Saturday, 1 June 2013
Matt Smith Announces His Impending Departure From Doctor Who
And unfortunately another era within the show's long history draws to a close. Announced earlier today Matt Smith, widely known for his role as the eleventh incarnation of the titular time travelling alien in Doctor Who, stated he would be leaving the show. Reportedly in the next Christmas special, Smith's version of the character will regenerate and the baton passed on to his as of yet unnamed successor.
Having been nominated for and gifted multiple awards for his performances, fought a variety of classic and iconic villains, and involved with the show's five decade anniversary; Smith has surely left his mark on the program. With an estimated thirty million viewers watching the show each week he has become a beloved actor to take on the role and with a vast, supportive fanbase.
Before anyone jumps out of their seats or starts laying blame, this also seems to have been a natural decision rather than one caused by any bad blood. In his announcement Smith bore neither any ill will towards the show's directors, writers and creators. In fact he lauded them stating the following on the BBC's website: "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."
Smith further declared that he was proud of what they had accomplished and that it had been an honour to "follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the TARDIS for a spell". Furthermore he even extended thanks to Doctor Who fand for their support and dedication to the show, describing them as a fandom "like no other."
In his response lead writer Steven Moffat praised his continual enthusiasm for the character and boundless originality in his on screen displays. Considering Smith to be "one of the nicest and hardest-working people I have ever had the privilage of knowing."
Given the tenure of previous actors this was something more than a few saw coming. With predecessors such as Jon Pertwee and David Tennant both having stayed with the role for four years, and many others only remaining on-screen for a shorter period of time, questions had been raised if Smith would remain with the show for an additional year.
As sad as this news might be, there are still stories ahead with the Eleventh to enjoy before the end and even a special video from the actor which will be released tomorrow.
Further details can be found on the BBC's Doctor Who blog along with the full statements of both Smith and Moffat.