Matt Smith premiers as the newest incarnation of the iconic Timelord tonight on BBC – set your DVR’s
Here is the blurb from the Boston Herald – Matt Smith knows he’s being scrutinized.
The 27-year-old Brit is the newest actor to play the iconic Time Lord “Doctor Who” (season premiere tonight at 9 on BBC America).
While he’s excited to take his place behind the controls of the TARDIS, he also recognizes his portrayal is currently under a microscope.
“ ‘Doctor Who’ was sort of ingrained in your fiber,” Smith said of growing up in England. “Everybody knew what a TARDIS was. Everybody knew what a Dalek was. You just know about these things. It’s part of our cultural history.”
“Doctor Who” began in 1963 and ran through 1989. A one-off TV movie kept it alive in 1996, but a complete reboot in 2005 revitalized the franchise.
The Doctor travels around time and space, protecting those who need it and outthinking outlandish aliens. Instead of dying, he regenerates into a new body from time to time – convenient for producers and the actors who have their eye on the part.
Smith, the 11th actor to take on the role, comes aboard after the exit of David Tennant, one of the most popular Doctors. Partly as a result of Tennant’s popularity, Smith faced a few raised eyebrows and doubtful whispers from the aisles of comic book shops and sci-fi conventions across Whovian nation.
“I guess you’re constantly aware of how devoted the fans of the show are,” Smith said. “People were concerned I was too young.”
Instead of shying away from critics, he tackled the role head-on.
“I brought in the bracers (suspenders) and the tweed jacket,” he said. “I was very keen to have an element of a professor, which I think we’ve achieved. And I wanted big, dusty boots like Indiana Jones.”
Smith has met his predecessor.
“David said, ‘Hey, man, enjoy the ride.’ He said I was going to have a great time, and that’s certainly what has happened,” Smith said.
In the short time, he’s been tooling around in the TARDIS, Smith has learned something about taking on a role originated by others.
“You have to make it your own version,” he said. “You have to carve it out in your own way. You can’t inherit anything from anyone else. Each Doctor is a new version of the same man, and everything is new that comes with that.”
Producers plan to throw a few new villains and a few classics at viewers this season. Smith said he’ll face vampires in Venice, the Weeping Angels from the much-lauded episode “Blink” will return, and the seemingly indestructible Daleks will continue to harass the earth.
It’s all part of a mythology the actor has embraced.
“I get engaged with my imagination in a way that’s really magical,” he said. “Time travel as a concept is really magical. I get to travel around in a blue box, and I get to touch that every day. I get to be very close to that man, and it feels like a great privilege every day.”