Whether or not it added to the story (and depending on which fans you ask, it really could go either way), Matt Smith’s final episode of Doctor Who referenced many of his best moments as the Doctor. Although the fez didn’t return in “The Time of the Doctor,” we did see Smith’s now-famous drunk giraffe dance as well as one last appearance by Amy Pond (Karen Gillan).
During his last scene, Smith’s Doctor gave a speech about change to Clara and all the fans. “When you think about it, we’re all different people all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good, you’ve got to keep moving so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.”
But his final words were the ones that hurt the most: “I will not forget one line of this. Not one day. I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.” As Smith spoke those final words he broke the fourth wall and looked out of every TV screen into the eyes of the fans. Then he took off his bowtie for the last time.
It’s hard not to compare Smith’s final moments and final words to those of his fellow Doctors — David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston. The final words of Eccleston’s Doctor were spoken to Rose, a fan-favorite companion, “Rose, before I go, I just want to tell you: you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? So was I!”
Tennant was alone during his regeneration — aside from the viewers of course — and he simply said, “I don’t want to go.” (We didn’t want you to go either!)
So who had the saddest regeneration? It has to be a three-way tie. We’re tearing up just from thinking about all these departures. If it were up to us, Eccleston, Tennant, and Smith would never have to leave Doctor Who.