The BBC has announced that Matt Smith will be leaving Doctor Who after four years leading the show. Smith became the 11th Time Lord in the New Year’s Day episode of 2010, taking over from David Tennant, and his final appearance will be the 2013 Christmas special.
Here’s Matt’s statement on his departure:
“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 realise all the elements of the show and deliver Doctor Who to the audience. Many of them have become good friends and I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the last four years.
Having Steven Moffat as show runner write such varied, funny, mind bending and brilliant scripts has been one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges of my career. It’s been a privilege and a treat to work with Steven, he’s a good friend and will continue to shape a brilliant world for the Doctor.
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, I’m back for the 50th anniversary and the Christmas special!
It’s been an honour to play this part, to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the TARDIS for a spell with ‘the ginger, the nose and the impossible one’. But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls. Thank you guys. Matt.”
When you play such an iconic role in a TV show that’s shown around the world it can be difficult deciding the right time to say goodbye. Tennant has avoided being typecast and has appeared in a number of films and TV shows post-Who. Matt Smith is starting to do that now, having recently shot Ryan Gosling’s How to Catch a Monster, so he may be looking to take on other roles in TV and film.
The next Doctor won’t be announced for some time, but there will no doubt be speculation over the upcoming months. Is it time for a female doctor? Maybe the BBC will surprise us with the casting and go with someone a bit older. Time will tell.