It's official. Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who at the end of this year, departing his role as the title character to make way for another actor to fill the Doctor's Tardis when he regenerates. This confirms the rumors that we might be seeing a new Doctor in the near future. And as it happens, the regeneration will take place one year after the Doctor gained his new companion Clara, who was introduced (or technically re-introduced) during the 2012 Christmas special.
The news comes straight from BBC America, stating that Smith, who's spent four years playing the title role in the beloved sci-fi series, was leaving at the end of this year, "after starring in the unmissable 50th Anniversary in November and regenerating in the Christmas special."
Here's Smith's full statement, which was included in the announcement of his departure, and acknowledges the cast, showrunner Steven Moffat, as well as the fans:
Meanwhile, Moffat urges fans to prepare for their heart to break as we say goodbye to number Eleven…
News of Smith's departure is likely bittersweet for fans. On one hand, it's such an iconic role, but never a permanent one, given the nature of the character. On the other hand, leaving will free Smith up for other roles. Who knows? Maybe he'll follow in Karen Gillan's footsteps and find a villainous role on the big screen.
BBC America says we should expect the spectacular exit to be tightly under wraps. Fans have months to speculate over how he'll go and who who be cast to replace him.
The 50th anniversary episode is set to air Saturday, November 23, 2013.
Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.
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