This video/article contains SPOILERS for the Doctor Who Christmas Special!

Christmas Day 2013 was quite an emotional roller coaster for Doctor Who fans, with the airing of “The Time of the Doctor” (read our review) – Matt Smith’s final appearance as The Doctor.

Whether you were exhilarated by Elven’s Thirteen’s 300-year battle to protect Trenzalore from his greatest enemies and/or felt your heart shatter when Smith had a vision of his late companion Amelia Pond (Karen Gillan, wearing a wig made from her own hair) just before his regeneration into Peter Capaldi was finished – or, alternatively, found yourself grumbling about how executive producer/writer Steven Moffat chose to tie up plot holes, solved the regeneration dilemma, and/or his (overly) cutesy storytelling tendencies – point is, Whovians of all shades have something to say about how the Smith era was drawn to a close.

Of course, for the crew behind Doctor Who, this was more than just another day at work – it was a time for bittersweet farewells, as shown in a new behind the scenes video.

Smith was the Doctor for three seasons and was an essential piece to the puzzle of the show’s 50th anniversary special, so he was certainly allotted his fair share of time to play in this particular sandbox – yet, his enthusiasm for the role never abated through his run, and his sincerity at having to say goodbye to the character is just as touching (if not more so) as any moment in the 2013 Christmas special.

Meanwhile, BBC officials were undoubtedly pleased by the viewer turnout for Smith’s final bow on Doctor Who.

According to Deadline, “The Time of the Doctor” was the most-watched drama – second most-watched program in Britain – and was seen by 8.29 million people (peaking at 10.2 million viewers at one point). By comparison, 10.6 million people in the UK turned out for “The Day of the Doctor” (a.k.a. the 50th anniversary) and 7.59 million folk turned out for the 2012 Christmas special, “The Snowmen” – the latter being a more proper introduction to Clara (Jenna Coleman), following her eyebrow-raising appearance earlier in season 7.

Coleman will join Capaldi in Doctor Who season 8, but there will be plenty of time until then for Smith’s most dedicated of fans to lick their wounds and prepare to welcome the next Doctor with open arms. Meanwhile, that leaves the rest of us to ponder important things about what the future holds – like, will Capaldi’s Doctor have a tendency to lose his clothes around his companions, as Smith did?

Doctor Who season 8 is expected to begin airing by Autumn 2014.

Source: Deadline