Now that I’ve had time to process you leaving, I have so much to say. I didn’t want to like you. And I really didn’t like you. At first. I mean, it’s almost a rule of being a whovian that you don’t like the next regeneration of the Doctor because you get SO attached to the previous one. And with Ten I was IN LOVE. Nine was my introduction to the timey wimey world of Doctor Who, but Ten was where my obsession truly began.
But you, Matt, you were different. You were the first Doctor I had to watch in real time (and that didn’t happen until season 7). I had to be patient and wait for you each week like Rory and Amy waited for each other. Watching live meant I got to have real conversations with people about Doctor Who on twitter and tumblr and Facebook. It meant being a part of something as it happened, not months after the fact, which I liked because I no longer had to worry about spoilers. It meant I watched as this little show that I had started watching on Netflix suddenly gained in popularity to the point where it was airing on BBC America and being featured a fan favorite on the cover of TV Guide. Doctor Who never really belonged to me, especially starting watching so late into the reboot and being an American, but it upset me when people loved you. I’m sorry, but its true. I guess I’m a hipster. I wanted you all to myself at the time when the whole world was discovering just how great you were and calling you their Doctor.
But despite all that and slowly and begrudgingly I came to like you. Honestly, it wasn’t until the 50th Anniversary Special that I really felt sad about your upcoming departure. Because at times you were so goofy. You were a kid with the mind and soul of an old man; sometimes I think you had to be goofy to stop yourself from thinking about all the things you had experienced and how far you had come and all the people you had left behind. Your silliness also made those moments when you lost control all that more scary, like when we saw a good man go to war. We knew never to mess with the people you loved, the people we came to love like Rory and Amy and River. Amy and Rory who were your children and your best friends and your companions and so much more. Amelia Pond, the girl who waited, the girl with the fairy tale name, who you would give your life to protect, who you made promises to on “fish fingers and custard,” and the girl who I eventually came to love even though I never thought I could love again after losing Rose. You made Amy and Rory a better couple, if that’s even possible because you show people how strong they can be with and without you. You show everyone what they can become.
Matt, you even made me like River. I never liked her until I saw her through your eyes and although your timelines were always crossing in the wrong order it just made things more fun for the rest of us. She was the only one would could keep up with you and it was nice to see you confused and intrigued by someone (except for Clara, no still not a huge fan of her). I loved the playful banter whenever River showed up as well as the heartbreaking sad moments that could sometimes accompany her story lines too.
The only problem I really had with you Matt had nothing to do with you at all, but the “pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain” Steven Moffat. I have expressed my love hate relationship with this man many times and while for many things I will forever be in his debt (like all of season 6), there are other things that I hate (like all of season 7). He bogged you down in confusing and downright silly stories at times. I didn’t even like the send off he gave you, save for the very ending, because I was so busy trying to figure out just what was actually going and I didn’t let myself get emotional. You deserved so much better. While I wish I could say we’ve seen the last of him we all know we will have to pry this show from his cold dead fingers if it comes to that. Let’s just hope that while he keeps changing all the rules to suit his fancy that he’ll at least give Capaldi something to work with.
I think it was your time to go, Matt. I liked you because I could see the joy you had in playing the Doctor and it made me want to watch you forever even though occasionally I found myself tiring at your antics. You were never my Doctor, but I enjoyed you and the adventures we went on all the same. You helped cement my love for this show and for that I will forever be grateful. Geronimo! Can’t wait to see you sing 80’s music and cut up people with axes. (I meant that metaphorically, I only wish I could go to London and see you on the stage.)