back to article New Doctor Who is 'simply the best'

Doctor Who lead writer Steven Moffat has classified Matt Smith as "simply the best" Time Lord of the bunch - a brave statement as the 27-year-old actor prepares to receive the Tardis keys from David Tennant. Matt Smith. Pic: BBC Moffat, who's penning six of the thirteen episodes for Smith's first series next year, told the …


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  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Well he would say that wouldn't he?

    Nothing like a bit of hype etc?

    The jury is out to see if he can be compared in a good like with some of the other outstanding Dr's. Only time will tell.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bit premature

    but expect more of the same puff pieces thanks to auntie Beeb in the weeks leading up the frist programme.

  3. Gerard Krupa

    A bit of a kick in the teeth...

    ...for David Tennant

  4. mmiied

    "late this year or early in 2010"

    so it is to be brodcats at 11.59 on 31 dec?

  5. SmallYellowFuzzyDuck, how pweety!


    You know you are just baiting us all on this El Reg, even if you didn't write the comment by Steven Moffat.

    Await all the similar comments like mine.

    BBC Doctor Who writers meeting:

    "People are starting to see through us now, they now know that the new plots are just endless cliff hangers to keep everyone on the edge of their seats without the stories having any plot making it easy for us to write episodes. So they are turning off now"

    "Well we need a new spin on Doctor Who"

    "I know let's get a young trendy guy to play the part, that will appeal to the younger audience"

    "Hey great idea!"

    One year later...

    "Oh no! The bosses say we have to cancel Doctor Who, viewing numbers have plummeted even more!"

    "Yeah I heard, they said we went for the easy option and just got trendy characters to help bolster the plotless storylines which just consist of dull cliff hanger after dull cliff hanger"

    They have forgotten that fans also expect the Doctor to be an older guy as he's already ancient so it needs an actor of an older age (For a human anyway) to play him. What would also help is DECENT STORYLINES based on good solid science fiction and fact.

    Doctor Who has got so much history behind it and they could do it so much better.

    They are just trying to make is appeal to the mass market but we already have the soaps for that.

    I would like it tailored towards the science geeks but the BBC is more worried about the ratings than decent plots.

    So we await the Reg article coming up in a year or two about Doctor Who being cancelled, another famous TV program wrecked, thanks BBC.

  6. Glyn 2

    Dr What?

    Dr Who started off well but the scripts ahve devolved into pointless running round and whatever Trashwood is supposed to be. They've run out of ideas after strip mining films and tv series.

    The least said about Trashwood's children of blah the better, the plan to get rid of the aliens was to get Cap'n Jack to tell them to leave or else...or else what ????


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The plot reason ...

    I'm hoping that this involves the revelation that the Time Lords are not extinct and that it is they who revamp the Tardis.

    I can but live in hope ...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not a big Moffat fan

    I know everyone else loves him to bits, but I just don't get on with the way he writes romance into most of his scripts. His monsters are always excellent, the characters are usually pretty good, the stories and ideas behind them are great, but I'm simply not a fan of all the romance he writes for the Doctor.

    I think the problem is two-fold, firstly I grew up watching Doctor Who in the '80s where John Nathan Turner kept the Doctor strictly hands-off with the companions (and anyone else). So to an extent that's how I'd always viewed the character. But more importantly I just don't particularly like the characters he writes the Doctor falling for. Especially Alex Kingston's character, who has epic levels of smugness.

  9. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Can't see it myself...

    What they meant was : "all the things you'd expect, including ancient... which is quite an achievement when you consider that Matt Smith is only 12 years old".

    Not interested anymore in Dr Who.

    Bring back Carey Mulligan though. I love her.

  10. jason 7

    Hope the Tardis does get an internal makeover.

    It's looked really crap since it came back on TV.

    Got enough exposed foam padding and duct tape at home thanks.

  11. Bassey

    simply the best

    Well he's hardly likely to go around telling people the new guy is a big bag of shite and not worth watching, now is he?

  12. Martin Kirk

    I remain to be convinced

    Personally, I think he has a lot to do to win over the audience. Matt Smith looks completely wrong for the part, and it has all the hallmarks of an "appealing to the younger audience" gimmick.

    I'd like to be proved wrong, but I am far from hopeful.

  13. ExRLCBod

    Tardis renovation

    dont tell me the episode starts like "Hi!, I'm Ty Pennington and the Renovation starts RIGHT NOW"

    and then cuts to a shot of the hyperactive one outside the Tardis with his megaphone - "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING... erm... DOCTOR"

    hat, coat, gloves, ahh, theres my Taxi

  14. Rasczak

    @ jason 7 Tardis makeover

    There will be an internal makeover, there's a Blue Peter competition just exactly for that.

    Just remember that the Abzorbaloff was also the result of a Blue Peter competition.

  15. Justabloke 1

    In other news...

    Pope declared catholic.

  16. Dana W


    I'm dating myself, but its never been the same since Tom Baker.

    They always say, you never forget your first doctor. I just wish they would stop trying to get the new Doctors to appeal to the "Twilight" fan base.............

  17. tom 24
    Thumb Down

    What, no sarcasm?

    No, no, people, you're doing this all wrong. Your responses should be along the lines of:

    "Oh my, he's EVEN BETTER? I can hardly WAIT for the new series to come out on DVD, pay $75 plus shipping, wait through the non-skippable extended-length advertisements, and enjoy an entire season of an unremarkable soap opera with special effects!"

    I thought I was a fan of the doctor, until I bought "seasons one and two". I guess I was wrong.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Moffat says he's the best... opposed to saying he's kind of OK, somewhere in-between Colin Baker and Patrick Troughton, but not a patch on Tom Baker or Tennant?


  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    .. by celeb culture.

    once, Dr Who had more ambition than resources; now, the situation is inverted.

    dumbed down, without horizons.

  20. Inachu
    Thumb Up


    It seems as of late doctors are changing way to often.

    I thought each doctor would at least last just 3 to 5 years.

    But now it seems a doctors life is only worth one season or when ever the actor wants to


    I would very much like to see a fan scale like a thermometer meter on

    some website to vote for the best doctor and hire him back and write him back in like uh oh this must be a mistake! Doctor must help the Doctor!

    Has there been a episode where earths computer viruses infect the cybermen?

    I would like to see a episode where the cybermen find and kill the virus and trojan makers as a public snip to the real life virus writes on how we really feel for them.

  21. Steven Jones

    Much more interesting...

    Much more interesting is the debate on who was the worst Doctor Who. It looks clear cut at first sight - Sylvester McCoy they all cry, but they are forgetting Paul McGann in the 1996 film who, paradoxically, was Dr. Who for the longest - about 9 years despite that one appearance. The film had both Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann - it never stood a chance.

    A bit like the worst James Bond; lots of debate, but people forget David Niven in the dreadful 1960's spoof version of Casino Royale.

  22. Ed Jackson

    What did you expect?

    It's not like he's going to say "Actually, we made a huge mistake and the new series is going to be a bit shit."

  23. Anonymous Coward

    What gets me... the number of misery-guts who are determined to projectile vomit before seeing the damn programme. Have they crystal balls (or any balls?) that enable them to find out something I don't know? Perhaps I'm just too tolerant and actually *want* entertainment rather than the high-level ultra-wow TV that these people seem to think they can write. Everyone's an expect when they saw the Tom Baker episodes the first time round...

  24. Steve John

    It's pretty shit really...

    ... think I've seen most of the *new* ones, and must admit that if it wasn't for fond childhood memories I'd have stopped watching a very long time ago.

    That said, I was a bit disappointed when Chrstopher Ecclescake was announced to be leaving, but thought David Tenant turned out to be excellent.

    So we should give the new boy a chance. And if Russel T Davies is writing less episodes, it can only be a good thing.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Bye bye police box?

    I'll miss it - what's it going to be - something suitably ubiquitous for the 21st century?

    A wheelie bin maybe? I can just see the doc and companion leaping into it while pursued by Daleks!

  26. Sean Timarco Baggaley


    I remember when, back in 2005, everyone was whining about the casting of Billie Piper. "She'll suck!" they cried. "She'll be worse than Bonnie Langford!" they wailed.

    And they were wrong. Every damned one of them.

    Nobody's seen any of the new series yet. How about giving it a bloody chance?

    At least it won't have Russell T. Davies, who produced four seasons comprised almost entirely of low grade fan-fiction. (RTD freely admitted on Charlie Brooker's "Screenwipe" that he really does just make it up as he goes along, writing himself into corners. Hence the overused deus ex machina endings. He's a good comedy writer, but he really needs to work on his plotting.)

    I hold out better hope for Moffat's efforts, but as with all the hype about Gordon Brown taking over from Blair, I'll believe it when I see it. Just because a guy can write, it doesn't mean he can *produce*. They're two different jobs.

    (Of course, Brown sucked as both a Chancellor of the Exchequer *and* as Prime Minister. So Moffat has an advantage there.)

  27. Lionel Hutz
    Thumb Down

    Better writing please...

    Well, I'm just piling on - everyone else sees it too, but I have to say it.

    The problem isn't the doctors, although I agree completely with "It seems as of late doctors are changing way to often." I end up liking almost ALL of the actors on the series - some took a while to grow on me, but the acting is quite good.

    The problem is the writing. The show was watchable for new seasons 1-2, but I would say the "good" episodes are less than 50% of the lot. Season 3? Keep "Blink", discard the rest.

    I hope the break has given some people time to CREATE better stories. Enough with the rehash...

  28. Puck
    Paris Hilton

    Knockers desist!

    It's just fun, imaginative TV. OK OK I know some of the characters are a bit silly (Ecclestone gave gravity and a sense of mortality to the stories) and childish but I've just been enjoying it and Torchwood greatly, as pure escapist fun which is all one should surely ever ask of TV.

    Paris, because she's got her knockers too.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    @Sean Timarco Baggaley

    I was very willing to give Billie Piper a chance, but very quickly I couldn't stand her. Too chavvy was the problem I think. Every companion since her has been a huge improvement in my book. Why they needed to bring her and her massive teeth back at the end of the last series I don't know...

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Ha Ha, Frikkin' Whingers

    You'll be right there watching it anyway.

  31. Michael Habel

    Re: Odd

    Are you out of your mind?

    I'd rather suffer though 100 "Bonnie Langford's" then just One Billy friggen Pipper!

    Then again, it could just be that the last Guy anyone ever thinks about (let alone ever gets to see), is the greatest member of the Cast in/on Dr. Who.

    Which was none other then John Nathan-Turner.

    But, then Hell most People on this "Board" could churn out better stories then Russell T. Davies, so that might not be a "fair" evaluation here.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Quite right. I dunno what it is the last month or so with El Reg's commentards as all they seem to do is whinge and name call. "Oh look, Microshaft has done something else I don't like." "Oh look, Apple is charging too much." "Oh look, Linux has to be run from a command shell." Moan moan moan.

    it used to be that the comment pages would be half full of useful posts from people who knew what they were talking about. Now they seem to be full of posts from babies who are having a tantrum.

    Time to stop reading the comment pages methinks.

  33. Keith T

    Typical entertainment industry hype

    Typical entertainment industry hype.

    How can he know if this doctors is the best, or worst, until the episodes have been produced?

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Much more interesting...

    I couldn't agree more - Paul McGann definitely was the worst doctor but, as I quite liked Sylvester McCoy's stories, I'd vote for either Colin Baker or Peter Davidson for 2nd worst.

    Meanwhile, I don't think I'll be tuning into the new doctor because, irrespective of how good or bad the baby doc is; or what they do to the tardis; or what bit of fluff they get to be the 'love interest'; there's a more fundamental problem. This problem being that, it's irrelevant how good the scripts are if you can't hear the frickin' dialog because some cretin has decided to layer on 'background' music so loud that it drowns out everything else. Heck, the last two Davie Tennant series could only be understood by recourse to lip reading or subtitles! Needless to say (old git mode on) this was never a problem with the earlier Doctors.

    But, as has been said, I assume that the BBC will inflict a plague of adverts, breakfast news infomertials etc in anticipation of the start of the new series....

  35. Michael Jennings

    Carey Mulligan

    >Bring back Carey Mulligan though. I love her.

    Yes, and so does the whole world, which is why we are probably not going to see much more of her on Dr Who.

    Shame though. Sally Sparrow could have been the best companion ever.

  36. Alex 3


    I wish to complain about my own comment.


  37. Steve Taylor 3

    Best of luck... the new Doctor, but for God's sake can we have someone older next time? If things keep on as they are, we're on track for a pre pubescent doctor by 2012.

    My non-negotiable demands:

    - bring the Time Lords back

    - 2 part episodes so there's room for an actual plot

    - Doctor to take a break from snogging companions

    - Dame Judi Dench as the next Doctor

    Right then. I'm off to sulk for a bit.

  38. fuckwit


    The Tardis' interior is being redone so the show moves closer to being broadcast in HD: I recall it was one of the problems facing them, the Tardis interior would have just looked unutterably shoddy on HD.

    In the HD episode set on the desert planet there were no interior shot of the Tardis..

  39. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Complaint.

    I approve. I hope many other commentards follow your noble example in demanding their own censure.

  40. TazUK

    New Tardis?

    I've been lucky enough to have a sneak peek at the new scripts and you're all wrong!

    The TARDIS is actually being part-exchanged under the governments new scrappage scheme. Apparently the Doctor weighed up the options and decided that this was going to be the best deal that he could get on the old girl.

    Expect to see him in a pimped out Prius!

  41. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

    @ AC 21:44, "New Tardis"

    "A wheelie bin maybe? I can just see the doc and companion leaping into it while pursued by Daleks!"

    The problem with that would be that the microchip installed by the Local Authority would detect organic matter going in with standard refuse rather than in the organic / paper bin, and the Doctor would immediately be fined £20bazillion, classed as an eco-terrorist, and be registered on various "do not allow contact with children" databases, which would spell the End Of The World As We Know It. Probably.

  42. Eddie Edwards

    Dear oh dear oh dear

    The old farts are out in force today.

    Have you old farts actually gone back and watched even such classics as "Genesis of the Daleks" let alone stories like "The Nightmare of Eden" and "Full Circle"?

    They are all CRAP. Lovable crap, but crap none-the-less.

    Dr Who of the 80s spent 4-6 episodes per story with almost no plot development other than the discovery of new corridors to run down. The entire plot of most of those classic stories can easily be condensed to 45 minutes and still leave room for snogging.

    New Dr Who is far tighter and paced incredibly quickly. They don't *have* cliffhangers in most episodes, leading to actual plot development between the title sequence. 13 episodes of 45 minutes each gives us almost twice as many stories and situations as 26 episodes of 22 minutes did.

    Furthermore, the characterization of Dr Who in the 80s was pitiful. There was almost none. Every companion was a bald cliche while the Doctor himself just went around offering jelly babies and being a bit off-the-wall. The characterization now is at least as good as that in EastEnders, and since soaps live or die on that basis this is pretty fucking high praise.

    Finally, David Tennant is God, and you know as well as I do you'd shag Billie Piper given half the chance.

    Style over substance? Of course! But Dr Who always was.

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