Next to filling out the annual March Madness brackets and selecting squares on the office Super Bowl pool, speculating and picking the next Doctor may rank right up there as one of the most anticipated events that are affiliated with odds list across Planet Earth.
While the news was both expected and feared, there was no joy in Mudville on Saturday as the BBC confirmed that Matt Smith, the Eleventh Doctor, would not be returning as the traveling Time Lord in 2014 for series 8, which will begin production this Fall. His last appearances will be the 50th anniversary episode in November and the Christmas special. Smith first stepped into the TARDIS in 2010.
Personally, it had to be one of the hardest regenerations given the fact that Smith was replacing, perhaps, the most popular Doctor of all-time in David Tennant. At 26, Smith was the youngest person ever to play the Time Lord…I think he more than handled the pressure. Even though he is bowing out after the 50th special and annual Christmas blockbuster, I also think had he stayed another year or so, he could have solidified his place in history as the most popular Doctor ever.
In a statement released Saturday, Smith commented on his time as The Doctor: “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. 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.
As you could imagine, Doctor Who showrunner, Steven Moffat, ended his thoughts on both the Doctor and Matt Smith with a simple but brilliant, “Thank you Matt – bow ties were never cooler.”
Let the games begin as the regeneration to the Twelfth Doctor will take place during the Christmas special, which will begin filming this summer. Names are swirling around the Internets as Vegas bookies begin to lay odds on the next person at the controls of the TARDIS. Stephen Mangan? Olivia Colman? Ben Whishaw? Helen Mirren?
Personally, I’m starting the campaign for Sherlock star, Lara Pulver. This would probably send Who-purists into orbit, but maybe it’s time to push a few boundaries and go for a Time Lady. What do you think?