Speculation has been rife for months that, having portrayed the Doctor for three full seasons and a handful of Christmas specials, Matt Smith would be bowing out from Doctor Who some time this year. However, in an interview due to be published in The Sun newspaper tomorrow (18th May) to publicise the season seven finale episode ‘The Name of the Doctor’ Smith, who formally took over from tenth Doctor David Tennant on New Year’s Day 2010, allays fan fears by confirming that he’ll be around for 2014’s season eight. “I’m on a break for a couple of months while I’m in Detroit making How To Catch A Monster,” he tells The Sun. "We come back and shoot the Christmas Special over the summer, then we go on to the next series, which will either start filming at the end of this year or the starts of 2014.” Smith has already completed filming on the show’s fiftieth anniversary sixty-minute special alongside the returning David Tennant with the episode due to be broadcast on 23rd November.
Fan rumours that Smith’s replacement was being auditioned or has already been cast would therefore now appear to be entirely debunked. Whether Smith - who will be joined once again by Jenna-Louise Coleman as his travelling companion Clara Oswald - will remain for the entire eighth season will no doubt feed the fires of fandom across the next few months. Meanwhile Smith, who has undergone a radical head-shaving for his role in the Ryan Gosling-directed How To Catch A Monster, will be joined in the movie by fellow British actor Iain de Caestecker who recently appeared in the much-acclaimed BBC3 drama The Fades, BBC1’s The Secret of Crickley Hall and has nabbed a prime role as Leo Fitz in the hotly-anticipated Joss Whedon superhero TV spin-off Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which will debut later this year.
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