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Published on August 23rd, 2011 | by Meredith Burdett

Matt Knows When He’s Going

Prepare yourselves, Matt Smith has hinted – that’s HINTED – that he has planned his exit from Doctor Who.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Smith suggested that he knew what age he would be when he left the show but stopped himself before he revealed said age.

This may well be something that he has decided for himself and not something that he has officially put in writing yet but it does look as if he has plans to move on.

“When I finish, I’ll be… well, I don’t know how old I’ll be, but by the end of next year I’ll be 29 so…”

“When I’m 40, I won’t be playing the same parts. If people are going to employ me on the basis that I once played The Doctor, that’s up to them. If the part’s right, the money’s good, why not?”

Of course, this is no bad thing. Matt is a revelation as the Eleventh Doctor but this era of Doctor Who is at such a fast pace, we’re lucky to have an incarnation of any Doctor for more than two years.

There may be a lot of speculation that comes from this over the next few months but don’t forget that Matt is going to be in the role of the Doctor until at least 2013, so sit back and enjoy the ride rather than worrying about what’s coming next!


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About the Author


What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!

23 Responses to Matt Knows When He’s Going

  1. avatar James says:

    Don’t bother with the actual quote will you ? :P

    • Yeh, that somehow vanished when I clicked publish the first time. Fixed now :)

      • avatar James says:

        Cheers ;)

  2. avatar Ian O'Brien says:

    Exactly my thoughts, hes around for two more years, possibly three if he bows out in 2014. Would they change the Doctor in the anniversary year? Can’t see it myself.

  3. avatar Alex says:

    @Ian Actually, the anniversary’s a perfect time to do a regeneration, because it symbolizes that the show continues. Indeed, in the (hopefully unlikely) event of the series ever being cancelled in the next few years, I’d hope enough notice would be given to Moffat or whoever is in charge on that dark day so that the very last scene of the very last episode was a regeneration.

    What’s weird is Matt says he’ll be 29 at the end of next year, but according to Wikipedia and IMDb he turns 30 at he end of October 2012. Maybe he’s tweaking his age? If so, then under said revision he’ll turn 30 a month before the 50th anniversary, well after any production on the anniversary season wraps. It adds up to a possible change for the anniversary year, which wouldn’t be a bad thing because, doing the math, that could give us 2 more seasons with him, the 2012-13 season and then whatever they end up doing in the fall of 2013.

    Of course he also mentions “40″ in there, too. ;)

  4. avatar Rick Lundeen says:

    I think there’s a solid 3 to 4 year rule with the role these days. Has been for some time. He’s only halfway through his second season and it looks like they’ll only have a third season for him before the anniversary now. I see a few very *special* specials after series 7, leading up to the big anniversary, the anniversary itself which, I would think would have a wedding and then maybe a regeneration afterward. If not for the stretching out of the next year, I would have said he’d get four series in but not now.

    • avatar ChrisL says:

      Upon what do you base the assumption that there’s a “solid three to four year rule”?
      There’s absolutely no evidence that Matt won’t still be playing The Doctor in ten year’s time or, come to that, that he won’t bow out next year for fear of being typecast (or any other “luvvie” excuse actors use to justify leaving a role).

      Since the rebirth of Dr Who we’ve had Ecclestone doing one series, Tennant staying for three series’ plus specials, and Smith who has completed two showing no appetite to depart just yet.

      I don’t understand your assertion that there is somehow an imposed restriction on how long any actor will remain in the role.

      • avatar Rick Lundeen says:

        You took my comment far, far too literally. Historically, actors are reluctant to stay with any one role for too long because of type-casting and Doctor Who is excellent evidence of this. Hartnell didn’t last long after his third season for health reasons. Troughton thought 3 years was sufficient and Davison asked Troughton for advice on the matter years later and also came to the same conclusion. Tom Baker became such a fixture in the role that he found it very difficult to find work after his seven year stint. McCoy has stated that had the show continued, his fourth season would probably have been his last and Tennant stayed for 3 seasons/ four years. Pertwee was the only one that stayed a bit longer and *didn’t* seem to be hurt by it professionally. The association with the role is the thing and unfortunately, since the Beeb is stretching out the schedule, Smith will be with the show for four years by the time his third series is done. If you want to think that him staying ten years is a possibility, great. I think he’ll leave around 2013, just my opinion. And no, there is no “imposed restriction”. Just observing history and using common sense. I’ll have to really watch my wording so I don’t get taken to task! Mea culpa.

      • avatar Wayne C. says:

        I’ll tell you what. If Smith beats out Tom Baker’s 7 year run as Who, I’ll bend over and kiss your butt. 10′s reigh as the Doctor was 3 years and he was probably the most popular of the newer era. I don’t think Smith has the popularity or acting ability that Tennant had. That and add to the fact that we need a 12th incarnation of the Doctor before the show were to start all over again. (If the Doctor does end up going down the dark path and being the Valeyard.) So I don’t see Smith sticking around past his current contract as much as all the little fangurlz want him too.

  5. avatar Rick Lundeen says:

    another factor which no one seems to even think about is that the very possible reason for the reduced/stretched out series 7 next year is *probably* because of the resources and timing that will be put into the Olympics. I just don’t think they want to put a spotlight on that.

    • A good point, Rick, one that we mentioned on the podKast several months ago ;)

      I think it is highly likely that a big chunk of resources atthe BBC will be diverted and stretched in a host of ways, which might explain why production on the series has been shunted along a few months, rather than taking a full year out.

  6. avatar John Harley says:

    Of course sport must come first! It takes over every programme on the schedule (except East’bloody’enders)even though we have special sports channels for the enlightened,those of us that have brain cells are still forced to forego our shows for football and such!

    • avatar ChrisL says:

      There are plenty of us who “have brain cells” who also enjoy sport!

      Indeed, there are many people for whom physical and cerebral hobbies are not mutually exclusive. Learning to embrace a wide variety of pursuits is a much more healthy approach to life than the elitist one you exhibit when you label all sports followers as unintelligent.

      My life has been filled with astronomy, football, archaeology, rugby, cosmology, athletics, science fiction etc. for many, many years, thank you very much, and there has never been any problem thoroughly enjoying every one.

    • avatar Dalek Space Marine says:

      Yup, sport always comes first, its the bully of the Schedules and can push anything out of the way. There are so few Sci Fi shows on terrestrial TV, but more than enough Sport, Cops ‘n’ Docs and cookery programmes, but if something is to be cut from the schedule it wont be Ainsley Harriet showing us all how to boil an egg!!!!!!!

  7. avatar TonyS says:

    “When I finish, I’ll be… well, I don’t know how old I’ll be”. In what universe is this even a HINT that he knows when he’s going? Is it a slow news week or something? I did hear rumours of a programme called “Dr Who” starting again on Saturday… This is speculation at it’s idlest!

    • TonyS, are you criticizing the quoting the star of Doctor Who in an interview with the BBC’s own listings magazine?

      Incidentaly, as you’re clearly riding on a wave of pedantry, the show has never been called “Dr Who”. He’s called the Doctor, not the Dr.

      • avatar TonyS says:

        I am criticising the headline which states that Matt Smith hints that he knows when he is going. A comment not supported by the quote from the interview. If you regard that as pedantry, that is your prerogative. I assumed that “Dr” was a universally reconised abbreviation for “Doctor”. mea culpa!

        • avatar Jessica says:

          The abbreviation “Dr. Who” became popular in the 70s I believe, especially in America, but it’s generally frowned upon in the fandom because it uses the association with the medical profession, while anyone who watches the show knows that he isn’t *really* a medical doctor – and so how can he be “Dr. Who”? Rather, he’s “Doctor Who”. You have to be careful, because people will assume that if you use “Dr. Who” you don’t know what you’re talking about ;

          (I usually assume the person just isn’t aware of the “Doctor not Dr.” rule, but it always makes me cringe anyway ;))

        • avatar Jessica says:

          Oh, and you make a good point – he does say that he “doesn’t know”. However I think the writer of this article took it to be a coy avoidance of revealing when he plans to leave the role. Like when someone is asked a question and doesn’t want to reveal the answer, they’ll say, “Oh, I don’t know…” when really they do KNOW, they just don’t want to say.

  8. avatar TonyS says:

    And yes, I mistyped “recognised”. Mea maxima culpa.

  9. avatar Anthony says:

    Here’s a theory for you……it’ll be halfway through series 7, at the end of 2012. Matt will bow out half way through series 7, in tune with the Moff’s predilection for mixing up the timing of things (companions leaving, the mid-season climax, etc). We will have Dr 12 from the 2nd half of series 7 (2013) onwards.

  10. avatar Dalek Space Marine says:

    Mr Ecclestone only lasted one season, so getting more than one per actor is a bonus. I’m finally starting to like Matt Smith and he ups and leaves!

  11. avatar Daniela says:

    Matt is ok. But don’t you think the show really needs Russel T. Davies to come back?

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