Geronimo! Matt Smith Is Departing Doctor Who

The World Doesn't End Because the Doctor Dances

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And that’s all she wrote. Well, not me, I’ve got a few more things to write about Matt Smith leaving Doctor Who.

Rumors started circling the web yesterday afternoon and just a few hours later, the BBC made it official, but it was just a few weeks ago Smith said he’d be returning for Season 8.

”We come back and shoot the Christmas special over the summer, then we go on to the next series, which will either start filming at the end of this year or at the start of 2014,” said Smith. Perhaps the caveat here is he didn’t say he’d be back for the entire season and that they consider the Christmas Special to be part of it? Or, you know, the Doctor lied.

Smith’s official statement via the BBC:

“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 realise 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 honour 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.”

So if Smith’s statement is correct, we’ll be seeing a regeneration in the Christmas special. I believe that’s a first for the show, and yet another year viewers will be treated to a somewhat sad holiday.

“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,” said showrunner Steven Moffat. “Whatever we threw at him – sometimes literally – his behaviour was always worthy of the Doctor.” Meanwhile, writer Mark Gatiss took to Twitter:

Neil Gaiman also shared his sentiments on social media:

I know a lot of new-Who fans started with Smith and I expect many with be devastated to hear of this move (while other viewers will be happier for it), but I’m neither here nor there. I will say this though, it would have been nice to see what Smith’s Doctor was like under a different showrunner. However, Companion Jenna-Louise Coleman will get to see what being on the run with someone else is like soon.

“I could not have imagined coming into the show without Matt as my Doctor, holding my hand, really, quite literally. I totally lucked-out in having a creative, generous, clever, and lovely fella to work alongside day after day,” she said. “A true gent, a leading man and a very special friend. I know it will be a very difficult goodbye for me, but I for one can’t wait to see where his career takes him next.  And of course with the same welcome I was brought in with, I look forward to welcoming the next Doctor.”

While we just reported yesterday on Smith’s past Companion Karen Gillan landing a role in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Smith had already been filming a movie in the U.S. called How to Catch a Monster, directed by Ryan Gosling and co-starring Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan and Eva Medes. Add to that his frequent trips to Los Angeles over the last few years and it seemed a departure was inevitable. While David Tennant has done a few larger films post-Who (he was the best part of the Fright Night remake), and you’ll be seeing another Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, in Thor: The Dark World later this year, Smith was certainly being courted by Hollywood.

Why don’t we be polite and not speculate on who should take over the role just yet (there will be plenty of time for that)? Thanks for your time and talent, Smith. No one will ever forget you.

(via BBC)

Previously in Doctor Who

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Jill Pantozzi
Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."