Doctor Who Birthday: Top 5 things iconic things about the Eleventh Doctor


BBC, Doctor Who

Unfortunately, we’re a day late to wish the Eleventh Doctor a happy birthday, but with a show that plays with time, are we really late? Who knows!

Matt Smith became iconic through his way of acting the role. His versatility throughout playing the Doctor makes it hysterical to watch, and the reason why I love rewatching his scenes. In the very beginning, we had fish fingers and custard, which became an iconic meal for Whovians. Nothing was too big or too crazy for the Eleventh Doctor, and that’s what made him stick out.

The best part of his Doctor was his ability to act years beyond his young face, which essentially made him the perfect choice. His eyes held an old soul, and his face and voice could change in a minute, and suddenly you could see the hundreds of years the Time Lord had lived. It was an incredible trait that isn’t talked about enough when talking about Matt’s time as the Doctor.

But there was much more that made the Eleventh Doctor so memorable. As a belated birthday present, let’s go through our top five favorites.


Fezes, or Stetsons, or bowties. Anything that’s cool.

Whether this was a nod to his young age, I’m not sure, but the Eleventh Doctor loved saying something was “cool”. At first, it started with bowties. The Eleventh Doctor insisted that bowties were cool, despite the fact that Amy constantly told him the opposite. It was another tie to the difference in age, but oxymoronic. The Eleventh Doctor dressed older than the ninth or tenth Doctors did, and even though his favorite part of the outfit, the bowtie, was deemed “uncool”, he didn’t care!

Then, of course, came the hats. These were my favorites because they were absolutely crazy. I’ve heard a rumor that Matt Smith actually liked the Fez too much they actually had to take it off him, like River destroying it. I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s a pretty funny likeliness if it is. His love of fezes continued until his last episode, my favorite line being when Clara says “One day, you could walk past a fez!” when the Doctor picks one up in the 50th. Never gonna happen.


A likeness to Tom Baker

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I’ve realized that the more the Eleventh Doctor developed, the more he became like the fourth doctor. I actually believe that every New Doctor has some sort of connection to a Classic Doctor, and Tom Baker is Eleven’s. Both Doctors were known for their giddy and silliness. They didn’t care about what other people thought.


Four was the first Doctor to show some silliness after three older Doctors. The Doctor wanted to show off a different side to the stuffy old person he had been. This is somewhat the same. Both the Ninth and Tenth Doctors show visual remorse for what happened during the Time War. In both Doctors, they were able to shed the seriousness (for a time) a be silly and memorable. He hasn’t forgotten about the dark times — as we saw in the 50th he’s repressed them a bit — but he can still go back to being serious.

They also both have signature clothing to wear! While a scarf was cool in the 70s, I say the bowtie has to be a nod to it!

The Doctor’s Wife

While River was her own character, it certainly made Eleven’s run a bit different! Just as Rose was one of the first times the Doctor openly loved someone but didn’t know what to do, this time the Doctor had a wife! The Doctor’s never had a wife! So it certainly did make the Doctor iconic in that we got to see the Doctor once again fall for someone.

River was interesting because, as said before about Tom Baker’s fourth Doctor, she reminded me a lot of Romana, and how Romana was younger, and always a bit better. River was the same way, and with both Doctors, you could see the annoyance in not being the best in the room.

River’s storyline also helped make the Doctor iconic, so much so that Matt Smith seemed to grow fond of Alex Kingston. By the time it was Peter Capaldi’s turn, Matt spent much of the time he was asked about whether Kingston should be Capaldi’s wife as well saying that he’d phoned Steven and specifically asked not to do that.


Fish Fingers and Custard – Amy’s Imaginary friend

Okay, so it’s not exactly fish fingers and custard that makes him so memorable — though that has become a staple dish for Whovians. It’s how he was brought into the show. Crashing into a little girl’s backyard, trying different foods. It was a hilarious scene! The Doctor continued to have hilarious scenes, whether it was with Amy, Rory, River, or Clara.

But Fish Fingers and Custard also became a specific meaning for Amy and the Doctor. A promise between the two. A bond. When the Doctor needs them to swear on something so he knows they’re telling the truth in The Impossible Astronaut, that’s what Amy says. And that’s all she needs to say.

It’s also interesting that we saw it at the very end, towards his regeneration. I don’t know if we ever really know why fish fingers and custard means so much to the Doctor. If it’s a promise or a memory, but it’s always been incredibly important to the Eleventh Doctor. And interestingly enough, we never heard it again.


One of the most amazing parts about Matt Smith’s Doctor is the speeches that he gives. Yes, this did roll over to Peter Capaldi’s Doctor a couple of times, but if you’re ever in need for one that will make you cry — Rings of Ahkatan. The Eleventh Doctor is beautiful at delivering speeches. And they’re not always really important like the aforementioned one.

Some are just to get aliens to calm down. In The Pandorica Opens, he gives an entire speech just to basically tell the aliens to shut up, because he’s gonna win. And of course, he does. He also gives a speech to baby Alfie about growing up and the stars his parents set up in his room. Speeches were where the Eleventh Doctor shined.

Of course, his best speech, the one that makes everyone cry, and still does — probably until this Christmas when we have a new regeneration — is his regeneration speech. It’s a beautiful way of bringing the actor into the character for the speech. It was a work of art and made us remember, one last time, all of the amazing things he’s done. Matt Smith did amazing speeches, whether they were funny or eccentric or meaningful, they always had you crying by the end cause he was so good.