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Who Will Play the Doctor: The Eleventh Doctor is... Matt Smith?

Just who will play the Eleventh Doctor?

Ending months of rumors and insane amounts of anticipation (from yours truly, who did lose sleep over this last night), BBC has finally announced which actor will assume the mantle of the Doctor, replacing outbound series lead David Tennant in Doctor Who.

And the answer is... Matt Smith?

The out-of-left-field casting announcement has left many wondering just who has replaced David Tennant. 26-year-old Matt Smith is best known for his work in BBC Two's Party Animals, ITV's Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and in the BBC One telepics Ruby in the Smoke and Shadow in the North, where he starred opposite former Doctor Who star Billie Piper.

The announcement was made live today on BBC One during a special edition of Doctor Who Confidential, during which the identity of the Eleventh Doctor was finally revealed. Shooting on the fifth season of Doctor Who, to air in 2010, is slated to begin this summer.

"I'm just so excited about the journey that is in front of me," said Smith. "It's a wonderful privilege and challenge that I hope I will thrive on. I feel proud and honoured to have been given this opportunity to join a team of people that has worked so tirelessly to make the show so thrilling. David Tennant has made the role his own, brilliantly, with grace, talent and persistent dedication. I hope to learn from the standards set by him. The challenge for me is to do justice to the show's illustrious past, my predecessors, and most importantly, to those who watch it. I really cannot wait."

"The Doctor is a very special part, and it takes a very special actor to play him," said inbound head writer/executive producer Steven Moffat. "You need to be old and young at the same time, a boffin and an action hero, a cheeky schoolboy and the wise old man of the universe. As soon as Matt walked through the door, and blew us away with a bold and brand new take on the Time Lord, we knew we had our man. 2010 is a long time away but rest assured the 11th Doctor is coming – and the universe has never been so safe."

Let's take a look at what Smith himself said earlier today on Doctor Who Confidential:

Shortly after news broke that 37-year-old David Tennant would no longer pilot the TARDIS after 2009, I made my own list of which actors (and one actress) I'd like to see take over as the Eleventh Doctor.

For a while, I suspected that Blackpool's David Morrissey would take over as the Doctor. After all, he and Tennant starred in last month's Doctor Who Christmas Special entitled "The Next Doctor" and Morrissey's character was also man known as The Doctor, but after viewing the steampunk-driven special last week, I knew it was... an impossibility. (As for why Morrissey's character couldn't be the Doctor, you'll have to wait until Sci Fi airs the special later this year.)

I have to say that I'm extremely surprised by the choice of Smith, who is a mere 26 years old, but also think that it's perhaps a blessing to cast a relative unknown in the iconic role of the Doctor. Smith can take over from Tennant without the preconceived notions that would have come along with top contenders Chiwetel Ejiofor and others.

But, rest assured, David Tennant isn't going anywhere just yet. Tennant will star in four Doctor Who specials during 2009, after which both he and current head writer/executive producer Russell T. Davies will depart the series.

Season Five of Doctor Who, starring Matt Smith, is slated to air in 2010 under the watchful eyes of new executive producers Steven Moffat and Piers Wenger.

What do you all think of the news? Will Smith make an admirable Eleventh Doctor? Will you miss David Tennant? Talk back here!


Anonymous said…
Two things, first off, I am a bit stunned by the announcement, secondly, I hate that I owe you a penny. Darn it!!

jen said…
I'm surprised that they chose someone so young. But I like Matt Smith from the Ruby in the Smoke/Shadow in the North movies with Billie Piper.
Anonymous said…
Of course David Tennant is irreplaceable, but I'm looking forward to seeing Matt Smith's Doctor.
Anonymous said…
I agree that having a relatively unknown actor as the next Doctor is a smart move as we won't have any preconceived notions as to what he can and will do with the role.

I am already missing the brilliant Tennant but am now also excited to see what Mr. Smith can bring to this fantastic series.
Anonymous said…
Mazza said…
I think he could be good. I haven't seen him in any of those things so I am coming to this fresh but I think he's different looking and it's probably a good thing to cast a younger Doctor too. Will miss DT but I am looking forward to Smith.
Anonymous said…
Is it wrong that I thought you said JOHN Smith was playing the Doctor? Cause that would have been fricking awesome. Peter Davison was a pretty young Doctor too and I loved him in the role. I think Smith could be good.
The CineManiac said…
I'll admit when I saw it was someone a year younger than me I was a bit concerned. But after watching the interview with him from Confidential (on BBC's YouTube page) I'm actually quite intrigued.
I'll miss DT a lot, but I can't wait to see where Smith will take the role.

Also the Christmas special was A blast, I really enjoyed watching it.
Anonymous said…
I dunno, I worry that they're trying to skew younger for a younger audience.

Of course, I don't know if BBC programmers are as big a nitwit as US ones and worry about that kind of thing or not.

I'll certain reserve judgment until I see him, but I really just don't know if this is the right move when they could have gone in so many other directions.
Anonymous said…
"when they could have gone in so many other directions"

That's the problem, isn't it? There's so many fans from all over the world, with so many age groups, knowing their "OWN" Doctor - I'd be terrified of choosing the next Doctor were up to me! You can't keep all of the people happy all of the time ....

I don't know him or the shows they quote, but he came across well in the 'Confodential' interview. If I were his Grandad, I'd be over the moon.

Roll on, new Doctor, show me your stuff ....

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