Matt Smith’s Doctor: “A Bit Like Tom Baker Minus the Scarf”

  • The Daily Telegraph‘s Neil Midgley followed the filming of the new Doctor Who series over the course of six months, and his article contains lots of great nuggets of information.

    New lead writer Steven Moffat is interviewed, and he says he has only one wish for the show:

    “For it not to be s***…One wobbly wall, one pony-looking effect, one tiny thing goes wrong, and it’s back to the 1970s….The audience, whether they’re eight years old or 48, they’re not waiting to see why it’s different or strange or new, they’re just wanting it to be really good. It’s actually an incredibly easy challenge to make something different. It’s incredibly hard to make something good.”

    Midgley has taken a look at the new TARDIS, and he describes it in pretty exhaustive detail:

    This new TARDIS – not an obligatory accessory for each new Doctor, but required by the damage done to it in [David] Tennant‘s last episode – is big. It must be three times the size of Tennant’s, on multiple levels with staircases in between. Less grubby than its predecessor, with a transparent plastic floor on the main level, its walls are resplendent with polished copper and its central column features a blown glass decoration that could be straight from Tales of the Unexpected. There are old car seats and downstairs – downstairs! – a swing. With a nod to Paul McGann‘s TARDIS, the central column features an old TV screen on an extendable trellis. It also has a 1980s-style computer keyboard, and a His-Master’s-Voice style trumpet speaker.

    Very cool indeed. But Midgley’s most interesting observations are about star Matt Smith, the Eleventh Doctor:

    Most importantly, from the moment he stumbles out of his crashed TARDIS, Smith is certainly his own Doctor. Less prickly than [Christopher] Eccleston and without the slapstick of Tennant, he brings an air of muddled intensity that’s a bit reminiscent of, say, Tom Baker (though without the stripy scarf).

    That’s interesting: Baker is the quintessential Doctor for many fans of classic Who. Could Smith’s Doctor be an interesting, modern throwback to the old school? Here’s a clip of Baker’s Doctor:

    I’ll certainly be tuning in on April 17th to see what Mr. Smith has in store. Well, that is, if I don’t get tickets to the first U.S. screening of the new series premiere, which is taking place at San Francisco’s WonderCon on Saturday, April 3rd. Click here for the details.

  • Taio Cruz has become the second British male solo artist to claim a Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single in the course of a year. His song, “Break Your Heart,” comes only six months after fellow Brit Jay Sean topped the chart with “Down.” And “Break Your Heart” has broken a chart record: after skyrocketing from No. 53, it has made the greatest one-week jump to No. 1 of any debut song in history.(The Times)

  • Pink Floyd won their court case against EMI, effectively stopped the recording giant from selling single downloads of their music.(Financial Times)
  • Amy Winehouse has launched her own clothing collection under the Fred Perry collection. “The 17-piece retrocollection will consist of capri trousers, cardigans and mini-dresses,” reports The Guardian. What, no line of bloody ballet slippers? Fail.
  • Take That singer Mark Owen is the latest celeb to admit to affairs, but they apparently all happened before he married his current wife. Owen tells The Sun: “I had to change the person I was. The wedding for me was a new slate and a new start. In my head there was never a time when I was doubting getting married. It was a chance for me to put it all behind me and not make the mistakes I had made in the past.”
  • Is Robert Pattinson making a funny, or does he really want to become yet another actor-singer in Hollywood?(The Sun)
  • Victoria Beckham is “in shock” over the death of her ex, actor Corey Haim.(The Sun)
  • The top 12 American Idol finalists will select songs from The Rolling Stones catalog. (Entertainment Weekly)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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