Matt Smith Stepping Down from Doctor Who

2 06 2013
matt-smith-doctor-who-bow-tie

Matt Smith in costume as the 11th incarnation of the Doctor. Copyright BBC Worldwide.

It was announced yesterday that Matt Smith will be stepping down from Doctor Who in December.

The 11th incarnation of the famous time traveling alien will appear in the much anticipated 50th Anniversary Special, which will air on Nov. 23, 2013, and then regenerate in the 2013 Christmas Special into an as-of-yet-unnamed 12th incarnation.

Smith, 30, joined the show in 2010, taking over the reigns from David Tennant who portayed the much loved 10th incarnation of the Doctor. I was, at first, unsure of whether Smith was the right fit for the role or not, having been a huge Tennant fan; however, Smith grew on me, like I think he did for many other fans of the show, and I will be sad to see him depart the role.

On his departure, Smith said, “”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…It’s been an honour 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. Matt.”

It is always a bittersweet moment at the announcement that one actor will step down and a new will arise as the Doctor. Speculation as to whom will take over the role has already lit up the interwebs with much emphasis on the possibility of an African-American or female actor/actress being a potential replacement.

I am by no means a sexist, but I will be honest that the idea of a female Doctor doesn’t seem right to me. Yes, Time Lords regenerate into different appearances and personalities, but this late the game, a gender switch seems like it would not be good for the story. The ethnicity change I could see as being an interesting twist, however, given that all 11 incarnations of the Doctor to date have been Caucasian males.

But, whatever the future holds for The Doctor, I’ll be tuning in and trust that the showrunners will make a good decision on whomever they decide to go with, male or female. With a heavy heart I will prepare to bid the 11th farewell, but with open arms look forward to welcoming the 12th with my viewership!

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3 responses

7 06 2013
Flo me la

Like you say yourself – “all 11 incarnations of the Doctor to date have been Caucasian males”. So exactly how exciting would another male be? *sigh*
And why can’t the doctor be a woman?

9 06 2013
notesonafilm

I definitely think the Doctor could be a woman, and it could be fantastic! My uneasiness in the decision in how it relates to the lore of Doctor Who is that it has only recently been alluded to that a Time Lord could regenerate to another gender, and only briefly in passing. Looking back over the show, all Time Lords seemed to keep their genders so far: The Master, River Song, The Doctor, Ramona, etc. And, I think gender is an important part of anyone’s identity in a lot of ways, especially to characters so engrained into the public psyche.

However, the window has been opened, and though I am a little apprehensive in foresight, I fully trust Moffat and team to make a decision for the best actor and the best direction of the show. It wouldn’t turn me off, and I think it could work, but I do have some reasoning in the back of my mind that makes me a little leery of how it would play out.

9 06 2013
Flo me la

Well, gender is an important part of identity, but a) gender doesn’t have to correlate with a person’s sex b) The Doctor has always had a changing identity. Some traits are essential to the doctor, but none of those are connected to his gender.

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