Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennant's?

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by The Borgified Corpse, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    Does it feel that way to anyone else? Despite the fact that Tennant's run lasted only 3 episodes longer than Smith's (5 episodes if you count Tennant's 2 animated specials), it feels like Tennant was the Doctor for way longer than Smith has been. Why is that?

    I've got 3 theories:

    1.) The numbers game:
    From the perspective of sheer percentages, when Tennant left the show, he had been the Doctor for 3 out of 4 seasons, certainly the vast majority of the new series up to that time. OTOH, Smith has only been the Doctor for 3 out of 7 seasons, less than half of the series.

    2.) Prevalence of early material and shorter gaps between episodes:
    Basically, that's my fancy-ish way of saying that Tennant did 3 solid seasons for 3 years in a row and didn't start taking breaks until after that. On the other hand, Smith kept us waiting forever between his 2nd & 3rd seasons, and again between his 3rd season and his remaining specials. The longest gap between Tennant episodes was 6 months between "Planet of the Dead" & "Waters of Mars." The longest gap between Smith episodes was 9 months between "The Doctor, the Widow, & the Wardrobe" and "Asylum of the Daleks."

    3.) Companion variety creates the illusion of a longer run:
    Each of Tennant's 3 seasons featured a different companion--Rose, Martha, & Donna. So we got a wide variety of seeing different sides to Tennant's Doctor through how he reacted against various companions. We saw him get all smushy with Rose. We saw him completely oblivious to Martha's unrequited feelings for him. And we saw him counterbalanced with Donna, the only companion with a personality bigger than his. On the other hand, Smith spent the vast majority of his run with Amy & Rory. Clara only barely showed up for the last half-season. (Don't get me wrong, I love Amy & Rory. But it's weird what kind of impression it leaves.)

    What do you folks think?
     
  2. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    I think its a bit simpler: Tennant's been on the show, technically since the end of the first season, which was 2005. His last story was transmitted at 2010, thus making his run technically five-years old. Thus, he was on people's minds for a bit longer.

    Plus, the three series he worked on came one after the other, without stops. Smith's run has been sparse in his third year, and that could be what make it seem less. I mean, five episodes in 2012, and eight in 2013 - and all transmitted in a short period of time. I think that could also attribute to that.

    But what I also think has happened is, this whole year has been pretty Who-free, relatively. Sure, eight episodes are out, but why not a full 13? The show should've been in its eight season now, and the hype for the 50th should've been building up AT LEAST by now. But for whatever reason, the BBC has its focus on other things, instead of the stallwart, trademark show of Great Britain (other than Python, that is :p).
     
  3. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    If you do it as first line to last line, Tennant and Matt are both in the top five (and McCoy only comes top because of the 'cheat' of the tv movie). But yes, it does feel he's only just arrived.
    Mind you, doctors, policemen, prime ministers and presidents are starting to look stupidly young to me. Very grateful to have aDoctor-elect who makes me feel young!
     
  4. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    It feels so short because we don't want to see him go, awwwwww.

    Seriously, though, I think the specials with Tennant might make it feel that way as they made his run draw longer than normal.
     
  5. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    Tennant had more presence during his term than Smith has. Tennant's seasons aired on a regular schedule and in a complete run. As opposed to Smith whose seasons have been all over the place and split.

    Plus there's merchandising. Tennant had 57 novels and 7 audio books. Smith has 32 novels although he does have 14 audio books.

    I don't follow the action figures that much, but there doesn't seem to be as many related to Smith's era as there was for Tennant's, but I could be wrong about that.

    Basically, Tennant was better utilized during his term than Smith has, and that's why it feels like his term lasted longer despite the fact there's no real difference.
     
  6. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    I think it's partly 3.

    Mainly, though, I think it's something you didn't cite -- Moffat's arc-based storytelling, which has made Smith's era feel "tighter" than any other Doctor Who era.
     
  7. Konata Izumi

    Konata Izumi Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    Also Eccleston series was more directly a part of Tennant's.
     
  8. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    Tennant actually lasted more years, (2005-2010 making that 5 years) while Smith only lasted for four (2010-2013). The split seasons make a large difference so it barley feels we've actually gotten our doctor who fix and is why it has taken me so long to warm to Smiths doctor, the Series 5-7.1 felt a bit like the same series as we were lumbered with the fucking Ponds for almost as long as Smith has stayed on, plus I was a lot younger when Tennant came in, so he felt like he was going for years while Smith feels like he's been here for five minutes. Plus for me, Tenants leaving was the first time I was thinking about who was going to be the next doctor. But the last two are my personal reasons.
     
  9. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    Heck, I think you could even throw "Torchwood" in there, too. Even though the Doctor wasn't really a character in that show, it was clearly a part of the same Who universe and made Tennant's run that much more expansive.
     
  10. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    Yeah, I think Smith's run felt shorter because it was shorter.
     
  11. Andrew_Kearley

    Andrew_Kearley Captain Captain

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    You're using the blanket years to distort the reality a little though. If you're counting Tennant's brief appearance at the end of Eccleston's last episode, then it's actually more four and a half years. Applying the same criteria to Smith gives him just one week short of four whole years. If we count it from each Doctor's first full episode to his last full episode, then the difference is negligible, being only a couple of months more for Tennant.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  12. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    Tenant's first episode was at the end of 2005. I don't count doctors first appearances at the end of episodes, I count them from their first episode that they star in.
     
  13. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    In my mind, Tennant's run began with The Christmas Invasion and ended with The End of Time. December 25, 2005 to January 1, 2010 is exactly four years and one week. Smith's run from April 2, 2010 to December 25, 2013 is almost three years and nine months, which is only really a difference of three months.

    Interestingly enough, Smith's run covers a longer period of time in universe than Tennant's. Tennant's covered six years in universe, while Smith's has covered something like 200 or 300 years.
     
  14. Andrew_Kearley

    Andrew_Kearley Captain Captain

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    Are you counting things like the Quick Reads, Darksmith Legacy and Decide Your Destiny to get to those figures?

    Smith's had more comic strip adventures than Tennant, not to mention The Adventure Games, and features in more visual content outside the episodes - prequels, mini-episodes, DVD content and so on. I'm finding his presence to be just as ubiquitious as Tennant's was.
     
  15. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    Well, aren't' you technical. ;) But three months is still a while.

    And I refuse to believe Smith has been around for like 200 or 300 years and he's barley aged, yet you can tell Tennant "matured" a bit since his first appearance. I call bullshit on Steven Moffat, The Eleventh Doctor has not been around for that long. He would have gotten bored with the Ponds in that time. He wouldn't have kept re appearing. My theory is that the doctor has no clue what his age is as you know, time machine, and it's possible he's only even about 100-150 years old. And his first 100 or 50 years was as the first Doctor, mainly on Gallifrey.
     
  16. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    Yes, I am. But even if you just focus on the NSAs, Tennant had 30 and Smith has 18. Maybe only 15, depending on if you count the "adult" hardcovers as part of the NSA line or not.
     
  17. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    Well I just think it's that Tennant's Doctor had a greater impact on some and it's a bad reflection on Smith actually.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  18. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    As others have said it's rather simple

    DT 2005-2010
    MS 2010-2013

    So purely by years DT did it for longer. As CE only did one season DT sort of established himself as the Doctor of this era of the show.
     
  19. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    The character doesn't exist outside of Steven Moffat-mandated stories, where he is quite obviously around for that long, so I don't see where your feeling comes from.
     
  20. Andrew_Kearley

    Andrew_Kearley Captain Captain

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    Re: Why does it feel like Smith's run has been way shorter than Tennan

    No problem, including everything is my bag, after all. (Mind you, I think including Decide Your Destiny will get Smith 36 novels.) The other area where Smith is under-represented compared to Tennant is in short-form prose. The loss of the Storybooks after 2010 means that there's been quite a dearth of this. Shame.