One of the Eleventh Doctor’s most endearing traits is a tendency to be very, very funny. This is not the same as having a sense of humour. More often than not he doesn’t actually make jokes: instead his quirkiness is manifest in strange non-sequiturs, off-the-cuff quips and the kind of aloof (but accessible) looniness that typifies many of the Cambridge graduates with whom I associate, which may explain why I like him so much. He’s on another level, and you can have a conversation with him, but you always get the feeling he’s going to be thinking about something else throughout – but somehow you don’t mind. It’s partly Smith, of course, but largely the writing, for which Moffat is chiefly responsible: most of the Doctor’s best lines seem to come from his penmanship, and I’ve often noted that irrespective of the overall quality of the episodes he didn’t write, I often find that I like the Doctor less. (Plus many of the best lines from the series, such as River’s Stevie Wonder gag, don’t even involve Smith.
I’ll also admit that the catchphrases irritate me intensely. At first it seemed the Eleventh had eschewed them, but the use of “Come along Pond”, “Geronimo” and (most grating of all) “Bow ties / Fezs / Stetsons are cool” are something I’ve learned to tolerate rather than ever enjoy. It does, at least, beat the Tenth Doctor telling us that he’s sorry, so sorry, or the stupid arm-folding grins of Eccleston’s “Fantastic!” incarnation. The other thing the Eleventh does that I don’t mind is to repeat what he’s just said in the form of a question – “I think you noticed that, did you notice that?” – as if to reaffirm what he’s just said or check that everyone else is keeping up. By and large, though, catchphrases suck – lazy, comfortable writing – and while it may be nothing more than a personal preference, it would be lovely if we didn’t have to have them.
Anyway, enough of my whinging: some of the highlights from Matt Smith’s two-year reign are presented below. I plundered Wikiquote and IMDB to bring these together, but eliminated anything I didn’t think was actually funny, irrespective of how good it was. As such, his line about being a mad man with a box – while one of the high points of that first series, as far as dialogue is concerned – is not here. There’s also a lovely moment in ‘The Rebel Flesh’ where the Doctor walks past the TARDIS, stuck at knee-height in the ground, and complains “Oh, what are you doing down there?”. Unfortunately such moments lose something in the telling, and as such are omitted. The rest of it, though, is rather amusing. At least I hope it’s amusing. Do you think it’s amusing?
The Eleventh Hour (5.1)
The Doctor: I love yoghurt, yoghurt’s my favourite, give me yogurt.
[Amelia runs, gets yogurt and hands it to him..
The Doctor: [Opens it, gulps it down then spits it out] I hate yogurt! Just…stuff with bits in.
Amelia: You said that it was your favorite!
The Doctor: New mouth, new rules. It’s like eating after cleaning your teeth. Everything tastes WROOOONG. Ahhh! [body jerks in different directions]
Amelia: What is that? What’s wrong with you?
The Doctor: Wrong with me? It’s not my fault. Why can’t you give me any decent food? You’re Scottish, fry something.
The Doctor: What sort of job is a kissogram?
Amy: I go to parties, and I… kiss people. With outfits. It’s a laugh!
The Doctor: You were a little girl five minutes ago!
Amy: You’re worse than my aunt!
The Doctor: I’m the Doctor, I’m worse than everybody’s aunt! [Turns to Mrs Angelo] And that is *not* how I’m introducing myself!
The Beast Below (5.2)
The Doctor: There’s nothing broken, there’s no sign of concussion. And yes, you are covered in sick.
The Time of Angels (5.4)
The Doctor: The writing… the graffiti: Old High Gallifreyan. [dramatically] The lost language of the Time Lords. There were days, there were many days, where these words could burn stars, raise up empires, and topple gods.
Amy: What does this one say?
The Doctor: [hesitates, then, exasperatedly] “Hello sweetie”.
River Song: OK. I’ve mapped the probability vectors, done a foldback on the temporal isometry, chartered the ship to its destination and… parked us right alongside!
The Doctor: Parked us? We haven’t landed!
River Song: Of course we’ve landed – I just landed her!
The Doctor: But… it didn’t make the noise.
River Song: What noise?
The Doctor: You know, the…
[imitates Tardis noise]
River Song: It’s not supposed to make that noise. You leave the brakes on!
The Doctor: Yeah, well, it’s a brilliant noise. I love that noise.
Flesh and Stone (5.5)
Father Octavian: [asking about the Doctor] Dr. Song, I’ve lost good Clerics today. Do you trust this man?
River Song: I absolutely trust him.
Father Octavian: He’s not some kind of madman?
River Song: [beat] I absolutely trust him.
The Vampires of Venice (5.6)
[Rory is at his stag party; music is playing; there is a paper cake in the middle of the pub. The men cheer for the “beautiful woman” to come out of the cake, however to their surprise the Doctor pops out instead. Rory shakes his head as he realises who it is.]
The Doctor: Rory! [feedback whines; music stops] That’s a relief! I thought I had burst out of the wrong cake. Again. That reminds me, there’s a girl standing outside in a bikini. Can someone let her in, give her a jumper? Lucy. Lovely girl. [whispers] Diabetic. [everyone continues staring at him] Now then, Rory, we need to talk about your fiancée. [Rory smiles] She tried to kiss me. [Crowd draws breath; Rory is visibly shocked] Tell you what though, you’re a lucky man; she’s a great kisser! [Glass smashes; Doctor realises what he just said, and looks visibly embarassed/ashamed] …Funny how you can say something in your head and it sounds fine.
The Doctor: She was frightened, I was frightened… But we survived, and the relief of it and… so, she kissed me.
Rory: And you kissed her back?
The Doctor: No. I kissed her mouth.
Amy’s Choice (5.7)
Amy: Shall I run and get the manual?
The Doctor: I threw it in a supernova.
Amy: You threw the manual in a supernova? Why?
The Doctor: Because I disagreed with it! Now stop talking to me when I’m cross!
The Lodger (5.11)
The Doctor: I’m the Doctor. Well, they call me the Doctor; I don’t know why. I call me the Doctor, too. I still don’t know why.
The Doctor: Have some rent. That’s probably quite a lot, isn’t it? Looks like a lot. Is it a lot? I can never tell. Don’t spend it all on sweets. Unless you like sweets. I like sweets.
Craig: Where did you learn to cook?
The Doctor: Paris in the 18th century. No, hang on, that’s not recent is it? 17th? No no, 20th. Sorry, I’m not used to doing it in the right order.
Craig: Has anyone ever told you that you’re a bit weird?
The Doctor: They never really stop.
Craig: Listen, Mike and I had an arrangement where if you ever need me out of your hair, just give me a shout. [winks] Okay?.
The Doctor: [winks back] Why would I want that?
Craig: Well, in case you want to bring someone round, a girlfriend or a…[looks at the Doctor up and down] boyfriend…
The Doctor: Oh, I will. I’ll shout… if that happens. Something like…I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS!
Sean: You are so on the team! Next week we’ve got the Crown & Anchor. We’re going to annihilate them!
The Doctor: [suddenly in Sean’s face] Annihilate? No! No violence, do you understand me? Not while I’m around, not today, not ever. I’m the Doctor. The Oncoming Storm. And you basically meant beat them in a football match, didn’t you?
The Doctor: Lovely. What sort of time?
The Pandorica Opens (5.12)
The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior… A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: How did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River: [to Amy] I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.
The Doctor: How can you be here?
Rory: Ah, I don’t know. It’s kind of fuzzy.
The Doctor: Fuzzy?
Rory: Well, I died, and turned into a Roman. It’s very distracting.
The Big Bang (5.13)
Amy: You absolutely, definitely may kiss the bride–
The Doctor: Amelia, from now on, I shall be leaving the… kissing duties to the brand new… Mr. Pond!
Rory: No! I’m not Mr. Pond. That’s not how it works.
The Doctor: Yeah it is.
Rory: [looks at Amy nervously] …Yeah, it is.
A Christmas Carol
The Doctor: Don’t worry… fat fellow will be doing the rounds later. I’m just scoping out the general chimneyness. Yes. Nice sides, good traction.
[Burns his hand on the mantle]
The Doctor: Bit tick.
Eric: Fat fellow?
The Doctor: Father Christmas, Santa Claus. Or, as I’ve always known him, Jeff.
The Doctor: Ooh, now what’s this, then? I love this! A big flashy lighty thing. That’s what brought me here! Big flashy lighty things have got me written all over them. Well, not actually, but give me time. And a crayon.
Young Kazran: Are you really a babysitter?
The Doctor: I think you’ll find that I’m universally recognized as a mature and responsible adult. [shows him the psychic paper]
Young Kazran: …It’s just a lot of wavy lines.
The Doctor: [looks at the paper] …Yeah, it shorted out. Finally, a lie too big.
The Impossible Astronaut (6.1)
The Doctor: I’m your new undercover agent on loan from Scotland Yard. Codename: The Doctor. These are my top operatives, [indicates Amy, Rory, and River in turn] The Legs, The Nose, and Mrs. Robinson.
River Song: I hate you.
The Doctor: No, you don’t.
Day of the Moon (6.2)
Canton Delaware: What about Dr. Song? She dove off a rooftop.
The Doctor: Yeah, she does that.
The Doctor’s Wife (6.4)
Amy: She’s the TARDIS?
The Doctor: And she’s a woman! She’s a woman and she’s the TARDIS.
Amy: Did you wish really hard?
The Rebel Flesh (6.5)
The Doctor: I’ve got to get to that cockerel before all hell breaks loose. [pauses] I never thought I’d have to say that again.
A Good Man Goes To War (6.7)
Commander Strax: I have gene-spliced myself for all nursing duties. I can produce magnificent quantities of lactic fluid.
River Song: It’s my birthday. The Doctor took me ice skating on the River Thames in 1814. The last of the great frost fairs. He got Stevie Wonder to sing for me under London Bridge.
Rory: Stevie Wonder sang in 1814?
River Song: Yes, he did! But you must never tell him.
The Doctor: [to Melody Pond] It’s okay, she’s still all yours. And really you should call her “Mummy”, not “Big Milk Thing”.
Amy Pond: Ok, what are you doing?
The Doctor: I speak Baby.
Amy Pond: No, you don’t.
The Doctor: I speak everything. Don’t I, Melody Pond?
[Melody makes gurgling noises]
The Doctor: [straightens his bow tie, self-assuredly] No it’s not. It’s cool.
Night Terrors (6.9)
Alex: He’s scared to death of everything.
The Doctor: Pantophobia.
The Doctor: Pantophobia. Not fear of pants, though, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s the fear of everything. Including pants, I suppose, in that case.
The God Complex (6.11)
Rory: Every time the Doctor gets pally with someone, I have this overwhelming urge to notify their next-of-kin. [Rory flinches]
Rory: Sorry. Last time I said something like that, you hit me with your shoe. And you literally had to sit down and unlace it first.
The Doctor: You haven’t seen the last of me. “Bad Penny” is my middle name.- Seriously, the looks I get when I fill in a form…
Closing Time (6.12)
The Doctor: Oh, you’ve redecorated! I don’t like it.
Craig: It’s a different house. We moved.
The Doctor: Yes, that’s it.
The Doctor: [playing with a remote controlled toy helicopter] It goes up, tiddly up! It goes down, tiddly down! For only £49.99, which I think personally is a bit steep. But then again, it’s your parents’ cash, and they’ll only waste it on boring stuff like lamps and vegetables. YAWN!
Craig: [referring to his baby son] He’s called Alfie. And what are you doing here anyway?
The Doctor: Yes, he likes that … Alfie. Though personally, he likes to be called Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All.
Craig: I’m sorry, what?
The Doctor: That’s what he calls himself.
Craig: And how’d you know that?
The Doctor: I speak Baby.
Craig: Of course you do.
The Doctor: [to Craig’s baby] No! He’s your dad! You can’t just call him “Not Mum”.
Craig: “Not Mum”?
The Doctor: That’s you! “Also Not Mum”, that’s me! And everybody else is [gets near to hear baby] “Peasants”! That’s a bit unfortunate…