UK actor Matt Smith, currently appearing in Party Animals, has been announced by the BBC as the next Doctor Who.
Smith, 26, will take up the role in 2010 following the exit of David Tennant.
The actor was confirmed in the role over the Christmas period and will begin filming for Series Five this summer, for transmission in 2010.
The announcement was made on Saturday in a Doctor Who: Confidential ep.
Smith has also appeared in The Ruby and the Smoke alongside Billie Piper and has an upcoming role in Moses Jones. He performed opposite Christian Slater in a stage production of Swimming With Sharks and played a lead role in the BAFTA winning BBC One series, The Street.
“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.”
New Executive Producer, Steven Moffat said, “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 Eleventh Doctor is coming – and the universe has never been so safe.”
David Tennant announced last October that he would be stepping down from the role at the end of this year, with the new doctor taking over in 2010.
This year, there will be four Doctor Who specials in the UK featuring Tennant. A BBC press release suggests that the last of David Tennant’s episodes as the Doctor will be broadcast in the New Year of 2010.
Prior to the announcement here were the odds from UK betting circles:
Patterson Joseph – 31/10
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 22/5
James Nesbitt – 37/5
David Morrisey – 20/1
Billie Piper – 21/1
Aidan Gillen, Sean Pertwee – 24/1
Jack Davenport – 25/1
Ben Wishaw, Rhys Ifans, Robert Carlyle – 29/1
Colin Salmon – 43/1
Russell Tovey – 47/1
Alan Davies, Jennifer Saunders – 49/1
Richard E Grant – 54/1
John Simm – 59/1
Catherine Tate – 64/1
Richard Coyle – 79/1
Paul McGann, Jason Statham, Rowan Atkinson, Daniel Radcliffe, Stephen Fry – 99/1
ABC will screen the 2008 Christmas special “The Next Doctor” at 7:30pm Sunday January 25 on ABC1 although the title refers to a fellow time traveller played by actor David Morrissey and not Matt Smith.
The BBC today announced that Matt Smith has been cast in the role of the Doctor in the iconic BBC series Doctor Who. Smith will be the eleventh Time Lord and will take over from David Tennant who leaves the show at the end of 2009. He will be seen in the forthcoming fifth series that will be broadcast in 2010.
The fifth series will also have a new lead writer and Executive Producer in the form of the BAFTA award winning writer Steven Moffat who is taking over from Russell T Davies. Moffat will be joined by Piers Wenger who will be the new Executive Producer for BBC Wales making the show.
Following David Tennant’s decision to step down at the end of 2009, the team behind the new series set about casting the new Doctor so that new adventures could be created and scripts written with Matt in mind.
The identity of the new Doctor was revealed on a special edition of Doctor Who Confidential that was broadcast on BBC One on January 3rd at 17.35hrs. In it Smith revealed his initial reaction at taking on such a legendary role and his thoughts on what direction the Doctor might now be going with him playing the part.
Matt Smith said of his new role “I’m just so excited about the journey that is in front of me. 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.”
Lead writer and Executive Producer Steven Moffat said “The Doctor is a very special part, and it takes a very special actor to play him. 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 Eleventh Doctor is coming – and the universe has never been so safe.”
Piers Wenger, Head Of Drama, BBC Wales added “With two hearts, a ferocious mind and over 900 years of experience behind him, it’s not every 26 year old actor who can take on a role like the Doctor but within moments of meeting Matt he showed the skill and imagination needed to create a Doctor all of his own.
It’s just the beginning of the journey for Matt but with Steven Moffat’s scripts and the expertise of the production team in Cardiff behind him, there is no one more perfect than him to be taking the TARDIS to exciting new futures when the series returns in 2010.”
Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama added “I am delighted to see Matt take on this iconic role. It will see him continuing his relationship with the BBC following his performances in Ruby In The Smoke and Party Animals, and his upcoming role in Moses Jones. The combination of Matt, Steven and Piers will, I know, take Doctor Who onto new and even dizzier heights.”
Jay Hunt, Controller. BBC ONE said “Matt Smith will be a mesmerising eleventh Time Lord, true to the spirit of the show. He is a worthy successor to David Tennant who has been utterly remarkable in the role and promises to continue to be in next year’s four special episodes.”