Actor Matt Smith will be leaving the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who, with his final appearance being in the 2013 Christmas special. Smith has been on the show since 2010, playing the role of “the Doctor”.
The cult favorite Doctor Who originally aired from 1963 to 1989 and returned to television in 2005. Smith plays the eleventh doctor on the series. Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer announced, “[G]reat 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,” as reported by the Huffington Post.
Earlier this year Smith was rumored to be leaving but did not confirm until now. On his time with the series, he has said, “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.”
BBC News has reported several names that have come up as possible replacements for the role of “the Doctor”, as the series will need to find someone new. Actors rumored to be up for the position include Idris Elba, Dame Helen Mirren, John Hurt, David Harewood, Ashley Walters, Olivia Colman and Fiona O’Shaughnessy. There has also been speculation of Doctor Who appointing the first black or female actor to become ‘the Doctor.’
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. There will be an anniversary special that will air in November 2013 on BBC America.