Matt Smith to leave 'Doctor Who'

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

June 1st, 2013


via press release:


Matt Smith to leave Doctor Who

The BBC is today announcing that Matt Smith is to leave Doctor Who after four incredible years on the hit show. Matt first stepped into the TARDIS in 2010 and will leave the role at the end of this year after starring in the unmissable 50th Anniversary in November and regenerating in the Christmas special. During his time as the Doctor, Matt has reached over 30 million unique UK viewers and his incarnation has seen the show go truly global. He was also the first actor to be nominated for a BAFTA in the role. Doctor Who is BBC AMERICA's highest-rated series and premieres as part of the channel's Supernatural Saturday programming block.

Matt quickly won over fans to be voted Best Actor by Readers of Doctor Who Magazine for the 2010 season. He also received a nod for his first series at the National Television Awards, before winning the Most Popular Male Drama Performance award in 2012. Matt has played one of the biggest roles in TV with over 77 million fans in the UK, US and Australia alone!

Matt Smith says: "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, says: "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!"

Having starred alongside three different companions, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) and most recently Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), Matt's Doctor has fought Daleks and Cybermen, as well as Weeping Angels in New York.  Regularly heard shouting 'run' and 'Geronimo', through Matt's Doctor fans have been introduced to a new culinary combination - fish fingers and custard!

Matt's spectacular exit is yet to be revealed and will be kept tightly under wraps. He will return to BBC AMERICA in the unmissable 50th anniversary episode on Saturday, November 23, 2013 - TUNE IN!

Doctor Who is a BBC Cymru Wales production for BBC ONE

BBC AMERICA delivers US audiences high-quality, innovative and intelligent programming. Established in 1998, it has been the launch pad for talent embraced by American mainstream pop culture, including Ricky Gervais, Gordon Ramsay, Graham Norton, and successful programming formats including ground-breaking non-scripted television like Top Gear and top-rated science-fiction like Doctor Who. Owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, BBC AMERICA has attracted both critical acclaim and major awards including an Emmy®, five Golden Globes® and eleven Peabody Awards. The channel attracts one of cable’s most affluent and educated audiences and is available on cable and satellite TV in more than 80.4 million homes. It broadcasts in both standard and high-definition, with content available On Demand across all major digital platforms. Online, is the place to go to dig deeper into pop culture with a British twist. Find out more by visiting or follow us on

  • bill

    Bummer…I started watching with him in the role. Almost as sad Amelia Pond dying. I was crushed when that happened. Hottest companion ever!

  • Lisa

    Never liked Smith’s portrayal, thought he overreacted a lot. Tennant was the best Dr. ever.

  • John A

    Wow im shocked. He wasnt that bad. But im glad he is going.

  • CBSviewer

    He was the worst Doctor ever !

  • Ira Sy

    I find it curious that Moffat wants us to believe that there is a search for the next doctor. The season finale last week gives the clue that he has been found. I won’t tell. I know some out there haven’t seen it yet.

  • JJ

    Matt Smith play a nice Doctor
    but I still love David Tennant as The Doctor more

  • JJ

    @Ira Sy
    he is NOT the next Doctor
    he just for the 50th Anniversary Christmas special episode

  • Chris

    I liked Matt Smith; he brought back some of the fun adventuring spirit that Tennant and Eccleston’s incarnations lacked, I think.

    And Smith’s first season as the Doctor was the best-written season since the show came back, honestly. If we can just wean Moffat off this whole “everything important that ever happens anywhere is directly related to the Doctor” kick he’s been on ever since then, I’ll be happy; the guy knows how to write, but I thought the whole point of undoing the Tennant era’s intergalactically-famous “Lonely God” thing was so we could have cool adventures again, not so we could continue to wallow in the mysterious and unfathomable angst some more.

  • Hoose

    Well sonfa… 4 years already?

    I get annoyed every time a regeneration comes about ever since Tom Baker. Oh well, the way it is I suppose. I didn’t take well to Smith initially, but he did grow on me. He will be missed.

    But Tennant has been the best of the “new” Doctors.

  • The End

    This must be a recent thing, because Matt Smith came out recently and said he would be in the next season.


  • JulieDawn

    @Ira Sy – if you believed that the ‘clue’ you saw in the season finale indicated who the next permanent Doctor was going to be, then enjoy the swampland in Arizona you’re about to buy.

    That’s just the first of MANY misdirections and speculations we’re going to be treated to over the next 6 months or so, mark my words! ;)

  • JulieDawn

    @The End:

    I know, that was also my first thought, I think it’s all been in the way we interpreted it.
    He kept coming out and saying he’d be in the next season, but if they consider the 2013 Christmas Special as part of the ‘next’ season, then he wasn’t technically lying. Just deflecting the question (under careful coaching by the PR team) until the BBC was ready to announce it….

  • The End

    @Ira Sy

    That’s not the next Doctor by the way. That was rumored to be one of the Doctors forgotten regenerations.

    Basically for the 50th Aniversary special they’re getting a few ‘Doctors’ back, which includes David Tennant.

    However Eccleston decline the role, there’s a 3 Doctor thing going on in the special lol

  • The End


    It’s a shame really, he was actually a decent Doctor. I thought he would be around for a few more years considering he’s only 30. I guess the fact he’s been doing a movie in America recently swayed him to leave the role, in the hope he’l land bigger and better roles in the future.

  • Keanon

    This previous season was a complete and total disappointment. I’ve been purchasing the show on Amazon for a while, I won’t continue to. I’ll read about it online.

  • Penny

    Thank god. I’ve nothing against him, but I just couldn’t warm to his portrayal of the character. Also, I didn’t like Moffat’s cold approach to the series after RTD more fun vibe. Hopefully, they will get someone I’ll warm to quickly. Tom Hardy for 12th Doctor, make it happen BBC.

  • The End

    @for 12th Doctor, make it happen BBC.

    You’l find the BBC already have Matt Smiths replacement lined up already. As they’ve filmed the 50th Anniversary special already, they have the Christmas special left to go. Which is strange as both of these are not counted as being part of Season 8, which Matt Smith and the BBC prior to this announcement said he would be in.

    In the coming months, it would not surprise me if news breaks as to who the new Doctor is, via spoilers. He’l likely regenerate at the end of the Christmas special.

    I’m wondering what happened between his I’ll be in Season 8 comment and this announcement from the BBC. I guess we’l never know.

  • Captain Sunshine

    Give Paul McGann a prequel season! He’s still young enough and you could fit in a Clara cameo episode to tie it all together!

  • roly

    Bad career move,consult Tenant and Pipper.

  • The End

    @Clara cameo episode to tie it all together!

    Wouldn’t make any sense. Jenna Louise Coleman is signed on for Season 8, so presumably, when Matt Smiths doctor dies, she travels alongside the newly regenerated 12th Doctor almost immediately.

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