‘Doctor Who’: Matt Smith Out; New Doctor Revealed in 2013 Christmas Special

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Doctor Who Season 8 Executive Producer Doctor Who: Matt Smith Out; New Doctor Revealed in 2013 Christmas Special

It’s the unfortunate day that Doctor Who fans knew would eventually come: After 4 years as the Doctor, Matt Smith announced that he will be leaving Doctor Who after the 2013 Christmas Special, in which the Eleventh will fall and Twelfth will be revealed.

Both Smith and Moffat released a letter about the departure, filled with kind words about the series as well as a few hints at what’s to come. Even though he has announced his departure, Smith still has two new adventures coming up, including the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special in November.

You can read Smith’s letter to below:

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 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 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.

Smith, who never really watched Doctor Who before taking the role, took on the task of replacing David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, an act many thought would be difficult, if not impossible. Yet after Smith’s first episode aired, the concern of many fans subsided as everyone knew that Moffat had chosen well, and that Smith would go on to become a great Doctor. And that’s exactly what happened – and the series grew, too, because of it.

doctor who david tennant matt smith Doctor Who: Matt Smith Out; New Doctor Revealed in 2013 Christmas Special

But as this is Doctor Who, it’s time for the TARDIS to be passed on to a new (or old but new) Doctor, the Twelfth Doctor (who is unlikely to be ginger). In Smith’s statement, he hinted at the return to Trenzalore; in Moffat’s statement, the series showrunner makes one thing absolutely clear: he’s going to make you cry on Christmas.

You can read Moffat’s letter below:

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 behavior 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!

Though some fans may still be a bit upset at Moffat about the way in which Doctor Who season 7 was handled, he still knows and loves the series as much as the fans – so if the Doctor needs to regenerate, the quality story will most certainly meet the occasion.

And even though the departure of Matt Smith is sad, the final paragraph of Moffat’s letter sums it up best: “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!”


Doctor Who returns in November for the 50th Anniversary Special.


Follow Anthony Ocasio on Twitter @anthonyocasio
TAGS: Doctor who
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  1. I would love to see ROSS NOBLE play the DOCTOR in an upcoming series.
    I think he would be brilliant. He would definitely give the role a twist, bringing all the elements needed to make the DOCTOR all that he should be. Ross would be capable of it all – laugher, tears, darkness, light and hope. Let the writers do what they do best and let Ross shine!

  2. Now that we know that it is Peter Capaldi, I plan to watch Matt’s transformation and give Capaldi one episode. None of the speculated choices were really ideal and the one this house full of fans dreaded most had already been chosen. Although the tech-effects will still be good and the writers excellent and we know that the Doctor is now over one thousand years old; there is no reason to go back to the years when he looked it.

    • Love the ageist comment.

  3. Doctor! You are amazing at acting. I wish I could be a partner with the new doctor. I think it is so much fun and if I was in it I would be so happy. It’s so sad that you can’t stay. It really is!!! Good luck forgetting this whole thing. It would be a qoinsedence. Well, have fun with the new thing

  4. and a pity they were perfect together
    river and the eleventh doctor a couple breathtaking
    we would have views of the beautiful
    with two brilliant minds so
    river and the doctor thinks for a bit if they had children
    of children with a higher than normal intelligence
    would have been even greater than their rocking
    I wish that Steven Moffat took all this into consideration
    we’ll see
    you never know he is so unpredictable

    it would be fantastic
    I will not even
    that this pair
    river and the doctor to separate

    river and the eleventh doctor
    to imitate a pair ready to give our lives for one another
    for me this is true love

  5. I am so shocked !

    Matt Smith was the best actor who acted The ” Doctor ” , I am watching ( Doctor Who ) because Matt Smith is the actor ……

    …. I am so so so so so sad he won’t be at ( Doctor Who season 8 ) TTwTT

  6. I am not trying to be mean…just honestly critical: I was not a fan of the Matt Smith run. Was I fond of Smith as the Doctor? No, not really. However, what stopped me watching was the quality of episodes. They seemed to lack originality; old plots were either rehashed to death (they ruined the subtle terror of the Weeping Angels…easily one of the scariest television monsters I’d ever viewed…and reduced them to a trite B-flick creature) or solved with too much Deus ex Machina moments. They also became more kid-friendly. Looking back at the older Doctor Who eps, I can see how making the tone less dark could actually be going back to its roots, but I quite liked the more adult handling of things in the Tennant run and hope the series goes back to that treatment.

  7. bring back David tennet I say and please get rid of that river thing, can’t stand her honestly

  8. doctor who without Matt smith will not be very interesting but I will watch iт