The BBC announced today that Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who after four years on the long-running program. Smith took over the role as the time lord in 2010 and he will be taking his last trip in the TARDIS at the end of this year after starring in the 50th Anniversary special in November.
The BBC have also said that Smith will be back at least one more time as the Doctor in this year’s Christmas special.
Smith said in a statement, “Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show. I’m incredibly grateful to all the cast and crew who work tirelessly every day, to realize all the elements of the show and deliver Doctor Who to the audience.”
The statement went on to say, “The fans of Doctor Who around the world are unlike any other; they dress up, shout louder, know more about the history of the show (and speculate more about the future of the show) in a way that I’ve never seen before, your dedication is truly remarkable. Thank you so very much for supporting my incarnation of the Time Lord, number Eleven, who I might add is not done yet.”
Matt Smith is leaving Dr Who after four seasons of playing the time lord and his last ever trip in the TARDIS will mean that he’s served quite a long time as the space travelling Doctor. Christopher Eccleston rather famously left after one season. But Smith’s departure has not ruffled any of the program maker’s feathers.
Steven Moffat who is the lead writer and executive producer of the show, also issued a statement in which he thanked the actor for his work as the Time Lord. Moffat said, “Every day, on every episode, in every set of rushes, Matt Smith surprised me: the way he’d turn a line, or spin on his heels, or make something funny, or out of nowhere make me cry, I just never knew what was coming next.
Moffat continued, “The Doctor can be clown and hero, often at the same time, and Matt rose to both challenges magnificently. And even better than that, given the pressures of this extraordinary show, he is one of the nicest and hardest-working people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Whatever we threw at him – sometimes literally – his behaviour was always worthy of the Doctor.”
“But great actors always know when it’s time for the curtain call, so this Christmas prepare for your hearts to break, as we say goodbye to number Eleven. Thank you Matt – bow ties were never cooler” he added.
But Moffat went on to say that the show itself was far from finished, “Of course, this isn’t the end of the story, because now the search begins. Somewhere out there right now – all unknowing, just going about their business – is someone who’s about to become the Doctor. A life is going to change, and Doctor Who will be born all over again! After 50 years, that’s still so exciting!”
A great many different actors have played the time lord Doctor since the shows inception not least of which was the brilliant actor Peter Cushing for the 1965 film and actor Tom Baker was the longest serving Doctor Who from 1974 to 1981 and he is the actor that most American’s associate with the Doctor followed very closely by Peter Davison.
There has been no word of who the next Dr Who will be. Once Matt Smith leaves the series, by regenerating, he’ll have taken his last TARDIS trip and leave the way for a new time lord.
By Michael Smith