Matt Smith bowed out of Doctor Who in style in Christmas Special The Time of the Doctor, saving the town of Christmas from the Daleks before regenerating in to Peter Capaldi. During his five year run the eleventh Doctor, sporting his trademark tweed jacket and bow tie (bow ties are cool), became a firm fan favourite. IBTimes UK looks back at some of his greatest moments.
The Raggedy Doctor – The Eleventh Hour
Matt Smith crash landed (literally) in to Doctor Who canon in his first fully fledged episode The Eleventh Hour, and in a barnstorming performance immediately assuaged fears the show would stumble after David Tennant's departure.
The show had massively grown in popularity under the suave and assured Tenth Doctor, but Matt Smith's incarnation was a wholly different proposition. The first time young Amelia Pond spots him, he bursts out of his knocked over Tardis, and never looks back.
Unbelievably youthful (at 26 years old he was the youngest person ever to play the Doctor), and dishevelled, his fish finger and custard-eating antics were the antithesis of Tennant, giving the Doctor a more otherworldly, fairy-tale quality.
The Alien Flatmate – The Lodger
For all the far flung places across time and space we have ventured with the Doctor, it was a suspicious looking two-bedroom flat in Colchester where Matt Smith showed off his gift for comedy. The Doctor moves in with James Corden's Craig Owens in order to investigate the flat, whilst pretending to be a regular human being.
But the sitcom-styled episode instead showed just how alien Smith's Time Lord was. From turning up at Craig's house with a bag full of rent, to believing a Sunday pub league to be some sort of drinking competition, his strange mannerisms, motions and demeanour were all played here for delightful comic effect.
The Terrible Dancer – The Big Bang
Matt Smith's performance as the Doctor stood out not just because of how he looked and how he talked, but how he moved. Like a child in a suit, his flailing arms and gangly limbs are a noticeable contrast to previous Doctors, whose main actions consisted mainly of talking and running.
The animated energy Smith brought to the role was best evidenced in season five finale The Big Bang, where we got to see the Doctor rush about with a mop and fez (fezzes are cool), die, come back to life, and then do his 'drunk giraffe' dance at Amy and Rory's wedding.
Unashamedly uncool, his Chaplinesque antics revitalised the Tardis, and meant that what he did was always as important as what he said.
The Tragic Lover – The Name of the Doctor
Ever since Paul McGann kissed Daphne Ashbrook in The Doctor Who Movie, the Time Lord's relationship with his companions has been as much romantic as platonic, and Matt Smith's was no different.
Despite Amy's initial attempts to seduce him (and springing out of fiancé Rory's stag do cake to let him know), his main relationship was with renegade time travelling archaeologist River Song.
Their flirty banter was a great antidote to the sentimental sweetness between Rose and the Tenth Doctor, but that's not to say they didn't have their serious moments. Marrying her in The Wedding of River Song, their out of synch lives reached a heart-breaking conclusion in The Name of the Doctor.
After pretending to not be able to see the resurrected consciousness of River throughout the episode, his confession at the end that he was afraid of saying goodbye revealed just how much he loved her, and gave a real gravity to their long running relationship.
The Mad Man with a Box – The Doctor's Wife
The Doctor might have married River, but it was the interaction with the greatest love of his life, the Tardis, that will be forever remembered from Smith's era. This magical episode penned by Neil Gaiman personified the Tardis as a woman just as bonkers as Matt Smith's Doctor.
Their playful bickering, from arguing over who stole whom to talking about what the Doctor calls the Tardis when he's alone ("sexy"), in Idris the Doctor found his true partner, a madcap companion a world away from the regular human travellers who ground the show.
My favourite Matt Smith moment comes at the ending of The Doctor's Wife, where after the Tardis has returned to normal, he asks her where they want to go. The lever suddenly moves, and Smith's Doctor springs to life, gleefully rushing around the controls trying to pilot the ship. Charismatic and chaotic, Matt Smith's Doctor was more than just an alien, a Time Lord, an adventurer and a hero; he was a mad man with a box.