Tis true, both of you. XD Thanks for the comments. John Nathan Turner, the director of season 18 on until I believe the Seventh Doctor's first season, was a change too big. As we know, Tom Baker and Nathan Turner really did not get along and Turner came in with the intention of not only making the show more surreal, but also to get rid of Baker. The strength of the series was always the actors, from Hartnell to Baker, and allowing them to have control of the series. Paraphrasing what Tom Baker said, why hire me if you don't want want Tom Baker to be acting?
The new director did not want to just leave a mark, he wanted the show to be his show and in his image and that has been pretty much the same problem going to Russle Davis. Davidson showed he could be a good actor in Caves of Androzani, but I feel that his character was reduced and diminished by the director. The sixth doctor wanted to wear leather, Turner wanted him wearing a familiar bright jacket.
So yeah. For a show with a strong protagonist like the Doctor, the secret formula is to keep with seasoned actors (The first four) and to allow them control over their character, scripts, and story.
As for Matt Smith, I need to catch up on the latest season. At the end of last season, my brother and I were both saying "Get in the Tardis and leave those two. Just go." The Doctor does not need a hooker as a companion and Rori was not particularly exciting either. I mean, couldn't they have made the robot the Daleks made in Victory of the Daleks a companion? What happened to the days of k-9 the robotic dog, Romana a fellow timelady, and Leela a savage with a long knife (not all in the Tardis at the same time of course). We want not only character from the companions, but also diversity. Character foils, change. A kissogram is not what I expect or want my kids watching when I turn on Doctor Who (I don't have kids yet, but Doctor Who is still a 'family show').
Nu Who in general, I'm tired of Daleks with God complexes, Captain Jack (his only cool serial being his first), giant Dalek armies destroyed in seconds, Daleks in general, the Tardis in flames, the universe about to end, romantic tension, and the 45 minute format. Doctor Who was best as a sci-fy in parts, not as a 13 episode largely self contained seasons. Moffat hit the problem square on in an interview, he felt that Doctor Who was a fairytale and that it is a drama. What this is basically doing is Nu Who is basically a completely separate series from Old Who and the division is only strengthened with the addition of the Time War. I talked about that elsewhere.
Fairytale? Not really. The Doctor has two hearts, 13 lives (not infinite), his trouble detecting Tardis. He also had some mystic qualities such as being able to more or less stop breathing, put himself in and out of comas at will, putting Sarah Jane to sleep in Terror of the Zygons, the first Doctor's ring which was able to undue damage to the Tardis done by the Time meddler, etc. These things add mystery and presence to the Doctor specifically, but don't try and change the entire series into Alice in Wonderland or something.
Saving the universe gets old after the first time. XD In Old Who, how many times did the Doctor save the universe? There was Logopolis, the Claws of Axos, and a few other times, but mostly he stuck to saving Earth like in Tenth Planet (a bit silly the ending there), and small groups of people like in Andriods of Tara. Keep it simple. The Doctor is one person, albeit a very talented person, but he is not all purpose and he makes mistake like in the Face of Evil. The Tardis exploding does not destroy all time and companions, like Amy, should not be mcguffined into being able to change all of reality.
Lastly, season 17 I did not mind so much. Having K-9 and Romana as companions to the Doctor being almost at his level is not necessarily a bad thing. There's no Watson in the party to explain to the audience all the details, but having a team of highly competent companions could have led to some very complex plots if anyone had wanted. K-9 was the no emotion, Romana was the over emotion, and Tom Baker was the 'how did you get past all my guards and into my chamber?' The season dealt with the white and black guardian, but I felt that they should have presented more dominating and threatening villains in each serial of the season to match the crew and take the Doctor and his companions to their limit.
Si-Fy and Fantasy, that is where my heart lies. To Doctor Who and its 18 years of brilliance, still waiting on the 50 yr anniversary!