Smith, who joined the series in 2010 as the 11th Doctor (and third since “Doctor Who” relaunched in 2005), will star in the show’s 50th anniversary episode on Nov. 23. The character will regenerate in the annual Christmas special.
“‘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,” Smith says in a statement. “I’m incredibly grateful to all the cast and crew who work tirelessly every day, to realize 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. …
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. Thanks you guys.”
Executive producer Steven Moffat returns the praise to Smith. “The Doctor can be clown and hero, often at the same time, and Matt rose to both challenges magnificently. And even better than that, given the pressures of this extraordinary show, he is one of the nicest and hardest-working people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Whatever we threw at him — sometimes literally — his behavior was always worthy of the Doctor.
“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.”
What do you think of Smith’s tenure as the Doctor? Who would you like to see replace him?