‘Doctor Who’: Steven Moffat needs to stop playing Matt Smith
Now that Matt Smith has departed “Doctor Who,” it’s only natural to want to figure out where he fits in with the other Doctors. Is he the best? The worst? Somewhere in between?
If you’re showrunner Steven Moffat, the answer is clear. In the DVD extras for the BBC release of “The Time of the Doctor,” Moffat salutes Smith, saying, “I’m glad I don’t have two hearts because they would both be breaking at the moment. I have a complaint against time travel. I would like today not to have arrived. Everybody, a big round of applause for the best and bravest Time Lord of them all: Matt Smith.”
The best and bravest Time Lord. Sure, it could have just been a nice eulogy to Smith’s time on the show, but the reality is likely very different. Moffat loves Smith’s Doctor most because it was the first one over whom he had complete control. He took over as head writer and executive producer responsibilities from Russell T. Davies beginning with Season 5, after David Tennant left.
That’s not to say Smith was a bad Doctor, because he wasn’t. However, Moffat’s run on the series has been fraught with criticism which has hampered his Doctor, from convoluted stories (the Christmas special) and lazy solutions to plot holes (jumping into other time streams) to his never-ending series of puzzling quotes about women on the show.
He even once summed up 10’s (Tennant) relationship with Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) by saying, “You have to hand it to the Doctor for dumping a slightly needy girlfriend by palming her off on a copy of himself. He tried leaving her in a parallel universe, and that didn’t work.” Statements like that show he has a complete and insulting misunderstanding of female characters on the show.
Clearly Moffat has his own vision of how the series works, and it tends to be at odds with some of the Doctor’s most loyal fans. Was Smith the best Doctor? That’s up to each individual fan to determine on their own. More than anything, Moffat seems to be a fan of his own work, so of course he values the 11th Doctor the most. At least until Peter Capaldi’s run comes to an end; then he’ll be the best ever.