Black Orchid

Tonight’s soundtrack: Jeremy Northam, “The Land of Might Have Been”

Or as it’s known ‘round these parts, “Adric Snacks.”

In the 2010 story The Lodger, there’s a scene where Matt Smith’s Doctor turns out to be fantastically good at football. (That’s the—you know what, why am I even pretending to write this for the general audience? You know which football I mean, and why you write this scene for Matt Smith. Lulz.) And I’ll tell you: the scene didn’t sit well with me on first viewing. I got the humor of the ungainly, unearthly, uncool Doctor suddenly discovering an undeniable great talent for sport, sure. And I don’t have the cultural baggage to feel betrayed by football skills outing the Doctor as part of an oppressive Other Tribe. It didn’t work for me because of the way the Doctor exulted.

Man, he loved scoring goals. He thrilled at the attention he got. He was the best man on the field, unstoppable. Cheering on his own successes. Raising his arms in self-congratulatory victory. And that bugged me.

That bugged me because it seemed like something David Tennant would have done.

This isn’t the place where I get into Doctor Debates. I just want to say, at the time, it felt wrong for the Doctor as I’d been seeing Smith play him. I couldn’t see the precedent.

CUT TO: Peter Davison exulting at his amazing talents and cheering on his own successes with arms raised over and over again in during Black Orchid’s Cricket Match scene. Camera pulls back to reveal me shaking my head while carefully lettering I AM AN IDIOT onto my notepad.

Of course the Doctor loves being good at sport. He always has. It’s just being clever with your whole body.