The Year of the Doctor: The Eleventh Doctor

The Year of the Doctor: The Eleventh Doctor

And now we come to it. The big one. After the success of Tennant’s run as the Tenth Doctor, a lot of people thought it would be impossible to see anyone else in the role including myself. But boy was I surprised when his successor turned out not only to be a lasting success and the one that would lead us through the 50th anniversary of the show, but also my all time favorite Doctor and the one that I feel exemplifies the character for me more so than any of his other incarnations as a whole. His era is the one that I will always remember as my special era of Doctor Who and the one I will always come back to as a Whovian. I am of course referring to the mad man with a box, the man with the bow tie, the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith).

 

THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR (PLAYED BY MATTHEW “MATT” ROBERT SMITH) 

(2010 – 2013) 

OVERVIEW: After the success of the Ninth and Tenth Doctors under the helm of showrunner Russell T. Davies, 2010 brought about a new era of the show. Davies stepped down along with David Tennant and most of the running production team of the show and thus Steven Moffat took over as showrunner with his own new Doctor, story, and tone. The Eleventh Doctor came in to being on New Year’s Day 2010 after an explosive regeneration in the TARDIS. Played by Matt Smith as a much younger and exuberantly passionate Doctor with a weird streak a mile wide, Smith very quickly won over the fandom within the first few episodes. With companions Amelia Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), and the returning River Song (Alex Kingston), the show reached new heights never before seen in it’s history with Series 5 and 6 being hits both in the UK and all over the world. Productions were done overseas more often including a trip to Utah for the Series 6 arc, merchandise and popularity was at a peak with bow tie purchases and rates exploding with the new Doctor’s trademark look, and Moffat’s time-bending scripts and fairy-tale tone (while very different and hated by certain fans) were generally well accepted. In 2012 after 2 and a half series on the TARDIS, Gillan and Darvill left the show as companions and were replaced by Jenna Coleman as the impossible girl Clara Oswald. She would join Matt Smith for the remainder of his final full series as well through the remainder of his tenure as the Doctor. This included the 50th anniversary special “The Day of the Doctor” released on November 23rd, 2013. It included not only Smith but the return of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, a new incarnation in John Hurt as the War Doctor, explanations of tropes from the Time War, and a tribute to the show’s history past, present, and future. Not long after however, Eleven regenerated in a blaze of glory on Christmas Day 2013 and Matt Smith left the show to be replaced by our (at time of writing) current Doctor Peter Capaldi. Since his departure, Matt Smith has yet to return to the role in audio form though his Titan Comics are still going strong but it’s heavily hinted at that he will back sooner rather than later in both the show and audio form and I personally cannot wait for my madman in a box to return.

PERSONALITY: The Eleventh Doctor called himself ‘a madman with a box’ and was the epitome of ‘old man in a young man’s body’. He had the passion, childish nature, and energy of a young man and yet the eccentricity, fashion sense, and wisdom of an older man. More able to move and think on his feet than any of his other incarnations, he had a talent of spinning things around in the way he needed to and was flawless in not only using words to his advantage but finding the positive in any situation though he himself would sometimes act very pessimistically because of his age. His childish nature was ironically more prominent here in this later point in his life to the point where his psychic paper refused to consider him as a ‘mature and responsible adult’. His companions had almost a parental nature over him at times controlling his inner-child and bringing him down to earth as necessary. His emotions and reactions could change in a flash from kind and light-hearted to a man you do not want to cross and this made him extremely unpredictable to where you wouldn’t exactly know what was going to come out of him. This changed however when the Ponds were killed by the Weeping Angels and his more mature side began to show more outwardly through his depression, rekindling of his traveling nature with Clara, and eventual death on Trenzalore. More subtle aspects of his nature came through from his second and seventh incarnations down to his bow tie and look and his mask of immaturity hiding a devious schemer and deceptive nature. He was not above manipulating individuals to achieve his ends even if it meant hurting them and (unlike his previous incarnation who abhorred violence in every way) he was more than willing to use violence as he deemed necessary though he preferred to settle problems peacefully whenever possible. More than any other incarnation, this Doctor was greatly admired and extremely feared throughout the galaxy. He could often turn around armies with a blink and a word and had immense amounts of blood on hands which he coped with by his travels and friends. But yet at the same time he was loved and cherished by children for his tender and gentle personality and was not afraid to bring out his compassion and sympathy for others especially if they had suffered. He was constantly captivated by mystery and wonder to explore the universe and often complained about being impatient or bored when he wasn’t able to do so but he also loved the simpler things in life and this was perhaps why he was so devastated by the death of his companions. They to him represented simple stability and a place he could always return home to when the wearies of the universe got too much for him to bear. In the end however despite so many traits that almost seem to contradict at times, Eleven’s character was always very clear and he remained heroic to the end. It’s fitting then that this version of the Doctor was the one who ultimately found and saved Gallifrey with the help of his other selves and passed on knowing that he had finally found his true home to search for all over again.

COMPANIONS: Kissogram and awestruck fan Amelia “Amy” Pond, nurse Rory Williams (later Rory Pond), time travelling archaeologist River Song, teacher Clara Oswald

PRIMARY VILLAINS: The Silence, The Weeping Angels, The Daleks, The Great Intelligence, The Silurians, The Zygons

STORIES:

  1. “The Eleventh Hour” — 10 / 10 – Matt Smith’s first outing as the Doctor in my opinion is simply perfect and not just because it was my first experience with a new Doctor. As a flaming TARDIS crash lands in the backyard of a young girl named Amelia Pond, the newly regenerated Doctor once again struggles to get his bearings together while leaving a very major impact on Amelia and needing to save the world in less than 20 minutes from an invading alien force looking for a camouflaged escaped prisoner. It’s clever, beautifully handled, and really starts the fairy-tale and even magical aspects of Eleven’s era wonderfully combined with the sci-fi aspects that we all love. Matt Smith as the new Doctor really nails things right out of the gate and everything from his outfit to his first lines is simply perfect for what he’s working to portray with his incarnation. He also gets the best reveal of any Doctor in the series with his new outfit as he literally walks through all of his previous incarnations to get there. Karen Gillan as Amelia (Amy) Pond is an intriguing companion being clever and cynical but with a truly passionate heart behind her and what hints we get of Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams really misdirects you especially for future stories. The plot is great, the pacing top notch, and the final moments some of the best in the show’s history with the reveal of the new TARDIS and the promise of new adventures. Outside of the 50th anniversary special, ‘Eleventh Hour’ remains my favorite episode of Doctor Who ever made behind the 50th anniversary special and is the one I recommend to everyone wanting to get in to the show for the first time.
  2. “The Beast Below” — 7 / 10
  3. “Victory of the Daleks” — 7 / 10 – When Eleven and Amy land in 1941 England during the London Blitz, they encounter Winston Churchill and his new weapon against the Nazi menace: a group of Daleks left over from the genocide inflicted during ‘The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End’. This story is an extremely flawed one with many problems especially in the introduction of the New Paradigm Daleks (a.k.a. the Power Ranger Daleks) that were not well-received within this era. The climax is also a tad hokey with spitfires flying directly into space to combat the Dalek spaceship and in the end it really doesn’t amount to much in terms of the arc and story. To be honest though, this one is very much a guilty pleasure for me and there are many things to recommend. It’s great to see Eleven combat the Daleks for the first time in such a visceral way and his suspicions / confrontation with them is really heated and something you don’t get much out of 11 early on. The acting on all fronts is also great and the absurdity does make the story very enjoyable. I know why a lot of people detest this one but I highly recommend it if you can let your mind go on autopilot for a little while.
  4. “The Time of Angels / Flesh and Stone” — 8 / 10 – This two parter sees the return of the Weeping Angels and River Song in a tense and atmospheric story that ups the ante and brings the stone menace to the forefront in some of their most memorable moments in the show. The angel in the TV, the snapping of necks, the stealing of voices…..all of those touches have their origins here. It also continues the mystery of who River Song is as well as sets up tension that will bring Rory Williams in to the fold in the next story. It’s a story that ends up being atmospheric, mysterious, poignant, and outright scary at times with many clever moments to keep you on your toes and some side characters you genuinely feel for and don’t want to see die. ‘Time’ / ‘Flesh’ works amazingly well as an early highlight of Eleven’s era.
  5. “The Vampires of Venice” — 6 / 10 – This episode has many straight up problems. I don’t find the villains all that interesting, the set up to start resolving the issue of Amy’s infatuation with the Doctor is a little tedious, and it gets really dumb at moments in the climax. But it is an important story in bringing Rory on to the TARDIS as well as showing how vengeful Eleven can be in his darker moments.  His threatening speech to the main villainness who is trying to save her vampire brood by flooding Venice is one that shows how dark and unrelenting this Doctor can be if pushed the limit. Some of the humor also works well here and I love the Venetian setting that shows off how grand Doctor Who can be with a proper budget. ‘Vampires’ is not the best episode in the world but it’s certainly one that bears watching for some side moments that add a little darkness to the era and show how wide of a range this Doctor can go.
  6. “Amy’s Choice” — 6 / 10
  7. “The Hungry Earth / Cold Blood” — 5 / 10
  8. “Vincent and the Doctor” — 10 / 10 – This episode is where most people fell in love with Matt Smith and the Eleventh Doctor as a whole and many cite it as his best and most critically acclaimed episode of his run. I have to agree to an extent and if I had to pick Eleven’s top 3 episodes, this is definitely a solid third. When the Doctor and Amy travel back to meet Vincent van Gogh and help him with an invisible menace, it turns in to an exploration on depression on the mind and what a person’s legacy can be even years after his death. It’s a beautiful message that is exemplified by the final 10 minutes that makes any Whovian (or art lover for that matter) break down in tears and represents the most accurate portrayal of Van Gogh ever portrayed on screen. It’s one that you can show to anyone and can still get the message and point across and it’s truly a special episode that’s not to be missed.
  9. “The Lodger” — 7 / 10 – Kind of a pointless little episode in the whole Matt Smith era minus one little connection but this is the moment where Eleven as a Doctor really comes in to his own as a character separate from his predecessor. With Eleven becoming a roommate to a standard bloke in a flat to find a mysterious power source disrupting the TARDIS, it continues the juxtaposition of the fantastical and sci-fi and the domestic that this era was so good at. Smith really has a blast with this one working his physical comedy with his fish-out-of-water personality he’s so good at and so much of Eleven is exemplified in this episode especially in watching Eleven being wacky to the reaction of others. It’s in smaller settings that I feel the enormity and fun of Eleven’s personality becomes most apparent and despite some minor stupidity flaws this one remains a favorite.
  10. “The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang” — 8 / 10 – The first Series finale for the Eleventh Doctor is by far his biggest if not his most comprehensive compared to later episodes. We see the closure of many elements from previous episodes, establishments of things that would come to dominate later arcs, and the fairy tale aspect of the show at this point come to a head. The mysterious Pandorica has been discovered and a trap laid out for the Doctor and his friends that will have dire repercussions for the universe at hand. It’s big, all over the place, and convoluted in many ways but it’s a finale you will easily remember and it has one of Eleven’s best speeches as he says goodbye to young Amelia Pond for seemingly the last time. It’s a very strong conclusion to Series 5 and a good beginning to Amy and Rory’s married life in the TARDIS that will have lasting impacts in later seasons.
  11. “A Christmas Carol” — 9 / 10 – Out of all of the Doctor Who Christmas specials that have come out, ‘A Christmas Carol’ is by far the best and my favorite. An odd retelling of a Christmas Carol on an alien planet, it throws a few timey wimey twists in there with a poignant ‘time is precious’ meaning that has an odd habit of silencing critics who watch it. The casting on this one is particularly good with Michael Gambon playing the Scrooge character of Kazran Sardick, Katherine Jenkins as Abigail the love interest with a dark secret, and Matt Smith starting to really hit many of Doctor elements in stride. In particular, his pension for good combined with his childish nature really shines through here especially when he quite literally comes down the chimney to save the day. It may not be the most ‘Christmassy’ of all the specials but it’s certainly the smartest and takes some of the biggest risks which all pay off beautifully in the denouement. Plus where else are you going to see a flying shark carrying a sleigh through a snowstorm?
  12. “The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon” — 9 / 10 – Hinted at off and on through out the previous stories, the terrifying menace of the Silence finally come out of the woodwork to officially menace the Doctor in this time-travelling two parter. When one of the TARDIS crew is killed in perhaps one of the biggest shocks of the show up to that point, it’s up to our TARDIS team to travel to the 1960’s and unravel a mysterious plot that deals with the moon landing, Richard Nixon, and a mysterious girl locked in an old-fashioned spacesuit. This two parter beautifully sets up the threads and threats of the following Series and is one hell of a sci-fi mystery to boot. The Silence are genuinely terrifying in their first true appearance and the way in which Eleven ends up having to handle them is clever and honestly kind of chilling. You can almost see him channeling his inner Seventh Doctor as he quite literally causes a species to commit genocide against themselves all with a smile on his face. While the details of this story (and the whole of Series 6) can be a bit confusing and aren’t paid off as well as I’dve liked them to be, ‘Astronaut’ set things off with a quite literal bang and remains one of the most memorable stories of the Eleventh Doctor run.
  13.  “The Curse of the Black Spot” — 6 / 10
  14. “The Doctor’s Wife” — 10 / 10 – After almost 50 years of flying the TARDIS through time and space, the Doctor finally gets to literally meet it (or her as it turns out). When the matrix or ‘soul’ of the TARDIS is removed from the console and placed inside the body of a human woman, the Doctor and his TARDIS get to interact on screen for the first time in order to save Amy and Rory from a malevolent force intent on feeding on the artron energy of the universe (basically other TARDISes). Written by Neil Gaiman in his first writing credit of the show, this episode is as good as it gets and a treat for new and old fans alike. It has links back to Classic Who so far as the Second Doctor era, shows off Matt Smith’s overall range and acting to the best of his ability, and gives us a fan’s dream and tears come true in watching the Doctor interact with the true love of his life. It’s a beautiful love letter to Doctor Who and all of it’s fans old and new.
  15. “The Rebel Flesh / The Almost People” — 6 / 10
  16. “A Good Man Goes to War / Let’s Kill Hitler” — 8 / 10 – This two-parter is simply bonkers and memorable for finally revealing the details of River Song and her origin in perhaps the biggest reveal over the past 4-5 years of the show. We go from in an intense battle on an asteroid to save Amy from the clutches of a dark force to 1930’s Germany and quite literally meeting and punching Hitler in the face. This is where the Series 6 split originally occurred in the season so you’d almost be forgiven for not seeing this one as a two part story. Personally though, I think it works better as a complete narrative and it makes a lot more sense watching it all together compared to waiting months for part 2 like I originally had to. It does strain the narrative a little bit to try and make it all work and some moments just seem way too out there but it’s grand, kind of epic, and answers a lot of questions for the arc and the series.
  17. “Night Terrors” — 6 / 10
  18. “The Girl Who Waited” — 7 / 10
  19. “The God Complex” — 7 / 10 – This episode is one that I feel often gets overlooked but truly is a special one especially for Eleven. It’s hard to describe this one exactly without spoilers especially in how crazy it gets but it takes a major buildup over the course of two seasons we didn’t even know we were seeing and brings it to fruition. It brings things to a point where the Doctor realizes what his blind faith in himself has done to him and his companions and allows his greatest fear to come out in a unique and surprising way. We get a big speech, rage, humor, self study and the unveiling of a mask of age all in one character and episode in a way that really reminds me of some of Seven’s moments in the final episodes of the Classic show. Even if it does get a little bit weird at times and confusing especially for younger audiences, its episodes like these that to me really make Eleven and his era stand out from all the rest.
  20. “Closing Time” — 7 / 10
  21. “The Wedding of River Song” — 7 / 10 – While not exactly the best series finale, ‘Wedding’ does a serviceable job at wrapping up River Song’s arc, continuing the mystery of the Silence, and starting the threads that would lead directly into the 50th anniversary. Many elements are very jumbled together in that I almost would’ve preferred this story to be a two-parter, the final reveals are a little rushed, and it feels like some of the acting is a tad half-hearted especially from some of the side cast. However, what makes it stand out is very much worth seeing and the final moments with Eleven and River are some of the best in any Series.
  22. “The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe” — 5 / 10
  23. “Asylum of the Daleks” — 8 / 10 – ‘Asylum’ starts off Series 7 with the Doctor, Amy, and Rory kidnapped by the Daleks and forced on to the Dalek Asylum Planet where all of the particularly nasty ones are kept to investigate a strange signal coming from its heart. Bar some of the dramatically convenient things that don’t quite make sense, Amy and Rory’s issues that don’t make sense or go anywhere, and a few squandered opportunities that could have been so much more, this is a tense little mystery with many big surprises that will keep you on your toes. We get plenty of good character moments, a creepy atmosphere, and an interesting subplot that I won’t dare spoil here and it serves as a great introduction for threads that take hold through the rest of Eleven’s run.
  24. “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” — 6 / 10
  25. “A Town Called Mercy” — 7 / 10
  26. “The Power of Three” — 6 / 10 – While being a somewhat weaker episode in the chain of a moderately strong Series 7, ‘Power of Three’ is relevant in establishing strong character family dynamics between the Doctor and the Ponds (before it’s all destroyed in the very next episode) and bringing the character of Kate-Lethbridge Stewart in to the Whoniverse who became the head of UNIT and one of my favorite characters in the show. The story is a little odd and the plot somewhat pointless minus the main character drama but it is worth a watch for Kate and for those moments.
  27. “The Angels Take Manhattan” — 8 / 10 – You want an episode that will make me sob like a baby every single time the way “Doomsday” or “The End of Time”does for a lot of Whovians? Try “The Angels Take Manhattan”. The episode that officially killed off Amy and Rory does have several problems especially in the plot hole department but for me this is easily the best companion send-off we could’ve gotten especially for my favorite companions. We get the Weeping Angels in a strong and dark environment, another appearance of River Song, great acting from all of our leads especially Smith and Gillan, an interesting as hell story and plot device with the fictional book, and the most sob-worthy ending to an episode ever especially if you watch the extra little “P.S.” video afterwards written by Chris Chibnall. There are a few issues that break it for a lot of fans but for me this one is a favorite and a beautiful tragic and yet heartfelt sendoff for two of the best companions the show ever had.
  28. “The Snowmen” — 8 / 10 – Another very well done Who Christmas special but in a very different way compared to some of Eleven’s other specials. Unlike ‘Christmas Carol’ and other specials that revel in the light, ‘Snowmen’ goes very dark with the Doctor in a deep depression after the death of Amy and Rory and hiding in a literal cloud above Victorian London. When an old foe makes a startling return with animated snowmen attacking people in the streets, a young woman with a familiar face asks for help to try to bring the Doctor out of his seclusion. ‘Snowmen’ was important in introducing Clara Oswald as a companion formally to the series as well as bringing in Eleven’s second full look and new TARDIS interior that would stay through the rest of his era and in a modified form for Twelve’s era. With a great side cast especially in Jenna Coleman as an appealing Mary Poppins version of Clara, a chilling Victorian atmosphere, and Ian McKellan and Richard Grant perpetuating the titular Intelligence, this is a darker but no less fitting story for the holidays with moments of pure magic to counterbalance things and make you smile.
  29. “The Bells of Saint John” — 7 / 10 – Following directly on the trail left over from ‘Snowmen’, the Doctor rediscovers his impossible girl Clara in modern day London living an ordinary life. But in the urban environment, a foe has followed them in a new guise and of course it’s up to the Doctor and Clara to save the day. While the plot is a tad lacking, this is still a fun episode and a new start for the Eleventh Doctor for the rest of his time on the show. Jenna Coleman finally gets to make on to the TARDIS for better or worse, there are some great moments especially in Eleven’s travels up the spiral, and it’s the start of a rather sweet relationship between the two that carries the rest of Eleven’s era even when some of the plots and episodes stumble.
  30. “The Rings of Akhaten” — 7 / 10
  31. “Cold War” — 6 / 10
  32. “Hide” — 6 / 10
  33. “Journey to the Centre of the Tardis” — 6 / 10 – ‘Journey’ is an odd little episode with a lot to love and a lot to hate. However, I still think it’s memorable for what it tries to do, how much we learn about the TARDIS interior, and what we do see as a long time fan. It doesn’t do much to advance 11 and Clara’s story, the side cast is really unlikable, and it feels very similar to a Fourth Doctor story which I’m sure Moffat was replicating but it’s still worth a watch for the premise alone and I don’t think it’s quite the cheat that a lot of fans say that it is.
  34. “The Crimson Horror” — 7 / 10
  35. “Nightmare in Silver” — 7 / 10
  36. “The Name of the Doctor” — 9 / 10 – How’s that for a teaser of a name? While ‘Name’ doesn’t quite deliver the goods in a way that you would expect, it’s still an epic episode. So many big twists, so many gigantic moments, and such a dark and interesting tone to it makes it stand out from the rest of the season as well as Matt Smith’s era as a whole. Not only does it reveal Clara’s true secret but it also closes out River’s story (for the most part), introduces the War Doctor to the canon in the biggest shock of Eleven’s era, and sets up the 50th with aplomb, strength, and power. Saying any more on this one would be a shame and a spoiler to those who haven’t seen it so I will simply leave it at that.
  37. “The Day of the Doctor” —  10 / 10 – We finally reach Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary special. How do you celebrate 50 years of a TV show? With homages and references to the past galore but also at the same time answering big questions about the show’s present and setting up new and exciting threads for the future to come. It’s a wonderful blend of all aspects of the show with three Doctors (Eleven, Ten, and War) but appearances from everyone in some form and a plot that starts off standard with the reintroduction of an old villain but then veers in to the ultimate salvation of Gallifrey and the Time Lords from the war. Everyone is at their A-game, there are too many high moments to count, and the writing is probably Steven Moffat’s best by far. ‘Day of the Doctor’ is a fitting celebration for the 50th, a highlight for the Doctor as whole not just Eleven, and remains my favorite episode of the show to date.
  38. “The Time of the Doctor” — 9 / 10 – ‘Time’ is one of those episodes with major flaws in it but I can give a big pass to. It manages to encapsulate all that makes 11 who he is and touches on every aspect of his era in some form or another. I don’t want to go too much in to the plot because it does constitute major spoilers. What I will say though is that while this is essentially a war story that just happens to include Christmas in there as a somewhat minor aspect, there’s still a lot of warmth and silliness here too especially in the way 11 interacts with everyone around him. There’s also a big bombastic speech to top everything off, a final confrontation with the Daleks, and a deus ex machina in a very big way that sets the scene for the future of the show and the Doctor himself. In the end, Matt Smith’s Doctor departs the show in easily my favorite regeneration sequence ever in a sad but poignant way that still has a great positive message behind it. Yes it is all over the place and some things just don’t make sense as a whole but overall ‘Time of the Doctor’ is powerful, fun, all-encompassing, and in my opinion the perfect way to end 11’s era.

 

BEST ELEVENTH DOCTOR STORY: ‘The Eleventh Hour” — This episode had a lot to prove and had a lot riding on it’s premiere and success. After David Tennant’s widely successful run as the Tenth Doctor and his explosive conclusion in the previous story, a lot of people weren’t sure at all who (if anyone) would be able to live up to that legacy. There was no small amount of unease, stress, and anxiety and it wasn’t at all helped by the fact that the show from here on out would be handled by a new showrunner, writing staff, and a whole new executive on top of a brand new Doctor. Everything from here on out was different: the logo, the opening theme, the TARDIS interior itself….there was absolutely no safety net here for fans. And yet for it to be a wild success not only on its own terms but in paying tribute to that legacy shows the staying power of the show and how special it is for so many people. The story is relatively simple: the new Doctor has 20 minutes to save the world from an alien threat while still handling with the effects of his regeneration and new body. That’s it plain and simple. But there are so many layers here that every minute on screen is a thrill to watch. Moffat’s darker and yet more whimsical fantasy-like tone that makes Eleven’s era so different is here in spades from the moment the TARDIS crash lands in young Amelia’s backyard. This is the stuff of dreams and magic as well as science fiction that had been missing from Tennant’s era and would eventually fade out as time went on. It’s ironic that for many people (including myself) Matt Smith’s first performance as the Eleventh Doctor is his best. His childlike exuberance, awkward demeanor, ancient wisdom in a young man’s body, and wondrous sense of whimsy as the Doctor are all here from minute 1 and his big “I am the Doctor” moment is the best entrance of a newly formed Doctor that the show has ever done. The side cast is amazing and new companions memorable from Amelia Pond’s childlike enamor of her imaginary friend to the cowardly Rory Williams who would grow to become the rock and centurion that holds the stability together. Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill are great from minute one and would go on to have a lasting impact on Smith and his Doctor. This is a team yes but also a growing family and the fact that they were this close off of the set too shows in every minute on screen. The story is memorable with plot elements set up that would carry on even through to Eleven’s last episode and those little bookends set up make this time of Doctor Who feel like a true era as opposed to a string of seasons. Yes there are minor flaws in that the CGI hasn’t aged particularly well and the midsection being a little slow and over packed but the little details more than make up for it and hide these little dents behind a polished sheen and strong core. “The Eleventh Hour” deserves all of the praise it gets as a Doctor Who episode and a new start for the show and is one that gives me such joy and happiness every time I see it. With the show close to doing a similar revamp with the 13th Doctor coming in 2018, let’s hope the show can continue to pull off new starts like this and make us fall in love with it over and over again.

RUNNERS UP: “The Day of the Doctor”, “Vincent and the Doctor”, “The Doctor’s Wife”, “A Christmas Carol”, “The Name of the Doctor” 

BEST ELEVENTH DOCTOR BIG FINISH STORY: N/A — The Eleventh Doctor has the least amount of presence on Big Finish at this time and none of the stories they do have feature him very prominently. Thus, I will leave this N/A for now but I hope this is something Big Finish remedies VERY soon.

 

OVERALL VERDICT: The Eleventh Doctor and his era is truly my era of “Doctor Who” and my fondest memories of the show all stem from these years of the show. I love everything about it from the fairy tale feel down to the timey wimey stories, the family tone in later seasons, and some of the scariest and best monsters and stories to ever grace screens. I also feel that Matt Smith’s performance is iconic. From minute one, he nails exactly who the Doctor is while bringing his own twists that appeal to both older and newer generations. Everything from his look to his personality seems tailor made and it’s simply perfect. I have the honor of meeting the man himself Matt Smith but also Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, and Jenna Coleman and so you could say that I’m sort of a fanboy for this time of Doctor Who. It’s truly special to me and it feels special as a whole especially with the 50th anniversary special under his era. I could squee on and on about him but Eleven is and always will be my Doctor.

– 1 / 13 

11 down and one to go. We’re almost there and next month to conclude the Year of the Doctor, we will look at the minimalist magician of the Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi. Until next month, ~Geronimo!!

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