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Old 09-04-2013, 10:28 AM   #1
Philosofy
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Eccleston vs Tenant vs Smith (Doctor Who)

OK, lets leave Ereth's thread alone.

My take:

Eccleston was a good reboot, and set a great tone. He was good at conveying an underlying menace that the Doctor possesses, and he had a sense of humor. I think he failed a little with seeming smart even when acting silly, though. I liked his take, but he just pointed the gun in the right direction for Tenant and then Smith.

Tenant: He was great at playing up the whimsy and intelligence of the Doctor, but not so much with the power and menace under the surface. He was also great at showing how much the Doctor cares.

Smith: different than Tenant, but also great. I think he hit the mark with the Doctor's whimsy, intelligence, and menace. He also looked a little alien to me.

Tenant and Smith are tied, IMO. If I watch a lot of Smith episodes, he's my favorite, but if I watch a lot of Tenant episodes, then he's my favorite.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:42 AM   #2
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If I watch a lot of Smith episodes, he's my favorite, but if I watch a lot of Tenant episodes, then he's my favorite.
I find myself doing the exact same thing.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:58 AM   #3
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While I've enjoyed Tennant and Smith, preferring Smith, Tennant had better stories.

However I adored Eccleston, he really nailed the dark side of the Doctor, you really were afraid when he was angry, I miss him the most.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:23 PM   #4
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I should probably go back and rewatch the Eccleston episodes and remember a time when the Doctor was much darker and scarier. Smith had a bit of a dark side to him, but he still had that warm & cute side. Eccleston....not so much.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:36 PM   #5
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My take:
I agree. With the addendum that the things that Smith is good at matter more to me than the things that Tennant is good at (I realize I'm in a minority here), so I much prefer the Smith portrayal.

Overall, I'd go Eccleston-Smith-Tennant, or maybe Smith-Eccleston-Tennant (very small gap between Smith and Eccleston; bigger gap between them and Tennant, although Tennant was still very good).

Eccleston probably suffered from being A) the first, and B) a one-term Doctor, with the result that they never really got it all together. The writers were feeling their way with the new version of the show, and Eccleston didn't seem to be a perfect fit for what they were going for. I think in a second year they both would have adjusted and the results would have been awesome, but alas, it was not meant to be.

Tennant had better writing than Smith (ironically in part due to Moffat), but his portrayal never really had much gravity...I always thought he was refraining from winking at the camera, except when he got angry, which seemed more like a hissy fit. Smith seemed ageless, silly, wrathful, alien...I was prepared to hate him, but he won me over early in his first episode (it took Tennant longer).

But Moffat is a much better contributing writer than show-runner, I fear, and Smith's run has suffered a bit from, er, Moffatitis. Maybe Moffat is like a superb double-fudge sundae...great for desert, but not as a meal three times a day.

I do have high hopes for Capaldi, which matters not at all, since I had very low hopes for both Tennant and Smith. At the end of the day, who plays the Doctor is only part of the equation; at least as important is what he, and they, do with it.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:48 PM   #6
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In addition to being a one-season Doctor, one of the differences with Eccleston is that he's not channeling anyone. Tennant based a lot of his performance and mannerisms on Peter Davison, who was his Doctor, just as Matt Smith based his on Patrick Troughton.
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:09 PM   #7
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I agree with Rob about Eccleston being the first, and having only one season. That being said, I think Tennant had better stories, but Smith had better multiple story plot arcs. And the Smith/Amy relationship had a lot more time to gel, whereas Tenant had what, 3 companions?
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:11 PM   #8
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I agree with Rob about Eccleston being the first, and having only one season. That being said, I think Tennant had better stories, but Smith had better multiple story plot arcs. And the Smith/Amy relationship had a lot more time to gel, whereas Tenant had what, 3 companions?
Yep Rose, Martha, Donna.
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:50 PM   #9
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I feel like I liked Smith the most, but I don't rewatch old episodes so it's hard to tell. I think the stories were better and more affecting and consistent in Smith's time that is also a factor. Eccleston seemed wooden to me. I like Tennant and thought he could not be beaten but feel he was.

I don't for a minute think Smith was channeling Troughton.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:54 PM   #10
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I think part of Eccleston's Doctor portrayal was influenced by the fact that he did not want to be "stuck in that role" (paraphrasing) for more than one series.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:56 PM   #11
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I like them all. I did prefer Matt Smith with Amy Pond and Rory vs. Rose, Donna, and Martha. Of the previous three companions, Rose was probably the best fit. Eccleston's Doctor was too shortlived to have fully developed his character so comparing him against Tennant or Smith isn't exactly fair. One season just isn't enough for a new Doctor to take root. He was a vast improvement over the 2 or 3 Doctors that preceded him, but the scripts and production quality certainly made a difference between the new and the old series.

It's really difficult to pin down a favorite Doctor because they all add a unique flavor to the character rather than being clones of the Doctor they replaced. The show's concept is actually quite brilliant when you think about it. No Doctor ever sticks around long enough for you to get tired of him and the new one is always different enough to make the character fresh again. However, I'm sorry to see Matt Smith depart the series so soon. Since the series rebooted in 2005, he quickly became my current favorite.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:48 PM   #12
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OK, lets leave Ereth's thread alone.

My take:

Eccleston was a good reboot, and set a great tone. He was good at conveying an underlying menace that the Doctor possesses, and he had a sense of humor. I think he failed a little with seeming smart even when acting silly, though. I liked his take, but he just pointed the gun in the right direction for Tenant and then Smith.

Tenant: He was great at playing up the whimsy and intelligence of the Doctor, but not so much with the power and menace under the surface. He was also great at showing how much the Doctor cares.

Smith: different than Tenant, but also great. I think he hit the mark with the Doctor's whimsy, intelligence, and menace. He also looked a little alien to me.

Tenant and Smith are tied, IMO. If I watch a lot of Smith episodes, he's my favorite, but if I watch a lot of Tenant episodes, then he's my favorite.
Good analysis. I loved them all. In fact, the only Doctor ever I didn't like was colin baker. But that was the writing, not the actor. But all three new ones have filled a role nicely.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:24 PM   #13
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Eccleston's Doctor was too shortlived to have fully developed his character so comparing him against Tennant or Smith isn't exactly fair. One season just isn't enough for a new Doctor to take root. He was a vast improvement over the 2 or 3 Doctors that preceded him, but the scripts and production quality certainly made a difference between the new and the old series.
Sorry, having just watched Paul McGann in his only appearance, I must disagree with the idea that it takes more than a season for a new Doctor to take root. If that were the case, the show would never have survived 50 years.

The movie was an awful mess, but there are moments that show McGann, if the series had revived, might have been a brilliant Doctor.

And it's absurd to say that Eccleston's Doctor wasn't completely developed. What are the bits in either Tennant or Smith did in their entire run which top Eccleston in his finest moments? When Eccleston's Doctor realizes his old enemies the Daleks are back, that scene in "Dalek", how creepy and powerful was that? I hadn't watched the show, and the Daleks were only a name to me, so there was no reason for me to understand this was a "Holy crap! run behind the couch" moment except for what was in the modern episode.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:46 PM   #14
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See, I find Matt Smith the weakest of the doctors. I just can't get into him as the doctor. Maybe it's because he's so young. The first season with him was awful. I'm still so far behind because I just can't bring myself to watch him.

For me, the ranking of the current doctors is Tennant, Eccleston, and then Smith.

Eccleston just feels like the doctor should feel, when he's been traveling alone too long, sad and depressed. Rose woke him up and energized him. At the end, at his regeneration, his thankfulness seems to come through. Tennant is more whimsical, but he should be. He's a happier man and his life has found meaning again. He can still be dark (no second chances!), but he can turn it off again and live life in the moment as much as possible. He was back to being depressed and ended up with Martha (who was a crappy companion). I think the writers tried to hard with her. Donna was a fun companion and he got to be exasperated. To me, Tennant got to have a great range of emotion.

Matt Smith, to me, tried to be the confused buffoon. He didn't have the suave nature of Tennant and didn't seem bumbling enough to carry off the buffoon. Beyond that, he'd evolved so much with Eccleston and Tennant's characters that it seemed like a step back. Had he been in between Eccleston and Tennant, I might have been able to take it. He just didn't seem to make his character likeable. Once in a blue moon, I'd like his portrayal. Amy and Rory were great companions. I'm currently on what's her face (the dalek who isn't a dalek, etc). It could be the writing, but really, I think it's due to Matt Smith's portrayal and acting abilities that keep me from getting into the character. I need to finish off the old episodes (and catch up) so I can watch the new regeneration with a renewed spirit.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:51 AM   #15
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My order of preference is Eccleson -> Smith -> Tennant. That's not to say Tennant was bad. He was pretty damn good. I just quickly tired of the Doctor/Rose love story. Then they followed that up with Martha fawning after him. I would have loved to have seen two or three years of Eccleson to see how his portrayal of the Doctor progressed.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:26 AM   #16
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After thinking about it for a while, I have to put them in the following order Tennant -> Eccleson -> Smith. They were all pretty good though.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:39 AM   #17
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Tenant and Smith are tied, IMO. If I watch a lot of Smith episodes, he's my favorite, but if I watch a lot of Tenant episodes, then he's my favorite.
Agreed although the relationship between Rose and Eccelson was also excellent.

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OK, lets leave Ereth's thread alone.
What do you have against Ereth?
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:39 AM   #18
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Smith > Eccelston > Tennant
I expect Capaldi to be better than Ecc.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:24 AM   #19
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This.

Perfectly said.
Quote:
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See, I find Matt Smith the weakest of the doctors. I just can't get into him as the doctor. Maybe it's because he's so young. The first season with him was awful. I'm still so far behind because I just can't bring myself to watch him.

For me, the ranking of the current doctors is Tennant, Eccleston, and then Smith.

Eccleston just feels like the doctor should feel, when he's been traveling alone too long, sad and depressed. Rose woke him up and energized him. At the end, at his regeneration, his thankfulness seems to come through. Tennant is more whimsical, but he should be. He's a happier man and his life has found meaning again. He can still be dark (no second chances!), but he can turn it off again and live life in the moment as much as possible. He was back to being depressed and ended up with Martha (who was a crappy companion). I think the writers tried to hard with her. Donna was a fun companion and he got to be exasperated. To me, Tennant got to have a great range of emotion.

Matt Smith, to me, tried to be the confused buffoon.
He didn't have the suave nature of Tennant and didn't seem bumbling enough to carry off the buffoon. Beyond that, he'd evolved so much with Eccleston and Tennant's characters that it seemed like a step back. Had he been in between Eccleston and Tennant, I might have been able to take it. He just didn't seem to make his character likeable. Once in a blue moon, I'd like his portrayal. Amy and Rory were great companions. I'm currently on what's her face (the dalek who isn't a dalek, etc). It could be the writing, but really, I think it's due to Matt Smith's portrayal and acting abilities that keep me from getting into the character. I need to finish off the old episodes (and catch up) so I can watch the new regeneration with a renewed spirit.
Very well said and expressing just wanted to say, only expressing it better than I could.

Eccelston and Tennant are tied - I enjoyed both equally and would have been happy with either for an length of time.

Smith - not so much.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:37 AM   #20
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I wasn't a big fan of Eccleston -- felt his age made his relationship with Rose awkward. Tennant came in and that change the situation but then Rose was replaced. I wasn't a fan of Smith because I really liked Tennant, but Amy made the transition easier -- loved that accent. But somehow I stopped watching it regularly (so did my sons, after Amy/Rory left). Stories definitely got better after Eccleston's year.

If I had to rank, for me it would be Tennant, Smith, Eccleston; bot Eccleston is probably at the bottom more because of some of the stories.

Maybe we need a companion thread to this one to discuss the companions.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:39 AM   #21
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I wasn't a big fan of Eccleston -- felt his age made his relationship with Rose awkward.
900 years is a pretty big age difference.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:00 AM   #22
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900 years is a pretty big age difference.
LOL
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:31 PM   #23
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900 years is a pretty big age difference.
Pretty sure you know what I meant.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:35 PM   #24
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I'm not familiar with Smith, but I love how Tennant can brush off an eternity of pain and sorrow and live in the moment.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:36 PM   #25
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I've only watched every episode once. So from the perspective of someone that hasn't gone back and revisited the Doctors, I'd rank them:

Tennent
Smith
Eccleston

I really enjoyed Eccleston, but Tennent stepped it up a notch and was fantastic. Part of this could have been the writing, but I think a good deal of the credit should go to Tennent. I remembered being totally bummed when Eccleston left the show, but Tennent quickly assuaged any concerns I had. In my opinion, the guy was simply born to play that role.

The switch from Tennent to Smith was even more jarring. I had become so used to Tennent, and Smith's take on the role was entirely different. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to make of him at first. It took a bit longer than it did with Tennent, but I ultimately came to love Smith's version of the Doctor. It certainly helped that he was given perhaps the best companion of all time in Amy Pond.
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:32 AM   #26
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There was that great episode where Rose met Sarah Jane. I think an even better episode would be when the Ponds meet Rose.
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:36 AM   #27
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There was that great episode where Rose met Sarah Jane. I think an even better episode would be when the Ponds meet Rose.
That was an excellent episode, especially the scene where the two women were comparing the "bad guys" that they both had faced, trying to out-bad the other. I thought Tennant did a superb job of being referee to their one-ups-man-ship, and stopping it before it got too far. I STILL laugh about that scene. And it was nice to see K9 again, even though in the original series K9 didn't join the show until after Sarah had left. They never met, in the original show.
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:38 AM   #28
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There was that great episode where Rose met Sarah Jane.
"School Reunion" -- one of my all-time favorites.

Spoiler:
"The Ex and the Missus!"

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Old 09-08-2013, 01:36 PM   #29
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"I'm the tin dog???"

Also one of my favorite eps.

Tennant...Eccleston......................................... ............................................Smith.

Matt Smith is only slightly behind Colin Baker as my least favorite doctor ever, and I've seen every episode since Troughton, who was my first doctor. Tom Baker was awesome, and I loved Peter Davison, Pertwee was fantastic. I loved the reboot, and Eccleston did a great job of reminding us who the doctor was. Tennant built on that beautifully. Smith just went straight to buffoon and stayed there. I would've watched the Centurion Rory & River Song show every night of the week, though. Amy was meh.

I'm looking forward to Capaldi, to remove the horrid taste that Smith left. He certainly can't be worse.
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:00 PM   #30
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I'm looking forward to Capaldi, to remove the horrid taste that Smith left. He certainly can't be worse.
Here's the thing, though. Moffat and company cast Smith for a reason, and once they had him, presumably wrote to what they perceived as his strengths. Presumably Smith was delivering the kind of performance that they wanted from him; otherwise, they could have booted him in favor of someone else.

How much can any actor salvage crap writing? No matter what an actor delivers, he has no control over what takes they choose in the editing room.

So while my response to Smith leaving is "don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out", I put 90% of the blame on Moffat.

[hijack] Really enjoying watching David Tennant and Arthur Darvill on Broadchurch, though. [/hijack]
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