There’s a great post from Steven Moffat on the BBC TV blog, and whilst a little bit spoilerific in terms of the next Weeping Angels episode (no major plot points but some behind the scenes notes), Mr M’s thoughts on Matt Smith are fascinating.
I think the thing that has come back with Matt is the idea that The Doctor is a bit silly at times. He’s a slightly silly old buffer in a few ways.
We find out he’s a bit rubbish at flying the Tardis and he trips over his feet and breaks things. Both Chris and David were quite cool Doctors, and while Matt certainly isn’t short on cool, he has an amazing clumsiness. He’s halfway between Indiana Jones and Stan Laurel.
I like a clumsy Doctor.
Perhaps I wasn’t paying attention the first time round (I think that might be it) or maybe it just wasn’t such a big deal, but the transformation of Tennant into Smith is so very interesting. All the ways the Doctor has changed, who he is now, how he is adapting to everything around him.
The Doctor has a belief that he is cooler than he actually is. For instance in that first episode where he yells “Who da man?” and everybody cringes.
It’s those moments that really show where the old man comes through in Matt’s performance, because there is nothing wrong with a young man shouting that, the awkwardness is when your dad tries to say it. That’s The Doctor through and through.
I’d argue that there is something wrong with a young man shouting that, too.
As Alex already mentioned in the comments - in a wonderful ‘I told you so’ moment - he got it spot on before we’d even seen the Doctor.
What they needed, and what they may have got, is a Doctor who doesn’t know who he is yet… let alone us know who he is.
Perhaps that is why it is so much fun trying to figure it out.