Matt Smith Is Taking His Bow Ties and Leaving "Doctor Who" At Year's End
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Matt Smith Is Taking His Bow Ties and Leaving "Doctor Who" At Year's End

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | June 1, 2013 | Comments ()


That was unexpected. I believe at one point, Smith had claimed that he'd be back in 2014, but as C. Rob suggested previously, he did not have a contract stipulating as much. Alas, Matt Smith won't be back next year, although he will be around for the 50th Anniversary and, according to the BBC, he'll be regenerating again during this year's Christmas special.

While the series itself has been wildly uneven under Steven Moffat, Matt Smith has fit very well into the character, and to be honest, he was just starting to really grow on me. He had at least surpassed Eccelston in my estimation, and I was finally able to think of "Doctor Who" as Matt Smith's show, and not as David Tennant's show with a substitute.

So it goes. Hopefully, Clara Oswin will stick around to ease the transition.

Smith had this to say 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."

Moffat also added his own statement:

"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!"

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • MichaelAndTheArgonauts

    Richard Ayoade. Nuff said.


    Keira Knightly!

  • NateMan

    I would love for one of the following to occur:

    -Regen into a woman.

    -Regen into racial minority.

    -Regen into a gay character.

    Not simply as a publicity stunt, but because I'd like to see it treated as not a big deal. The Doctor has been attracted to Captain Jack, aliens, etc. It wouldn't be hard to imagine him in a gay relationship. Likewise there's no reason he couldn't regenerate into a woman or a person of color. Skin color and gender can't possibly be a big deal to a species that transforms every few years into an entirely different person and personality. And think of the awesome storylines that could occur as the Doctor visits people from his past, perhaps people he had a relationship with, who have to adjust to his new perceived ethnicity or gender?

    Scifi exists to transcend boundaries. I want some boundary transcending, dammit!

  • Emm82

    How awesome could Emma Thompson be as the doctor?

  • kildarepaul

    I don't even know if this link is view-able in the States but Doctor Who is always a favorite novelty bet in the UK. Most are nonsense but the Top 10 is interesting.

    Ben Daniels 9/2

    Russell Tovey 10

    Chiwetel Ejiofor 10

    Damien Molony 10

    Rory Kinnear 12

    Alexander Vlahos 12

    Damien Maloney 12

    James Frain 10

    Ben Whishaw 14

    David Harewood 14

    Billie Piper 16

    Craig Roberts 20

    John Hurt 20

    Tilda Swinton 20

    Benedict Cumberbatch 25

    Colin Morgan 25

    Richard Armitage 25

    Rupert Grint 25

    Alex Jennings 25

    Daniel Kaluuya 25

    David Morrissey 25

    Harry Lloyd 25

    Paterson Joseph 25

    Sheridan Smith 25

    Stephen Mangan 33

    Daniel Mays 33

    Tom Hiddleston 33

    Martin Freeman 33

    Andrew Scott 33

    Daniel Rigby 33

    David Thewlis33

    Ioan Gruffudd 33

    Iwan Rheon 33

    Luke Treadaway 33

    Mathew Horne 33

    Neil McDermott 33

    Olivia Colman 33

    Philip Glenister 33

    Rhys Ifans 33

  • NynjaSquirrel

    The next Doctor will be - Jack Farthing.

  • Haystacks

    I am gutted. Out of the three Smith is my favorite. He can capture a quiet menace in a way Tennant could not.

    Do you think they will ever have the balls to make the doctor a woman or a POC?

  • NateMan

    A quiet menace? I just giggled. At his most imposing he's a scrawny white dude who pouts. He comes across as petulant to me, not dangerous.

  • The Kilted Yaksman

    Two words: Tilda. Swinton.

  • John W

    I would pay to see that.

  • spoobnooble

    This was mentioned in a different message board already, but there is a provision that prohibits actual aliens from playing the Doctor.

  • Jim

    OK, I've got the answer right here. Who needs a sonic screwdriver when you've got a yellow possum detector? I give you all:




  • John W

    If it's a black male actor we're looking for how about:

    Idris Elba? (already mentioned a hundred times)
    Richard Ayoade (also mentioned countless times)
    Chiwetel Ejifor?
    Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje?
    Nonso Anozie?
    Delroy Lindo? (did not know he was born in Great Britain)
    David Harewood?
    Lennie James?
    Eamonn Walker?
    David Oyelowo?
    Colin Salmon?

  • Candee

    Weird. I could have SWORN that I read somewhere that Matt Smith had renewed whatever contract.

    I like Smith, but I think a new Doctor IS needed though. It's been a while, right?

  • Blake

    Jason Isaacs?

  • Fabius_Maximus

    He's got his own show on BBC One (Case Histories; it isn't as boring as it sounds). Certainly possible, but he doesn't seem to be the type.

  • Jim

    OMG Season 2 - I forgot. Thanks for accidentally reminding me!

  • southworth

    Hugh Laurie.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Toby Stephens because... well, look at him.

  • Mrs. Julien

    He could be Jamie Fraser. Too old?

  • donnasaurus

    Oh My, he's certainly got that Bronte anti-hero look in the eyes.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    He actually played Edward Rochester to Ruth Wilson's Jane Eyre. It was one of the best adaptations I've seen.

  • Kala

    Whoa. It's like Damian Lewis and Simon Baker ended up in the Brundlefly machine.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    With Redgrave acting talent.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I'm good with that.

  • I could do with a job...

  • TheOtherGreg

    If you've seen any of her movies, you'll know: Sally Hawkins.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Why does the Doctor always have to be good looking?

    What about Brendan Gleeson? An ugly, overweight, white guy. Who also happens to be an amazing actor.

  • What about Domhnall Gleeson, his son? Then the Doctor would finally be a ginger!

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I don't consider the majority of the Doctors to be all that good looking. Tom Baker, really?

  • toblerone

    Gleeson would be excellent, but I have to down vote you for "ugly, overweight, white guy."

  • Young_Grandma_Ben

    I shared this with my daughter, who is a huge fan of both the series AND all the acting Gleesons. Her thoughtful response? "Please remind that poster that the part comes with "an awful lot of running."

  • BWeaves

    As much as I'd like to see a woman in the role, and in The Doctor's Wife episode, the Doctor mentioned that a different timelord had regenerated as a woman a couple of times, I think it's time for a black man. There are so many really good British black actors. It's time. That and I'm salivating over the suggestions listed here.

  • ZombieMrsSmith

    Laurence Fox people. He's already married to Rose.

  • mvario

    Nice choice. I think he would be excellent.

  • Slim

    Oh my, yes. I am for this.

  • DominaNefret

    I'm voting for a Ginger.
    Paul Bettany.


    Lily Cole

    Simon Pegg

    (has nothing against the idea of a non-white Doctor, but has been salivating over the idea of Paul Bettany in the role for a long time. I think he'd capture "word weary, lonely, crazed traveller" perfectly, while still being able to add just enough quirky and charming.)

  • NateMan

    Rupert Grint, if you want a ginger. Which, as a ginger, I fully support.

  • Young_Grandma_Ben

    YES YES YES to Paul Bettany!!

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Seconded. If it's going to be another white guy, I think I am totally behind the Bettany.

  • freshmeatfan

    Zawe Ashton!

  • I'd cast a black woman as the next Doctor just to watch the Internet shit itself with glee, or possibly rage, depending on which corner of the Internet we're talking about. Plus you can't buy the kind of publicity a move like that would garner for the show itself. You'd probably triple your audience, easily

    Failing that, I'd go with Idris Elba. He's really good on 'Luther' and I can see him carrying that over as the Doctor.

  • NateMan

    Gay Black Woman. Let's hit the trifecta of shitstorming!

  • Which do you think would be the most objected to leg in that triangle? Given the brouhaha over Black Johnny Storm(not to mention Black Spider-Man) and the general He-Man Wimmin Haters Club atmosphere that sci-fi fanbases have, I'd say it'd be one of the last two.

  • NateMan

    I think it depends which nationality of fan we're taking about. For the UK I think it would be the Woman part; they've had a male Doctor for 50 years, and (in my VERY limited and entirely biased estimation) they seem to have less of a problem with black leads on shows than we do here in the States.

    For close-minded American fans, I think it'd definitely be the Blackness that would be the biggest problem, though femininity and homosexuality would be close seconds. I personally think it would be fantastic!

  • Three_nineteen

    The internet was OK with River Song being a black woman for a while, so hopefully it would not be that great a leap.

  • Kim Stephens

    That whole part of an episode was really well received.

  • Xtacle Steve

    Do the producers try and keep the casting a secret for the episode, or will we know the new Who in a couple months? I ask because I didn't start following it until series five.

  • When Smith was cast, it was announced. The BBC even made a special about it.

  • Bodhi

    I love Matt Smith & I'm sad to see him go, but hes always struck me as a kid dressing up as Doctor Who.

  • Batesian

    Brits (and Scots) have dominated the character for 50 years! I say bring in an American. It's a fresh take, and will finally make the show accessible to the larger US audience. A few ideas off the top of my head:

    Nicholas Cage: Sure, he's older, but the guy was born to play a quirky alien with a magnetic personality.

    Vincent Kartheiser: The Doctor's best when he's being charming but a bit dickish. After six seasons on Mad Men, Kartheiser could teach a master class on smarm.

    Taylor Lautner: He was great in the Twilight series, but his dynamic
    personality is actually a better fit for the small screen. Plus, he
    brings a great physicality to the role. Doctor Who needs to action it up
    a bit!

    Seth McFarlane: He's proven his acting and comedic chops, and has great
    presence (remember the killer Oscar hosting gig?). Plus, he'd bring in a
    huge audience from Family Guy and American Dad. Seriously, who wouldn't want to see the Doctor riff in Stewie's voice?

  • LB

    It's a British show. Why would they put an American in it?

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Man, you just Modest Proposaled the fuck out of this. Bravo.

  • Batesian

    Glad someone got the joke. For a second, thought I'd stumbled across mirror universe Pajiba.

  • Lee

    Oh thank God. I was praying you were joking.

  • jeannebean

    Are you high? Nothing you've said makes sense. Seth McFarlane?! Go lie down and sleep that shit off.

  • Did you see American Torchwood? We ruin every UK thing we touch.

  • Batesian

    Well, yeah; that was kinda the whole point of the post. (I figured from including McFarlane it'd be clear I was taking the piss.)

  • Bert_McGurt

    I'm not even really a Doctor Who fan and it was clear to me just on the suggestion that the next Doctor be American.

  • madderrose74

    Not even as sarcasm does that work.

  • hippyherb

    No, no, no and no.

  • hippyherb

    Sorry Dustin, but no way did Matt Smith surpass Eccelston. The Doctor was never in Smiths 'eyes'. Both Ecceslston and Tennant had that world weary look about them. It always felt like Matt Smith was playing dress up to me.
    Of course that is just my opinion, but I am right and you are wrong.

  • culturerabble

    Best Quote: Eccleston was a tiger and Tennant was, well, Tigger. Smith [is] an
    uncoordinated housecat who pretends that he meant to do that after
    falling off a piece of furniture.” - Lynne M. Thomas

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Eccleston really did have the injured and weary madman thing down, didn't he? I really felt his pain. Tennant was more manic but he showed a certain world-weariness as well... Smith was just manic.

  • $32857398

    Eccleston is still my favourite Doctor and I'll never accept that he had only one season.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Right on.

  • Green Lantern

    Well...crap. I really like Smith, and for some reason I thought I remember him saying he was ready to play Who until he died (or something along those lines) once he initially got the role. Eh, people change, priorities change...I'm just not relishing the idea of starting ALL OVER with a new actor, getting through that initial one season transition period, and THEN getting comfortable with the new interpretation of the character. Hmph!

  • Sarah

    Tennant did two more years after Time Crash.

  • A. Smith

    I read a conspiracy that when ever a Doctor acts opposite another they subsequently leave unexpectedly as was the case with Davison in The Five Doctors, Tennent in Time Crash and apparently Smith in the 50th. Spooky eh?

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    But... That's kind of the entire point.

  • John W

    Could this mean a female Doctor? Or is that impossible?

    Emilia Clarke?
    Lena Headey?
    Natalie Dormer?
    Janet Montgomery?
    Emily Blunt?
    Helen Mirren?
    Rosamund Pike?
    Kate Winslet?
    Emma Thompson?
    Helena Bonham Carter?
    Rachel Weisz?
    Thandie Newton?
    Hayley Atwell?
    Gemma Atherton?
    Keira Knightley?
    Naomie Harris?

  • kildarepaul

    Jenna Louise Coleman?

  • Jim

    Can we start 16 series simultaneously somehow? I feel faint. {Leans backward, right wrist on forehead. Sighs dramatically.)

    OK, I'm over my moment but, of the group, Dame Helen's still my #1 but you know Emma Thompson and Gemma Atherton are my real close #2 and #3. Well played, John W, well played.

  • vic



  • Naomi Smith though...she'd be fantastic.

  • Lena Headey? I'd never watch again.

  • toblerone

    Kate Ashfield would be at the top of my list of women to play the Doctor (I have had a crush on her ever since S.o.t.D). She is super talented, lovely and has several Doctor Who connections.

  • toblerone


    I could also go for Ruth Negga, Oona Chaplin or Romola Garai.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Who was the asshole who downvoted this? I think it's high time, although if they do hire a female doctor, they'll have to change the showrunner, too.

  • Tinkerville

    Which, to be fair, they should do anyway. It's time for someone new.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Gods, yes.

  • A. Smith

    Funny story. Did you know that River Song was almost played by Kate Winslet?

  • Mitchell Hundred

    I can understand why they wouldn't go with her. It's rather difficult to act from someone's stomach.

    Edit: To clarify, the above post originally said "ate Winslet".

  • A. Smith

    My mistake.

  • Mitchell Hundred

    But now the joke doesn't make sense... (cries a single manly tear)

  • F'mal DeHyde


  • Young_Grandma_Ben

    Ben Whishaw!!

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Respectfully, no. We need to stop with this, "The Doctor must have a very specific sort of tousled hair," thing. It's becoming ridiculous. I'm opposed to Ayoade for the very same reason-- whatever his qualifications generally, he's got the black guy version of that hairstyle.

  • toblerone


    I knew something bad was going to happen with Hannibal being renewed and Dan Harmon (and Chris McKenna) returning to Community.

    Matt, you'll always be my Doctor.

    For your consideration: Richard Ayoade.

  • Tinkerville

    You can't see it but I'm giving you a standing ovation right now. I never even considered Ayoade and now I'll be praying for this to happen.

  • Zirza

    Oh God, Ayoade would be brilliant. And very, very weird.

  • toblerone


  • Candee

    Oh man, people everywhere keep saying this! I really like Ayoade, but I don't know if it would work properly...All I'll see is MOSS.

  • John Hurt.

  • BWeaves

    Seconded. Why bring him up and then not use him? I'll be really pissed if they make him pseudo-8, or something like that.

  • $27019454

    Good choice for sure. But my second would be Stephen Moyer who plays the vampire Bill on True Blood. That show is definitely going away soon, and Moyer has that goofy thing (in interviews...definitely not as Bill) and he even reminds me of Smith and Tenent. I think he could do a really good job.

  • vic

    I think he will be. I'm really annoyed about why Clara couldn't meet him, though. Perhaps this elusive "time lock" is responsible. I'll be annoyed if he's a splintered entity or the real #9, while the ones that followed were actually one higher.

    As for Smith's retirement, I've already spoken about my frustration with Moffat, so I'm more annoyed he's staying more than anything. Still, depending on the new actor, I may watch in 2014...

  • Emm82

    Definitely agree with you on the second part, I liked Moffatt under RTD but as showrunner the writing can be very subpar. It's a shame though as I enjoyed Smiths performance (more than Tennant's by the end) and I'd have liked to see him do some better shows instead of the second rate weeping angels etc.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Chiwetel Ejiofor for Twelve, people. Let's make this happen.

  • toblerone

    Ejiofor would be terrific and would probably be the sexiest Doctor yet (sorry Matt). But I want someone who is going to make a long term commitment and I'm not sure he'd be available to do that.

    Patterson Joseph (who is 48, WTF!) would be an excellent alternative after Ayoade.

  • lowercase_ryan

    That dude? Is 48? Damn...

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