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The World Doesn't End Because the Doctor Dances

BBC Confirms Matt Smith to Carry the Olympic Torch Through Cardiff Tomorrow

A cursory examination of Doctor Who might reveal that there’s a lot of running involved in the show, but it’s relationship to the 2012 Olympic Games is rather more specific. As I explained yesterday, there’s no small number of Doctor Who fans who are interested in seeing the Doctor as a torchbearer in the Olympic relay from the Temple of Hera in Olympia, Greece to London, England. It all has to do with the climax of a 2006 episode of the show that featured then-Doctor David Tennant. Yesterday, with the torch relay nearing Cardiff, the Welsh home of Doctor Who‘s production studio, the BBC began to tease some kind of relay related surprise… And late yesterday evening they announced it.

From the BBC:

We can confirm that Matt Smith will be part of the relay team carrying the iconic Olympic Torch during its journey from the Temple of Hera to London’s Olympic Stadium.

Matt has been given the honour of being named the lead runner for Saturday, 26 May. This means he is the first to carry the Torch on that day and will convey the Olympic Flame through part of Cardiff, close to BBC Wales’ Roath Lock Studios – the home of Doctor Who.

Matt was delighted to take part in this world-famous tradition. ‘To carry the Torch is an honour, one I thought I’d never get,’ he told us, adding, ‘I’m very excited!’

Okay, Tennant fans, I’m just the tiniest bit disappointed as well, but literatigeek on Tumblr has offered one explanation that I’m willing to accept:

Guys Ten couldn’t carry the Olympic torch

if he did Donna would see it on television, recognize him and thus her mind would burn up.

Eleven has realized this and thus he’s now carrying it to save her life.

He’s got it under control.

The Official Doctor Who Tumblr expressed only confidence in Matt Smith’s ability to put one foot in front of the other, despite evidence presented before them.

The BBC will be livestreaming Matt’s run tomorrow here.

(via The BBC.)


  • Christina Rafiqul

    I’m kind of disappointed but then I remember that Fear Her was a pretty disappointing episode so I guess its apt.

  • Anonymous


  • Katherine

     David Tennant is also Scottish, so unless the torch was being rerouted up into Scotland he wouldn’t be able to do it anyway. The games are hosted by England not the entire United Kingdom,within England the runners have to be English. Hence Matt Smith instead of David Tennant. But overall we should all be happy that Doctor Who is getting this huge opportunity.

  • Anonymous

    Unless Matt Smith is secretly Welsh I’m not sure if that is a particularly strict rule.

  • Derooftrouser

    The torch *is* coming to Scotland.
    The games are being hosted in London, but some of the early football rounds are being played in Scotland and Wales.
    The runners in England don’t have to be English (’s done it).
    Matt Smith (English) is carrying the torch in Cardiff (Wales).

  • Katherine

    I was basically just reposting what one of my friends told me, But I looked it up and you guys are correct the the whole runners don’t have to be English. Oh well either way I wouldn’t have minded either Doctors. So, Yay Matt Smith

  • m h

    Would it be too much to have John Barrowman carry it though Dahl Plaza? He’s not Welsh, and not really even Scottish anymore. But it would be the most appropriate selection if the torch goes through it.

  • m h

    “Fear Her?” I don’t really remember that one. I also don’t remember there being Daleks in Depression-era New York, The Fifth Doctor having a daughter who was also his female clone that he later married, or Kylie Minogue being a companion on a Skytanic.

  • Jill Oliver

     Wait, his daughter that he later married? Did I miss a special somewhere?

  • Anonymous

    To be fair, having the Eleventh Doctor run in Cardiff won’t “ruin” the canon of the Tenth Doctor running in London. Due to wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey, it’s possible for two incarnations of the Doctor to run two different segments of the relay. After all, we never see who ran the Cardiff segment in “Fear Her,” so it makes it more fun to imagine that Eleven was a part of it as well! I wasn’t expecting BBC or anyone else to listen to the fans clamor for the Doctor to carry the torch, so I was very excited to find out that we got a Doctor at all. I probably would have been just as happy if it had been the Ninth Doctor, Donna, Jack Harkness, etc. 

  • Jill Pantozzi

    That person is referencing this:

  • Alyssa R

    omg im american and LOVE Doctor Who and Matt Smith

  • Jody Emig

    They didn’t show him. I stayed up to 1:30 AM in AMERICA and they did’nt show him. I was watching as the people gathered, like for a parade and the workers put up the banners, but the BBC had the camera vehicle in the wrong place because, they didn’t show him. The BBC made the anouncement, they put it on THEIR web site and they didn’t show it. Matt deserved better then that :( I thought would be cool to see somebody that I new something about, run the Olympic torch LIVE. OH Well………….(exhales in disgusts).

  • Jill Oliver

    That person seems to have a penchant for trivia that they claim to not remember.

    (I’m still not sure I like the term “clone” for offspring formed by meiosis instead of just mitosis.)

  • Jill Pantozzi

    I think they were joking about not remembering what they considered bad episodes.

  • Jill Oliver

     I apologize, I was being sarcastic about the not remembering part. Personally, I like all the Doctor Who because even the worst is better than watching something like 16 And Pregnant or Toddlers and Tiaras.  I liked the scientific implications of the not-quite-clone and had actually forgotten about the trivia on that actress.

  • Kay

    I don’t care, it’s still amazing that one of the Doctors gets to carry the torch. I love 9, 10, and 11 the same but something about Matt Smith makes me like him more. He’s just too darn adorkable. I don’t know if they showed him running in the UK but they didn’t show it in America. I was so ticked.