The news that many Doctor Who fans have dreaded and even more will welcome with open arms wasn’t announced today, and neither was Matt Smith’s departure from the series. But apparently it will be shortly after midnight – or possibly earlier, depending upon where you live (the news has already gone to press and should appear on the front of tomorrow’s Sunday Times, available in the capital later this evening).
Yup, it turns out that Steven Moffat is still in charge of the show (at least for now), but that his Doctor will no longer be Matt Smith.
Rumours that Smith would shortly be off began circulating soon after he arrived in America to shoot the film How to Catch a Monster, particularly when photos began to escape the set, showing Smith with a shaved head of no hair. How could he possibly grow that back in time to resume filming on Doctor Who in the autumn, people asked. And the truth is, even though it has been averred that Smith would be in the Christmas special, that might have been Smith playing fast and loose with the truth.
It’s certainly possible that Smith’s final appearance could be at Christmas, but with the temptation to make the festive episode the next incarnation’s debut – and thus be able to use the title Twelfth Night – and the fact that anything after the anniversary episode is going to look like an anti-climax for Smith, it seems more likely his Doctor Who days are over already.
Shame, Matt Smith has been an extraordinary eleventh Doctor. But his four years in the role have equalled those of any since Tom Baker, and undoubtedly it’s time to move on.
To read the BBC's official announcement, go HERE.
DOCTOR WHO will return to screens on November 23rd with a 50th Anniversary Special.
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