Are you ready to turn the page on the David Tennant-era when the Matt Smith tenure as the Eleventh Doctor begins tomorrow night on “another network”? If you’re a bit worried as to whether or not your going to be able to handle a third Doctor in the span of the last five years, then you are not alone. Seems as though, according to recently released BBC Archive documents, viewers since the beginning of time, well, the beginning of Doctor Who time anyway, have always had something critical to say about the new doctor as compared to the previous one.
Not only have internal BBC memos revealed that the first re-generation from William Hartnell to Patrick Troughton was thought of as something of a bad LSD trip (not sure how they knew, but it was the 60’s), but seems as though for over 40 years, Doctor Who fans have been critical of each new Doctor as reported in archive documents.
Critical reaction from Hartnell to McCoy
Only William Hartnell escaped the traditional viewer wrath as he was thought of as a brilliant, but eccentric scientist. Troughton, however, was a “half-witted clown”, according to the documents. Jon Pertwee faired a little better but reaction wasn’t that enthusiastic. Tom Baker, while the most popular Doctor, was considered to be portrayed as a looney and stupid. Colin Baker was “too stern, too aggressive and there wasn’t enough humor in the character. While Sylvester McCoy was viewed as unfavorable by over 50% of the those polled, he did fair better than his sidekick, Mel, who many considered the low point of the series.
So, if you’re a little skeptical going into tomorrow night, you’re in good company, but as with everything, we will survive it all and you’re going to like Matt Smith’s take on the Doctor.