The carefully crafted media representation of Matt Smith

Friday, 2 April 2010

I have been quietly observing the media coverage surrounding the next Doctor Who actor, Matt Smith and have been amused at the overt way in which he has been marketed, especially by the BBC.

There is no doubt that Doctor Who has been one of the most successful investments for the beeb in recent years, and I don't blame them for plugging the life out of the new series, but they seem to be putting an awful lot of emphasis on poor old Matt Smith.

For instance, his appearance on the One Show on Thursday of this week was so carefully put together, even down to the smallest details of changing the title music and graphics to place the smug presenters in front of a whirling Tardis in the opening credits. Then in he bounded with a new hairstyle one could only compare to R-Pattz' sweeping mop, and a silly wide faced grin that has probably already melted a fair few housewives' hearts. The interview was confusing and vague, and left him looking a little bit dim; Christine Bleakley was all over him, joking that she wanted to be the new assistant alongside Smith.

Then there was the appearance on the Chris Moyles show this morning, where Zane Lowe took over and Matt Smith popped in for a 'Verses' competition where the pair had to compete to see who could choose the best music for a certain category for an hour. Anyone who listens to Zane Lowe regularly will be aware that he takes no prisoners when it comes to his opinion on music, but he let the Doctor walk all over him and only read out texts from adoring fans who were 'in awe' of Matt Smith's coolness and incredible knowledge of music.

I just think that the BBC have made a bit of a mockery of the whole lark in confusing the person who is Matt Smith with the character of Doctor Who, and by making so much effort in creating this persona around him in the week leading up to the show, rather than waiting for the new Doctor's characteristics to unfold through the narrative of the drama on Saturday. There must be a small part of the marketing team who are terrified of the undoubted comparisons to the perfect-for-the-roll David Tennant, who was just cool, without having to be paraded around and for him to tell us he's cool.

Having said all that, I plan to plonk myself down in front of the telly box on Saturday and watch the new series, and will probably end up gushing about how cool and trendy Matt Smith is on my next blog... how fickle of me.


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