Wednesday, August 27, 2014

After Matt Smith

7:06 AM

Share it Please

“I will always remember when the Doctor was me.”

I will always remember the day I watched The Time of the Doctor, the episode where every Whovian had to say goodbye to Matt Smith.

I had been avoiding that episode as well as the 50th anniversary special all because I just could not let the raggedy Doctor, my Doctor, go. When I finally watched it, I was curled up in my room with tears just freefalling from my eyes (I had given up on wiping them away). Imagine a movie breakup with the I-love-you-but-I-have-to-leave drama, except for the fact that I was mourning over a fictional TV character.

By now I’m sure you know two things about me: I empathize greatly with fictional characters and that Matt Smith has a special place in my heart. Why all the love for him? Because he perfectly brought to life the wonderful being that is the Eleventh Doctor. Much like a real breakup, I’m here for closure, to fully disclose my love for him and to learn how to move on now that he’s gone. (Yup, still talking about my relationship with a fictional TV character.)

Before I move on, let’s cover some basic things (shout outs to all my non Whovians out there!!).

Doctor Who is a TV series about a Time Lord called the Doctor. He owns a TARDIS or Time and Relative Dimension in Space, which allows him and his many companions to travel to anytime and anywhere, from the end of the universe to America, 1969. As a Time Lord, the Doctor has a special trait that makes the series very unique: they can constantly kill off their main character and start fresh. When the Doctor is close to death, he regenerates: basically he changes completely; his face, his personality, and even his kidneys (I promise a lot of these references will make sense if you do decide to watch the show). Matt Smith played the eleventh reincarnation of the Doctor following Eccleston (Nine) and Tennant (Ten) in the series revival.

I started watching Doctor Who around a year and a half ago, when the show was well into the Eleventh Doctor: I was an Eccleston in the age of Smith. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t so crazy about Doctor Who right away. I mean it was a sci-fi show about a time-traveling alien (with 2005 graphics, yikes) and I’ve always been more into light and funny sitcoms but, aside from the fact that I liked the Doctor as a character (Important note: I have so much love for Nine and Ten as well), I was so intrigued by all the things I saw from Matt Smith’s seasons. He seemed so fun and cool and just having the time of his life, which somewhat contrasted my definition of the Doctor. And oh, he was fantastic! He was this mad man with a box who always ran around, ate fish fingers and custard, spoke fluent horse and baby, and repeatedly taught us the meaning of cool (bowties, fezzes, bunk beds, jammy dodgers etc.). He was the wonderful, goofy, disoriented house cat of my dreams; but surprise! That’s not why I loved him so much. The beauty of the eleventh Doctor was how broken he was, like he finally felt the weight of all the years of his very long life. He was tired and sad and unsure of who he was, but despite all that he was capable of such genuine happiness. He’s “lost things you will never understand” yet he was not afraid to love. He carried his sadness around with him, because it was a part of who he is, but it didn’t make his happiness any less real.

At one point or another, we all have some kind of brokenness we carry within us but that shouldn’t define us nor should it dampen the good things in our life. I’ve been through quite a bit (and no, this isn’t about TV character deaths anymore) and as I’ve said, pop culture is my escape but damn, The Doctor taught me so much. No one wants the pain, but what we often forget is that sadness ultimately contributes to who we are. And we should feel it and embrace it because it’s what makes us alive and honestly, it’s what lets us know what happiness is.

 Matt Smith prepared me for losing Matt Smith. His Doctor didn’t strike me as one who feared dying or endings. He just believed in being happy for as long as it lasted.

After all, we’re all just stories in the end. And Matt, you were one of the best ones.

Article by Livi
Art by Yanna

Livi has an uncanny talent of understanding everyone but herself. She’s not really sure what she is, but she thinks she’s pretty cool so I guess that’s fine. She’s really into TV, movies, chicken, skirts, nail polish and talking (usually about herself to herself). She’s loud and crazy but you wouldn’t really describe her as happy. If asked to describe herself in a word it would have to be either strange, weird or complicated; or some word for I have no effing clue. She has inside jokes with herself, stalks her own twitter, forever game to have a 5-hour phone call about life and gives pretty good hugs. And yes, she often refers to herself in the third person HINT HINT.

Yanna is an aspiring wizard who enjoys doodling, longboarding, reading and writing. She is also a huge fan of anything Studio Ghibli, although she has yet to watch much of Hayao Miyazaki's films because most of her dvds are pirated. Although she is initially quiet and maybe even serious, those who get to know her will see just how optimistic and weird she really is.


  1. You're seared onto my heart, Matt Smith. You always will be.