Somewhere, the Daleks are waving their telescopic appendages in celebration that another Doctor has been exterminated. But there is no joy among fans of “Doctor Who,” the long-running British science-fiction adventure series, whose lead actor, Matt Smith, will depart at the end of the year, the BBC has confirmed.
The titular Doctor is an extra-terrestrial Time Lord who can regenerate into new bodies. Smith is the 11th actor to play the character since the series began in 1963, and the third since the series was revived in 2005.
Smith first stepped into the Tardis in 2010, when he succeeded David Tennant, and will appear together with Mr. Tennant in a 50th anniversary “Doctor Who” special in November prior to his final appearance in a Christmas special in December.
He is actually the youngest person to play the Time Lord. He was also the first actor to be nominated for a Bafta in the role.
The former Time Lord issued a statement which read: “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 realise 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 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.
“It’s been an honour 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.”
As of now there reportedly is not anyone lined up to become the 12th incarnation of the Doctor. There have been rumors though that this time around Doctor Who could be played by a woman, or a black actor.
A host of names have been suggested in Sunday’s papers, among them Idris Elba, Dame Helen Mirren and John Hurt.
It has been suggested that the role may go to a black actor for the first time, with Homeland’s David Harewood and former rapper Ashley Walters among those mentioned alongside Elba.
There have also been calls for the role to go to a woman, with Twenty Twelve and Broadchurch star Olivia Colman and Fiona O’Shaughnessy from Channel 4 drama Utopia among the candidates cited, reports the BBC.
“Somewhere out there… is someone who’s about to become the Doctor,” said executive producer Steven Moffat.
“Doctor Who” is one of the BBC’s most popular programs, and Smith’s tenure has seen the show gain new fans in the United States, where it is shown on BBC America.