Paddy Joe as we'd no doubt call him) inviting a gang of obvious emotionally crippled loonbags to travel with him in his van which can magically fit the entire cast inside. Yes, we weren't worried about the new guy being black, but that historicals could get incredibly awkward and tedious. Oh, but surely that meant a surfiet of future and alien planet stories!
And I still think Kris Marshall would have worked.
Meantime, reactions seem to be mixed over the new bloke. Spara fancies him rotten and has given him a to do list which consists of "Do everything David Tennant did but act like Jon Pertwee", while Mad Larry considers this another stick to beat Moffat with on the grounds that when Stevie said he wanted an older Doctor, Larry didn't bother to listen to the rest of the sentence ("but that's out of the question cause the schedule would kill him, so he'll be under 40"). OG seem to find him too young and there is certainly a bit of a vibe that he's not exactly the antimatter opposite of his predecessor.
We're talking recast more than we're talking regeneration, you dig?
Still, there are hints that this could be the start of something good. Moffat's too much of a fan to make the 11th a copy of the 10th (this is a guy who can't see a harp without thinking of The Five Doctors), and both he and Tennant mumble that the new Doctor's youthful virility is part of a dodgy regeneration and an ongoing story element. Plus of course, a younger Doctor means we can nail him to the floor and make sure he doesn't do a runner like the last lot.
The only question is... how to kill the Tenth Doctor who has survived
- rapid old age
- having your face transformed by a Time Lord
- being gangbanged by scarecrows
- absorbing ridiculous amounts of radiation
- been shot by a Dalek
- fallen off tall buildings
- been poisoned
- banged his head on the TARDIS console
- walking into armed crossfire
- letting human doctors work on him
- fought a Dalek Empire at the height of its power
- absorbed the power of the time vortex
- Had his limbs hacked off
- Walked into a plague pit
- Been electrocuted
- Fallen into Hell
- Turned into a drawing
- Had his blood sucked out
- Had one of his hearts stopped by voodoo
- Lingered in poisonous car exhaust fumes
- Repeatedly begged Daleks to shoot him
- Been possessed by a sentient sun
- Died of old age as a human
- Caught in the epicentre of the exploding Vesuvious
- Faced an army of pissed off Ood
- Tried to blow up a Sontaran battle fleet
- Been possessed by a crystalline parasite
This life turned out nothing like I had planned...
Updated to add that after the amazing sight of Mr. Smith on the ABC news (even dwelling on his prior association with Billie Piper), it's struck me that there's other Ben Elton material worth parodying...
Blackadder: Well, Mrs. Miggins, at last we can return to sanity. The hustings are over, the bunting is down, the mad hysteria is at an end. After the chaos of choosing a new Doctor, we can return to normal.
Mrs. Miggins: Oh, have they chosen a new Doctor, then, Mr. Blackadder?
Blackadder: Indeed, they have, Mrs. Miggins.
Mrs. Miggins: Oh, well, I never had a say in it.
Blackadder: Well of course you didn't.
Mrs. Miggins: Well, I may have the brain the size of a sultana...
Mrs. Miggins: ...but it hardly seems fair to me.
Blackadder: Of course it's not fair -- and a damn good thing too. Give the like of Baldrick the choice of the Doctor and we'll be back to Tom Baker, UNIT dating and Keff McCulloch official soundtracks.
Baldrick: Oh, I've got one of them on my ipod.
Mrs. Miggins: Oh, you'd better watch out, Mr. Blackadder -- things are bound to change.
Edmund: Not while RTD's executive producer, they aren't. He's about as effective as a catflap in an elephant house. As long as his feet are warm and he gets a nice cup of milky tea in the sun before his morning nap, he doesn't bother anyone until his potty needs emptying.
Baldrick: But isn't Steven Moffat the executive producer now?
Blackadder: Ah yes. I think the expression rhymes with 'clucking bell'.
Matt Smith: Members of the press, I shall be brief, as I have, rather unfortunately, become Doctor Who right in the middle of my exams. I look forward to fulfilling my destiny in a manner of which Nanny would be proud. I shall introduce character traits to utterly destroy three main enemies of Doctor Who: the first is that evil dictator, Davros and the Daleks. The second is my old Geography master, Benonabreast Switchanks. But most of all, sirs, I intend to pursue that utter slob, Lawrence Miles! Therefore, my three main priorities are: 1) removing the Daleks for good; 2) the Master being revealed as a geography teachers; and 3) a Love & Monsters type episode where Miles, not Levine is the poor sucker to be crucified...