TV: Matt Smith is actually leaving ‘Doctor Who’

By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohiou.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
Doctor Who will return on BBC One and BBC America on November 23 for the 50th anniversary special

Doctor-Who-2010-Matt-Smith-image

It has been exactly one week since the world learned that Matt Smith was leaving Doctor Who. And I’m still just as upset now as I was the moment I heard the news. To be honest, I was hoping it was the BBC’s attempt to “punk” the world.

It wasn’t. This is actually happening.

The BBC science fiction program follows a time-traveling humanoid alien, the Doctor, who travels through time and space in his TARDIS, a spaceship disguised as a police public call box. He has a variety of companions, who travel with him and help him fight the forces of evil that attempt to disrupt the galaxies and especially Earth.

And it is one of the best shows I have ever seen.  I am a Whovian — the nickname for fans of the show. I am obsessed.

Naturally, an obsession for the shows comes from an obsession for the characters, which comes from my love for the people who play them, and Matt Smith is at the top of my list of favorites.

The Doctor is a Time Lord and has the ability to regenerate, or take a new physical form to cheat death. Smith plays the 11th reincarnation of the Doctor — joining the show in 2010 — and is absolutely fantastic in the role. Able to go from child-like and lighthearted to dark and serious in seconds, Smith’s Doctor is certainly a highlight from the show’s 2005 relaunch.

And lead writer and executive producer of the show, Steven Moffat, agrees.

“Every day, on every episode… 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,” he said in a statement to the BBC. “The Doctor can be a clown and hero… and Matt rose to both challenges magnificently.”

Thus comes my lament at his departure. I absolutely loved David Tennant as the 10th Doctor and was hesitant to continue once Tennant left. That hesitance vanished once I saw Smith perform. As his predecessors before him, Smith seemed as if he were made for the role.

In a statement made to the BBC, Smith expressed his love for the show and its fans.

“The fans of Doctor Who around the world are unlike any other,” he said. “They dress up, shout louder, know more about the history of the show (and speculate more about the future of the show) in a way that I’ve never seen before; your dedication is truly remarkable. Thank you so very much for supporting my incarnation of the Time Lord, number Eleven… It’s been an honor to play this part, to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the TARDIS for a spell with ‘the ginger, the nose and the impossible one.’ But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls. Thank you guys.”

Serving as his newest companion for season seven, Clara Oswald, Jenna-Louise Coleman expressed her adoration for Smith.

“I could not have imagined coming into the show without Matt as my Doctor, holding my hand, really, quite literally,” she said in a statement to the BBC. “I totally lucked-out in having a creative, generous, clever and lovely fella to work alongside day after day.”

Ryan Gosling directs Matt Smith in shirtless scenes for 'How To Catch A Monster' in DetroitWhile I cannot express my sorrows enough — though binge-watching his seasons over and over again may help — I look forward to what Smith will do in his future as an actor. Smith is currently working on How to Catch a Monster, Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut.

Smith will return in the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special on November 23. His last appearance as the Doctor will be in the annual Christmas special when his Doctor will regenerate into its 12th form.

“Now the search beings,” Moffat said in a statement to the BBC. “Somewhere out there right now — all unknowing, just going about their business — is someone who’s about to become the Doctor.”

Also in the statement, I think Moffat says exactly what every Doctor Who fan wishes they could say to Smith:

“Thank you Matt — bow ties were never cooler.”

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