Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityExtraMattSmith-300Though it pains us to say it (some more than others), the time of our beloved Matt Smith’s tenure as the Doctor is almost at an end. (By the time you get around to this, it may well be over.) Join ALL of the Verities(!) Deb, Erika, Katrina, Liz, Lynne, and Tansy, as we discuss why we think he’s been so successful in the role and reminisce about our favorite 11th-Doctor stories. We’re all excited about Peter Capaldi, but we can’t help being sad to see such a wonderful Doctor say farewell.

It’s another extra-long Extra! as our holiday gift to you. (Or maybe it’s just that we have a lot to say, and when ALL SIX of us are together it takes even longer to say it!)


Download or listen now (runtime 1:08:54) 

Comments on: "Verity! Extra! – We Wish You a Merry Smith-mas!" (12)

  1. Thank you for the wonderful Christmas present! Of course, every Wednesday feels a bit like Christmas nowadays. And ‘Troughtony’ (TM) joins ‘The Coat’ on the list of Verity! memes!

    I’m not sure which 11th Doctor episode is my favorite, but I strongly agree with Erika about ‘Asylum of the Daleks’. Oswin is my very favorite version of Clara, and every other has been a bit of a letdown in comparison. She is whimsical (with Bizet’s Habanera, and soufflés), but also extraordinarily capable as she has completely pwned the Daleks. She is self-assured, intelligent, and brilliant. Oswin set my expectations so high that I have been disappointed by Clara in most other episodes.

    I’m clearly a sucker for whimsy, as ‘A Christmas Carol’ is one of my favorite Doctor Who stories. Moffat had me with flying sharks, but harnessing one to a cabriolet makes a marvelously wacky Christmas image. However, the plot depends on Moffat’s oldest trope, rewriting history to manipulate present events. It’s nearly impossible to write a story using that mechanism that avoids seeming contrived.

    Although Amy’s assertiveness in ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’ is squeeful, I’m surprised that nobody mentioned ‘The Girl Who Waited’. This is my favorite Amy episode (except perhaps ‘The Eleventh Hour’), and is basically Amy dominating the entire world. Like Oswin, when marooned on a hostile planet she takes charge and ends up master of her domain. The ending is quite grim, but it also made me believe in Amy and Rory’s relationship in a way I hadn’t before. Older Amy sacrifices herself so that young Amy can spend her life with Rory instead of alone.

    So I had to close Twitter to avoid Liz’ squee over the Christmas special (oh, SPOILERS!). Amazon won’t have it until tomorrow morning. This is one of those times that is sucks to be a #cordcutter.

  2. Ray Adamson said:

    Kind of the entire Verity! crew to assemble for an especially extra Verity! extra for the end of eleven,considering the seasonal festivities.Twas much appreciated and enjoyed.The most impressive thing about the eleventh Doctor as portrayed by Matt Smith was the continual distinction between his physical appearance and behaviour and what he was capable of morally and mentally.Although superficially he was more comedic and eccentric than Eccleston and Tennants’ reboot of the character,it was frequently obvious that he was a menace to the people he cared about as much as his enemies.It was much more dramatically based than it appeared.If you consider the Doctor’s attitude post Time War there was a regular advocacy of pacifism when it dominated storylines but Doctor eleven had a tendency to react very severely when his enemies attacked him by hurting his friends.Actually there were lots of times when he was particularly sinister,mysterious and dark.In ‘The Girl Who Waited’, the deliberate deception regarding his intention to bring future Amy to the TARDIS is very dubious, as a means to an end.It’s also very apparent in Stories like ‘A Good Man Goes To War’ and ‘Dinosaurs On A Spaceship’ where he is much less tolerant and more aggressive than his predecessors often were prepared to be.Notably,it’s Doctor eleven who will not commit to genocide for the sake of winning the war in Day of the Doctor which is a testimony that those events and atrocities that he participated in ,are just as important to him although he usually avoided sharing his experiences with anybody.It was not exactly’ Fish Fingers and custard’ ,all the time really despite the comedy clumsiness.He was an incredible Doctor and when he appeared with Katy Manning and Elisabeth Sladen in ‘Death of The Doctor’,i could genuinely believe he was really the same alien he used to be.Good luck to him.

  3. Thanks for the great holiday gift Verity ladies. Great to hear you all at once. I would have sworn you’d all been together in one podcast before, but if Deb says Erika says you haven’t, I shall not dispute it.

    My favorite Matt Smith episode? It’s so hard to pick favorites because there are so many good episodes, but I will: “Vincent and the Doctor” is awesome, and I think it is one of the best two or three stories of modern Doctor Who, and maybe in the top 20 for all-time best TV stories. From Matt’s tenure, I also really like “Asylum of the Daleks” and “The Girl Who Waited”. I don’t know if Matt Smith will ever be my favorite Doctor, but he will always be in the running.

    My own father watched “The Time of the Doctor” last night. He didn’t know what Doctor Who was until then. (In his mind, he thought at first I was talking about the Stanley Kubrick film Doctor Strangelove–and to his credit, that is my all-time favorite film.) So, he had very little to go on except what I told him leading up to the broadcast last night. At the end of the one-hour BBC America special about Matt Smith, my dad was raving about his talent, and was asking me in all seriousness how anybody could ever replace him because he is so obviously amazing as the Doctor. I couldn’t argue with him. He liked the special okay, I guess. He enjoyed watching it, but I certainly didn’t convert him to being a fan. When they started running “The Day of the Doctor” afterward, he left to get ready for bed during the opening sequences muttering something about there being too many explosions.

    To reference a couple of the serious sidebars in this episode: I will join the picket line if Clara disappears from the show too quickly, and I would also join the “Capaldi should talk Scottish” if it turns out he doesn’t and it wasn’t his choice.

    You guys are all wonderful. Thanks and Happy New Year!

  4. Willow'sCat said:

    Eleven became my (New era) Doctor when River confronted him in A good man goes to war. The moment River turns up and tells the Doctor what he doesn’t want to hear about his own behaviour and how he can make others so afraid that they would kidnap a child and then turn that child into a weapon just to stop him, I was stopped dead in my tracks! I also high-fived the air and wanted to kiss Moffat!

    This is where Moffat truly starts to re-write RTDs era and the God!Doctor. Although there are of course backward steps along, I mean It wouldn’t be Doctor Who without contradictions, however with Matt and Steven we start to see The Doctor behave with greater understanding of his weaknesses and showing more control and less of the vengeful 9th/10th Doctor. His line about getting angry… It’s all so perfect. So while I adore the Eleventh Hour, and also love many other episodes and have and will re-watch them all A good man goes to war delivered back to me My Doctor.

    I will miss Matt terribly but now I have seen the regeneration (no spoilers!) I also know in my heart that it is time to go… That by going he gives 11th Doctor fans the greatest gift. The gift of not over-staying his welcome. He has left us wanting more and that is how it really should be. So bye Matt and thank you for making Doctor Who such joy to watch!

  5. Another wonderful podcast, ladies. I have to admit, I too am not ready for Matt to leave. I would have liked another season with him as the Doctor as I think the chemistry between him and Jenna is wonderful. She brings out a whole new layer in his performance since she became his companion. That said, I’m looking forward to seeing an older Doctor and seeing what Peter Capaldi will bring to the role.

    A favourite episode is a hard choice. I’m inclined to go with Vincent and the Doctor as the idea of taking someone from the past who wasn’t successful in their lifetime and showing them how their work is revered in the future is incredible. It was a very moving episode. But then there are so many great stories. I also love the two part Pandorica story. And Day of the Astronaut. And Day of the Doctor. So ,amy to choose from. I think Matt Smith will go down in history as one of the best Doctors the show has ever had. If not THE best…

  6. Reblogged this on Psychicwitness' Blog and commented:
    One of the best Doctor Who podcasts I’ve found so far.

  7. terminuspodcast said:

    Thanks guys for the awesome Christmas gift! I can’t wait to hear your episode on ‘Time of the Doctor’! 🙂

    Anyway, anyone that listens to my podcast or just knows me in person, knows that I sort of alternate between Eleven and Seven as my favorite Doctor (Seven’s been a favorite FOREVER for me).

    I mean, I really could not have guessed when Matt joined that show that he would win me over so much to take the mantel of my favorite Doctor (and this is from someone who has watched at least 95% of the classic series as well — still getting through it all!). I was admittedly skeptical — like many people — when he was first cast and was REALLY worried about what he’d be like, but he won me over in SECONDS. Yeah, I am going to be really, really sad to see him go, no matter how much I ADORE the changing nature of the show and also how freaking excited I am about Capaldi’s Doctor (which, you know, I AM VERY EXCITED ABOUT. Don’t get me wrong!).

    As for favorites from his time, my big favorite tends to be ‘Amy’s Choice’. I know that one is a bit controversial and usually a ‘fan fave’, but for me it hits a lot of my Doctor Who-related narratives kinks with all its juicy meta about the character of the Doctor (I LOVE meta episodes — not every week, of course, but once in a while) and the nature of his relationships with his companions. Some of the things that came out of the Dream Lord’s mouth literally make me punch the air with glee and when I rewatch it I always have to pause it a lot to squee about how awesome I think it is!

    ‘Amy Choice’ is admittedly more of an intellectual choice for me, though. It’s a thinky episode that REALLY gets me, but as far as my feel-good, comfort-food episode, I’d have to go right back to the beginning and say ‘The Eleventh Hour’. Not only does that episode feel like a warm blanket on a cold night for me, but it was LITERALLY the episode to make me really fall back in love with the show!

    By the end of Ten(nant)’s run, I’d honestly gotten a bit worn down from the OTT melodrama of much of his arc and even started to resent and dislike his Doctor quite a bit. Which was really, really hard for me, because to find yourself almost hating your childhood hero is quite heart-breaking and sad (at the end of S3, I honestly despised him a bit, thinking he was a total jerk, even though he won be a back a bit with S4, when Donna was there to puncture his ego and ground him some).

    I mean, I’m guess I’m one of those weirdos who is a HUGE fan of Tennant as an actor — and person — but rank his Doctor fairly low against the other Doctors and, by extension, his Doctor also doesn’t rank high for me against his other acting roles (though, to be fair, I blame that more on how the character was written than how he was played — but that’s a rant for another day).

    But, by contrast, with ‘The Eleventh Hour’, the magical fairy tale aspects of the show came back with aplomb and it just really plugged DEEPLY into the childhood nostalgia I’d had for the show. His relationship with young Amelia was the stuff of my childhood fantasies (albeit I was a little older at 13 when I started watching the show in 1986) and she seemed a reflection of me (and us fans) with her drawings, stories, and other art of him as she grew older. Because of this, I just get such a visceral reaction every time I see that episode, a sort of wibbly nostalgic feeling in my belly and a bit of tears of joy in my eyes. Moffat, for me, gave me back the show I love — ‘properly’ this time. (Not that RTD was always bad before him. We just didn’t really click as much).

    But yeah, Eleven was ‘still cooking’ in ‘The Eleventh Hour’ and would definitely go on to fine tune his performances and wow me again and again, but I do still love that first episode muchly. And, yeah, sitting beside ‘Amy’s Choice’ as the episode I usually say is my favorite of the new series, I think it is soooo wonderful. ❤

  8. Nimon Discoboots said:

    I too think of the Stones of Blood when watching Curse of the Black Spot 😀 if only the siren beasty was wearing a load of feathers ;( she could of been the old duck of the sea; stolen from leadworth as a duckling and trained in the art of healing and singing. I blame Barry Manilow he’s notorious for stealing water fowl via trippy time crack things. Thankfully he wasn’t singing; which proves that Moffat is indeed a generous and noble showrunner.

    aliens > alien

  9. Love Verity! – it’s my current favorite DW podcast, I think. Always keeps me laughing when I listen. I just started listening to this episode and had to pause it to come comment – when Lynne was talking about how she wouldn’t let her kid go on an adventure with 10 because he’d probably lose her, my first thought was, “and he’d come back and tell you he was sorry. So, so, sorry.” And I say that with all the love of a fellow 10th Doc fangirl 🙂 Keep up the good work, ladies!

  10. Merry Christmas, and thanks for another lovely podcast. 🙂

    I think my favourite Smith episode would still have to be The 11th Hour. It was a magnificent debut and he made the role his own within minutes of appearing on screen. Fabulous.

    I enjoyed The Time of the Doctor immensely and it left me with very mixed emotions because I’m sorry to see Smith go but I’m very excited to see what Capaldi is going to do with the role. One thing seems clear – he’s keeping his accent! 🙂

  11. Laura Blanchard said:

    I loved your comments about Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. Part of what I really liked about the episode was the fandoms-colliding aspect of it — with Arthur’s dad channeling his inner Arthur Weasley and Filch getting blown up and Inspector Lestrade being bossed around by Amy. I was also very thankful that no one ever said I don’t want these *** dinosaurs on my *** spaceship.

  12. Hmm, this is tough! I’m currently rewatching Matt Smith’s era in preparation for Series 8 and I’m just up to The Curse of the Black Spot. Which, as you’ve all said multiple times, is terrible. 🙂 Erika, I’m taking a page from your book and looking at a list of all of the Eleventh Doctor’s episodes to remind myself of everything he’s done. I definitely didn’t connect with this Doctor the way I did with previous incarnations, but in looking at all of his episodes, the standout favorite for me is………Amy’s Choice. I know this opinion could be colored by the fact that I just recently rewatched it, but as I did that, I realized how much I enjoyed it. I loved the back and forth of the two worlds, not knowing which was which, wondering who the Dream Lord really is, etc. I reserve the right to change this opinion after I’ve finished rewatching Smith’s era though, so I’ll report back. 🙂

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