It was officially announced yesterday, June first, both by the BBC and Matt Smith himself that after much speculation and rumors, Matt Smith is indeed stepping out of the blue police-box this Christmas.
In the official press release Matt writes:
“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 showrunner 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.
Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer also states:
“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!”
Since Matt Smith succeeded David Tennant as The Doctor on the long running Doctor Who series in 2009, and his debut 5th series premiering in 2010, Matt’s Eleventh Doctor with his Peter Pan boyish demeanor, odd body and facial proportions, general clumsiness and BAFTA nomination worthy
crying and tantrums acting have helped broaden the show’s global viewership especially in America where the show has won fan-favorite contests and landed on the cover of Entertainment Weekly twice. Each series premiere and finales since Matt’s debut in series 5 have brought record breaking viewership for BBC America each time with the Series 7 premiere Asylum of The Daleks raking in 1.6 million live viewers, up 23 percent from series 6’s 2011 former record breaking premiere. America’s viewership keeps going up exponentially whilst British viewership has stayed rather static if not loosing base viewership overall since the series’ revival in 2005.
Much speculation has been swirling around concerning Matt Smith’s continuation of the role anyway given his casting in Ryan Gosling’s film To Catch a Monster and his obvious interest in an American film and theater or directing career much like other invading UK imports like perennial favorite Emma Watson, the half-British Andrew Garfield, fellow ex-doctor Christopher Eccleston, Henry Cavill, Carey Mulligan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Dancy and former co-star (and totally his wife) Karen Gillan. All these actors have made comfortable or up and coming film and television careers across the Atlantic (while other ex-Who companions such as Catherine Tate have just wrapped up her time on The Office whilst Freema Agyeman, John Barrowman and Alex Kingston have all made debuts or returned to American television, with Karen Gillan also joining a sitcom on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block later this year. Arthur Darvill is currently making his Broadway debut in the play Once as well) and have effectively flooded our superhero film market with Andrew serving as the current Spider-Man and Henry Cavill donning the unabashedly American red and blue of Superman this month. Karen too (man she’s busy) was just announced as being cast as head villain (that’s right villain!) in Marvel’s quirky risk-taking but star-studded Guardians of The Galaxy film.
To shift gears and join the crowd in that manner seems a natural progression for Matt, who took the role of The Doctor at a fresh-faced age of twenty-six and is now thirty years old. Besides, the ubiquitous”Fall of the Eleventh” buzz phrase and the trip to Trenzalore has always clued that Matt’s tenure was never meant to be terribly long and and since we have arrived at Trenzalore, it most likely ends there. Matt currently edges slightly past David Tennant (basically neck to neck) as the longest running Doctor of the revived series anyway, with Karen Gillan’s Amy Pond being (not surprisingly) the longest continuous companion of the revived series to match.
And while it’s sad to see Matt go, we here IhoGeek (mainly Jen and I, okay mostly Jen) have long predicted his exit this season. With River Song’s poignant final farewell to her husband post Library saving in “The Name of The Doctor”, it makes sense Eleven would shortly go thereafter without any remnants of the Ponds left in any manner despite the Doctor’s already longstanding mourning for them and River’s most likely departure to the Library in between The Angels Take Manhattan and The Snowmen. It just makes sense given Eleven’s strong intertwined history with Amy Pond. I swear to not have a flashback, mentioning, or featuring even a cameo of an elderly Amy in NYC this Christmas before he regenerates would be a travesty.
Matt’s current companion, the affable but underdeveloped (in my humble opinion) Jenna Louise Coleman’s Clara Oswald, her mystery now seemingly solved is stated to to be aboard into 2014 for Series 8 as a companion. Having left both Clara and The Doctor inside the Doctor’s own timeline at the end of Series 7 finale and meeting the speculated “lost” or rather rejected Time War regeneration of The Doctor’s played by John Hurt, we are now left all summer to wonder if the 50th Anniversary, Christmas Special, and impending regeneration into Twelve are repercussions of the Doctor having dived in his own timeline and what happens when or if he is able to pull Clara and himself out safely. Similarly will mysterious other elements of Clara’s life such as (as per Coleman’s insistence) her outfits, the scratched out 23rd birthday, parallels with the Amy penned Summer Falls lead Kate as well as the nature of her mother’s death and death date will ever be addressed or are they to be cast aside as red herrings or dropped plot-points. We shall have to wait and see.
In the meantime, thanks Matt for the ride, now stay in America and marry Karen Gillan as she turns into a supervillain. You’re playing a villain. She’s playing a villain. Just make lots of villainous babies. Shh. It works. It just does.
Staff Writer/The Doctor