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Bow ties ARE cool. We discuss Matt Smith’s run as The Eleventh Doctor.

In just over two years, we’ve reviewed all of Matt Smith’s episodes as The Doctor. Thus, as has become tradition here on Who Back When, before venturing on along the temporal road we sat down to pour one out for the departing Doc and discuss, debate, rank and rate some of the finest (and some of the most forgettable) of his era.

Among the subject discussed in this bonus episode are:

  • The Best and Worst Matt Smith Episodes
  • The most impressive foes, and the not so great ones
  • The Eleventh Doctor’s companions — Amy, Rory, Clara and, of course, River!
  • The 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who
  • The confluence of storylines converging on Matt Smith’s exodus
  • And much, much more…

Here's what you think 3 Responses to “B062 The Eleventh Doctor Retrospective”
  1. Jeff Waddell | @JeffWaddell68

    250 words only , eh ? That’ll be difficult . Bollocks , there’s 15 or so gone already .
    I loved Matt Smith . Quirky , alien , with a dark side , completely mesmerising on screen , even able to elevate some awful scripts to watchable . But that’s my main problem with his era – for all the wonderfulness of the Weeping Angels 2 parter , we got the awfulness of Nightmare in Silver and most of season 6 which didn’t work for me at all . The whole Silence thing didn’t resolve itself well enough for me , and the whole ” Who blew up the TARDIS ? ” storyline was a damp squib when it was revealed . He gets a poor send off – let’s resolve the regeneration question by having the Time Lords throw a Can of New Regenerations through a crack in the sky , and there we go . Who wrote this rubbish ? Oh , yeah , it was Moffat .

    Now , I’m not a Moffat hater . He wrote some of the best stories in the new series . But as showrunner , it’s all a bit underwhelming . Good ideas , but far too complicated and unresolved , and this inability to let go of companions when there time was up , it’s not for me really . He has 5 or 6 great ideas – but the problem is it’s 5 or 6 great ideas only , repeated continuously .
    I’d happily watch about a dozen of the Matt Smith episodes over and over , but the rest never again . The highest of highs at times , and great TV at the time , but on reflection , a bit unsatisfying , and nowhere as good or clever as the showrunner thinks it is .

  2. Kyle Rath | @sinistersprspy

    Snap. Change. A whole new Doctor goes sauntering off. Ginger or not.

    For some, it’s immediate. Others, it takes time. In the rarest of occasions, it never quite feels right, for some.

    I thought I had a good bead on what Doctor Who was supposed to be.

    And then I was educated. Lovingly, slowly, with a hearty chuckle and a manic gait, limbs all-akimbo.

    From moment one, he felt right. As he walked face-first into that tree, despite the fact that it was early days, it seemed like he had lived in that skin his whole life.

    Young, but also impossibly old. Very human, and definitely alien. Familiar, yet miles away all the time. And fuck me, he was funny. The funniest Doctor.

    As the clock struck 12, I found myself concerned that I had been spoiled. That I was ruined for the next face that was frowned upon us.

    But I got over it. Sort of. Maybe not.

    12, now 13. Some of it I loved immediately. Some of it took more time. Some of it never really felt quite right.

    That’s the deal; the contract we obligingly have with this bastard of a show. It grabs us by the hand, tells us to “Run!”, and the years fall away.

    I didn’t realize it before, he was absolutely the same man, and also something very different.


    He was MY Doctor.

    Thank you, Raggedy Man.

  3. Michael Ridgway | @Bad_Movie_Club


    • Return of Seventh Doctor arch foe, the Special Weapons Dalek!
    • The Spaceship Brexit Britain episode.
    • The Twin Peaks Space Minotaur episode.
    • Strax, Jenny and Lizard Lady (Mainly Strax).
    • The Silence & the Whispermen. New underwear please.
    • Criminally underrated Penny Dreadful episode.
    • Shitfaced Who Back When review of Rings.
    • Who Back When Victory of the Daleks prequel.
    • Clara.


    • Where’s Davros? Where’s the Master? Where’s my f#@king Yeti?!
    • Way too grumpy Amy. I got her autograph once. She was grumpy then too.
    • The ‘I can’t rescue Amy / Rory timelocked in ye olde New York’ garbage.
    • Lets Kill Hitler cowardly cop-out.
    • Inconsistent Angel rules.
    • Christmas Town. Fuck right off.

    Summary: Ambitious storytelling, emotional punches & great villains – ultimately collapses under the weight of timey whimy nonsense.

    Rating: 3.5/5 inconsistent cracks in time.

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