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The World Doesn't End Because the Doctor Dances

John Barrowman Joins Others In Not Being Devastated By Matt Smith Leaving Doctor Who

Lots of folks didn’t mind admitting they weren’t really all that bothered by the announcement of actor Matt Smith leaving Doctor Who. It seems we can now add Arrow actor, and Who-favorite, John Barrowman to that list. 

In an interview with MTV Geek, Barrowman commented on the recent Doctor Who happenings:

“I don’t know what the reaction is people want me to have but as an actor, it’s no big deal; it is a job for him [Smith],” he said. “I wasn’t devastated, I wasn’t gutted, but I am excited to see who the new Doctor will be.”

“I know ‘Doctor Who’ so well and know the Doctors are going to change, so I’m not devastated he’s going — but it is sad for the fans.”

“When David [Tennant] left, everyone was like, ‘Oh, it’s not going to be the same’ but it’s going to be OK,” said Barrowman. “You’ll just join along and be a part of it, as you always are.”

His comments make sense when you consider Barrowman never got a chance to play his Captain Jack Harkness alongside Smith’s Doctor. Most of us, Barrowman included, were disappointed to learn he wouldn’t play a role in the 50th anniversary episode.

Meanwhile, there was a rumor going around yesterday the BBC would make their big announcement this weekend as to who would be the next to step into the shoes of The Doctor. Then the BBC actually made an announcement…to say they wouldn’t be announcing anything.

Tomorrow then, maybe? Though producer Ed Stradling tweeted this note, “Steven Moffat says this morning ‘I haven’t a clue who it is, we’ve barely started.’ So no #doctorwho announcement this evening I fear!”

But we take that with a grain of salt, not just because Wil Wheaton claimed to know who the 12th Doctor is, but because we don’t think they’d let Smith make his departure announcement without already having someone lined up to replace him. Anything is possible, I suppose. This is Doctor Who.

(via Blastr)

Previously in Doctor Who

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  • Jill Pantozzi

    Tell me about it. After this instance I threw up my hands in frustration:

  • Anonymous


  • Doc

    I’m amused at how this article presents Barrowman as completely apathetic towards Matt like he hated Matt’s Doctor or something, instead of speaking with an actor’s courtesy and as a fan who knows Doctors change. John is right though. It’s not worth getting devastated over an actor’s departure whether it’s Matt or David or any other actor because this is how this show’s always worked.

  • Deggsy

    Wow, just realised I’ve personally seen through eight Doctors over nearly forty years. Also just realised how little it actually matters in the end. If I don’t like the next one, I’ll be around to see another. Probably.

  • Doc

    I, for one, love his lies and half-truths. In this day and age where plot twists and spoilers are getting rarer because of the Internet, it’s nice to be caught off guard and surprised still by my fiction.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Does it? I didn’t mean for it to sound like he hated Smith, just that he wasn’t attached to him as a character, and only sees it from an actor’s point of view.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    To keep plot stuff a secret, I could give him a pass, but in that instance it was more like he was trying to cover up the fact he’d thought of the idea later. Which, to me, isn’t a bad thing. A good idea is still a good idea if you thought of it on the fly instead of planned it, you know?

  • Matt Graham

    Ha, yeah the headline and first sentence made me think the whole cast and crew is passive-aggressive about Matt Smith, as if they were silently pleased that he would be gone. It made me imagine Barrowman having it up to here with fezes at cons and barely restraining his disdain with Bruce Banner-esque tension.

    Perhaps it’s less Jill’s writing and more that traditional British stoicism.

    On that note, the subject of a female Doctor came up recently with some acquaintances, and I’d love to see Camilla Luddington (formerly Lara Croft) in the role. She was also Kate Middleton, and you know fans would devour the idea that the Doctor was also in the royal family. Or Michelle Dockery could pull off a good

    Both can capture the quirky naivete of the recent Doctors with
    the edge Eccleston had. Since Who favors up and comers, I pull for Luddington in my fantasy world.

  • Matt Graham

    That’s really cool. I wish I was into it for as long. I really like how they solved the protagonist concept to keep it running.

  • Doc

    I get that, but the language of the article muddles that a bit. The opening lines suggest no one cares that Matt is leaving as well as later in the article less than subtly implying that he was expressing said apathy due to some sour grapes at being left out of the 50th.

  • Robin S

    The problem with lying rather than just not saying anything, is that he makes us chase our tails and head off in the totally wrong direction. That’s not really necessary to preserve plot points. You can preserve it by just not talking about it. Lying about it constantly just seems kinda mean.

  • Anonymous

    “I don’t want to go.”

  • Kim Pittman

    We all know Moffat lies.

  • WheelchairNinja

    Not today? Color me shocked. ‘Cus you know they’re totally not gonna drag it out and try to drum up as much hype as possible… (“Name of the Doctor,” much?)

    And while I agree that they should cast an unknown actor, might I suggest…

  • Jill Pantozzi

    I think this all stems from the comments on our original piece about him leaving. I guessed at the time that it wouldn’t be too big a deal because a some of our readers haven’t been thrilled with the show lately but was hesitant because I thought the Smith lovers would come out in droves and they didn’t.

  • Mina

    I really like Camilla Luddington as an actress, but she’s currently contracted to Grey’s Anatomy, so she’s not really in the realm of possibility at the moment.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously. Misdirection is clever; lying is not clever. “Congratulations Moffat, you… sure told us something that was not the case. You have won at writing.”

    (Honestly, I’d rather avoid hints all together if it comes to that. Speculation gets really tiring after months and months.)

  • Dan Griffin

    “Matt Smith will join Barrowman on Arrow as a Riddler type villain.” – Said my hopes and dreams.

  • GeekGirl

    I think Barrowman’s comments make sense regardless if he played Captain Jack alongside Smith’s Doctor or not. One has nothing to do with the other. This is the nature of Doctor Who; there is no point in making a huge fuss about what everyone knows will happen. I liked Smith’s Doctor, but I am excited to see who 12 will be. I see Smith’s departure in a pragmatic light. This isn’t an exclusive feeling to actors or other industry people; nor does it make me (or anyone) any less of a fan, either.

  • Mac m

    1. I mentioned the Doctor Who ratings had gone down since smith and moffat. I was told…by some on here yada yada…well they did ” Will the 50th anniversary bring doctor who viewers back”

    2. I mentioned that Matt Smith would probably leave soon because its time for a new direction of the show and the BBC feels ratings are down……I was told no….

    The points I make here are to say that Matt Smith has some acting skills but with the Moffat wrting and with him as the Doctor it just was not the right fit

    Smith Fans can argue how brillant he is etc. However, as I said ratings drive the show…..Speilburg at one time was thought to be a Doctor Who influence. All I can say to that is WTF too badd, it would have been good

  • Brian

    Ratings seem to be about the same/slightly higher as Tennant’s were. Admittedly, I just did a quick check on Wikipedia, but they certainly didn’t seem different enough to mention. As for this…

    “Smith fans may not even like or want to hear that the ratings have gone down since he took the helm.. doesn’t change the fact that they have…show…..Speilburg at one time was thought to be a Doctor Who influence. All I can say to that is WTF too badd, it would have been good”

    What the hell does that even mean?

  • Brian

    Best idea I’ve heard so far is Domhnall Gleeson. He’s every bit the actor his dad is, he’s a gangly ginger weirdo, and with Harry Potter, Dredd, and True Grit, he’s got nerd cred.

  • Mac m

    Brian Im glad you check Wikipedia. Here is the link to one of the articles posted on May 17th…. This was one of the articles but there are more…..

    What does that mean. It means to say no to Spielberg is like instead of WTF…I will say What they hell….The amount of money he has made with his movies…why tell him no…..

  • Mac m

    Here is an excerpt from the link of the article I gave the link too that speak of ratings. I think a fresh face and moffat leaving will help. However, Spielberg at one time offered to run major parts of the show several years ago and he was told basically NO…….Here is the excerpt:

    “When the Doctor regenerated onto our screens under the stewardship of Russell T. Davies with Christopher Eccleston as his ninth incarnation, the show repeatedly had ten million people glued to their seats in giddy anticipation.

    But the BBC has now reported that this figure has plummeted to between 4.5 and eight million viewers, and insiders are apparently worried that the show is in decline.

    They are hopefully that David Tennant and Billie Piper’s return will entice a large audience back in November, but with Matt Smith expected to leave soon after to start his film career, fans are suggesting that this is the perfect time for the show to start afresh, again.”

  • Matt Graham

    I didn’t even know that show was still around. Good for her, sad to hear.

  • totz the plaid

    I’m definitely not devastated either. It’s a shame that Matt Smith never got to work with a competent showrunner and had to deal with so much of Moffat’s horrible writing, but on the other hand, he only had a couple good episodes in which he had the chance to really show his stuff, so I never got attached to him.

    He’s definitely a great actor and much like Colin Baker before him, deserved a much better than he got to work with, but the tragedy here isn’t Smith leaving, it’s Moffat sticking around.

  • totz the plaid

    A good idea would be a good idea if Moffat came up with good ideas.

  • BabeWoreRed

    Ever since I realized it was Barrowman in Mel Brooks’ remake of The Producers, whenever I see him I get “Springtime for Hitler” stuck in my head…

  • Warburton MacKinnon

    Didn’t think he was a good Doctor,so I am kinda happy he is going. Tennant on the other hand is in my top 4…really wish Eccelston(great job on the info as to why he left by the way,had no idea) would have stayed in the role much longer as he was a breath of fresh air and something new as the Doctor,or at least the kind we hadn’t seen since the 3rd one,that being an almost action hero Doctor. Top 5 Who’s for me are Tom Baker,C.Eccelston,Peter Davidson,David Tennant, the last being Pertwee. Hate to say it but as much as I loved to look at Amy,I was well and truly tired of her story(same goes for Rose as well). The companions in the first series were just that companions to the story of the Doctor,now their story is as,or more important than the Doctors story which is a change I don’t think is for the better…the ‘love’ story angles are just insipid and stupid. I get why they exist,and why they are here,but how come series one ran so long without one involving the Doctor? Then again after this season finale I did say for multiple reasons,I won’t watch anymore…biggest reason would be the ‘time scar’(?). Damn near 40 years and THAT never came up before??? I mean WTF,just not a good thing to introduce at this late juncture,you’d have to think one of his enimies would have used this knowledge against him by now…the Master if no one else…also if there was a race of beings whom all left such things,um like the TIMELORDS, how the heck does the universe even exist anymore? I can see he might have left a bigger ‘scar’ than anyone else but not bigger than all the Timelords that have ever existed(remember there will always be more humans that have died than live at any point in time). Anyway goodbye Matt, goodbye series.(for me)…starting to think I hate Moffat.

  • Kevin Burnard

    I’m shocked at how many people seem to be against Matt Smith’s Doctor. In my opinion, he’s the only one in the modern series thus far to even come close to matching the charm and grace Troughton and Tom Baker brought to the role. I will be missing him.

  • sooverit

    Bless him.

  • Krantzstone

    Sadie Frost for female Doctor. Or Emma Thompson. Or Emma Watson (okay, maybe a little young). Or how about a Woman of Colour? Lenora Crichlow or Antonia Thomas (although they too are a little young)? Perhaps someone of Asian/East Asian descent? I would also be entirely supportive of a non-cis woman for the role, as long as their transgender background isn’t fetishized or written in offensively stereotypical terms, but with honesty and authenticity. Or an actress who isn’t a size zero would be great too. I’m not knocking women who are (Jenna-Louise is petite but lovely), but her body type is entirely over-represented on Doctor Who. A mature actress would be a thought as well, like a female counterpart to William Hartnell. There are soo many ways they could have gone for the next regeneration, and I hope they take such suggestions into consideration, not as an attempt at political correctness but in a spirit of genuine celebration of the uniqueness of the Doctor as this wonderful (usually) alien being who can regenerate into just about any bipedal humanoid lifeform as the Doctor so chooses, and acknowledging the limitations on casting diversity on Doctor Who in the past. The Doctor is too well-travelled, too knowledgeable, too experienced and simply too open-minded to have the kinds of prejudices and blinkers that we humans do, and for once I would love to see this actually represented in terms of what form the Doctor takes in a future regeneration.

  • Krantzstone

    And I would add that for once I would like to see some actual proof that the Doctor loves humanity as a whole, and not just the pretty young cis-gender female ones of a certain size and body type. Because to be honest, that’s really starting to feel a little skeevy considering the age difference. ;P

    In many ways, I almost miss the asexuality of the original series Doctors because it set the character apart from the human companions (although to be fair, the companions were pretty asexual too). Not saying they should use asexuality as a kind of code for ‘alien’ either though, as there are plenty of humans of asexual persuasion who should not be shamed or ashamed for not living up to the overtly (and unrealistically exaggerated) oversexualized portrayals of humanity that occur on just about every show in every genre of film and television.

  • akaKJB

    I know I’m late to the party on this discussion but seriously, speculation on Doctor Who plots, actors, etc. has been a favorite past time of the fans since the 70′s. Hell, “Dream Watch Bulletin” began life as “Doctor Who Bulletin” and was the bane of JNT’s existence, going so far as banning them from location shoots (which they routinely ignored and reminded JNT that things like telephoto lenses existed).

  • akaKJB

    As someone who has been watching the series since Pertwee, I completely disagree. In many ways, I think Matt was the best Doctor of the new era.