When David Tennant announced he was no longer going to be The Doctor in the long-lived and beloved British T.V. series Doctor Who, fans were heartbroken – myself included. Everyone was full of curiosity and anticipation on who was going to be chosen as his replacement. When Matt Smith was picked from the hundreds who applied and the few who were considered, everyone went “…who?” which invoked an often comical pun on the show’s name, Doctor Who?? Now that the first series has come to an end Doctor Who fans – or Whovians, as we like to call ourselves – are left comparing the tenth (David Tennant) and the eleventh Doctor(s) (Matt Smith). Personally, I think it’s hard to make the comparison, but I’ll give it my best.
Personality wise the Doctors are almost completely different. David Tennant seemed more dynamic, you could see not only his loveable friendly side but his serious and sometimes angry side as well. You did not want to mess with the tenth Doctor. He was hilarious and at times random, and when he needed to, he let his anger show and got shit done. I feel at times Matt Smith is far too nice- we have yet to see him get angry. He seems to have a more caring side, showing more compassion for other characters.
The content of the episodes differs between the seasons. I think overall Matt Smith’s season has been one of the best, if not my favourite, Doctor Who seasons. It was funny and adorable; it had more feel good “aww” moments than David Tennant’s first season. And overall I think I enjoyed the individual episodes far more. David Tennant’s first season was more filled with adventure and excitement. However, they did each have their own very frightening villains and interesting interactions with the daleks. This season would also be easier to watch for fans just starting out; its plot didn’t rely so heavily on the past Doctors and plot lines.
Let’s talk companions for a moment. For argument and comparison’s sake, we’ll just focus on the tenth Doctor’s first companion, Rose, and the eleventh Doctor’s current companion, Amy. We’ll leave out Rory and Mickey since they are technically the companion’s respective boyfriends. Both Rose and Amy are fiery and tough. They’re clever and brave, never listening to the Doctor’s orders, always needing him to save them, but as well always there to save the day themselves. I prefer Amy; she’s full of spunk and is quite hilarious, even if Rose was a fighter.
There is of course the argument that Matt Smith plays a younger less experienced Doctor (which is confusing since he’s supposed to be the eleventh regeneration, but it’s best we don’t question Doctor Who continuity because then nothing will make proper sense). Fair enough. Each actor has the prerogative to play the Doctor however they’d like. David Tennant chose a more comedic Doctor with an edge, where is seems Matt Smith has decided to be more sympathetic and whimsical. Over all, I think they’re both brilliant actors who make excellent Doctors and it’s a personal preference on who you prefer as the Doctor, but it’s safe to say that David Tennant has left the role of the Doctor in very the capable hands of Matt Smith.