Matt Smith Leaving Doctor Who at Year's End -- Who Should Helm the TARDIS Next?

Doctor Who Renewed Season 8The Doctor is soon to be out.

Matt Smith and BBC America announced on Saturday that Doctor Who will be in need of a new Time Lord, once this year’s Christmas special wraps.

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Smith — who first portrayed the Doctor in 2010 and will wrap up his run in both the series’ 50th anniversary program (airing November 23) and annual holiday special — shared this statement on BBC America’s website:

Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show. I’m incredibly grateful to all the cast and crew who work tirelessly every day, to realise all the elements of the show and deliver Doctor Who to the audience. Many of them have become good friends and I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the last four years.

Having Steven Moffat as show runner write such varied, funny, mind bending and brilliant scripts has been one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges of my career. It’s been a privilege and a treat to work with Steven, he’s a good friend and will continue to shape a brilliant world for the Doctor.”

For more of his farewell note, visit

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Moffat in turn issued a statement, saying in part:

“Every day, on every episode, in every set of rushes, Matt Smith surprised me: the way he’d turn a line, or spin on his heels, or make something funny, or out of nowhere make me cry, I just never knew what was coming next. … But great actors always know when it’s time for the curtain call, so this Christmas prepare for your hearts to break, as we say goodbye to number Eleven. Thank you Matt – bow ties were never cooler.

Where does Smith’s take on the Time Lord rank for you amongst all the portrayals? And does anyone have any casting suggestions for the next Doctor?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. RIckOnce says:

    Perhaps John Hurt’ll be the newt doctor of a full series and his evolution to bad guy.

  2. I think Daniel Radcliffe would make an epic Dr.

  3. RobMF says:

    I was thinking Andrew Lincoln might not be a bad choice, ya know except for he has that other project he’s working on.

    Can we just agree that whoever it is as long as we like them actually stays for like 10 years? lol.

  4. Azrielen says:

    If you MUST suggest an American, how about Alan Tudyk? I mean he DID just lose his job and all. XD

  5. Patricianuk says:

    I think Matthew Lewis who played Neville in the Harry Potters would be great – he has experience but is not too well known – he needs to become ‘The Doctor’ – a true original & if you pick someone known as Sherlock or something, it gets in the way. The only really well known one was William Hartnell – the first doctor – but the BBC would not do it then without a ‘name’! & yes I did watch the first one on it’s original transmission & have been a fan ever since! Oh & I would not watch it with a female Doctor – even if they asked me to play it! It would not work – a female Doctor would have to be played ‘serious, practical, sensible & wise’ – eccentricity would not be allowed cos female eccentricity is always seen as fluffy stupidity – & above all the Doctor MUST be eccentric – make him practical & wise & he becomes boring!

  6. Roy says:

    Dr who is designed for replacement… it’s like sports coaching/ you’re hired to be fired… Grint might be fun but maybe he’s a little too young- a world of opportunities to be explored…
    So why not an absent-minded John Hurt proto-doctor for a season or two… then technically they would be starting at #1 again, anyway…

  7. Alanjh says:

    Eddie Redmayne ticks all boxes for me. He even looks like the doctor in Les Mis!

  8. Frankie707 says:

    I think the new Doctor should maybe be someone known to British audiences, but not so much to American audiences. So not a complete unknown, but not someone so well known we’re already aware of him here. I’d like it to be someone a little older this time. Not make it seem like each regeneration he gets younger and younger, which is almost what it seems like right now, especially with the current batch of series.

    • Ben33 says:

      Yeah – the Doctor’s a thousand years old. He should at least LOOK like he could shave if he wanted to. Can’t help but roll my eyes at all the Harry Potter suggestions. Please God Moffat isn’t suddenly possessed by the spirit of a randy tween when it’s time for casting…

      We’ve had a few years of manic, and Smith has been my second favourite Doctor. But would it kill to have a little gravitas in the eccentricity, now? You just don’t get that when the actor’s still baking.

  9. Jess says:

    Jaime Murray…

  10. Gail says:

    Isn’t ti me to shake thinks up and finally have a woman play the Doctor ?

  11. Jason says:

    Robert Carlyle is my pick.

  12. Jason says:

    Robert Carlyle would be my pick.

  13. Leigh says:

    I’d love for Jenna-Louise Coleman to somehow become the next Doctor. She’s brilliant at the rapid-fire dialogue and saucy attitude.

  14. Chris says:

    Simon Pegg is my number one choice!

  15. Richard says:

    Hugh Jackman

  16. Maryanna says:

    The time has come — the next Doctor should be a woman!

  17. Richard says:

    Eve Myles, Catherine Zeta Jones, Rhys Ifans, Cuba Gooding, Robin Williams, Dane Cook, Jamiee Oliver, Gordon Ramsey

  18. My preference is that once the 13th Doctor dies, they bring Jenny back and have her carry on with the series. If they can get the same actress back, great, then she’ll be in her first incarnation. If not, have her regenerate into a new actress and take it from there with her second incarnation. That’s 12 new lives for a new Doctor who (no pun there) is still connected to the first, original one.

    • mia says:

      oooo that would be really interesting! And she’d probably be up for doing it, she is married to Tennant (and he seems to have kept a positive relationship with the Who producers so)

  19. Aleana says:

    can the doctor be a girl I know the doctor always a guy but it be cool to have a girl in role

  20. Speedbird 9 says:

    If the newest Doctor must be a woman (though she might not go for it) I’d say “why not have Billie Piper?” If, however, you must dip into Harry Potter’s ‘verse, I like David Thewlis (Professor Lupin) for the role?

  21. Speedbird 9 says:

    Or now that I think about it more, Colin Salmon…

  22. liliana says:

    I will miss so much Matt as the Doctor, he is brilliant, loved all seasons with him, i am a big fan of all doctors, i hope producers can find a good replacement, i hope the actor who will be next doctor is unknown, why people have to want famous actors, like Benedict, i love him i have no doubts he would be good, but he already is Sherlock, almost are in Hollywood, like Tom Hiddleston, if he was not making movies, i would want him, but it’s better if he is unknown and i don’t want a female doing it, it will loose something, like James Bond never could be a woman, and i feel the same way about the doctor!

  23. Graham says:

    Matthew McNulty should be the New Dr Who

  24. anya says:

    Ryan Cartwright!! He’s a brilliant actor and relatively unknown, I think..

  25. jimbo says:

    James May, Martin Clunes, Rowan Atkinson, Mathew Macfadden, Alan Cumming. This time make him a bit tougher too. Not wimpy.

  26. Mark S says:

    They’ll pick the next Doctor the same way they pick the new companion, by auditioning them with Jenna Louise Coleman. The actor who has the best rapport/chemistry (depending on which way the production team are going) will be cast. It will almost certainly be a relative unknown, since most of the names mentioned here come with baggage (i,e film stars, leads or co-leads on other well-known tv shows etc, as well as a few who are too busy to be considered). When Matt was cast, his name didn’t crop up until a few days before the official announcement, so think low-profile.

  27. Susan says:

    Laurence Fox should be the next Doctor!

    • Lois says:

      Love Laurence Fox in Lewis. He does have an in with Doctor Who producers, as he’s married to Billie Piper.

  28. Wendy says:

    Adios, Matt. Can’t say I’ll miss you. Now if they’d get rid of Moffat too, I’d be overjoyed.

  29. Rachel says:

    I kind of wish everyone would stop shouting out the first british person who comes to mind. They’ll pick somebody, and especially after casting Tennant and Smith, I have absolute faith in whomever comes next!

  30. Allie says:

    Sean Pertwee

  31. craig says:

    Patrick Stewart

  32. I loved Matt Smith, I think he made a great Doctor. He definitely is my favorite and I will miss him. I hope they write in more regenerations some how. I would hate to see Doctor Who end.

  33. Meg says:

    I’ll miss eleven. Tennant was my fave, but Matt was the first Doctor I saw.

  34. Karen Stewart says:

    Andy Scott (Moriarty) would be scrumptious

  35. Sydney says:

    Hugh Laurie for sure.

  36. Jessica says:

    I had a feeling that this was coming despite so many saying he was sticking around.

  37. RIckOnce says:

    I heard that a Spooks’ actor’ll be tested. Perhaps the next doctor”ll be Rupert Penry Jones ; Richard Armitage or another.

  38. RIckOnce says:

    a question.
    what is the number of possible regeneration for a time lord?

    • Alan says:

      they can regenerate 12 times meaning a total of 13 incarnations, however the master has already broken this limit twice so it shouldnt be a problem to have the doctor break it either. easiest way to do it in my opinion would be to say when river gave up her regenerations to save his life he gain some new ones as a result.

  39. RIckOnce says:

    I want that the next doctor will be not the 12th doctor but valeyard for 1-2 seasons/series.
    a bad version of the doctor

  40. Lin Di Fresco says:

    What about it directors, you should have a multiple personality for Doctor Who..That way we can have Ginger, and at least five others …..I’ll put my hand an Aussie to boot with my own split personality…

  41. Gary says:

    The Victorian Doctor in the next Doctor. They should cast him.
    Perfectly eccentric, yet elegant and classy. It’s William Hartnell
    and Tom Baker all rolled in to one. A nice 50th anniversary nod
    to what went before.

  42. Linda Key says:

    It think that the next doctor should be Nicholas Rowe (Young Sherlock Holmes & Lock Stock and Two smoking Barrels) t doctor should be Nicholas Rowe (Young Sherlock Holmes and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) His fencing skills and his attitude with acting goes a very long way. I also believe that Rupert Grint or Benedict Cumberbatch would also be good choices, but a word of warning NO FEMALES and NO FRANKIE BOYLE! I feel that these choices would stop people from watching the show and that would be catastrophic! I’m going to miss Matt when he leaves and I wish him all the best! (I wish he was reading this…)

  43. Linda Key says:

    I would like it if Nicholas Rowe (“Young Sherlock Holmes” and “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”) would take the Helm of the TARDIS. His Fencing Skills and his looks mak him the perfect canidate for the part and he can really act. I also like the ideas of Benedict Cumberbatch and Rupert Grint to be the next Doctors…but please NO FEMALES and NO FRANKIE BOYLE!

    There is a reason why fans do not want a female doctor:

    1. The Doctor started out as a man and will ALWAYS be a man. The fansd would not accept the Doctor being woman and would stop watching the show and that would be catastrophic to the creators and writers of the series.

    2. The4th Doctor joked that the Doctor can turn into a woman if he wanted to
    3. There were two female Doctors but they did not prove popular with the fans
    4. The creators believed that a woman could never hold up to a man or accept the danger that the male Doctor would get into.

    5. A female who doesn’t want to do it any more may end up leaving the show in the middle of a series due the physical and stuns done within the show itself and there may ot be a stunt double for that particular female Doctor.

    6. “Doctor Who” is a famil show, NOT a stand up comedy routine! NO CURSING!

    So there are 6 reasons why the Doctor should not be a Doctor!

    • Hurding Katz says:

      I appreciate your passion, but your trolley may have come off the tracks: (“…[T]he Doctor should not be a Doctor!”)

      There was 1 full-time female Time Lord (Romana in 2 incarnations) for a while. If there’d already been 2 female Doctors, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

      More than 1 Doctor has mentioned the possibility of becoming female. One (at least) has checked to see how things turned out after a regeneration. (Something like, “Still human. Still a boy,” comes to mind.)

      BBC in the 1960s had a problem with female leads, period, but then, the decisions were made mostly by men born around the turn of the last century. Any actor accepting a role had better be savvy enough to check out its demands before taking it on. Why would a woman be more likely than a man to chuck it in mid-commitment because the work’s too hard? The past few female companions have gotten up to the same level of stunting as the lead. (At least they didn’t have to do them backward and in heels.)

      Doctor Who may have started in the 60s. It isn’t stuck there.

  44. JT says:

    I think Moffat had amazing ideas for plot lines, but had trouble implementing them. Matt Smith did amazing, but he has been too associated with the dark lonely side of the Doctor and his death, and also too associated with the fact that the Doctor will eventually die. While this is a good storyline it has been used so much that the only way to steer away from all this stuff would be to cast a new Doctor. Personally I like the idea of Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond from Lost.)

  45. Louise says:

    I loved Matt Smith as the doctor. Definitely up there in my personal top 5.