Well, I didn't expect to be writing about this when I got up this morning.
The big news is that Matt Smith will be hanging up the bowtie at Christmas. This means that he's got the 50th Anniversary Special and the Christmas Special to go and then we've got someone new. Which means Series 7 was the last full season for Eleven and we didn't even know it at the time! (let that sink in for a bit) While some have already started speculating about Doctor #12 (I'm not opposed to the idea of a female Doctor - but not Tilda Swinton. Just... no), I don't think this is quite the time for that. There will be plenty of speculation about who'll be coming on next, but for now - I just want to say thanks.
My experience with Who has been well and truly documented (by me - of course) as a very emotional journey. And all of the Doctors I've experienced have been hindsight-looking-back-how-cool-where-they-would-love-to-have-seen-it-first-hand sort of thing. While I love everything that's come before and love and admire all the past Doctors and companions - there's something about the Doctor that's actually on TV when you are watching. These stories have never been seen before. You can ask a long-time fan "Hey - what's the deal with the Fifth Doctor's celery?" and you'll get an answer (it detects certain poisons that are lethal to Time Lords and if it turns purple, the Doctor eats the celery and he'll be okay). But speculation and theorizing - ah... that is a luxury for the present and future. Never knowing what Eleven was going to do next - flailing with joy when all these cool things were brand new and exciting and fun to everyone - not just you.
I felt a sense of pride and ownership when I sat down to watch "The Impossible Astronaut" - it was the first episode of Doctor Who I ever watched brand new with everyone else. I felt like Matt Smith was my Doctor - even though by then there were others I liked just as well. I've gone back to the Classic Doctors and revisited the New Series over and over - but I always came back to Matt for the brand-new stuff. Love him to bits. Always will. Just like I'll love whoever that comes next.
Doctor Who appeals to me because of its versatility and storytelling. I love the change, I love the newness of it all. But I also love the people and characters who make it wonderful and fun. And you can't watch something for so long without getting attached to these people and characters. I'll miss Matt a lot. I will probably sob like a baby when he regenerates (and then laugh like a nut when the new Doctor does some off-the-wall goofy thing in the first two minutes of screen time). But I'm grateful for what he brought to the show and how much love he has for it.
I have absolutely zero hope of him ever reading this (and I'm sure that I'm going to be a sentimental mess as I write this, but whatever), but I want to say - Thank You Matt for bringing such a sense of fun and joy to something that has brought me so much fun and joy. Your era of Doctor Who was a time of growth and celebration and I hope that your last few episodes reflect that. Thank you for being my Doctor!
(And yes, bow ties are cool!)