Tiffany Vogt

Posts Tagged ‘Matt Smith’

DOCTOR WHO: Is Matt Smith the 13th Doctor?

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Opinion columns, * Sci-fi columns, * Showcases, * TV Addict, Doctor Who on November 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm

After this past weekend’s phenomenal 50th anniversary DOCTOR WHO special “The Day of the Doctor,” which clarified that John Hurt’s portrayal of The Doctor was indeed one of thirteen regenerations, wild speculations arose as to whether Matt Smith could actually be the 13th Doctor. In fact, the Blastr article: “Confused? Moffat addresses all those Who regeneration limit questions” offered an intriguing analysis based on executive producer Steven Moffat’s recent statements in support of the theory.

With DOCTOR WHO spanning 50 years, it has been tricky to track all the regenerations. But when examined in detail, Matt Smith as the 13th Doctor theory holds up. Here are the known regenerations of The Doctor:

1st regeneration = William Hartnell to Patrick Troughton
2nd regeneration = Patrick Troughton to Jon Pertwee
3rd regeneration = Jon Pertwee to Tom Baker
4th regeneration = Tom Baker to Peter Davison
5th regeneration = Peter Davison to Colin Baker
6th regeneration = Colin Baker to Sylvester McCoy
7th regeneration = Sylvester McCoy to Paul McGann
8th regeneration = Paul McGann to John Hurt
9th regeneration = John Hurt to Christopher Eccleston
10th regeneration = Christopher Eccleston to David Tennant
11th regeneration = David Tennant (used up another regeneration in “Journey’s End”)
12th regeneration = David Tennant to Matt Smith

This essentially makes Matt Smith’s version the 13th Doctor – the last Doctor – since The Doctor cannot regeneration more than 12 times.

So if The Doctor dies with Matt Smith’s departure from the series, whom will Peter Capaldi be playing? It seems improbable that he can be The Doctor that we know and love. He would have to be portraying a different Time Lord. And, as we now know, there are lots of Time Lords left after Hurt, Tennant and Smith’s Doctors all worked together to perpetuate a subterfuge by moving Gallifrey and all the Time Lords into a frozen space of time during the great Time War with the Daleks. So, because Matt Smith’s Doctor did not have his memories wiped like Hurt and Tennant’s Doctors, he is the only one who remembers what they did. As he declared in “The Day of the Doctor,” “I have a new destination — the same as anyone’s — at last I know where I’m going, where I’ve always been going: home — the long way ’round!” It becomes his final quest to find and retrieve Gallifrey.

It has not yet been revealed if the upcoming Christmas special entitled “The Time of the Doctor” will be an adventure in Gallifrey or the search for Gallifrey, but that is a journey that The Doctor seemed determined to embark upon. So what if The Doctor’s final journey is disrupted and his time runs out? Would he not recruit another Time Lord with the duty of finding Gallifrey? Is that who Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is? He is the replacement Doctor because our Doctor’s time is simply up? Twelve regenerations is a finite number. It is one that even Steven Moffat has declared is canon that cannot be changed.

The death of The Doctor has been foreshadowed for nearly the entirety of Moffat’s tenure, and it would be fitting bookend to Matt Smith’s tenure to allow The Doctor to die with his departure. It makes perfect sense then that they would recruit as a new Doctor, a Time Lord that we have not met before to complete The Doctor’s final journey – to find Gallifrey. It is a journey that could last many seasons or could be resolved in a blink of an eye. Moffat likes to be twisty that way.

It would also fit with the choice to cast an older actor for a role that has been getting progressively younger in recent years. It would help differentiate between Matt Smith’s Doctor, the young Doctor who is dying, versus the older Time Lord that Peter Capaldi will be portraying. It makes sense if he is portraying a Time Lord who agrees to pick up the mantle and legacy of our Doctor. One could even speculate that the only other Time Lord still running amuck in the universe is the Master – since all the others are still frozen in Gallifrey. So perhaps Capaldi’s Doctor is the Master who has been recruited by Smith’s Doctor to continue the name of The Doctor and the quest to find Gallifrey.

This is all wild speculations, but given what we know and how clever Steven Moffat likes to be, this would be just the kind of surprise he would love to spring upon us. With less than 30 days ‘til Christmas, what a wonderful Christmas gift this would be!

Where to find this article:

http://www.thetvaddict.com/2013/11/26/doctor-who-is-matt-smith-the-13th-doctor/

DOCTOR WHO: How They Got the Casting of the Twelfth Doctor All Wrong

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Opinion columns, * Sci-fi columns, * TV Addict, Doctor Who on August 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm

DW2

First I want to say that I have been a DOCTOR WHO fan since the early ’80′s when Tom Baker was my Doctor.  Over the past decades, I have been a loyal and cheerleading fan, loving each reincarnation of the Fourth Doctor through the Eleventh Doctor.  I also remain optimistic about the Twelfth Doctor, who was just recently announced as being portrayed by Peter Capaldi. But tempering my excitement over the recent casting choice was the realization that DOCTOR WHO made the wrong choice.  With lots of factions vying for the first female or non-white Doctor, there was certainly a lot of interest in stepping outside of the box in choosing who would portray the Twelfth Doctor.  There was also a lot of interest in keeping the role youth-oriented.

Peter Capaldi

Peter Capaldi

So last Sunday at precisely the designated time, I sat amongst friends as we huddle around a laptop streaming the BBC announcement of who the Twelfth Doctor would be — and the announcement was met with dead silence.  No whoops of joy and excitement, just nothingness.  Peter Capaldi is certainly a fine choice, especially given his DOCTOR WHO ties and his sterling performance in TORCHWOOD: Children of Earth.  But there is one glaring problem:  he’s just too old.  It seems cruel and ridiculous that a man of 55 years of age would be too old to play The Doctor, particularly when the First Doctor William Hartnell was 55 as well.  But in recent years (the critical years), each of The Doctors was portrayed by increasingly young actors.  Christopher Eccleston was 41, David Tennant was 34, and Matt Smith was 27 when all were originally cast for their brief tenures as The Doctor.  It was imperative that DOCTOR WHO stay on course and cast another younger actor.  Why? Because in our world today, youth rules.   Ask any actor who has hit their 40′s and you’ll hear the same thing: the roles are a lot harder to get.  Ageism is alive in well in the entertainment industry, especially in film and television.

Christopher Eccleston

Christopher Eccleston

After DOCTOR WHO went on its 16 year hiatus between 1989 and 2005 (not counting the 1996 film version with Paul McGann since it barely registered with fans and failed to relaunch the franchise), it seemed to hibernate due to lack of interest.  But what the BBC and Russell T Davies understood in 2005 was that it was vital to cast a young actor.  It can be argued that since Christopher Eccleston was 41 years of age, they were not casting all that much younger.  But Christopher certainly gave off a very youthful vibe, one that has continued through the casting of David Tennant and Matt Smith; and Matt was actually 14 years young than Christopher upon taking on the mantle of The Doctor.

David Tennant

David Tennant

Why am I emphasizing the age-factor?  Because it matters.  American audiences had never truly embraced the British series DOCTOR WHO until the era of David Tennant, and DOCTOR WHO only became a phenomenon widely-embraced in the U.S. during Matt Smith’s tenure as The Doctor.  What made the difference were the geek fan-girls.  David and Matt brought enormous amounts of sex appeal to the role.  Being younger and more youthful, teenage girls and Millennials in their 20′s suddenly fell head-over-heels for The Doctor — and the top U.S. magazines took notice.  For the first time ever, DOCTOR WHO was on the cover of TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly.  Any TV show knows they have made the U.S. zeitgeist when they can achieve that level of notoriety.  The tipping point was sex appeal.  Russell T Davies exploited all the natural charm and appeal of David Tennant and wrote a poignant love story for David’s tenure as The Doctor.  The love story of The Doctor and Rose had captured the hearts and imaginations of fan-girls of all ages. The internet was abuzz with fan fiction, Tumbler pages and virtual alters to worship the romance between The Doctor and Rose.  Of course, with David leaving the role and a new actor coming on board, there was some frenzy that it would destroy the hopes and dreams of fan-girls everywhere.  Fortunately, Russell T Davies has come up with a clever way to ensure that The Doctor/Rose romance would live forever — and fan-girls breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Matt Smith

Matt Smith

Then with the entrance of Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, the romance and sexual sizzle was back stronger than before.  In fact, Amy Pond even tried to seduce him on the eve of her wedding night.  With a nice twist, that forbidden hanky-panky was averted and Amy wed her destined true-love Rory, and the adventures of The Eleventh Doctor with Amy and Rory began. That 3-season journey also introduced the epic romance of The Doctor and River Song.  The frisson of electric chemistry between them was palpable from their first moments on screen together.  Now helmed by Steven Moffat, DOCTOR WHO fully embraced the era of romance (and dare we say it, sex) with The Doctor; for clearly River Song and The Doctor were spending nights together in addition to their magnificent adventures.

So in the past 8 years, DOCTOR WHO found its world-wide appeal (particularly in the U.S.) by introducing sex and romance into its story.  Sex sells, but sex appeal is priceless.  DOCTOR WHO had finally hit upon the magic ingredient to lure in younger viewers, especially young female viewers.  Nowhere was it more noticeable than at San Diego Comic-Con.  Thousands of fans waited out overnight just for the chance to get up-close and personal with David Tennant and Matt Smith.  Their screams of elation could be heard blocks away.

"Doctor Who"

River Song and The Doctor in “Doctor Who”

But what about now? Will those same fan-girls and younger viewers feel the same desire to scream and yell for Peter Capaldi?  For many, he will seem as old as their grandparents.  He is not offering the same kind of appeal that David and Matt had.  Peter may be able to offer some of the other necessary ingredients to portray The Doctor, but he cannot change the fact of his age.  He is 24 years older than Matt Smith.  That is not insignificant.  All the great acting in the world won’t make up for one critical deficiency: sex appeal.

So when Peter’s name was announced and he was welcomed on screen as the new Doctor, he was met with silence.  Of all the other names in contention, in the end they had cast a much older actor. Everyone was stunned.  Barely even daring to think it, everyone had a the same thought: isn’t he too old?  Of all the other top fan choices, the oldest proposed actor was 42.  And yet, the actual actor cast was 55 — 13 years older than anyone predicted.  Even my top three picks skewed much younger:  Idris Elba (40), Colin Ferguson (41) and Jordan Gavaris (23).

Rose and The Doctor in "Doctor Who"

Rose and The Doctor in “Doctor Who”

Perhaps Steven Moffat was looking for the best actor for the role, which Peter is certainly a fantastic actor; but Steven got it all wrong in choosing one that could potentially lose half its audience.  Those increased ratings were not simply due to curiosity and interest in science fiction; increased ratings were due to interest in the actors playing The Doctor.  David Tennant and Matt Smith were able to bring the one thing that The Doctor never had before — fan girls, more importantly, U.S. fan girls.    Those rising ratings were attributable to girls discovering a sci-fi hero they could root for and lust for.  Someone closer to their age and one that they could pin-up on their bedroom walls.  In addition to fan-girls, it also helped recruit younger viewers who could identify more with an actor closer to their age.

Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies were clever enough to exploit the sex appeal of David Tennant and Matt Smith.  But casting Peter Capaldi could slam the door shut on fans who now feel that the party is over.  There will be the faction that is displeased that a woman or non-white actor wasn’t selected, which would seem negligible but for the fact that a larger faction of the DOCTOR WHO audience is now also displeased that a much older actor was cast in the role.

Some of the key attributes that we know and love about The Doctor are his zaniness, silliness, sense of wonder and curiosity, a childlike soul, physical agility, and as of the new era, sex appeal.   It is too late to turn back the clock to a time when The Doctor was merely an older gentleman collecting companions and going on amazing adventures.  The new era invited audiences to fall in love with The Doctor, as a lover, not a mentor.  It would be nice to think that fans will follow The Doctor on any adventure and through every incarnation, but the cold, harsh reality of the world we live in is that age matters. Appearance matters. Casting so much older will feel like a slap in the face of fans who fell in love with The Doctor.  They may have accepted a woman in the role, or a non-white actor because they were prepared for a change.  But no one expected this and given the new world rules created by design by Russell and Steven in selecting such younger actors to attract younger audiences, this was just the wrong choice.

We will stand by Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, but everyone will be thinking: how soon can we get to the Thirteen Doctor?

Where to find this article:

http://www.thetvaddict.com/2013/08/08/doctor-who-how-they-got-the-casting-of-the-twelfth-doctor-all-wrong/

BBC America Expands Its Wondrous World of Dark Dramas and Sensational Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Comic-Con, * Events, * Interviews, * TCA, * TV Addict, * Video interviews, Doctor Who, Orphan Black on July 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm
Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman (photo credit: Jennifer Schadel)

Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman (photo credit: Jennifer Schadel)

Over a decade in the making, BBC America has finally hit its stride with an all-star slate of original programming that has caught the American television audience’s attention.  In addition to fan-favorite DOCTOR WHO, BBC America has been slowly building up its programming with original series, such as: ORPHAN BLACK, COPPER, RIPPER STREET, LUTHER, IN THE FLESH, BEING HUMAN, BROADCHURCH, and its new series ATLANTIS. Between its Wednesday night Dramaville and its Supernatural Saturdays, BBC America has become a destination channel for fans seeking thought-provoking, gritty, intriguing and vastly entertaining television shows.

Without any signs of slowing down the phenomenal momentum of the last year, BBC America is aiming to carve out an even bigger chunk of the American television audience.  Offering both the 50th Anniversary Special of DOCTOR WHO on November 23rd and the special “An Adventure in Time and Space” (which tells the story of how the DOCTOR WHO series was first created 50 years ago), as well as simultaneously launch the new fantasy series ATLANTIS, which is the tales of a young man who finds himself trapped back in time in ancient Greece fighting such beings as minotaurs and befriending Medusa, BBC America hopes to attract even more fans.

Dalek and TARDIS

Dalek and TARDIS

At a recent party celebrating its fine achievements, BBC America hosted with a dizzying array of stars and memorabilia.  In attendance were DOCTOR WHO stars Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman, along with ORPHAN BLACK’s Dylan Bruce, David Bradley star of “An Adventure in Time and Space” and BROADCHURCH, as well as Mark Addy and Jemima Rooper who play Hercules and Medusa in ATLANTIS.  There was also a special appearance by a few Cybermen and an Ood as they gave a live performance, and greeting everyone at the curbside were a Dalek and a TARDIS replica.   There was also a display of authentic DOCTOR WHO costumes and a few other delightful surprises.

BBC America also recently took the casts of DOCTOR WHO, ORPHAN BLACK and “An Adventure in Time and Space” to San Diego Comic-Con, where fans greeted them with overwhelming accolades and applause.  Here are a few press interviews with the casts at Comic-Con:


The cast of ORPHAN BLACK is clearly delighted and surprised to find their new show is an instant hit and the toast of critics and fans across the globe.  In fact co-star Dylan Bruce mentioned at the BBC America party that he hoped that ORPHAN BLACK will one day be as big as the ABC series LOST, a personal favorite of his.  When asked if he is the Sawyer of ORPHAN BLACK, he merely laughed and said he hopes he is.  As the series resumes filming in September, Dylan remains ecstatic that his character Paul has not yet fallen victim to death’s calling card on the show. Since ORPHAN BLACK puts its characters in enough jeopardy with a high body count his worries do not seem all that unfounded.

Matt Smith (photo credit: Tiffany Vogt)

Matt Smith (photo credit: Tiffany Vogt)

Then as for the cast of DOCTOR WHO as they embarked on the final leg of Matt Smith’s journey as The Doctor, when asked what each had learned from their characters, Matt Smith said, “Courage and kindness. I just admire The Doctor.” While Jenna Coleman said, “Just go on the adventure and enjoy it.” To which Matt happily added, “Live in the moment!”  As for advice they would give their characters, Jenna said she’d tell Clara, “Trust him — he’s pretty cool!” and Matt said he’d tell The Doctor, “Just keep going, man.  Keep going — and running.”  To which Jenna cheekily added, “And don’t look behind!”

Also catching Jemima Rooper for a quick moment, she enthusiastically shared a few details about her character Medusa on the new series ATLANTIS.  She said, “What doesn’t draw you to a role like that?! Medusa as a character is all to come and I get to pave the way. I just hope the audience relates to her and likes her and hopefully falls in love with her a little bit.  At first, she is just a companion to the three main boys and there’s a blossoming romance with one of the characters. But knowing what happens to her, there’s a sense of impending doom. It’s going to be a long twisted journey. But right now the show is really funny, and warm, and sweet.”

While the BBC America series COPPER currently airs Sunday nights, soon joining the programming schedule is the drama series BROADCHURCH starring David Tennant, Arthur Darvill, Olivia Colman and David Bradley.  BROADCHURCH is a police drama investigating the murder of a young boy left on a beach.  The series offers more twists and more suspects than the average murder mystery and it definitely keeps everyone guessing to the bitter end.

Then the acclaimed drama LUTHER returns for a limited run in early September.  The trials and tribulations of John Luther, phenomenally portrayed by Idris Elba, shall enthrall fans once again.  Plus, as a bonus, Ruth Wilson returns as the diabolical Alice to shake up Luther’s already chaotic world.

David Bradley, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss (photo credit: Tiffany Vogt)

David Bradley, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss (photo credit: Tiffany Vogt)

Finally, November and December are big months for BBC America with the premiere of “An Adventure in Time and Space” and the new fantasy series ATLANTIS, not to mention the 50th Anniversary special of DOCTOR WHO followed by the annual Christmas special which will introduce the new Doctor.  Executive producer Steven Moffat has announced that he hopes to reveal the identity of the new actor portraying the 12th Doctor sometime in August, so be on the look out for that earth-shaking news.

BBC America is no longer just a channel rearing British original series, it is pursuing its own original programming with COPPER, RIPPER STREET, and ORPHAN BLACK.  For those who have not yet discovered these new series, the time is now to jump in and find out why critics everywhere are talking about these fine shows.  Plus ORPHAN BLACK star Tatiana Maslany, along with her co-stars Jordan Gavaris and Dylan Bruce are Hollywood’s latest addiction and craze.  For haven’t you heard yet: clones are all the rage this year — and there’s a good reason for it!

Discover and enjoy the incredible world of BBC America. It’s a television playground that you’ll find yourself spending more and more time in and you are going to love it!

Where to find this article:

http://www.thetvaddict.com/2013/07/30/bbc-america-expands-its-wondrous-world-of-dark-dramas-and-sensational-sci-fifantasy-series/

Dylan Bruce and Jordan Gavaris (photo credit: Jennifer Schadel)

Dylan Bruce and Jordan Gavaris (photo credit: Jennifer Schadel)

Cyberman

Cyberman

BBC America party

BBC America party

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