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Jack Graham

Jack Graham writes and podcasts about culture and politics from a Gothic Marxist-Humanist perspective. He co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper. Support Jack on Patreon.


  1. Anonymous
    August 24, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

    Whilst I have nowt against Matt Smith as an actor, and think he flies with the right material, one could tell if he were the one to deliver the line about wanting a children's menu it'd come across as a little… glib. Tongue-in-cheek. A bit smug. As he often did when his Doctor was written to act childlike (again, fine actor otherwise…!). Capaldi's deliverance, meanwhile, was so sincere, so genuine, so much less self-aware and so much better for it. The comparisons people are making to Tom Baker are already plentiful, and are honestly fairly irritating at this point, but that one moment totally reminded me of him, of the Fourth Doctor, in the best possible way.


  2. Jack Graham
    August 25, 2014 @ 3:35 am

    Yeah well, I was going to talk about Smith in detail. Then I read back what I'd written and decided not to.


  3. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 25, 2014 @ 3:33 pm

    I think Smith was broadly speaking quite a good Doctor, but I think there are some ways in which he was an iffy fit for what Moffat was doing with the series. Smith is an almost American-style actor, by which I mean he works very Method and very intuitively – from what I hear it's rare for him to do two takes in the same way. I think he's effective, but not always necessarily the best choice for a Moffat script, which tends to rely very heavily on communicating information through symbolism and allusion – what a character says often has considerable resonance beyond simply expressing how they feel at a given moment.

    I think Capaldi, who seems to approach acting as an intellectual craft more than as an intuitive skill, will be a better fit for Moffat's writing – he's much closer to Cumberbatch than Smith in terms of approach and style.


  4. Jack Graham
    August 25, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

    I'm of pretty much the exact opposite opinion. For me, Matt Smith is the perfect actor for Moffat. Fits Moffat like a glove. He was certainly the best person to deliver the 11th Doctor as written.

    I think the reason people like Capaldi and Paul McGann make Moffat scripts seem so much better is precisely because something in them jars with the writing.

    But I won't say any more because when I talk about Matt Smith I tend to become someone I don't like, hence the redacted post above.


  5. Ross
    September 4, 2014 @ 9:58 pm

    I was starting to wonder if I was the only one who felt that way about Capaldi. Especially in Into the Dalek, I found myself not quite believing his performance, like the character he was playing and the lines he was saying didn't line up. If I didn't know Capaldi was a lifelong fan, I'd have been reminded of Richard E. Grant's "This is a voice role so I can literally phone it in" Shalka Doctor. There's scenes where it seems like he's being written very Tom Bakerish, but his actual performance is sort of… distracted. Like he was working on something else and suddenly remembered that he was in the middle of a Doctor Who story so he just rattles off a line of Doctor Who Dialogue.


  6. Jack Graham
    September 4, 2014 @ 10:04 pm

    I think he's great, personally. I'm sold. But then I'm a firm believer in the idea that actors can make things more interesting by warring somewhat with the material as written.


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