|The Eleventh Doctor|
|Portrayed by||Matt Smith|
|First appearance||The End of Time|
|Number of series||3|
|Appearances||36 stories (42 episodes)|
|Preceded by||Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)|
The Eleventh Doctor is the eleventh incarnation of the protagonist of the BBC television science fiction series Doctor Who. He is played by Matt Smith, and was introduced at the conclusion of the show's New Year's Day special in 2010, taking over the role from David Tennant, who portrayed the Tenth Doctor. Smith is scheduled to portray the character past the show's 50th anniversary and until at least 2014.
Within the series' narrative, the Doctor is a centuries-old alien, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, who travels in time and space in his TARDIS, frequently with companions. When the Doctor is critically injured, he can regenerate his body but in doing so gains a new physical appearance and with it, a distinct new personality. Smith portrays the eleventh such incarnation, a quick-tempered but compassionate man whose youthful appearance is at odds with his more discerning and world-weary temperament.
The Eleventh Doctor is portrayed as a brash, lively, eccentric man who was rather arrogant and vain, but has a great deal of affection for his loved ones. He is at times childlike, arguably downright childish, which allows him to connect very well with children. However there are also times when he acted his age, such as when he retired in Victorian London after the loss of Amy Pond and Rory Williams and became a grumpy and solitary man who refused to interact with others until he was charmed by Clara Oswald. Unlike his two most immediate predecessors, this Doctor seemed ignorant of the details of human popular culture, beyond a few references to classic literature, and is seen to embarrass his companions variously, such as with his attempts to be cool (including enthusiastic 'uncle' dancing). He even showed ignorance of adult activities such as sharing a bed (providing bunk beds in the TARDIS for the married Ponds) and drinking wine ("Yuck! I thought it would be more like the gums!"). He was also inept at responding to romantic advances, acting awkwardly when River Song, Amy and Clara tried to seduce him, although there were times when he would behave more maturely in romantic situations, frequently flirting with River and eventually marrying her, despite his usual discomfort about romance.
This Doctor was arguably the most manipulative incarnation apart from the Seventh and was not above using subtle and almost Machiavellian schemes in order to outwit his enemies, such as when he used the Tesselecta to escape from his prophesied death and when he turned a Spoonhead against its owner disguising it as himself. In "The Girl Who Waited", he even manipulated an older version of Amy into helping him and Rory rescue a younger version, and then locked her out of the TARDIS, leaving her to die to avoid a paradox. River Song stated that the Doctor's enemies were deeply afraid of him; indeed she stated in "Silence in the Library", when David Tennant was still playing the Doctor, that her Doctor, the Eleventh, could cause whole armies to turn and run away. The Eleventh Doctor did that at least twice, first in "The Pandorica Opens" and later in "A Good Man Goes to War". Although the Doctor put on a façade of cheerful arrogance, he secretly thought he was a bad person and often displayed self-loathing for the things he had done throughout his life. Although countless people owed him their lives, as pointed out by River in "The Wedding of River Song", the Doctor blamed himself for ruining many other lives.
Although Steven Moffat expected to pick a middle-aged actor for the new Doctor, Smith was aged 26 when cast. This made him the youngest actor to portray the Doctor, three years younger than Peter Davison was at the time he began his role as the Fifth Doctor.
Speculation about the identity of the Eleventh Doctor began on 28 June 2008; the penultimate episode of the fourth series, "The Stolen Earth", ended as the Doctor was regenerating after being shot by a Dalek's death ray. The lack of a trailer for the second part, "Journey's End", prompted media and public speculation which helped Doctor Who attain the highest position in the weekly ratings in the show's history. The rumoured replacements included Catherine Tate (then playing the Doctor's companion, Donna Noble),Robert Carlyle,Jason Statham,David Morrissey, and James Nesbitt. The Daily Mail also reported the theories that two Doctors could be created, eventually proven to be correct.
Tennant announced at the National Television Awards on 29 October 2008 that he would be stepping down from portraying the Doctor because he felt that the four years he spent portraying the character was enough to ease the transition from Russell T Davies' showrunning to Steven Moffat's. At the time, BBC News published that Paterson Joseph, who appeared in the Doctor Who episodes "Bad Wolf" and "The Parting of the Ways", was the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Tennant and if chosen would become the first black Doctor, followed by David Morrissey, who would be appearing in the 2008 Christmas special, "The Next Doctor". Other candidates included Sean Pertwee, son of Third Doctor actor Jon Pertwee;Russell Tovey, who portrayed Alonso Frame in the 2007 Christmas special, "Voyage of the Damned"; and James McAvoy.
Show producers were cautious about casting Smith because they felt that a 26-year-old could not play the Doctor adequately; BBC Wales Head of Drama Piers Wenger shared the sentiment, but noted that Smith was capable enough to play the role. Smith's casting in the role was revealed during an episode of Doctor Who's companion show Doctor Who Confidential, during which he described the role as "a wonderful privilege and challenge that I hope I will thrive on".
The Eleventh Doctor spends most of his first full episode, "The Eleventh Hour", in the tattered remains of the Tenth Doctor's clothing. As a result of his time travelling during the episode, for twelve years, young Amelia Pond remembers, draws, and plays make-believe games about "The Raggedy Doctor", whom she met as a child.
The Doctor's outfit is a brown tweed jacket with elbow patches, bow tie, braces, black trousers and black, ankle-high boots. He frequently refers to his affection for bow ties, often proclaiming "Bow ties are cool." The Doctor habitually varies the details of the outfit, switching from a braces and bow tie combination in red to the same in blue (or black in early episodes.). The Doctor wore a third variation in Death of the Doctor consisting of a plain white shirt with black buttons and a blue bow tie. In the episode Let's Kill Hitler, another variation on the costume was introduced - the tweed jacket was replaced with a green military coat, with the rest of the outfit unchanged. The Doctor subsequently alternated between the two coats for the rest of Season Six, wearing the tweed in "Night Terrors" and "The God Complex" while returning to the green coat in "The Girl Who Waited", "Closing Time" and the first half of "The Wedding of River Song"; he has since returned to the tweed full-time in the first half of Season Seven until the 2012 Christmas special in which the Doctor wears a new costume, tying in to the purple colour scheme.
In The Big Bang, the Doctor briefly dons a fez, stating, "I wear a fez now, fezzes are cool". The fez is cheerfully destroyed by River Song and Amy Pond before the end of the episode. In The Impossible Astronaut the Doctor wears a stetson, proclaiming, "I wear a stetson now, stetsons are cool", only for it to be shot off his head by River Song. The fez theme, and the Doctor's fascination with "cool" headgear, make periodic reappearances throughout the first story of the sixth series.
In an interview with Doctor Who Magazine, Steven Moffat revealed that the Eleventh Doctor had an entirely different costume until close to the start of filming. The original look had a swashbuckling feel which Doctor Who Magazine editor Tom Spilsbury described as "a little like something Captain Jack Sparrow wears in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies". However, Matt Smith was unhappy with the costume as he felt it reflected how someone else would dress the Doctor, rather than how the Doctor would dress himself. Smith also mentioned in a 2012 interview that his Doctor was going to have a "very long black leather jacket, but it was too Matrix-style". The eventual costume, in particular the bow-tie, was influenced by Patrick Troughton's Second Doctor, after Matt Smith fell in love with the Troughton story The Tomb of the Cybermen.
The Eleventh Doctor first appears in the final minutes of The End of Time (2010) when his previous incarnation regenerates. Smith debuts fully in "The Eleventh Hour", where he first meets Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) as a child while investigating a mysterious crack in her wall. Many years later, Amy joins the Doctor as his travelling companion on the eve of her marriage to Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill). In "Victory of the Daleks", he is tricked into spawning a new generation of Daleks. In "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone", he re-encounters future companion River Song (Alex Kingston) and his enemies the Weeping Angels, and learns that cracks like the one in Amy's wall are erasing individuals entirely from time and space. After Amy attempts to seduce the Doctor, the Doctor recruits Rory as a second companion from "The Vampires of Venice" up until "Cold Blood", where he is killed protecting the Doctor and is erased from history. The Doctor also confronts his dark side in "Amy's Choice", where he is put through trials by a manifestation of his self-loathing, the Dream Lord (Toby Jones). In the final episodes "The Pandorica Opens" and "The Big Bang", an unknown force makes the TARDIS explode, causing the universe to collapse in on itself. Though he closes the cracks —reversing their effects and preventing the explosion— the Doctor himself is erased from history. River assists Amy in remembering the Doctor back into existence; he returns at her wedding to Rory, and the couple rejoin him as his companions. He next appears later in Death of the Doctor, a two-part story of spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures, alongside former companions Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and Jo Grant (Katy Manning), while Amy and Rory are on honeymoon.
Series 6 in 2011 continues to examine mysteries left unexplained at the end of series 5. In "The Impossible Astronaut"/"Day of the Moon", Amy, Rory and River witness a future version of the Doctor murdered, which they vow to keep the secret from the present-day Doctor, until Amy unknowingly lets it slip in "The Almost People". At the episode's conclusion, it is revealed that Amy is pregnant and has been kidnapped by Madame Kovarian (Frances Barber). In "A Good Man Goes to War", the Doctor calls in old favours from across time and space to raise an army to rescue Amy from Demons Run, an asteroid in the 52nd century being used as a base by a religious order, but is unable to rescue her child, Melody Pond. The Doctor also learns that Melody—though Rory and Amy's child—is part Time Lord due to being conceived in the TARDIS, and will grow up to become River Song. In "Let's Kill Hitler", the Doctor encounters a younger iteration of River and learns she has been conditioned by a religious order known as "the Silence" to assassinate him. This version of River kills the Doctor with a kiss due to poison lipstick, before Amy shows her daughter that she will grow up to be River Song, convincing her instead to save his life. The Doctor also learns the circumstances of his death from historical records on a time-travelling shape-shifting robot called the Teselecta. In "The God Complex", the Doctor leaves Amy and Rory on Earth when he realises Amy's apotheosis of him endangers their lives. Some time passes before the Doctor is ready to confront his death. In "The Wedding of River Song", he devises an escape: he plans to hide safely within the Teselecta, which is disguised to look like him, while it is shot and burned as history records. In a doomed alternate reality caused by River's reluctance to shoot the Doctor, the two become married; during the ceremony, she is let in on the Doctor's original plan and helps fake and corroborate his death. The Doctor is then warned by his old friend Dorium Maldovar (Simon Fisher Becker) that more prophecies still concern him, including the revelation of his name, which the Silence had intended his death to prevent.
In Christmas special "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" (2011), the Doctor has Christmas dinner with Amy and Rory, who had been informed by River of his survival. The three unite again in series 7 premiere "Asylum of the Daleks" (2012), in which the Doctor is erased from the Daleks' memory banks due to the actions of Oswin Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman), a young woman who despite being converted into a Dalek has retained her human mind; she subsequently dies. The Doctor then takes Amy and Rory on trips in the TARDIS on several adventures, concluding in "The Angels Take Manhattan" when they are separated from him irrevocably after a Weeping Angel sends them back in time. He also learns that River has been released from prison due to the Doctor erasing himself from historical records. The Doctor subsequently "retires" to a secluded lifestyle in Victorian London, until in 2012 Christmas special "The Snowmen" he is inspired to save the world by a barmaid and governess called Clara (Coleman). He invites Clara to travel with him, but she is killed. When her tombstone reveals her full name, Clara Oswin Oswald, he realises she is—by some means—Oswin from "Asylum", and resolves to find her again, somewhere else in time. He succeeds in "The Bells of Saint John", saving "Clara Oswald" from the Spoonheads controlled by the Great Intelligence and taking her as his companion. All the while, the Doctor works to discover the mystery as to how Clara exists simultaneously as separate people. As seen in "The Rings of Akhaten", the Doctor's trips with Clara bear similarity to his later ones with the Ponds, being a single trip and then back home.
Like the Tenth Doctor, the Eleventh and Amy (and later Rory) appear in New Series Adventures novels in 2010. The first of these is Apollo 23 by Justin Richards, as well as the Decide Your Destiny series of interactive novels. The character also appears in comic books published in Doctor Who Magazine, Doctor Who Adventures, and he is set to take over from the Tenth Doctor in IDW Publishing's ongoing Doctor Who series. He is currently appearing in the crossover series Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2, where he is working with the crew of the Enterprise-D to defeat a Borg/Cybermen alliance.
The Eleventh Doctor is the first of the Doctors to appear in full-on action adventure games. Doctor Who: The Adventure Games is composed of four stories ("episodes"), produced alongside the 2010 series. Smith and Gillan lent their voices and likenesses. The first, "City of the Daleks", carries on from TV episode "Victory of the Daleks" and is a stealth and puzzle game set in 1960s Earth and the Dalek planet of Skaro. The second, "Blood of the Cybermen", is the Eleventh Doctor and Amy's first Cyberman story. The third episode is the video game "TARDIS", and the fourth is "The Shadows of the Vashta Nerada", featuring that enemy return in an underwater setting. The fifth Adventure Game "The Gunpowder Plot" was released on the 31st of October 2011, again featuring Matt Smith's voice. In May 2012, "The Eternity Clock" was released for PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and PC, starring Matt Smith and Alex Kingston.
Following the airing of "A Good Man Goes to War", in which the Doctor is told by River how the legend of the Doctor is a problem which perpetuates disharmony in the universe, Charlie Jane Anders compared the Eleventh Doctor to the DC Comics superhero Batman. "Just like Batman," Anders writes, "it turns out the Doctor has created his own adversaries, by fostering his own dark legend. It's been a major theme in the Bat-comics since the 1980s, the idea that the Batman is such an extreme figure, who inspires so much fear, that maniacs like the Joker cannot help springing up in response." Anders links this development to a particular motif in Steven Moffat's stories. In a 2005 episode written by Russell T Davies, the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) instructed Mickey to erase all references to him from the Internet, and in Davies' "Last of the Time Lords" (2007), even though the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) had companion Martha spread his legend the world over, this timeline is ultimately erased. In "Forest of the Dead" (2008) however, Moffat has the Tenth Doctor tell the Vashta Nerada to "look him up".
When Matt Smith takes over the role, as the Eleventh Doctor in "The Eleventh Hour" (2010), he boasts of his own legend to terrify the Atraxi, and attempts this once again in series finale episode "The Pandorica Opens" later that year. Anders refers to this as the Doctor's "Batmanification", which she sees culminate in "A Good Man Goes to War"; new villain Madame Kovarian (Frances Barber) seemingly wages an endless war against the Doctor of which he is yet unaware. Throughout the episode, various characters all discuss the legend of the Doctor and how his name inspires fear; they revere it with "religious awe". River Song reveals that the Doctor's name, in fact, takes on two meanings across the universe: in many cultures, as in English, "doctor" means healer. Yet in a number of others, it means "mighty warrior". It is this very legend of the last of the Time Lords, which the Doctor perpetuates, which leads his enemies to capture Amy and steal her baby so that Melody Pond can be an adequate "weapon" against him.
Matt Smith's portrayal of the Doctor has met with very positive reviews. Doctor Who Magazine voted him to be the best Doctor, and Martin Anderson of Shadowlocked claimed him to be the best Doctor since "Tom Baker practically redefined the character in the 1970s". Smith's performance in "Flesh and Stone" was acclaimed by fans and critics. In his review for The Daily Telegraph, Gavin Fuller noted that "Matt Smith's 'quick-paced delivery' is 'a major facet' of the success of the current series." In his review of "The Big Bang", Fuller once again praised Smith's acting. "Matt Smith was superb in his scenes where the Doctor sacrifices himself in the Pandorica to rescue the multiverse".
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Steven Moffat: The whole point of the silence is next series. Also, who is River Song?"
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|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Eleventh Doctor|
- "The Eleventh Doctor", Doctor Who Series 4, BBC.
- "The Eleventh Doctor", Doctor Who Series 5, BBC.
- Eleventh Doctor on TARDIS Data Core, an external wiki
|Companions of the Eleventh Doctor|
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