I am still undecided about Matt Smith as The Doctor. It is understandably difficult to replace David Tenant, who did a remarkable job. Having said that, any criticism of Matt Smith’s portrayal of the Doctor has to take into account his newness to the role.
I had read that Matt Smith based parts of his character on the second Doctor, the late Patrick Troughton. I can see a fee similarities between the two from the manner of dress to the sometimes bewildered persona. It was a wise move in the long run to distance his character from that of Tenant and I respect Matt Smith for that.
The second comparison has to be made to the fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. This is due to the youth of Matt Smith obviously. There is a much greater similarity between Smith and Davison that I will explain.
Both Matt Smith and Peter Davison replaced very popular actors who had played The Doctor. The stories in the first season of Davison were very similar to those of Matt Smith thus far. It seems that there was/is a deliberate attempt to ease a newer and younger actor into the role. While Davison was part of a large cast of companions (3 of them) Smith has been placed alongside a deliberately highlighted companion who has this season wrapped around her crack (sorry, couldn’t resist that one).
This makes Smith almost an incidental character at times.
I am pleased to say that after watching part 1 of “The Hungry Earth” that perhaps the storylines are beginning to change. Smith became much more the central character in this episode. I am hopeful that this marks the beginning of Smith’s Doctor becoming the true star of the series.