Ever since Jodie Whittaker was announced as the thirteenth incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who, former Time Lords all over the shop have been offering kind words and support, from David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston to Colin Baker.
But Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith’s words of encouragement might be our favourite yet – because upon finding out that Whittaker was to be the first female incarnation of the Doctor, he elected to sing to her instead.
“When I found out about Jodie, I rang her and she didn’t pick up the phone. Because it was like, before the announcement,” Smith told the crowd at Boston Comic-Con.
“So I just left a message, just going: ‘duh duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh’” Smith began, before performing an a capella rendition of Doctor Who’s iconic theme song, just as he apparently did to Whittaker (and which you can hear for yourself in the video below).
“And I just did the whole song, so she must have been thinking ‘what the hell is going on?’” he recalled. “And then I said ‘it’s Matt, call me.’”
More generally, Smith said he could sympathise with Whittaker’s position as a new Doctor who won’t be seen onscreen for some months, likening it to his own experience when he followed David Tennant’s popular Doctor onto the series in 2010.
“People did just sort of shout ‘Don’t break it!’ And I thought ‘Oh God,’” Smith said.
“And in England particularly there’s a lot of weird…there’s a lot of hysteria that surrounds it. Like, it makes the 6 o’clock news, all the big news shows. It’s a very strange feeling.
“I remember that feeling of being…I dunno, judged before you’d done anything. And only in the world of Doctor Who does that happen.
“Once you’re part of the family you’re in. But until then it’s like you’re an alien.”
And then, of course, you’re an alien again – a double-hearted Time Lord one – but at least people have stopped shouting at you in the street quite as much.
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this Christmas