Whovians, stop your outraged screaming for a moment and let me explain.
I love Matt Smith. That goofy faced, floppy headed, bow tie wearing bastard brought depth to the character of the Doctor that I never could have imagined. He brought us the girl who waited, the last centurion and a heartwarming relationship with the sassy River Song. But after two and a half years of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey awesomeness, it is time for him to step down.
Actually, it was time at the end of season six. But the writers can be excused for not wanting their viewers to lose the most popular Doctor yet and the Ponds in rapid succession. People would probably stop watching. There’d be riots in the streets. DVD box sets and bow ties would be burned in a bonfire of all things Gallifreyan.
Well, maybe not.
But now, it is time. The format of the show necessitates frequent character changes which is why the Doctor’s ability to regenerate is a vital key to the show’s success. As is the frequent replacement of companions, no matter how hard it is to see them go.
Think about it. Despite amazing writing and wildly imaginative story lines, the premise of every episode is the same. Go somewhere strange, find out about something terrible that is happening, save the day. Occasionally people die (or seem to. Ahem ahem Rory.) but by and large you know that no matter what happens the TARDIS will soon be whirling through space and time again. So in order to keep the viewer’s attention, the characters need to be thrilling. We need to get caught up in their lives, their unique quirks and their particular story line.
And eventually each of these characters’ stories comes to an end. It isn’t easily definable when that moment will be (although I think we’ve established that two seasons is a good length for any particular doctor) but there reaches a point when no matter how much you love them, nothing a character does will surprise you.
And Doctor Who should be nothing if not surprising.
I am sure that the masterminds behind one of my favorite shows know all of this already and I expect that with the end of the seventh season will come the end of Matt Smith. When that happens, don’t be sad my fellow Whovians.
Instead, rejoice that he brought bow ties back (and Fez’s) and encouraged thousands of people to eat the revolting combination of fish fingers and custard. Bow your heads and thank him for all that he did for the world. And then open your heart to the next Doctor. If the last seven years have been any indication, he’s (she’s?!) going to be amazing.