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Breaking News: Matt Smith to Leave “Doctor Who”

Matt Smith

Very, very sad news today. Matt Smith will leave the lead role of Doctor Who at the end of the year. The news was broken by a few news outlets but was recently posted on the BBC website. Matt will, of course, be in the 50th Anniversary special along with former Doctor David Tennant, which they’ve already shot, and will regenerate at the end of the 2013 Christmas special.

Smith had this to say about his decision:

“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.”

Adding to it, Executive Producer and Head Writer Steven Moffat said this:
“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. 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.

“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!”

I for one am incredibly sad about this news, but it’s a day we all knew was inevitable. There hasn’t been a single episode where I haven’t been fascinated and thrilled by Matt Smith’s portrayal of the Doctor, the way he goes about things, and the way he delivers each line. I’ve made no secret of it: he is my favorite Doctor.

That being said, whoever the next actor to play the Doctor is, I’m sure they will be just as excellent and I’ll be just as excited to see who next will pilot the TARDIS as I will be to see Smith step down. That, as Steven Moffat said, is the beauty of Doctor Who. Always regenerating.

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95 comments

  • I’ve seen all the Doctors, and they were all great, because I’ve always considered them different sides of a person, but I must say, I’ll miss Matt Smith, just like I’ve missed all the others when they left. I was hoping for at least a couple of more series out of him, as I loved his portrayal of the Doctor.

  • I hated season 6, everything having to do with Melody Pond/River Song was so stupid, but season 7 was amazing and made me fall in love with the series all over again. Bah. Now I am sad.

  • Someone has some huge shoes to fill. Matt is brilliant and he will be very missed. This regeneration will be unforgettable. I hope the next Doctor rises to the occasion. Choose well, BBC.

  • I’ve been wondering how long I’d have to wait to buy the Matt Smith years DVD set, guess it won’t be as long as I’d thought. While not my favorite, I still liked Smith quite a bit, and while somewhat sorry to see him go, look forward to the next doctor.

    That said … PATERSON JOSEPH

    … and more Neil Gaiman.

  • Matt Smith will be sorely missed; he’s so talented and creative, funny and inspiring… he embraced the fandom as completely as we embraced him. Tears are threatening as I type this: ageless soul, limitless talent… Bowties are now and will FOREVER be COOL.

    I wish Matt Smith all the very best in the future… I’ll definitely be following his career! As for the Eleventh Doctor…

    Goodbye, Raggedy Man…. Goodbye, old friend… Goodbye, Sweetie…

    Bye-bye, Doctor. </3

  • Since the Doctor is an alien who says he has to be a British Male. Maybe he could be an American,or Asian,or Black or even a women. Hell he doesn’t even need to human. He could be a dog.

  • Not my favorite Doctor but he had his moments when I never dislike him and took the show in a whole confuse route but he did his job and he can’t be the Doctor forever and that’s ok, good run and good luck on his future adventures. On to the New one.

  • As someone who only recently fully accepted the brilliance that was and is Matt Smith, I’ll be very saddened to see him leave the show. But after seeing three great Doctors come through these airwave halls, I have faith that we’ll great another wonderful one, even if it takes some time for him (or her?) to truly settle into the role.

    Thank you, Matt Smith, and…

    GERONIMOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  • Been watching the Doctor since 78 or 79… always wished that I could be on the show. I never even aspired to being the Doctor… just a companion… or, Hell, the guy who drove K-9. Can’t imagine how amazing it will be for the next person being picked as the next Who.

  • Dylan Moran would be a good doctor, could play a bumbling drunk/ idiot savant style doctor. although it would probably be more funny than anything

  • I say just bring David Tennant back. He was amazing, not that Matt Smith isn’t, but, just a thought. In the Who-verse anything is possible.

    Just for fuck’s sake keep River Song out of it.

  • Man alot of haters out there, I liked Matt Smith and thought he did a wonderful job.I will admit I liked David Tennant more and was sad to see him leave as well.Maybe that’s why we see John Hurt and the end of the last episode.Will he take over the role? That would create a really different dynamic on the show.Or.. .. .. is there more to this than we know? Contract problems? Money? I would hope not

  • Matt Smith did an amazing job. He was simultaneously childlike and ancient. His performance could me cry like an inconsolable child during episodes such as “The Doctor’s Wife” or “The Angels Take Manhattan.”

    My plans are to not worry about the next Doctor. I will enjoy the last two episodes. One of those episodes has the return of David Tennant as the 10th Doctor! How fitting that David Tennant was there at the beginning and close to the end of Matt Smith’s tenure as 11? #notready </3 </3

  • Totally with you Kyle, Matt’s my favorite, too! Very sad to see him leave. A Doctor with a face that is both young and old, innocent yet wise, and wonderfully mad, he filled those Time Lord shoes quite nicely. He will be missed.

    But on the same breath, terribly excited to welcome and meet the new one! I hope it’s another complete unknown, it makes the surprise so much better.

  • First the Boston Marathon bombings, then the Oklahoma Tornados, then Dane Cook being a greedy ass… now this…. 2013 has been an awful year.. nothing but bad stuff happening.. Matt Smith turned me back onto Dr Who.. I hope the next Doctor can fill his shoes.

  • Seem like only yesterday that the web was all about how Matt Smith was too young and didn’t deserve the chance to fill David Tennant’s shoes.

    Now we have months to sit back and speculate about which poor SOB is going to destroy the show and who doesn’t have “it” to follow in Matt Smith’s footsteps.

    Unleash the TROLLS!!!!

  • Yes, yes it is with much lamentable regret that the good Matt Smith will not be journeying much farther along in that blue box thing but HEY! there’s always room for more Strax!!!!

  • Wow, it’s amazing the level of hate people have out there. He was good, he was a different voice and just let up on the Smith/RTD hate all ready. For as much as you hate them they did more to bring the show to a winder audience than anyone before and as much as you hate it, that’s what keeps the show on the air. For the record, having watched the show since the seventies, he was one of my favourite, he had a glee to him that was more The Doctor than many of his previous regenerations and he was a nice guy. Just let go the anger, let people enjoy the show, and stop this nerd on nerd rage. It’s unbecoming.

  • I don’t know what everyone’s talking about. On the last show they introduced the Doctor. Wasn’t anyone watching? I ‘m not surprised by this article at all. John Hurt was announced as the New Doctor.