The New Who

Jan. 3rd, 2009 06:15 pm
iainjclark: Dave McKean Sandman image (Dalek Fandom)
[personal profile] iainjclark
Well, I can say with absolute certainty that they've cast the right hair for the job. If I was going to cast any hair for the role, it would be his. That's Time Lord hair, right there.

Whether I'd have cast the rest of Matt Smith I'm less certain, but since Moffatt apparently shared my instinctive desire to cast someone older I'll have to assume his audition was Just That Good. It'll be a looong time before we find out for sure.

Date: 2009-01-03 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grahamsleight.livejournal.com
Very close to my instant reaction. He came over - both in the montages and the interviews - as very Tennant: tallish, thin, gangly, pretty, big hair, relatively young. So my first thought was: Why cast someone Tennant-ish just after Tennant? But, as you say, evidently Moffat had the same thought going into the process, and Moffat is a smart man who's seen the audition. So, benefit of the doubt, for the moment. But I'd hoped to be happier with the choice.

Date: 2009-01-03 06:35 pm (UTC)
ext_36172: (Default)
From: [identity profile] fba.livejournal.com
Have you seen the Sally Lockhart adaptations? He was good in those so I'm hopeful he will be every bit as good in Who.

Russell Tovey must be fuming though!

Date: 2009-01-03 06:38 pm (UTC)
ext_12818: (Default)
From: [identity profile] iainjclark.livejournal.com
I really didn't see anything in Russell Tovey's performance that led me to think he'd make a good Doctor. Maybe I'd need to see him in something else.

Date: 2009-01-03 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grahamsleight.livejournal.com
I think RTD saw other things in him...

Date: 2009-01-03 06:43 pm (UTC)
ext_12818: (Default)
From: [identity profile] iainjclark.livejournal.com
The thought had occurred...

Date: 2009-01-03 06:37 pm (UTC)
ext_12818: (Default)
From: [identity profile] iainjclark.livejournal.com
Yes. I *can* see a glimmer of potential in Matt Smith, even in those brief interviews. He does have a hard-to-define quality about him - he's not a disastrous choice on the face of it. I just feel that the part needs gravitas and the younger you cast, the harder it is to convey.

That said, I don't remember feeling particularly enthused by the choice of Tennant originally. I'd never seen Casanova but he struck me as too clownish and - yes - too young. Even his early promo stills felt too smiley. However once he got over his teething problems he settled down very nicely.

Date: 2009-01-03 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ninebelow.livejournal.com
too clownish and - yes - too young.

Yes, this strikes me as Tennant's performance in Who.

Date: 2009-01-03 06:59 pm (UTC)
ext_12818: (Default)
From: [identity profile] iainjclark.livejournal.com
In his first year, on and off, certainly. I wouldn't describe him that way these days.

Date: 2009-01-03 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ninebelow.livejournal.com
You must have sensibly avoided the Christmas special.

Date: 2009-01-03 07:07 pm (UTC)
ext_12818: (Default)
From: [identity profile] iainjclark.livejournal.com
Pshaw! He was fine in that.

Date: 2009-01-03 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ninebelow.livejournal.com
Pretty? He has a head like Frankenstein's monster.

Date: 2009-01-03 07:00 pm (UTC)
ext_12818: (Default)
From: [identity profile] iainjclark.livejournal.com
Yes but in a good way.

Date: 2009-01-03 07:31 pm (UTC)
ext_36172: (Default)
From: [identity profile] fba.livejournal.com
I just hope he doesn't have internet access. Poor sod.

Date: 2009-01-03 07:41 pm (UTC)
ext_12818: (Default)
From: [identity profile] iainjclark.livejournal.com
Since Doctor Who fans are known for being open-minded and always thinking before they speak, I'm sure we'll be fine. ;-)

Is he getting a hard time? I'm feeling cautiously positive in a "too young but let's wait and see" kind of way, and the balance of LJ comments seem to be settling out around that level.

Date: 2009-01-03 08:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ajr.livejournal.com
The balance of comments I've seen elsewhere on the internet conclude that his appointment is an abomination and this is the death of Nu Who. To be fair to Mr Smith, a fair percentage of the internet would be saying that no matter who got the job. Also, further to the Frankenstein's monster comment above, I'd add John Merrick. And, via SomethingAwful, "It's basically Wayne Rooney with Tennants hair."

On balance, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. Moffat explained himself quite well; I was interested to hear that his initial thought was to go for someone older, as that's been my stated preference, so I like to think Moffat saw something in his audition which we'll ourselves see when he gets on telly.

One thing I thought from the clip show they played leading up to the announcement was they were at pains to point out how the older Doctors could play young a lot of the time. Which rather contrasted to clips of Matt Smith where he appeared to spend most of his time being young but playing old.
Edited Date: 2009-01-03 09:06 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-01-03 11:29 pm (UTC)
ext_12818: (Default)
From: [identity profile] iainjclark.livejournal.com
Well it's *far* too early to say whether it's an abomination - talk about prejudging on next to no evidence. :-) I'm confident Nu Who will survive this latest change of actor very nicely.

In fact I'm fairly confident that come Spring 2010 whatever people are saying now will be a dim and distant memory - it's what people think having seen him in costume, and more importantly having seen him in action, that will count

Date: 2009-01-03 08:50 pm (UTC)
ext_36172: (Default)
From: [identity profile] fba.livejournal.com
There seems to be a bit of a rabid section of fandom (the slashier element) that wouldn't have been happy unless it was a black, over 55 woman.

Date: 2009-01-04 11:15 am (UTC)
ext_12818: (Dalek Fandom)
From: [identity profile] iainjclark.livejournal.com
Bearing in mind the backlash against Tate when she was first cast as a regular, vs. the near universal anguish when she departed, I'd have to say fandom doesn't know what it wants until it gets it.

Date: 2009-01-04 12:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] veggiesu.livejournal.com
I think you've pretty well summed up my thoughts there. I was hoping for someone older - I think the natural authority of the Doctor is best/easiest/most credibly portrayed by someone older - but Moffatt seemed convinced that Smith was the right choice. My only concern is that with a younger actor following another relatively young actor, the show will lurch in a teen drama direction, which would be Bad adn Wrong. Hopefully Moffatt will ensure that doesn't happen.

Also, how funny was it that Colin Baker's tenure was skipped over in about thirty seconds (and with heavily euphemistic comments), whereas McGann's hour-long performance got a good five minutes of discussion :-p

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