Last of the Party Animals.

TV An outside choice who gained some currency this morning because someone put a suspiciously large stake on BetFair and low and behold there he was sitting in the weird lighting on tonight’s Doctor Who Confidential – during which I notice Paul McGann got more of a mention that Sylv and Col put together. But conspiracy theories about future episodes aside …

What a brilliant, brilliant choice.

For a start he’s an almost unknown, which means, and I know this is an unfortunate comparison, like Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin, everyone is scrabbling to find out who he is, which means that Doctor Who will stay in the public eye even during a year when the show’s hardly on the telly box. I hope he’s prepared for the onslaught of tabloid scrutiny in which any embarrassing photos will be published on page seven (they’re probably scouring Facebook as we speak and good luck to them – there are over five hundred Matt Smiths listed).

Plus, he’s young. At 26, he’s the youngest official actor to take the role. Though it’s odd that the Doctor is now physically eight years younger than me, he’s closer in age to the kids watching, which means that for once it’ll be lead not the companion which they’ll be identifying with. I suspect he’ll bring a kind of studentiness to the thing which is different again to anything which has gone before.

Story wise, it throws up all kinds of interesting possibilities. If any of the old companions like Ian Chesterton put in an appearance the dynamic will be really interesting now that the roles have almost been reversed and someone else is the grandfather. And also, since he does look so young, when he enters a situation he might not be able to engender the usual authority straight away – though if he somehow does it adds a bit of magic as we wonder why and how.

As the interview segments began my first thought was how much he reminded me of Tom Baker, the run on sentences suddenly ramming into a pause, the slightly manic look in his eye, the gesticulations, the indescribable hair, basically, mad as a bag of spanners. Unlike some actors, he’s not trying to intellectualise the role and since he doesn’t seem to be a fan he might bring something even fresher to the thing.

Plus, if he was the second person The Moff and Wenger saw and then spent the next three weeks basically looking at actors who weren't quite as impressive, it must have been a bloody good audition (and can't you wait for Mr Pixley to fish out that list in ten years?). They're both fans and wouldn't simply picked someone for the sake of it. They understand the legacy and if they didn't think Matt was right, they simply wouldn't have cast him and I'm willing to trust their judgement. I know that sounds defensive, but lets give him a chance, naysayers. And his chin isn't that big.

Most importantly, he’s a great actor. I’ll hold my hands up and say that unlike Tennant during Casanova, I didn’t detect Smith’s Doctorishness during Party Animals (back copies available here). In fact, when I reviewed the first and last episodes on my own blog, the most I could find to cheekily say about him was that he looked a bit like Adric. But on reflection, in his corduroy jacket, as those carefully selected clips tonight demonstrated, it was a multi -faceted performance and exactly the kind of thing you’d want from a Doctor (Who).

I'm giddy.

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