Like a threatening crowd of Weeping Angels growing in numbers and proximity, there have been mounting rumours for quite some months now that Matt Smith might be close to calling it quits after four years as the eleventh incarnation of Doctor Who.
And it appears that this speculation was right on the money despite the BBC’s seemingly emphatic denial that any moves by Matt Smith to leave the TARDIS were afoot:
Last night, the BBC said in a statement: “Sorry folks but even we don’t know what’s going to happen at Christmas. It’s not been written yet! But Matt loves the show and is to start filming the unmissable 50th anniversary, and the new series starting on Easter Saturday.” (March 2013, cinemablend.com)
It has emerged via numerous sources that Matt Smith will be leaving the Cybermen, Daleks,and the intriguing mystery that is his new companion Clara (Jenna Louise-Coleman) far behind as he moves to concentrate on his burgeoning Hollywood career which includes playing the male lead Bully in Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut the fantasy thriller How To Catch a Monster, currently filming in Detroit.
This is how he announced his departure from the iconic role:
“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. 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 showrunner 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 honor 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.”
He will appear in the much-anticipated 50th Anniversary special on 23 November this year before regenerating in the Christmas special and saying goodbye to the legions of Dr Who fans who will no doubt miss his impish, energetic take on the much loved icon.
Here he is delivering the spine-tingingly evocative speech in “The Pandorica Opens”, the 12th episode in series 5:
Speculation is of course now rife about who will take over the role with a plethora of names being bandied about although it will be realistically some time before a decision is taken and an announcement made.
In the meantime, we should enjoy the last appearances of Matt Smith as Doctor Who and wish him well on his journey to a whole new constellation of stars.