Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You 300th Blog Post Super Spectacular Thingy!

And NOW, from the SUPER SECRET undisclosed location of the DAVE-EL Fortress of Ineptitude, we proudly present...



Brought to you by....

Nicole Kidman Shock Absorbing Bras & Panties! 
 









Vladmir Putin's PARTY PUTINS, the tasty Russian Snack made from BEETS!





ZEKE & ZED'S ZOMBIE ZAPPER ZERVICE!





Ted Cruz Fertilizer!
Made from Premium Bullshit!


Damn Yankee Candle!  


And...
















INCOGNITO!
The fragrance for racist men!


And now here's your host...

The ONE!

The ONLY!

DAVE-EL!!!!!



_____________________________

Thank you! Hi there and welcome to the 300th post at I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the internet's most humble blog ever! Yeah, that's right, y'all! Got some serious humility going on down here! Ain't NO blog more humble than this one! This is the humblest blog of all time, baby!

In honor of this milestone achievement, I'm presenting the I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You 300th Blog Post Super Spectacular Thingy with some very special features for today's post with a variety of big name stars taking part in this celebration!

So let's get BIZZAY!! 

_____________________________


To start the celebration my 300th blog post in style, we are going to present a recitation of Hamlet's soliloquy by that world famous actor of stage, television and screen, SIR PATRICK STEWART!!!!! And joining him will be rap super star JAY-Z!!!!!

Gentlemen, you may proceed.





OK, give it up, y'all, for SIR PATRICK STEWART and JAY-ZEEEEEEEE!!!!!

_____________________________

All right, next up for our 300th Blog Post Super Spectacular Thingy , we have an exclusive interview with a figure who has been at the center of a lot of controversy lately. But I have him here today and I won't be pulling any punches.

From A&E's hit reality series, DUCK DYNASTY, please welcome PHIL ROBERTSON!!!

Hello, Mr. Robertson! May I call you Phil?



Okay, then. Mr. Robertson, you've recently made what some regard as some inflammatory statements regarding gays. In light of that, can you tell me: do you have an secret beard grooming tips you would like to share?




All righty then. After your comments about gay people were made public, the A&E cable network suspended you from your show but have recently reversed that position. In response to A&E's actions, I was wondering if those sunglasses are Ray-bans or Wayfarers?




Because those are some wicked shades if I say so myself. Moving on, you have stated that your position on gays stems from your religious faith. On the subject of faith, do you have any favorites for making the Super Bowl this year?




Okay. Well, it might still be too early to predict that. Still, I'm hoping the Carolina Panthers can go all the way. In the aftermath of your comments on gay people, it was also revealed you have made some controversial comments regarding the black community. When it comes to race relations, I was wondering if you saw the Doctor Who Christmas special?



Right. OK. Well, thank you for coming by and being gracious in dealing with these hard hitting questions.

PHIL ROBERTSON of DUCK DYNASTY, everybody!

_____________________________

Next up to help me celebrate the 300th Blog Post Super Spectacular Thingy of I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You is a celebrity who knows a bit about amusing suffering in the company of the Griffin family each week on the hit Fox TV series, Family Guy! Please put your hands together for BRIAN GRIFFIN!!!!!

Hey, Brian! How does it feel to be a part of this blog celebration?



Oh, Brian! You are SUCH a kidder!






Family Guy's BRIAN GRIFFIN, everybody! 


_____________________________


Hey, here's a message from the founder of The Huffington Post and the secret love of my life, Arianna Huffington.






Do you know what I love most about you, my dearest Arianna? Your sparkling wit and delectable sense of humor!

_____________________________

This celebration of this 300th Blog Post Super Spectacular Thingy is a lot of fun! And I don't want the good times to stop! So let's bring out our next special feature, a dance tribute to the NSA performed by the spectacular RADIO CITY ROCKETTES!!!!

WOOOOO--HOOOOOO!!!!!!!!




Uh oh.

C'mon! I got the Rockettes ready to go and every-




Er, there may have been an, ah, slight miscommunication.

_____________________________

And this has been the 300th Blog Post Super Spectacular Thingy of I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You!

I want to thank our fine sponsors today:
  • Nicole Kidman's Shock Absorbing Bras & Panties!
  • Vladmir Putin's Party Putins!
  • Ted Cruz Fertilizer!
  • Damn Yankee Candle! And...
  • Incognito, the Fragrance for Racist Men!

Thank you to my loyal readers (both of you!) May you have a blessed and a Happy New Year!

And until next time...

Be good to one another!

Bye!

_____________________________


The I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You 300th Blog Post Super Spectacular Thingy is a production of Dave-El Inc. and I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You Entertainment. The opinions and views expressed in this blog have been given absolutely no serious deliberation whatsoever. The contents of this blog have been formed from a very demented mind with the assistance of a glowing, pulsating goo from outer space and really, if you've read this far, well, it's probably too late and you'll now become part of a mutant zombie army that will enslave the Earth on behalf of the Galaxians of Delta Freon IV.




All hail our benevolent Galaxian overlords! 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Doctor Who Saturday: Now What?



Hello and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You and my year end edition of Doctor Who Saturday.

Dave-El here to take stock of where we Whovians have come over the last year and where we are now.

At the end of last year, we found ourselves still reeling from the gut wrenching loss of Amy and Rory as the Doctor's companions and the beginning of the mind spinning mystery of Clara Oswald, the Impossible Girl.




A year later and we are reeling once again, this time over a loss we did not anticipate this time a year ago, the loss of Matt Smith as the Doctor

Do yourself a favor and check out this post by Brendan Connelly on what Matt Smith meant to him and to Doctor Who. I am amazed at how well Brendan put into words some of the very thoughts that I myself could only poorly articulate.

(Also take a look at this this examination of the some of the details observed during The Time of the Doctor. I always look forward to Rich Johnston's "10 Thoughts" feature on a new Doctor Who episode. He sees things I don't see. I sometimes disagree with his opinions but he never fails to make me think and consider an episode of Doctor Who from new and intriguing perspectives.) 

What else did we not know a year ago?

  • The world of Trenzalore is the Doctor's final resting place and we would visit the Doctor's tomb.
  • There's a mysterious Doctor from the past that we did not know about.
  • We would get to see Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor on screen in a solo outing. (Yes, it was a mini-sode but damn if did not kick butt!)
  • Denials aside, we knew David Tennant would have to be in the 50th anniversary special. (Or as Matt Smith put it, "There would be rioting in the streets.") But who knew the only other actor to previously portray the Doctor to appear in the special would be Tom Baker?
  • We could actually buy tickets to see Doctor Who in a cinema theater! In 3-D! And that box office results for this event showing would actually be competitive with actual motion pictures including the highly anticipated Hunger Games sequel. Wow!
  • The Doctor is out of regenerations due to both the previously unknown War Doctor AND the face saving regeneration trick that the 10th Doctor pulled in Journey's End.
  • The Doctor would have a new objective, to find his way back home, back to Gallifrey.
  • The Doctor's new face would be an older face.
2013 was Doctor Who's 50th anniversary and what a year of surprises this has been. Where we stand now is not where we could have guessed a year ago we would be.  But as we look back over this year, we can see 12 months that played out every drama and joy we associate with Doctor Who: welcoming a new companion, the sadness of a Doctor leaving, the excitement of a new Doctor to come.

And it was all good! The Day of the Doctor could have imploded on a world wide stage. Instead, Steven Moffat delivered a script crackling with drama, action, humor, adventure and heart. And then he did it again a month later with The Time of the Doctor.

The 8 episodes that preceded these events were a bit of a mixed bag but that's all true to the Doctor Who experience. When you have a series centered around a madman with a box that can travel through time AND space, different episodes will have different appeals.

And a shout out to Mark Gatiss and his wonderful An Adventure in Space and Time, the story of the origin of the Doctor Who series and the first Doctor, William Hartnell. It was a story told with profound affection for the foundations on which this show continues to stand and to grow.

And kudos to Peter Davison and The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, an insanely clever, laugh out loud funny and, in the end, touching tribute from the former 5th Doctor joined by Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy and a plethora of cameos and guest stars from the width and breadth of Doctor Who history. 

So...what next?

After the euphoria of the 50th anniversary year and the clash of emotions that always greets a change in Doctors, we now have...a break. Filming on the next series does not start until January with new episodes not available until this Fall at the earliest.

And to be honest, perhaps we need a break. It provides a chance to look back on the wild ride of the Matt Smith years and even further back to the history of the show, to discover the wonders of episodes once thought lost but now found. 

But then we will begin to feel again the hunger for something new. Where can Doctor Who go next? What exactly will a Peter Capaldi Doctor be like? How is Clara faring with this Doctor with the weathered face and the wild eyes?

Where will we be a year from now?

We have no idea.

And isn't that fantastic?


"I'm the Doctor! I have wrinkles now. Wrinkles are cool!"



















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NOTE: the next post for I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You is the 300th Post (Yay!) and will appear on Tuesday, December 31st. Until then, be good to one another.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Broken News In Pictures

Hi there!

I'm Dave-El and this is I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You and no, none of the pictures in this post are the slightest bit fuzzy. Maybe it's you. Nobody made you drink that much, you know.

Today is a special edition of the weekly Friday feature called bROkEN nEWs.

When I first started this blog, it served as a forum for the various "jokes on headlines" posts I was putting out on Twitter. These blog posts eventually evolved into bROkEN nEWs. In addition to the headline humor, I began adding visual gags as well. One of the first of those picture jokes was in response to the then-hot story of Amanda Bynes' meltdown. 




 The second I saw a picture of happy perky Amanda Bynes next to a recent photo of Bynes in shades and monster hair, the caption immediately leapt to mind and I realized I had to post it in that week's headline feature.

Amanda Bynes' disintegration from teen sitcom star to future mainstay of the Betty Ford Clinic was sad and should not be made fun of.

But what the hell.

The picture below was in response to a rumor of Amanda Bynes making a deal with Playboy. Naturally, I assumed it was a neat deal on a subscription.




This is one of the wigs Amanda wore to one of those legal hearings to proof she wasn't doing weed or just plan bat-shit crazy or some damn thing.



Oh, look! Both Justin Bieber AND Amanda Bynes showed up somewhere wearing hats.




I haven't heard much from Amanda Bynes lately. I seriously hope she's OK. Since Justin Bieber is "retiring", he'll have time to go on a road trip and find her. You know, give him something to do instead of recording perpetrating a new album. 


So I decided to launch a regular feature of photos with goofy headlines that I called...bROkEN nEWs IN pICtUREs.

Below is the very first one.


The very first Broken News In Pictures (August 16, 2013)
"Obama Leaves Human Head On Podium" is still one of my favorite sight gags in this feature.

So bROkEN nEWs IN pICtUREs became a part of the weekly bROkEN nEWs feature. Below are samples from subsequent editions. 

 


Ah, Ted Cruz. Second only to Anthony Weiner (*snicker!* "Weiner") as the best gift that keeps giving in the realm of political humor.  The time Ted Cruz spoke for hours and hours and hours in an effort to defund Obamacare prompted this bit that I called  "Cruz-a-thon".  





While the constant whining and tantrums of Ted Cruz and the Tea Party ilk to overturn the Affordable Health Care Act were almost laughable, the Obama Administration was working overtime to figure out a way to shoot itself in the proverbial foot.

They succeeded.

 
Whether you are a proponent or an opponent of the Affordable Health Care Act, one would hope that more thought and planning would have gone into what was Obama's signature policy initiative. But the stories that have come out about the missteps surrounding the launch of HealthCare.gov almost made me think the following scenario might have occurred:
 
 


HealthCare.gov, the website that launched a thousand jokes.

I came up with these two.




 
 
It really got stupid when efforts were made to direct interested persons to Obamacare by using the phone instead of the frequently frustrating and virtually useless website.
 
Only to have phone lines overwhelmed.
 
So an edition of bROkEN nEWs was sponsored by Obamacare Express which relied on less high tech ways to deliver health care information to potential customers.
 
Here is the graphic I created for that bit.





 
 
A lame joke at the expense of Target lead me to write a "disclaimer" from Target. I struck me as a bit funnier to overlay that text over the Target logo. 




This "disclaimer" from the fine folks at Blockbuster was in response to a joke that insinuated that the last employees of the video store chain were asleep.

Oh, NOW this bothers them!





Maybe one day K-Mart may be following Blockbuster into corporate limbo but they're still hanging in there. Even it gets lonely sometimes.

This was a "disclaimer" from K-Mart after I posted a joke involving a bomb threat at a K-Mart in Washington State. 




Speaking of limbo, political purgatory coughed up Anthony Weiner (*snicker!* "Weiner") to run for mayor of New York City and Elliot Spitzer to run for New York City....I don't know, dog catcher or something. During Elliot's campaign, a good awful creepy photo of him at a campaign event popped up online.

Next thing I know, Elliot Spitzer's quoting lines from the Joker from the 1989 Batman movie by Tim Burton. 




Another frequent source of humor are the folks at Fox News (*snicker!* "Weiner"). Now I don't want to always go there for my jokes but damned if they don't make it so easy.

A few months back, Gretchen Carlson of the morning show Fox and Friends moved on to other pastures that didn't involve sitting next to Brian Kilmeade.  The thing about the hosts of Fox and Friends is the amount of righteous indignation over some lapse in moral rectitude in America that was directly attributable to  Barack Obama.

I appreciate Gretchen Carlson's passionate defense of pure and wholesome American values coupled with her frequent display of upskirt shots.
 



I want to wrap up this retrospective with a look at one my favorite gags involving sequential visuals. This one looked in on the activities of the Mars Rover as it continues its quest to search for signs of life but only finding one thing.

Over and over.
 



 

So that's a look back at some of the visual jokes that have dotted the various entries of bROkEN nEWs. Until next time, remember to smile for the camera.

Oh, and be good to one another.
___________________________
Tomorrow on the blog:
The last Doctor Who Saturday of 2013.

And......

Blog Post # 300 is coming! 
 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Doctor Who Is NEW: The Time of the Doctor


 


Dave-El here and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You. Yesterday, I posted my thoughts on the impending departure of Matt Smith from Doctor Who.


Today, Matt Smith is gone and here's what I think about that.

When something has to end, you hope it ends well or as well as can be expected.

But no matter how good or even spectacular an ending may be, there is one inescapable fact:

It still ends.

Yesterday marked an ending for Doctor Who that sets the stage for a new beginning and an exciting new chapter in the life of the Doctor. But even as the future has been prepared for, we cannot escape the immutable fact that this is the end.

This is the end of the Matt Smith era.

This is....The Time of the Doctor.

And the Dave-El review comes up after the graphic.



 
 
 
One last note of caution: Unlike previous reviews where I have tried avoiding being too spoileriffic, there's so much going on in this episode that it's not easy going over this without covering some "first that happened, then this happened" ground so fair warning...
 
_____________________________________________________
 Spoilers, Sweetie!
_____________________________________________________
 
 
Before we get started, a shout out to the fine folks at Geeksboro Coffeehouse Cinema (you can find them here on Facebook) for hosting the showing of the Doctor Who Christmas special to a packed house. 
 
And yours truly won a Dalek! So cool! (A miniature Dalek, mind you so no worries on my attempting to conquer Earth with it.)
 
 

Yes, that is (sigh!) me (really) with my brand new Dalek
(Thanks, Geeksboro!) and my handy-dandy sonic screwdriver.

 
That was a great capper to a wonderful evening spent in the company of many fellow Whovians. And for a good cause too as proceeds from the event were donated to the Greensboro Urban Ministry which provides food and other assistance to our city's poor and homeless. The Doctor would be proud! 
 
OK, away we go!
 
 
Regeneration episodes of Doctor Who have a lot riding on them. There needs to be a significant threat to warrant the Doctor losing his life to solve it. The farewell as to be poignant. The first look at the new Doctor has to immediately engage the viewer still reeling from the loss of one Doctor to feel confident the future is in safe hands.
 
 
The Time of the Doctor has all this riding on it and more. Matt Smith is exceedingly well liked and presided over a major expansion of awareness of the show in the public consciousness. For many Doctor Who fans, Matt is their first Doctor. So the exit of Matt Smith from the role of the Doctor, at the height of the show's newfound popularity and the pinnacle of his skills as an actor, required a send off worthy of the occasion. 
 
For the 50th anniversary special, in the face of incredibly high expectations and overheated hype, Steven Moffat delivered a strong episode in The Day of the Doctor. Question: can he go for two in a row and knock the 11th Doctor's endgame out of the park?
 
 
There are things working against the episode. Besides the excess level of high expectations, the show had a surfeit of loose ends to tie up, some dating back to Matt's first episode, The Eleventh Hour. Too much to do in too little time. One might wonder if Steven Moffat could've used those two whole hours given over for David Tennant's finale as the Doctor. Matt has twice as much ground to cover in less than half the time. If the whole thing seems a bit rushed, there's a reason for that.
 
 
Still, unlike say The End of Time where I occasionally checked my watch to see when we could get this regeneration thing over with, The Time of the Doctor moves at a far more brisk pace. (Even with commercial interruptions. C'mon, BBC America, could you have at least did the first airing with limited commercials?)
 
 
We get a big epic opening as many different races are converging on one planet in answer to a summons that no one understands. Into this mix enters the Doctor with a new robotic pal in tow. The Doctor is using the head of a Cyberman as a personal assistant. He's nicknamed the head "Handles". You will come to care about Handles. Really.
 
While working to resolve the mysteries of why so many beings are interested in this particular planet, the Doctor receive an urgent call from a frantic Clara Oswald who desperately needs the Doctor's help.
 
Clara needs a boyfriend.
 
So the Doctor has an awkward encounter with the Oswalds. Why is it awkward? Because the Doctor's outfit is a holographic projection keyed to only to Clara's visual cortex.
 
 
In English, the Doctor is naked.
 
 
The reason for this bit of hi-jinx is that the Doctor has a meet-up scheduled where there is no dress code for the event if you know what I mean.  So whipping up a holographic outfit for Clara (Yes, boys, the clothes aren't really there and she's naked. Now settle down!), the Doctor and his companion go to church (so to speak) to find out more about what's going on with this suddenly and oddly interesting planet which Handles has identified as (wait for it!) Gallifrey.
 
Yep, THAT Gallifrey. Except the Doctor knows Gallifrey. He was born there, he zapped it into another universe. He knows Gallifrey when he sees it and that ain't it.
 
 
So the Doctor and Clara go down to the planet where they find a town called Christmas with a tower that projects a truth field. Yes, a field that makes sure what one says is the truth. You see, this planet is really Trenzalore. So why did Handles say it was Gallifrey? Because Gallifrey is bleeding out from it's pocket universe through (Wait for it!) a crack in a wall. Yes, one of THOSE cracks!
 
And that message no one understands? Handles translates it: "Doctor Who?"
 
So here's the deal: the Time Lords are asking for the Doctor to identify himself and if he answers correctly (and truthfully), the Time Lords know they have found the correct universe and can return. Except the planet is ringed by thousands of alien races (principally among them, the Daleks) who are ready to unleash a total holocaust on the planet below, killing the innocent inhabitants of Christmas, all to keep the Time Lords in check. So after tricking Clara into the TARDIS which takes her back home, the Doctor resolves to stand his ground and defend the people of Trenzalore.
 
 
Which he does.
 
 
For 300 years.
 
 
Clara somehow makes her way into the future and back to Trenzalore as she finds that the Doctor is starting to finally show his age, the centuries catching up to him. And the Doctor reveals he can't regenerate. He has a limit of 12 times he can do that. And yes, it appears that the regenerations involving the War Doctor AND the 10th Doctor's face saving regeneration trick in Journey's End DO count.
 
 
The story takes another big jump in time to find the Doctor even older and very close to death. And those centuries have taken their toll on Trenzalore's defenses. The siege has become a war and Trenzalore is doomed. And so is the Doctor. But Clara (after another TARDIS trip that brings her this fateful moment in time) makes an appeal at the crack in the wall to the Time Lords. An appeal, a wish, even a prayer if you will, for the Time Lords to intervene and save the Doctor.
 
 
And the Doctor, facing death from old age and confronting the Daleks with no hope, no plans, no weapons worth a damn, begins to regenerate and those energies blast the Daleks out of the sky.
 
 
But the Doctor isn't quite done yet. The regeneration process has restored the Doctor to the normal youthful features of Matt Smith. But the process once begun cannot be stopped. The Doctor says farewell to this life including a last tender goodbye to a surprise guest and in an unexpectedly fast transition starts his new life with a different face.
 
 
Whew!
 
 
So how does this episode rate? Is it a worthy vehicle for Matt Smith's exit or is it a wibbly-wobbly mess? The answer to that is "yes". To both.
 
And when I say "mess", I mean there is a LOT of stuff going on with a story that factors in the Cracks in the Universe, the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Weeping Angels and the Silence in the service of wrapping up loose ends from over the last four years. Still, the story surprisingly does not get bogged down in the minutiae of this messy spectacle. And ultimately it is a spectacle on a grand scale.
 
 
And Matt Smith pulls out the stops in a bravura performance that calls up all the eccentric humor and the firm determination we have come to expect from Matt as he plays an impossibly old Doctor. The fascinating thing to me is as the old age make up piles up, Matt Smith still shines through.
 
 
And just when you've accepted that Matt's super old Doctor has regenerated, we get one last look at Matt in his classic youthful appearance. Matt delivers a poignant good-bye and then the Doctor looks like Peter Capaldi. And when I say "and then", let's just say expectations of how one Doctor transitions to another are seriously upended.
 
 
All in all, I would say that The Time of the Doctor was a uniquely inventive and ultimately entertaining send off for a particularly popular Doctor. Any flaws were insignificant and did not impede my enjoyment of the story. Kudos to Steven Moffat and the production team. Props to Orla Brady who is wickedly good as the smoldering sexy space nun (no, not making that up) and to Jenna Coleman who once again dazzles as Clara Oswald.
 
 
And kudos to Matt Smith who defied expectations from day one to the very end with a Doctor we always found surprising and engaging. Peter Capaldi has a really tough act to follow. Matt Smith, you will be missed. And we will always remember when you were the Doctor. 
____________________________
 
Coming up on the blog:
 
  • A special edition of Broken News on Friday.
  • The last Doctor Who Saturday for 2013.
  •  And blog post # 300 is around the corner!
 
In the meantime, be good to one another.
 
 





"Raggedy Man, goodnight."





 
 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Doctor Who Is Changing: The Time of Matt Smith

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hello and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the blog that reminds you that the word "regeneration" can also read "Re Gene Rat Ion" which really doesn't mean anything and is kind of silly now that I think about it so forget I mentioned it.

I'm Dave-El and today, we begin a special two-part blog post about Doctor Who. I could make this entire blog about the Doctor if I had a half a mind to but no one ever said I had that much mind and there are other topics that I want to stumble around like bad jokes based on news headlines, comic books and absurdist posts involving corn.

But today and tomorrow, I am turning this blog's attention to Doctor Who as we face a most momentous occasion in the life any dedicated Whovian: the regeneration of the Doctor.

If the various actors portraying the Doctor were of a similar age and appearance and all were committed to portraying the character in an established way, the transition from actor to actor would be less gut wrenching. We would kind of know what we're going to get. But if the Doctor really did transition to a similar if not same archetype time and again, I doubt we would have the vibrant ongoing series of Doctor Who we have today. Instead, actors who portray the Doctor are given latitude to explore the limits of the part and to even invest a bit of themselves into the role. The upshot is that the viewer becomes invested in that Doctor. For good or ill, that person IS the Doctor. And when that actor makes the decision that it's time to move on, the prospect can be quite daunting for most Whovians. Oh, the show continues, the Doctor lives on. But as the 10th Doctor told Wilfred Mott in The End of Time Part One, it feels like dying as another man saunters off.

When David Tennant announced in 2008 that he was leaving Doctor Who, fans were shocked. Tennant was (and still remains) a beloved Doctor. And it wasn't just for his skills as an actor bringing the Doctor to life but also for the obvious love and joy David Tennant had for playing the role. His was the story of a young boy watching Peter Davison in Doctor Who growing up to be an actor and getting the dream part of a life time. When the 10th Doctor, unable to resist regeneration, plaintively says, "I don't want to go!", there were millions of fans screaming back at the TV, "We don't want you to go!"

Then we got Matt Smith.



OK, that's new. 

There were all sorts of reasons to be worried about the choice of Matt Smith as the Doctor.

  • My God, how young IS this guy? He is out of high school, right?
  • What's the deal with that "Flock of Seagulls" haircut?
  • He's not a life long Doctor Who fan? Does he even know what he's getting into?

Steven Moffat himself may have had similar concerns; he made it clear that he wanted an older actor to play the part of the Doctor. Then Matt Smith auditions and the search is over, right then and there. As the Rolling Stones sang, "You can't always get what you want but...you get what you need." Matt Smith, as the youngest actor ever to be cast as the Doctor, was most certainly NOT what Moffat wanted. But in Matt Smith's Doctor--all gonzo and free wheeling and eccentric--was exactly what he needed.

From Matt's very first post regeneration scene where he assess that he has the right number of body parts and no, he is NOT a girl, this Doctor began to charm his way into our lives.

From The Eleventh Hour, we knew Matt was a keeper. Even as he's working out the kinks of a body that is "still cooking", his first and foremost concern is the crack in the wall that's worrying Amelia Pond. The Doctor hasn't even had a chance to look in a mirror to see what his new face looks like and he's going straight to work coming to the aid of someone who needs help. How very much like the Doctor and yet, uniquely Matt Smith.




Tom Baker's 4th Doctor said, "What's the point of being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes?" Matt Smith's 11th Doctor embraced that credo fully. His Doctor would display bursts of childlike energy and curiosity and yet, one could feel the enormity of the centuries that churned behind those deceptively young eyes. Matt's Doctor embodied the wisdom of a weary traveler who has seen too much and the wonder of an explorer enchanted by all the things he has yet to see.  Of all the catch phrases that are associated with the 11th Doctor--"Geronimo!", "Bow ties are cool!"--the one I found most revealing was this: "OK, that's new." Whether that new thing is good or bad, the discovery of the new continues to spark the Doctor's journey.

Tonight marks the end of a particular interesting era in Doctor Who history as Matt Smith dons the bow tie one last time and embarks on his final adventure as the Doctor. During Matt's time as the Doctor, the show has witnessed a phenomenal growth in popularity. Doctor Who appears on the cover of American magazines like TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. It gets named checked in Time magazine and enters the Guinness Book of World Records. If you mention Doctor Who, you're just as likely to get a "Oh yeah, I've heard of that" as opposed to the formerly more common, "Doctor What?" A lot owes to the efforts of Steven Moffat and his production staff as well as the marketing efforts of the BBC and BBC America to promote the show, to get the word out and stoke the fires of enthusiasm and curiosity.





But the old adage applies here as well as to most things: "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." A lot of clever people got millions of eyes to give Doctor Who a first look. But it was Matt Smith who was key to bringing them back for a second look and more.

But other old adages come to mind: "Nothing lasts forever." "All good things must end." As I noted in this space this past Saturday, the goal of any performer is to leave your audience asking for more. And Matt Smith leaves the stage with an audience of millions screaming, "We don't want you to go!"

Then we get Peter Capaldi.

As the 11th Doctor himself would say: "OK, that's new."

Matt Smith, whatever the future may bring, your time as the Doctor will be regarded fondly and will never be forgotten.


______________________________________________________________________

Tomorrow:

Part 2 of our Doctor Who post as we review The Time of the Doctor.

Until then, be good to one another. 



When Dark Crosses Light

It is a disheartening thing when the darkness of tragedy crosses with the light of our entertainment ephemera. I was thinking about ...