It’s the big one! Our actually-released-on-the-anniversary spectacular features hosts Ben McKenzieJohn Richards and Petra Elliott discussing Matt Smith, the future, and plenty of other Doctor Who goodness with guests Stella Young and Justin Hamilton, plus music by house band The Time Lads and an original song by guest musical superstar, Casey Bennetto. Yes, our year nears its end with this, the final Doctor/Theme episode of Splendid Chaps, recorded at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne on November 21, 2013.

Big thanks to John, Petra and David for all the hard work they’ve done on post-production getting this massive episode ready in just two days!


Don’t forget you can go into the draw to win the complete box set of season seven of Doctor Who (Matt Smith’s last! *sob*) on DVD, courtesy of our friends at BBC on DVD! To enter the draw, just comment on this episode at splendidchaps.com. How do you feel about Matt Smith? Does he make a good introductory Doctor? Do you love him but dislike his era, or do you think the Grand Moffat is the best thing to happen to Doctor Who in years? And what about the future in – and of – Doctor Who? Comment by December 14 to be in the running, and we’ll announce the winner at the recording of our Christmas Special on December 15.


  1. Tehani says:

    I adore Matt Smith’s Doctor – he is the reason I’m a newbie fan and I love him. While I’ve gone back and also delighted in Eccleston and Tennant (and dabbled a bit in the Classic series), the forthcoming regeneration will be my first real experience with the departure of my beloved Doctor, and I’m going to be very sad. Lucky I can rewatch whenever I like, eh? 🙂

    As a jumping on point for new viewers, “The Eleventh Hour” is a pretty darn good one, I can say from experience!

    • Sarah B says:

      We introduced my stepkids with The Eleventh hour because we thought they’d relate to Young Amy – worked a treat. My red-headed stepchild LOVED a female ginger star. 🙂

  2. Paul Doyle says:

    Matt Smith’s journey as the doctor has been very rewarding and enjoyable. From the clean break from the Tennant era to the enigmatic emergence of Clara. He’s been my first younger Doctor. Up until this point in my life the Doctor has always been played by an actor who was older than me. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get on board again. Vincent and the Doctor was the the episode that really turned the corner for me. The sensitivity shown to the delicate subject of mental illness and ultimately suicide coupled with the genuine celebration the artist and his work was sublime.

  3. Murray says:

    I agree that Matt Smith had a wonderful first episode. Given the big reaction to how young Smith was, having him meet up with such a young girl to start with allowed him to both play up to this by being young and silly and frivolous but also eventually a bit paternal, but then in the same episode, without us losing touch with him, he’s given this position where he’s been a major part of someone’s life for more than a decade, which in some ways gives him a history already. The other thing is that the rooftop scene gives him a chance to say “I’ve been here (in other guises) for ages” and emphasise his age as The Doctor.
    Something that I’m sure others must have commented on (but I haven’t actually seen anywhere) was how similar that rooftop scene felt to David Tennant’s first story where he was (up high, faced the person he’d defeated, ordered them to leave the Earth and not come back). It kind of bothered me at the time – I thought that they would cop a lot of flak for it.

    You also mentioned Nabeel Shaban saying he wouldn’t do the part of Sil now, but (as I found where googling, as I didn’t remember the name of the character), he’s actually reprised the role in Big Finish productions (and is about to be in another).

  4. Heidi says:

    In this episode you talked about the end of Splendid Chaps, which was envisioned as a year long project. I’d like to urge you to keep going! This is the best Doctor Who podcast I’ve heard. Both hosts and guests are thoughtful, articulate, and remarkably well-informed about DW history. The live audience adds a wonderful atmosphere of “we’re all fans together.” I love that it’s a safe space for all opinions and that your topics are so wide ranging. And while you are all obviously massive fans, there is a refreshing absence of squee.

    I’m sure you can find another year’s material to discuss; how about an episode for each companion? Music on DW? Historical versus contemporary versus future/imaginary settings? The TARDIS itself?

    Please don’t stop now!

  5. Shelley Lee says:

    I am a Tennant fangirl. I adore him and when he announced he was leaving Doctor Who, I was gutted. However, when Matt Smith said “I’m the Doctor, basically run” in the Eleventh Hour, I accepted him as the Doctor. It was really interesting to hear Stella’s opinion and I’m sure she’ll be a new fan soon.
    I’m now gutted that Splendid Chaps is coming to an end. I’ve so enjoyed your podcasts this year and will miss you greatly. Looking forward to the last two shows though!

  6. Matt Smeltzer says:

    IMPORTANT QUESTION: I’m a bit lost. I came to this website looking for cowboy gear suitable for a gay costume rave…anyone know where I can get a good deal on some splendid chaps?

    Also, I love Doctor Who, please send me free things. Sad that the podcast is wrapping up–perhaps you could move on to James Bond or something similar? Please, don’t let it end!

  7. Alex says:

    Any chance of getting that SPLENDID song available for download?

    Thanks for an excellent ride through Doctor Who all of you! One of the best, if not the best, DW podcasts on the internet!

  8. Steve Leahy says:

    I remember being really impressed by “The Eleventh Hour” on first viewing, and it’s still a great episode many repeats later. Mind you, Matt Smith bugged me for most of the episode, in a “you remind me of someone, but I can’t figure out who” way, until I realised that he’s a dead ringer for the young Michael Palin; go watch series 1 of Monty Python if you don’t believe me.

    But then came the space whale. And then the iDaleks, that look like cheap & nasty 1960s toy knockoffs (Moffatt must have had one when he was a kid). And a stream of mediocre episodes for three series, only occasionally punctuated by something truly memorable (“The Doctor’s Wife”, “The Girl Who Waited”, “A Town Called Mercy”). And then there was “The Day of the Doctor”… Which was actually quite reasonable, although it does make we want the five series of the 8.5th Doctor we *should* have had (do you think John Hurt could be persuaded to come back and film them?)

  9. Mike says:

    I thought that Matt Smith is perhaps the best Doctor for Steven Moffat, and once Smith leaves I’m not sure how Moffat is going to handle a new Doctor.

    I’m new to this podcast, so I’m still catching up. It’ll be a shame when the show ends, are there any plans for some sort of continuation?

    • John Richards says:

      Hi Mike! We have plans for another project involving all the Chaps, but it’s a different beast altogether. We’ll tell you more in our Christmas show!

  10. fiona says:

    Matt Smith is/was great – and tho us doctor who fans often have grief and loss at regen time, this one feels too soon (even tho it really isn’t). Now just waiting for Steven Moffatt to kill Christmas. I just hope he isn’t too cruel – what about the children! all those teenagers with fezzes and mops inconsolable!

  11. Richard says:

    For the future of the show, I would like to see a female Doctor, but every time a regeneration is announced, the press make such a fuss, if it happens people will say he was bullied into it. I actually liked the idea one of guests had heard of Peter Capaldi being a one series doctor, maybe with a surprise regeneration into a women at the end. That way Moffat can deal with the regeneration limit, and if he wants to leave he can leave the new show-runner with more regenerations, a time lady, and maybe even Gallifrey. That would be a legacy.

    P.S. I’m with Alex, that song was great, as were the rest in the series, maybe you could do an album?(although the rights would be tricky)

  12. Stephen Scott says:

    My first Doctor was Jon Pertwee, and being a 40 something that means MY Doctor became Tom Baker. The manic eyes, the deranged behaviour, the SHSSSSHHHH! (the absolute highlight of the 50th Anniversary – the return of Tom & the SHHSHSHSHSHHH!)

    Over the years I’ve managed to watch every Doctor Who episode the BBC didn’t delete, and have grown mighty fond of Matt Smith. The hands – THE HANDS! Tennant borrowed Tom’s eyes, but Matt took the fourth’s behaviour and meshed it with sprinkles of the others to create a perfect Doctor.

    His portrayal has been lovingly crafted – there’s the twitchiness of Hartnell, the playfulness of Troughton, the scientific wonder of Pertwee, the insanity of Baker, the caring of Davison, the confusion of Baker2, the deviousness of McCoy, the charm of McGann, the tenacity of Ecclestone & the exuberance of Tennant.

    It’d be hard to say who is the best introductory Doctor, but Smith certainly will have created life-long fans. I’m going to miss him terribly – of the new Who he’s my #1. I wish he’d lasted a few more years.

    Who’s future? Sure some stories under Grand Moff haven’t been great, but show me one Doctor who had 100% perfect stories for their entire tenure. And Moffatt has created some truly breathtaking villains – walking past a cemetery, or even a streetlight & seeing one’s shadow … none of these actions are normal anymore 🙂

    Nathan Turner overstayed his welcome way too long, and I hope Moffatt hands over the reigns in a few years to help keep the show fresh – but as a life-long fan like myself, I’m sure he won’t put himself before the needs of the many.

  13. Colin Russell says:

    A news article I read in kasterborous.com says Steven Moffat is going to deal with the regeneration limit at Christmas by counting the aborted regeneration in The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End. The aborted one makes 13 doctors, therefore Matt Smith is the last incarnation. Funny bit is, we’ve already seen Peter Capaldi for 2 seconds in The Day of the Doctor… Take a look at http://www.kasterborous.com/2013/11/moffat-doctor-used-regenerations/

  14. Colin Russell says:

    If Moffat doesn’t address the subject of the Valeyard at Christmas, I don’t doubt for a second that a LOT of people are going to be bitterly disappointed…

    • Carolyn says:

      Yes! I assumed John Hurt was going to be the Valeyard, so I am also itching for Valeyard pay off.

      • Colin Russell says:

        The Master said the Valeyard was somewhere between the Doctor’s twelfth and final incarnation, he never said thirteenth, so the Valeyard could be included at any time now

  15. Koa says:

    Yet another great episode, chaps! Matt Smith was the first doctor to be played by an actor younger than me, which caused me some discomfort at first. But I warmed to him almost immediately for his ability to play ancient & childish almost simultaneously. Although I haven’t much enjoyed the stories of the last half of series 7, I have enjoyed Matt Smith’s characterisation throughout. I will miss him, but I’m looking forward to Capaldi as well…

    With regards to the future, I think there may be a general problem in TV and movie sci-fi at present with an inability to imagine a future that is different from the present. Part of the problem is the pace of technological change, so that it seems so difficult to imagine what future technology will look like – leading to things like recent The Star Trek film using mobile phones despite having spaceships… But there also seems to be an unwillingness to imagine different *societies*, which is a lot more interesting (to me anyway).

    It was fascinating to get Stella’s perspective as a newcomer. I do hope she keeps on watching. And I LOVED the song.

    Looking forward to the Sydney show tonight!

  16. John Shea says:

    Thanks for another awesome podcast of Splendid Chaps. I especially loved the return of “warm up” Dalek!

    Matt Smith was a great Doctor and will be missed. I think the writers often under-estimated his talents and failed to develop his character beyond glib remarks and catch phrases. But I instantly connected with him as the Doctor, despite my love for Tennant as Doctor.

    Will you have another podcast for the “War” Doctor? Also, will you post your “extra” shows: “What I Learned from Doctor Who” and the Companions show?

    Thanks for your hard work and high quality Whovian entertainment!

    • Ben says:

      Hi John!

      We won’t have an extra episode for the War Doctor, but we will be trying to cram everyone left over into our Christmas Special, so I’m sure he’ll rate a mention. And yes, we will post our extra library shows – but we’ll ration them out until next year. Expect “What I Learned From Doctor Who” in January, and “The Other Splendid Chaps: The Companions” in February. (Our Monsters and Villains show will go up in mid December.)

      Glad you’re enjoying the show – and Matt Smith!

  17. Keith Gow says:

    Well this was a pleasant way to spend 90 minutes while I lay in bed, suffering a hangover.

    I have to say that Smith won me over pretty much straight away – and The Eleventh Hour still remains one of my favourite episodes of his. I am going to miss him on the show, but with the promise of a different kind of Doctor in Capaldi, I am really looking forward to a new dynamic in the TARDIS. And maybe Clara will finally get a character?

    As for the future of Doctor Who, I’d really like to see the showrunner regenerate after Capaldi’s first season. And if rumours of Capaldi being a one-season Doctor are true, then the show could start fresh with a new showrunner and a new Doctor for series nine. (And if both of those positions could be filled by a woman, that’d be awesome.)

  18. Sarah B says:

    Regarding negative future worlds, although aspects of the Gridlock New Earth were quite pessimistic (I mean, perpetual gridlock, being controlled by giant lobsters, happy drugs killing the government – although that’s debateable), some aspects of the community were more optimistic in a post-apocalypse sort of way (this is sounding like more of a stretch as I pull it out of my head). I’m thinking of the population within the cars, the sense of community, the hymns, the draw of the potential joyful future of the kittens…

    I can’t really think of any other happy future world, though.

  19. Patrick McGuire says:

    I only recently discovered you folks, and although I’ve listened to all the archived podcasts, this is the first time I can post in time for your drawing deadline! Despite the fact that I only have a mild interest in Dr Who I have found Splendid Chaps interesting throughout. It’s probably a huge amount of work and so I can understand if you call it quits after a year as planned, but I would certainly keep listening if you decided to continue. –

  20. Carolyn says:

    Thanks for a great episode! I’m really enjoying your podcast. Thanks also for my introduction to Stella–she is delightful.

  21. Sean Pocock says:

    I only recently discovered Splendid Chaps, and I have to say this is one of the best nerd culture podcasts I have ever listened to. Great work guys!

    Matt Smith’s doctor combined with the Moff’s show running has made the last few seasons truly great who (and like all great who there have been some terrible episodes).

    Im sad that you wont be making any more episodes but I will definitely be listening to anything you record in the future.

    See you at the Christmas show!

  22. Colin Russell says:

    The BBC does not have the courage to cast a female Doctor, they’re too scared of alienating half the audience – I think the closest we’ll ever get to that is Joanna Lumley in The Curse of Fatal Death

  23. Sally Evans says:

    Speaking to the ‘future’ side of Eleven/Future, I have always favoured the sci-fi-future episodes of new!Who (42, The Impossible Planet/Satan Pit, even most of the spacey-wacey bits of The Beast Below) over the historical ones. Revisioning history is fun enough (though there’s a lot to be criticised about how Moffat dealt with Queen Elizabeth I in The Day of the Doctor…) but I always love jumping into the future and having to put together all the pieces of worldbuilding to make a sensible vision of the future.
    And I think that futuristic settings allow us to interrogate really interesting moral and social issues (or it should do: cf. current criticisms of the weaknesses of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot). For me, that’s the strength of the otherwise fairly weak star whale storyline, the strength of the world that’s created around New New New New New York… essentially it’s a testament to the excellence of Doctor Who, the way it grapples with moral issues especially surrounding bioethics and genetic modification and all that jazz.
    All that being said, there are some pretty decent ‘historical’ episodes and the combination of both elements, the bleeding together of the sci-fi and historical bits, in The Girl in the Fireplace was really magnificent.

    • Sally Evans says:

      Edit: the podcast does actually talk about Nightmare In Silver briefly and… I agree. It’s such a disappointing episode, partly because the other Gaiman episode is so magical but also because that version of the future was just LACKING something. Such a big complicated future world that didn’t have enough spark.

  24. Ryan White says:

    11 seems like a mix of some of the best and worst of the prior doctors. He’s a lot of fun, although too much at times. The future is really beyond him or us at this point. I hope the Moff doesn’t disappoint on Christmas.

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