Is the Doctor Who franchise that hard to work for or is there something else to ponder over there at the BBC?
I saw the news today that Matt Smith is leaving the Doctor Who TV franchise at the end of the year. Which seems to be the fulfillment of when he had a slip of the tongue last year some time. And then the back pedaling began about how he wasn't leaving.
Be that as it may, as everyone is suggesting, we'll be getting another "regeneration" of the Doctor, presumably in the Christmas edition.
And that means there will be another round of fan backlash as half the crowd will piss and moan about whoever is chosen, while the other half will accept the choice, trusting in the BBC's choice.
(Watch... you'll see. When Smith was chosen, there was a huge uproar by folks who had an image in their head about what kind of actor should portray the 900-year-old time lord.)
But what I am wondering is why the heck the turn over in the franchise?
Right now, it's Matt Smith, before him, the very popular David Tennant (2006-2010). Before Tennant, it was Christopher Eccleston (2005).
And for the record, I think Matt Smith pulled off the Doctor wonderfully.
When Eccleston left, his political reason was concerns about being typecast. Sure... one season and you're typecast? But an one of his latter interviews, he suggested he left due to politics.
Tennant never said a foul word about his exit. He wasn't booted out by the BBC, but he's been quoted to saying if he didn't leave, he'd never leave. That's a good team player for ya.
But now Smith is leaving.
His statement is the usual, filled with praise for his work environment and peers, and regret for leaving.
His parting line, a possible clue: "But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls. Thank you guys." He also said in a separate note, "Great actors always know when it's time for the curtain call, so this Christmas prepare for your hearts to break as we say goodbye to number 11. Thank you Matt - bow ties were never cooler."
His full statement is below. And his actual reason is fairly neutral.
But as far as conjecturing on why so many Doctors, the options are few.
A: It's hard to work for the BBC (Kind of like when AMC makes it hard on its creative teams, like in The Walking Dead.), either creatively or politically.
B: It could be pay. Historically, Doctor Who was a TV show known for creating great content on shoestring budgets. Though these days, I don't think they're living on that tight of a budget.
C: And maybe, just maybe, it is about typecasting.
Will we ever know? Probably not. But they'll be hiring their 12th doctor soon. That we do know!
Matt Smith's exit statement... is a very neutral one with no actual reason for his exit... yet.
“Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show. I’m incredibly grateful to all the cast and crew who work tirelessly every day, to realise all the elements of the show and deliver Doctor Who to the audience. Many of them have become good friends and I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the last four years.
Having Steven Moffat as show runner write such varied, funny, mind bending and brilliant scripts has been one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges of my career. It’s been a privilege and a treat to work with Steven, he’s a good friend and will continue to shape a brilliant world for the Doctor.
The fans of Doctor Who around the world are unlike any other; they dress up, shout louder, know more about the history of the show (and speculate more about the future of the show) in a way that I’ve never seen before, your dedication is truly remarkable. Thank you so very much for supporting my incarnation of the Time Lord, number Eleven, who I might add is not done yet, I’m back for the 50th anniversary and the Christmas special!
It’s been an honour to play this part, to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the TARDIS for a spell with ‘the ginger, the nose and the impossible one’. But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls. Thank you guys. Matt."
The 11 Doctors
1. William Hartnell (1963-1966)
2. Patrick Troughton (1966-1969)
3. Jon Pertwee (1970-1974)
4. Tom Baker (1974-1981)
5. Peter Davison - pictured (1982-1984)
6. Colin Baker (1984-1986)
7. Sylvester McCoy (1987-1996)
8. Paul McGann (1996)
9. Christopher Eccleston (2005)
10. David Tennant (2005-2010)
11. Matt Smith (2010 - 2013)
source: BBC News.