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Smith: The best storytelling was in Series 5

Pandorica-Opens-(3)Doctor Who TV readers recently voted Series 5 the best of Matt Smith’s era, but what does the man himself think?

Speaking at the Wizard World Con panel, Smith said: “For me the best storytelling was in Series 5. It had great adventure and great clarity and I loved that whole idea about the Pandorica and the Big Bang. It was the one I connected with most.”

On the Series 6 twists he says: “I think in terms of revelations River being Amy’s daughter was a bit ‘what the hell?!’”

Smith’s Doctor was of course known for his big speeches and he gave preference again to one from Series 5: “I think it has to be when I talking to the spaceships in The Pandorica Opens.

He adds: “Looking back I think some of my best work was in my first series because I was actually taking real risks and that was a real moment.”

Step back in time...

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112 comments
KarenBee
KarenBee

As a side note to Matt's usual candour when he does appear at conventions, I really admire how he is handling his post Who career so far. A big name Hollywood indie film for credibility, then a complete turn about in a musical for which he received rave reviews and I am sure would have been nominated for an Olivier award if the producers had not chosen to hold it back for nomination for next year after its West End run. He is now using the balance of time to have some fun while raising his profile further in the US and Canada at various conventions, cementing his fan base and building his contact list and of course getting a bit more financial security. I imagine he is also having lots of talks with US producers as well.

I wouldn't be surprised to hear soon about some new projects in the US once he's done the West End run for Psycho. He has certainly thrown off any type casting with aplomb,

While it was certain Matt would be heading for a stellar career post Who, it's also pleasing to see Karen taking huge steps in her career. I must admit I never warmed to Amy but presumably that was more to do with the writing as Karen has won roles in several films including a blockbuster franchise plus is starring in a US television show.

And just to show that a class act keeps on going, Doctor Nine is heading up two big TV projects this year alongside the likes of Michael Gambon and Stanley Tucci. I'm very excited about the BBC co production, Fortitude. Sounds great. (Aplug too for The Master, Mr Simm, who has a couple of top notch shows in store as well. Another in the Who family who goes from strength to strength).

Hopefully Doctor Ten can also find some success with his current project as he seems to have faltered a little since Who. Perhaps not as strategic as Matt, Karen and Chris in picking and choosing his roles? Although not as well liked by the critics as Matt and Chris, I stiill enjoy seeing David on TV when he does pop up and also hope he continues to work in the theatre if he can.

MaraBackman
MaraBackman

Looks like he feels secure now to use other words than just "brilliant" about everything. :P

chinnysandshoes
chinnysandshoes

As Matt Smith got better and better, the writing IMHO, fell further and further until S7 where I felt that it was his 101% passion and acting that saved the show, as well as solid performances from supporting cast. S5 was still honest and sincere. But things just got a tad too wibbly-wobbly as time progressed until the whole thing about travelling in time and changing personal histories and all that  became the show and not just part of the show. Moffat once mentioned that he used "wriggle room" but I liked RTD's clearer-drawn lines because the Doctor may be a superior intelligent being but the Universe has laws which even he must obey. I felt that the show kind of lost its way a little in S7. Still enjoyed it though, but that is largely because Matt Smith was perfect in his role as the quirky child-like Doctor set against darker themes.

lukashcartoon
lukashcartoon

I think the revelation that River was Amy and Rory only suffered from the fact that Mel's wasn't introduced until the reveal.

Polyphase
Polyphase

I agree with everything Matt says here and River being Amy's daughter is a "what the hell?" moment :)

JohnHurtisMyDoctor
JohnHurtisMyDoctor

I think as he progressed in his tenure, the role became such a big part of him that it became a lot easier to portray because he embodied the Doctor completely, therefore decreasing the amount of "risks" he was taking. It did not take away from his performance, he was just less nervous. Seems like he craves challenges and novelty so I can understand why he decided to leave when he did and why he is saying these things. There were great stories and average stories in all series. 

Eradallion
Eradallion

Series 5 was the perfect series of Doctor Who. It had an amazing story that was intriguing, yet not too complicated. At the end I felt very satisfied with the resolution, and there were so many questions still unanswered that it really felt like the beginning of an amazingly epic adventure. Pandorica cliffhanger was top notch as well. 

The Outer Space K9
The Outer Space K9

I loved series 7 the most... can't stop rewatching most of the episodes

TheSoundofDrums
TheSoundofDrums

Also I can't quite tell if Matt is referring to River's reveal as a good 'what the hell?!' or a bad 'what the hell?!'.

TheSoundofDrums
TheSoundofDrums

I thought that Matt Smith progressed nicely throughout his time on the show and by the time he reached The Time of the Doctor he had excelled himself. The thing about Matt was he was always good at playing the Doctor. So what made it even more better was that he just kept upping his game until the very end. So in my eyes that's why Series 7 is my favourite because he just gave a top notch performance and his dynamics and character had undertaken new radical changes and he was still pushing the boundaries at such a late stage in the game. But each to their own Matt, I'm glad you found Series 5 such a unique point within your time on the show :)

TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!
TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!

***DISCLAIMER***


To anyone who might care or even notice, I have recently changed my avatar and my screen name from ThePotatoOne to TheNightmareChild.  No particular reason, just felt like a change.  And I quite like this name-it being one of the more mysterious of the intermittently mentioned participants in the Time War.


I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it slightly differently this time: objectively, Series 5 was definitely the best series out of Smith’s run.  It had the best, most coherent series long arc, and it had the most truly great episodes.  When you compare Series 6 to it especially, it was a bit of a mess.  And I don’t know if his “‘what the hell?!’” quote about the River Song revelation is necessarily meant to be negative, but if it is, I kind of agree; River being Amy and Rory’s daughter was not my favorite thing that Moffat ever came up with.  It would’ve been infinitely better if she had a backstory completely separate from Amy and Rory.  But here we are.

Anthony Retondo
Anthony Retondo

I'm a little bothered that Smith seems to be insulting his era a little now that he's left :( 

MrRazza, Awaiting Results on Thursday
MrRazza, Awaiting Results on Thursday

Series 5 is probably the most consistent, and has quite a few of my favourites from his era.

I also found his speeches had more of an effect in series 5, because they were new and different, but later on became more predictable and a little lackluster.

Bert_Macklin
Bert_Macklin

I agree with Smith. I do think I look on Season 6 a little too harshly, but that was because Season 5 was practically a perfect season with a consistent tone and a simply fairytale-esque story at its heart, one where the Doctor helps a frightened, young girl.

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

In terms of the story arc and overall "feel," I agree with him. Series 5 is incredibly well-plotted and has a great atmosphere/tone. However, I love Series 6 and 7 almost just as much; I still think that they're the three strongest series of the revival. 

And I'm pretty sure that River being Amy's daughter was supposed to be a bit "what the hell?!" ;P

Ninjauthor
Ninjauthor

season 7 I think is definitely the strongest

MeglosProductions
MeglosProductions

I agree with Smith. I really liked series 5, particularly Vincent and the doctor, The lodger, the angel two-parter and The big bang/Pandorica opens. After that his era just became a bit "meh"

supermoff
supermoff

To be honest, all three of Matt's smith series are brilliant and represent the very best of the revived era, but I do feel as if Series 6 is tragically underrated. 

thelilwhovian
thelilwhovian

River becoming Amy's daughter was a bad idea. I think Matt's best work was actually in the Day of the Doctor/ time of the doctor. With those two episodes I feel he showed how perfect of a doctor he could be.

Creg23
Creg23

I would say that series 5 is tied with series 7 as the best of the revival.

Planet of the Deaf
Planet of the Deaf

Obviously Series 5 will have a special place in his heart, as for all concerned it must have been a terribly nervous time, a new (and unknown) Doctor, new showrunner, new Companion, so much could have gone wrong.



The Pandorica/Big Bang storyline was brilliant, though I prefer his quieter speeches to his loud ones, "We're all stories in the end" still brings a tear to the eye!


Personally S7 and S5 are equal in terms of series, S5 has the advantage of a single arc and consistent feel, while S7 was refreshed nicely when Clara came on board. Matt's acting in S7 was superb too.

The Questor
The Questor

Without a doubt, the best Matt Smith series. I'd even go as far as to say that it's the best series I've seen in Doctor Who. Some great episodes, most notably the series opener and the series finale double parter. The story arc is wonderful, with the cracks and the silence. Everything was new and fresh; new Doctor, new companion, new sonic screwdriver and a new TARDIS. It's a very intriguing series.    

 I'd happily watch it again and again.

Mikeyboss182
Mikeyboss182

I have always said that Series 5 was the best of Matt's era I really got the sense that the most effort was put into the writing and story lines, The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang is also quite possibly the best piece of television I have ever watched.  It's a shame that the quality of the writing and stories dropped in Series 6 and 7 but as for Matt he just got better and better.

Malohkeh
Malohkeh

I'm not going to lie, I really love series six, and it's by far my favorite. Objectively, though, five is definitely the strongest.

TimeLordVictorious
TimeLordVictorious

I think everybody thought what the hell at the river reveal didn't they?

KingOfTheInterWebs has Kidneys
KingOfTheInterWebs has Kidneys

Series 5 had the arc strength of 6 and 7 and the Saturday evening tea time telly feel of the previous series' of the revived series with a certain feel of the classic series in there in my opinion. To me it honestly felt nostalgic before it even finished. Plus sure The Doctor invited Amy on board to figure out something about her that didn't make sense but also because he wanted to have her aboard and while this is the case in the other series' of Matt's tenure it wasn't as clear here which is something I liked because in other cases when it has cropped up it's felt intrusive. As far as I was concerned in series 5 they could tell me over and over again that Amy was on board because The Doctor wanted to find out about the fact her house was two big for two people and the cracks in time but I didn't actually realise it until they mentioned it at the end of series 5 and even then I brushed it off because of how much I hardly noticed. It also felt extremely fairy tale like to me. So, warm and fuzzy but actually quite dark under the surface. I wish they could've stayed with that kind of feel and layout for series 6 and 7 but I enjoyed 6 and 7 too, plus they brought us some brilliant gems.

Turtlecake365
Turtlecake365

Series 5 was decent, the individual episodes are not the most highly rated, this is how I would rate each episode. 

Eleventh Hour - 10/10.

The Beast Below - 6/10.

 Victory of the Daleks - 6/10. 

Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone - 8/10.

 The Vampires of Venice - 5/10.

 Amy's Choice - 7/10. 

The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood - 5/10.

 Vincent and the Doctor - 7/10.

 The Lodger - 8/10.

 The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang - 10/10.

I rank it at 7.2/10 on average and that is not counted as good, only okay. It did have the best story arc but the individual episodes were not very good.









DW_girl
DW_girl

I totally agree with you there, Matt! Series 5 is one of my favourites and ten times better than series 6 or 7. I liked the adventurous, comedic, dark, imagination-stretching, fairytale-like tone to that series, which to me are a few of the things which made me fall in love with Doctor Who. These reasons are why I love Series 3 and 4 so much too, because they have so much wonder and beautifully written dialogue and music, amongst many other mistifying things.

DalekAgent
DalekAgent

5 is my favourite series of New Who definitely - 4 comes close, but the very final episode lets it down. Series 5 keeps up a remarkable pace and atmosphere that is hard to beat.

DC815
DC815

Can do nothing but agree with him. Series 5 had everything Doctor Who should have!


TheBigBadWolf
TheBigBadWolf

Tbh I found series 5 very boring, and the overall setting and feel was rather dull IMO.

NewWho2012
NewWho2012

Series 5 was better for me after a few viewings after its original broadcast. It was a strange series for me being the crossover between the RTD era and the Moffat era and I wasn't really in the moment when watching the 5th series trying to adapt to all the changes I'd previously got used to and loved in the past 4 series. Only started enjoying it by the finale I think by the time I'd got used to Matt Smith as the new Doctor.

Liana21
Liana21

For me Series 5 is the best, i absolutely love it. Series 7 is next at a short way, but Series 5 is my Series.

Eradallion
Eradallion

@lukashcartoon  I think that a lot of the idea and stories they write look really good on paper when writing them, but then turns out to not be as good when shown on TV, or even, they are really good stories, but the directors don't make the stories into great episodes. Things like the Mel thing probably looked really good on paper, but didn't work as well when transcribed to TV

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

@supermoff  Series 6 had the misfortune of setting up major expectations and being an impetus for speculation. Now, in a vacuum, there's nothing wrong with that at all, but when put into practice with a fandom like Doctor Who's, you're basically setting yourself up to fail, to a degree, because not everyone is going to like the twists and the revelations that come along. I, for instance, loved the Teselecta reveal, but many others did not (although I still maintain that what he used in order to fake his death wasn't quite the point).

DW_girl
DW_girl

Well unfortunately it was spoiled for me beforehand by commentors on a non-spoiler artcle... :/

DW_girl
DW_girl

My ratings:

The Eleventh Hour 10/10

The Beast Below 7.5/10

Victory Of The Daleks 7/10

Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone 9/10

Vampires of Venice 7.5/10

Amy's Choice 9.5/10

The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood 7/10

Vincent and the Doctor 10/10

The Lodger 8/10

The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang 10/10

A Christmas Carol 10/10

I think all the episodes were quite strong, like in series 3. I don't think any episode lets it down and it contains one of my fave episodes of all time: Vincent and the Doctor! :)

 Notsosmartguy  the dalek of Jersey
Notsosmartguy the dalek of Jersey

the teselecta reveal was amazing and worked well:-) I just wish we learned more about the silence. Also I feel wedding rehashed the whole broken time thing from the big bang and wasn't the most satisfying conclusion for the series 6 arc for me.

 Notsosmartguy  the dalek of Jersey
Notsosmartguy the dalek of Jersey

I had suspected that the doctor and river were close somehow i thought she was an old flame from galifrey disguised as human somehow but I had no idea that she was Amy's daughter.