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Published on June 4th, 2011 | by Christian Cawley

The End for Matt Smith?

Over the past few weeks we have seen that the futures of Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill have been left open to question following the end of shooting on Doctor Who Series 6 with both talking about looking for other roles. But so far, nothing has come from Matt Smith  – until now.

A review in today’s Mirror reveals that Matt is actively courting Hollywood, and with no confirmation yet concerning a seventh series of Doctor Who and no news regarding the beginning of filming (which would normally be expected to begin around now) we’re left asking:

Just what is going on, BBC?

First up, we hear that Matt is travelling to LA for meetings…

“I’m going over to Los Angeles this week to dip my head in the pond,” Matt reveals. “I am going to be having loads of meetings with film people and that sort of stuff.

“I have a lot of ambitions. I would like one day to direct and I just want to keep doing quality work. LA is kinda groovy – I really like it out there.”

Now we all know that many try and fail to make it in the USA, but to be in position to try, surely you have to be prepared to leave everything behind back in the UK…?

“I take each day as it comes,” says Matt wisely. “You can only try your best and see what rubs off.

“Would I get a big part, who knows? Sadly, that is not up to me.

“That all depends on people in the American film industry and whether they want to put me there.

“But I certainly won’t complain if that happens.”

Clearly, Matt isn’t saying “I’m done with Doctor Who” but at the same time let’s be honest. Arthur and Karen seem to be moving on and Matt’s flying to the USA for meetings about movies, which indicates that either he’s left the show, or the next series has been cancelled or postponed…


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

12 Responses to The End for Matt Smith?

  1. avatar reversedthepolarity says:

    This article is a pile of rubbish, I’m sorry but Matt Smith said in the one show that if he isn’t coming back next year, then it would be the producer’s decision, not his, as he wants to stay, and I doubt Moffat will let go of him so soon, besides Matt Smith has been told about the Christmas special by Steven Moffat, and filming should start next month, not this month as the article states, but even then judging by the new split they might even start filming later than usual as they can afford too. This shouldn’t be a problem, besides Series 7 was confirmed to be commissioned along with series 6 after series 5 aired, there really is nothing to worry about.

  2. avatar Sighman says:

    What it probably means is next year will be his last on Dr. Who. The lead time between initial interviews for roles and actual filming is years. According to news reports, Matt has a three year contract for dr. who with the options of year 4 and 5.

  3. avatar krumstets says:

    Maybe they are going to start filming the next series later in the year for transmission later next year with a view to moving it to an autumn/winter schedule-which would be much,much better.
    I can’t imagine them cancelling the series – especially as it’s still so popular and a huge money spinner for the bbc – and surely not before it’s just 2 years from it’s 5oth anniversary..

  4. avatar BJAMES says:

    Matt has also been on record as saying that for the forseeable future he is focused on Doctor Who, and not giving it up anytime soon. Maybe there will be a break, maybe not, but even thinking “cancellation” is more than a little premature. The BBC can be slow on the commissioning aspect, and it’s far to early to say. I’m sure we will know sooner rather than later about what comes next………..

  5. avatar Laz says:

    Doesn’t filming generally begin in August with the Christmas Special? And we already know there will be a Christmas Special, since they’ve already talked about it (or have they already filmed it and I didn’t notice?)

    Also, maybe they’ve finished filming later than usual, since half of the episodes won’t air till this autumn? On this I’m not sure, because I don’t remember when they usually end shooting.

    Finally, I’m sure you inclueded the word “cancelled” only for people who would look for that word on Google… 8-) We all know it won’t be cancelled any time soon. Another “light” year, on the other hand, would be possible, but I guess it’s much too soon for that. In the “worst” case I think they’re just moving the whole series to autumn/winter.

  6. avatar Hyncharas says:

    I think what most people forget it; by the time a season is halfway through/near the end of broadcast, they’re already thinking about pre-production for the next season and, in those four months or so, actors are ALLOWED to to film other things!

    It’s inconceivable to most fans that actors may want to star in a movie or something, when they’re not filming their favourite long-term shows.

  7. avatar nicksmale says:

    The BBC’s new Cardiff studios open (I think) in September. Maybe they’re waiting until then before they start filming?

  8. Lots of good responses, thanks for taking the time to read!

    I’d like to address a couple of things, however…

    @reversedthepolarity – the article isn’t rubbish. it quotes from an interview and makes fair suppositions. It might be wrong but wrong does not equate to rubbish. Plenty of Doctor Who sites report the news as it is, sanitised and without feeling or opinion. They might be more suited to your tastes.

    Also, Series 7 has not been publicly confirmed by the BBC. There’s a massive archive of articles right here on K and a BBC Press Office that prove it. WOrk and development does not mean that it has been commissioned, although of course we hope it is!

    @krumstets – I hope this is the case, and it is something that I planned to mention in the original article if I hadn’t been dragged away (hence my late replies!). A similar answer goes to @Laz concerning the use of the emotive word “cancelled” – more editing time (family stuff) would probably have excised this.

    @hyncharas – I think you’re right, to an extent, but lets be realistic. A theatre run can be done in just a few months. As we saw with DT and Rex, the time taken between audition and recording of a pilot can be ridiculously short. In terms of getting a movie role, then sure, the casting/pre-production to shooting process can take years. Either way, in order to take the time to travel to LA for such conversations, Matt Smith clearly knows what his options are and, crucially, WHEN.

    @nicksmale – this might tie in with @krumstets, goods point!

  9. avatar IanOTimelord says:

    reversedthepolarity well said. And how can anyone believe what the papers say??!

    And the next series cancelled? What utter poppy cock! And I am surprised that anyone here thinks that there will be no series 7. Did anyone read the interview with Steven Moffatt in Doctor Who magazine recently, he is even planning as far ahead as the 50th anniversary.
    Why would the BBC promote Doctor Who so much if they were going to scrap it, make a huge exhibition in London, let Character Options still make new series toys and so many other companies produce Doctor Who merchandise. Because there is a demand, this is not 1985!
    And here is something to thing on, Colin Baker has had a new 6th Doctor coat made by the BBC…I wonder why?

  10. avatar 23skidoo says:

    I had a feeling there would be overreaction to the statements made in the interview. The fact is there’s no way Doctor Who is going to be cancelled, and if they plan another “gap year” we would know.

    The thing to bear in the mind is the schedule of this show has now changed. I read somewhere that the split season format is going to be kept. That may or may not happen. But what is happening is in 2012 production moves to the new facility in Cardiff (again, such statements would not be made if the show were ending). It’s possible a new schedule is being introduced that may see either half a season shot in the fall and the second half in the spring, or they’re moving to a fall broadcast for all 13 episodes in which case there’s no need to start filming until later this year.

    Also, as is also the case with Karen signing to do the Shrimpton movie, unless they sign up for something like Lord of the Rings that takes them to New Zealand for a year, most movies are shot in only a few weeks. Count how many films David Tennant has fit in since filming his last scenes as the Doctor – quite a lot.

    Companions always have a short shelf life, so if Karen and Arthur leave this year, it won’t be a surprise. (My nominees to replace them appear in A Good Man Goes to War) But if Matt Smith was exiting, there’s no way they’d be keeping that a secret. We knew about Tennant leaving 18 months before the event. And I personally think it would be damaging to the show at a point when serious efforts are being made to establish it in America.

  11. avatar newtondkc says:

    I think speculating / worrying about the future of our favorite show – especially given the seeming evidence that appears to be mounting – is perfectly natural for fans and I didn’t at all take it as an attempt at “fearmongering” but more as unhappy acceptance that such a fate is quite possible and there for all to see who read the “facts” between the lines. Scary indeed, but not unique as other corners of fandom regularly cite evidence the end is nigh, from ratings being down since the RTD era to any number of other reasons but hopefully the BBC and/or The Moff and crew will address this worry before it goes viral.

    I think we also have to remember that this whole Who experience is still quite new for Matt, Karen and Arthur. They all started at the same time and all reports indicate they are good chums, so if Amy and Rory are leaving the Doc as regular companions, it would certainly be quite a downer for all three of them, going from Stars getting constant media attention to unemployment (actually they both have jobs already lined up, but not as stable as Who – acting always being a very uncertain future!). So if they are indeed leaving, no doubt at all that Matt Smith would be quite upset and feeling the uncertainty of what the future holds for himself, thus pushing to ensure he’s securing as many open doors as possible, and undoubtedly a bit glum/uneasy/sad for Karen and Arthur which would color his interviews no matter how skilled an actor, and this may very well be something that the fans have picked up on. I do think Amy and Rory will make guest appearances after they finally do leave as regular companions – we’ve seen this already in fact, from the distant wave in the Silurian 2 Parter to knowing the Doctor sends visit invitations in The Impossible Astronaut and comes to see them even though it’s much later in his own personal time line and well after they have departed as members of the TARDIS Crew. Assuming these events aren’t aborted Time Lines or a fake Doctor or some such, then we know Amy and Rory will be making visits throughout the 11th Doctors life at the very least! :-)
    PS I’d also venture a prediction they’ll be back for the 50th anniversary as well! :-)

  12. avatar Rick says:

    The sky is falling! Not.

    First, it takes forever to get into a deal to do something in LA. Could be a couple years before Matt’s hooked up in a new project. It’s smart of him to start now, though. He’s just getting his name out there.

    Second, if he lands a movie, he can shoot it during the breaks in the who schedule, that’s what the stars here do. Time and schedule is not a problem.

    Third, there’s a delay in the Beeb announcing series 7. Does it seem likely that the BBC will cut off it’s own leg for no good reason? At the very least, Matt will stay for a third year and I’m guessing he’ll stay for a fourth, the big anniversary year. After that, if they do another year of specials, he’ll have plenty of time do do other things or he’ll already be gone.

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