The biggest news today (so far) in the ‘Doctor Who’ universe is the alleged departure of Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor.
According to reports, ‘The Sun’ newspaper was told by an insider that Smith “has told bosses he wants to bow out at Christmas” and that “the festive special will be Matt’s last outing as the Doctor.” The article also goes on saying that Smith cites his ambition to break into Hollywood (much like his fellow British actors Andrew Garfield (‘The Amazing Spider-Man’) and Benedict Cumberbatch (‘Star Trek Into Darkness’) have done) as the reason.
Rumors of Smith’s departure have followed him almost as long as he has had the role. Compile that with the fact that ‘The Sun’ is the UK equivalent to ‘The National Enquirer’ in the US, then this news must be taken with a grain of salt.
The BBC was quick to address the issue and released a statement saying:
“Sorry folks but even we don’t know what’s going to happen at Christmas. It’s not been written yet! But Matt loves the show and is to start filming the unmissable 50th anniversary, and the new series starting on Easter Saturday.”
Granted this is neither a confirmation nor a denial of Smith’s future plans as the Time Lord who has always contended that his contract was really on a year to year basis with the series. In a recent interview with talk show host Jonathan Ross, Smith stated:
“It’s one of those jobs that you have to take year by year, it’s ten months a year, it’s all-consuming. So I don’t think you can plan five or six years ahead, or even two years ahead… It’s a year by year thing, and at the moment it’s 2013 and we’ll see what 2014 holds.””
At the moment, Smith is “very happy” on Doctor Who and will begin shooting the special 3D 50th anniversary episode next month. He is also confirmed for the 2013 Christmas special. Beyond that? Who knows? From the sound of it, not even Smith may know for sure.
Smith was recently cast in the lead role for Ryan Gosling’s feature film ‘How to Catch a Monster.’ Not only is this film Gosling’s directorial debut in features, it is also Smith’s US feature film debut. The film is set to be released in 2014.
Since landing this gig, rumors have been circulating about how much longer we’ll be seeing the 11th Doctor, but isn’t that what ‘Doctor Who’ is essentially about? Change? Smith stated it best while talking about the departure of the Ponds last August:
“It’s one of those things, especially in Who – things change, people regenerate, companions come and go. That’s life… And of course you miss the characters and miss the actors but it’s part and parcel of drama, part and parcel of being an actor. Things change.”
If the reports are true (and I emphasize if) and Smith leaves the show, the timing couldn’t have been better. With the 50th anniversary under his belt and the start of a new season after the Christmas special, what better way to introduce the 12th Doctor, right? As it stands, we already know that new companion Clara will be staying on for Season 8, so she will be our Rose, connecting the viewers to the new Doctor.
So what do you think fellow Whovians? Are you happy that we may get a 12th Doctor or hope that 11th Doctor gives us one more season? If Smith does leave ‘Doctor Who’, who would you like to see in his place?