Showrunner Steven Moffat confirmed in Doctor Who Magazine 418 that Matt Smith was not the actor they were looking for when casting the Eleventh Doctor.
With a character for the new Doctor outlined in his head and the early scripts, Moffat was genuinely looking for an older face to replace David Tennant.
“He so didn’t fit my imaginary profile of where we were going, ‘cos I did think we were probably going older,” he told Doctor Who Magazine.
“I thought it’s mid-30s to mid-40s. I still maintain that’s where most of your Doctors will be, in that age group – young enough to run, but old enough to look like they can be King of the Universe.”
In the event, Smith turned up for the audition on the first day, was the third actor seen – and left Moffat and fellow Executive Producer Piers Wenger with a huge headache. They had their man, and still had to sit through dozens of other hopefuls!
We’ll never know for sure who the other candidates were – but in The Grand Moff We Trust…