With Doctor Who celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, there has been tons of rumors and speculation about what’s going to happen, which former cast members will return, and what surprises lay in store for us. One thing that hasn’t seemed likely is a new regeneration into the Doctor’s twelfth incarnation, but in a new interview with series star Matt Smith, the actor seems to leave the door open for that possibility, while still insisting he has no “immediate plans to leave.”
Speaking to Bangshowbiz, Smith seems to hedge his bets on the subject of his eventual departure from the show. Of course, he’s fielded questions like this many times before, but his responses here do make it seem like he’s looking a further down the road and seriously considering finding a time to bow out. Here’s what he said:
We’ve got Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary coming up in November 2013, and one assumes there’ll be another Christmas special after that, and I’d hope to be part of it. I take each year as it comes. All good things come to an end, but my mum is aghast at the thought of me ever not being the Doctor. The show is the star and will continue without me.
I’m committed to it next year and will sit down with Steven Moffat and see where we go from there. I’ve no immediate plans to leave. I’m around for a whole year and that’s a long time.
Maybe someone could play the Doctor for seven years like Tom Baker, but… it’s 10 months a year.
Sure, that’s a lot of vagaries and hemming and hawing, but it does sound like Smith is at least considering an exit strategy not too terribly far in the future. And honestly, I can’t really blame him. I’m sure the role of the Doctor is an amazing one to play, but it does completely overwhelm most aspects of your life in a way other, less iconic, roles might. If he left after the eighth season in 2013/2014, he’ll have been on the show for four years, a year longer than Tennant’s run. That’s a good run by anybody’s reckoning, and if Smith does decide to bow out in the next year or two, the Smith haters can do a dance of joy and we can all start trying to guess who will play the Twelfth Doctor.