Is Matt Smith Leaving ‘Doctor Who’ After the 2013 Christmas Special?

Published 2 years ago by

Doctor Who Mid Season 7 Poster Premiere Is Matt Smith Leaving Doctor Who After the 2013 Christmas Special?

Whenever we’re on the verge of getting more Doctor Who episodes, it seems like obsessive questions about swan songs, endings, and new beginnings start to pop up. Basically, everyone wants to know when Matt Smith is going to leave.

One of those people is UK chat show host Jonathan Ross, who asked Smith during an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show how much longer he would be comfortable as the Doctor and whether he’d started to think about moving on. With a fair amount of candor, Smith offered his answer, an answer that actually inspired a response from the BBC over Smith’s status as the Doctor.

Here’s what Smith told Ross:

“I’m very happy doing it. I mean, I go and I do the anniversary special, then I go away for a bit, and then I come back and we do the Christmas special. And its sort of one of those jobs where you have to take [it] year by year, really, because it’s 10 months a year, its all consuming. So, I don’t think you can plan sort of 5 [or] 6 years ahead, or even 2 years ahead. So its a year by year thing and at the moment, it’s 2013 and we will see what 2014 holds.”

And here’s the BBC statement via The Sun, who had reported that Smith would indeed be bowing out after this year’s Christmas special:

“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.”

As Smith explained later in the Ross interview, he is set to film How to Catch a Monster – actor Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut – during his hiatus from Who. One could see how that could lend a small amount of weight to the well worn speculation that Matt Smith will leave the TARDIS behind in search of Hollywood fame, but as previously stated, this is a familiar dance.

In December, while promoting last year’s Christmas special in an interview with Collider, Smith said:

“I take it year by year, you know? See what comes. I love working for Steven Moffat. I love making the show, it’s unlike any job I’ll ever have.”

This followed remarks that he had made to Empire Magazine, wherein he said, “I couldn’t do this for seven years. I’d be run into the ground. I don’t think you can sustain it…

This prompted BBC spokesperson Sam Hodges to release a series of tweets denying Smith’s exit:

Matt Smith hasn’t quit – just an over[ly] excitable headline. […] He says in an interview that he won’t be the Doctor forever – hardly quitting!

Smith also put a scare into Whovians in 2011 when he said: “I’ve got another year of Doctor Who, but then I’m certainly going to come and give it a shot, come and hang out in LA.

One would imagine that the BBC would be tired of these repeated rumors and that Smith would become exhausted by the constant questions about his desire (or lack thereof) to stay in the role that made him famous, but then again, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

matt smith ryan gosling how catch monster Is Matt Smith Leaving Doctor Who After the 2013 Christmas Special?

Remember, the premiere is very close and every little drop of ink helps. This buzz won’t hurt ratings, and in fact, were Smith genuinely settled on leaving the show, it seems unlikely that he and the BBC would keep it a secret and forfeit the opportunity to cash in on the benefits of a farewell bonanza a la David Tennant’s departure.

Then again, maybe they’re just waiting for the right opportunity to reveal that Smith is leaving?

So in answer to the other ultimate question, “Is Matt Smith leaving Doctor Who?” the answer is: Yes… someday. Honestly, when Matt Smith is really ready to leave Doctor Who, he will surely proclaim it loudly and proudly, so until then, maybe we should all just relax, enjoy the ride, and stop fixating on it like a death obsession.

Doctor Who premieres on BBC America Saturday March 30th @8pm.

Sources: The Sun, TG Daily, UPI, & Collider

Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
TAGS: Doctor who
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  1. Im happy watching Matt Smith for a couple more years, then well see. Hopefully we get at least one more season (8) out of him after the 50th and xmas specials. I hope he gets a proper send off like david tennant when the time comes. That had a nice build up and resolution. Unlike the 9th.

    • Chris didn’t stay long enough. He’s screwed himself outta the 50th, too! The guy’s no fun when it comes to committing to a role for a long time. Nitpicked the way the execs and producers did things on the show. David Tennant, fan of the show since he was a kid, so of course he gets a fitting ending for sticking around like a true Doctor. Smith’s definitely gonna have a big send off in the distant future.

  2. Yeah, it’s not the kind of show where he could say he’ll be there until he’s done filming a season and special and see what’s going on from there.

    I will however check out the show for the first time since Smith took over when he does leave.

  3. There was much rejoicing. Yay.

    • lol yeah, I really don’t rate the guy as an actor at all.

      I also saw that Jonathan Ross show with my sister and mother last week and they both commented after Ross kept bringing up how attractive Smith is by saying “he’s got a weird face, I don’t think he’s attractive at all”.

      Seriously, the best thing about last week’s Jonathan Ross show was that he also interviewed Sir Ian McKellen about a new sitcom he has with Sir Derek Jacobi about a homosexual couple and then interviewed Charles Dance, Kit Harington and the woman who plays Ygritte about the return of Game Of Thrones.

      A Doctor Who clip they showed proved why I haven’t bothered watching since Moffatt and Smith joined as writer and star respectively. Just terrible all round.

      • How can you say Smith and Moffatt are terrible all round if you haven’t bothered watching it since they joined, and judged everything upon one clip? If you watched it and hated it, that’s something else, but…I dunno, it just seems a little unreasonable to me.

      • Does one need to be attractive to be an actor? Wow, that’s a very shallow point of view.

      • Really? Tennants bulgy bug eye’s don’t seem weird or unattractive to you? Or his beak nose and body that appears to be severely under weight?

  4. I wonder if he’ll be playing the monster in Ryan Gosling’s movie. Matt Smith DOES NOT look human.

  5. I’m glad. He’s awesome.

  6. I think it’s time to change the Doctor anyway

    • Yeah they should regenerate Dr. Who whenever the fans feel like it. How about regenerating every few episodes and just have guest actors play the Dr.? Oh wait that would be stupid.

  7. Get, get out. Unwelcome ever since The End Of Time Part 2. Gay.

    • The show is kind of gay and retarded, if it is taken seriously there is something wrong with the viewer. Tennant didn’t seem fitting to me because he was serious in a unserious show.

  8. I do think it might be time for a new doctor. It’ll be fun to see something new.

  9. I’ve been a Who fan since the 70’s. I was glad to see Eccleston go, but really hated losing Tennant. It’s taken me two full years to embrace Smith as the Doctor. Now that I’ve warmed up to Smith, and I’m far from the only one, I think it’s too soon for a new Doctor. I wouldn’t want him replaced before 2015.

  10. Please please please lets hope he’s going…It can’t come soon enough. Mind you I don’t think the problem will really be solved until Moffat has gone.

  11. He’s know DT, but I’ve warmed to him over the years and I don’t know how eager I am to start with someone new. The devil you know…

  12. Tee hee. I meant “He’s NO DT”. It’s a bit early.

  13. I really like Smith now and I’m really looking forward to the new season. I want him to do at least one more season before he regenerates.

  14. This is one of those roll where the actor is smart to bow out of after a few years if they plan to do something else. When they become one primary character for too long (At least in America) they have a hard time finding work because they’re always seen as that one character. Many sit com characters found themselves in limbo after doing one popular character for too long.

    I’ve seen David Tennant in a few movies, but not much. I guess he has been in a couple other BBC series since Dr. Who, but the BBC seems pretty particular about how much they’ll put on BBC America. (I really wish they’d put more instead of re-running old Star Trek and such). Tennet is a damn good actor…I’d like to see him in another good series. I’d like to see him play Sherlock Holms in the original period of the stories. I think he’d make a great Sherlock

    • It’s a shame Tennant hasn’t had a huge career boost off of the coat tails of DW. Not that he isn’t doing well mind, any actor who is consistantly working is doing well. It’s just with Tennant’s huge personality as the Doctor, I thought he’d have really done something pretty huge like Benedict Cumberbatch seems to be after “Sherlock”.

  15. Isn’t the next Doctor going be number 13 hence the last?

  16. Whoops, I counted wrong two more regeneration a left till no. 13

    • You do realize that they could regenerate many more times and only a very small percentage of fans like you would even notice they’ve gone over heir quota. Besides…It’s fantasy. The writers could throw some goofy reason why it’s changed for the last of the Time Lords

      • I started watching with Number 4 in the eighties and It is Dr. Who cannon that it was 12 regeneratlons. I’m sure they’ll write around that but us Truebies need to point it out.

    • I thought they had already written in some sort of reeboot to the Doctors regenerations a few series ago?? Or am I imagining it. Oh well, they’ll write some mcguffin in to deal with it anyway. That’s the one thing with DW, you can do anything really. You’ll never truly write yourself into a corner. If that were the case the Daleks, Cybermen etc….. would have dissappeared from the show long ago.

  17. The original series was good, but I just can’t get into the new version for some reason. Believe me, it’s not for lack of trying.

    • It’s probably the lack of being young. Anyone who likes the originals over the current series is…… You know what I think it’s obvious enough where I don’t even need to mention it.

  18. I thought that was the plan.
    Smith was supposed to leave at the end of the season.

  19. I think it is Moffat that should go,far to up himself. All that power has gone to his head. Need some new blood to get back to where Dr who was best. Scary monsters that scared the kids

    • I don’t hate Moffat, but I do agree that somethings gone to his head and he should either calm the heck down or just put DW into some other hands.
      I absolutely love the 11th and don’t get me wrong-the stories are interesting…but, I want to see 11 in the light of someone else’s writing.

  20. I’d be OK with him leaving after the 50th anniversary special. He hasn’t been my favorite doctor. Not that I think he does a bad job. I just wish we could still have David Tennant.

  21. I’ve really grown to enjoy Matt Smith as The Doctor, not as much as I enjoyed David Tennant’s portrayal, but enough that I would miss him as The Doctor. Would love to see another season or 2 of Matt as The Doctor, but I would LOVE to see the introduction of new villains and monsters. Daleks, Weeping Angels and Cybermen can only be done so many times.

  22. Another season for a proper send off. Honestly, Smith’s Doctor is what I love about the Doctor when I first started watching Doctor Who with the 4th Doctor on DVD. An old man with a young body, very grumpy but still childish. Just wish the 11th Doctor had better writers. Season 5 was probably the best season of the NewWho but season 6 was all over the place and a bit convoluted. Always like the 10th Doctor but he just felt to me like a long extended version of the 5th Doctor if he was younger. Now, if only we can get a deformed regeneration that revert the Doctor back into his 8th incarnation and have 1 full season with him..

  23. For moi it comes down to the “Baker Syndrome”.

    Colin Baker could have been a great Doctor but he had terrible scripts and inattentive/inadequate show runners.

    I see the same thing with Matt Smith-bad scripts.

    Steven Moffat has given us arguably 2 of the greatest additions to the Whoniverse (The Weeping Angels and River Song)plus one of my favourites The Curse of the Fatal Death.

    But overall it seems he lacks what it takes to be a great showrunner, good yes-great no.

    Oh yeah, before this breaks down into a R.T.D. v. S.M. debate-A good/great script enhances an actor, whilst a bad/poor script is a detraction to an actor.

    “That is All”

  24. Has it been 3 months yet? Because that’s when this rumor comes up. Just chillax, enjoy the final 8 episodes of series 7.

  25. I don’t understand all of the hate. Yes, we loose doctors, and we have lost a lot. But, Matt stepped in, filling in the huge shoes that Tennant left him. Matt has done a really good job. I hated seeing Tennant go. I cried my eyes out, and swore I wouldn’t like Matt. But, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Yes, he has a big chin, a wired nose, and is strange. But that is part of his charm. Its wrong to say he sucks, is gay, or is stupid until you give him a try. Dont judge him next to tennant or baker, but against who the doctor is suppose to be. Someone who cares about Planets, species, raves, stars, moons, universes. Don’t judge him until you watch a few episodes with him. Be upset at the angels with him, cry when he looses a friend, and just watch. I’m sorry, but until you have watched him, you have no room to talk.

    • Great way to put it!
      After Tennant went I was like a stubborn child “I won’t watch 11 I WON’T!”

      Now here I am watching this gorgeous man with this childish charm who has snatched my heart away.

      He is The Doctor as every man before him! :]

  26. Damn. I was just getting used to him as the new Doctor :(
    Smith should stick around for at least one or two more seasons I think.

  27. You know what I can’t understand is why people who b**** about Matt Smith’s Doctor still bother to watch? Also enough with comparing him to David Tennant! There are 9 other actors who have played The Doctor before Tennant who was great but he’s not the only Doctor in existence. All 11 actors made the Doctor what he is, a complex individual. As for Smith I think he doing a great job playing The Doctor differently something which Peter Davison (Tennant’s hero) did after taking over from Tom Baker. If Smith played the Doctor like Tennant did that would be boring. As for the rumors, I’ll take it with a grain of salt til its official that he will leave. I think he should do at least 1 more season.

  28. People please remember “its not real”