Matt Smith’s time as the Doctor is coming to a close on “Doctor Who,” so it seems only fitting to look back on some of his best moments. Zap2it’s resident Whovians are selecting their favorite 11th Doctor episodes to take a look at exactly why they’re so important, not only to Smith’s portrayal of the role but for the show’s legacy.
It’s impossible to look at Smith’s best moments without taking time to examine his final one. “The Time of the Doctor” was truly an epic adventure over centuries in the life of the Doctor and saw him grow to be an elderly man, something foreign to the “Doctor Who” audience. It also shouldn’t be ignored how similar the elderly 11th Doctor looked to William Hartnell, the first.
The episode answered several questions fans have been waiting to hear answered, the biggest of which is dealing with the number of regenerations the Doctor has left. That’s been speculated about left and right with no clear answer, but now the world knows. With a little help from Gallifrey, which is off somewhere in space thanks to “The Day of the Doctor,” the regeneration cycle has begun all over again and things are safe.
It was by no means a perfect episode and was hard to follow at times, since the writers seemed to pack as much as humanly possible into the episode’s hour and a half length. But at its end, the 11th Doctor’s swan song is a story that will stand out in his run.
As for what Smith did in “The Time of the Doctor” that made was so special, watching the Doctor comes to terms with the fact that he was going to die was a very unique thing to watch. It also gave him a new kind of bravery, staring down the Daleks at the climax of the episode and pointing out that they’ve been trying to kill him for centuries. But it was merely old age that was going to get the job done.
Of course his death wasn’t meant to be, as the final image of the 11th Doctor wasn’t an the old man that dominated the episode, but rather a reset younger version of himself. Clara (Jenna Coleman) discovered him in the TARDIS, where his mind seemed to have reset as well, resulting in a vision of Amy Pond as a child. In his final moments, Smith blurred the lines between fiction and reality with his final words as the Doctor. “I will not forget one line of this. Not one day. I swear,” he says. “I will always remember when the Doctor was me.”
However, the doctor didn’t get the parting shot. Instead, a brief but brilliant cameo by Karen Gillan tied up the final loose end. In the Doctor’s mind she walks down the stairs of the TARDIS and meets him. “Raggedy Man. Goodnight,” she says before Smith suddenly becomes Peter Capaldi, signifying the true end of Smith’s adventure as the Doctor.
You can see Smith’s final moments as the Doctor below and judge for yourself. Is it one of his portrayals best moments?