Matt Smith leaves Doctor Who – my response

English: Matt Smith at the 2011 Comic Con in S...
English: Matt Smith at the 2011 Comic Con in San Diego (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So there I was, spraining my ankle on the Cornish Coast Path (ouch!) and all the time Matt Smith was making the best decision of his career:

Matt Smith quits DW

Is this really a “shock” to anybody? Three series is about the limit, before typecasting worries and better offers begin to take their toll. Particularly when the show is on a downward spiral, or at least a sticky patch. Smith’s tenure has proved his talent beyond all doubt, and who could blame him for wanting to leave a show that’s allegedly a nightmare to work on? He’s got a new companion bedded in, he’s stuck around for the 50th Anniversary, in short, he’s paid his dues.

I greet the inevitable speculation that will follow with a sense of deja-vu and ennui. I’m still catching up with the reaction, but what intrigues me is the general assumption that there will be a regeneration, when the only evidence of it I can find is a singularly elliptical remark in the press statement from Stephen Moffatt:

Somewhere out there right now – all unknowing, just going about their business – is someone who’s about to become the Doctor. A life is going to change, and Doctor Who will be born all over again!

Like many such statements, this is most interesting for what it doesn’t say. It says that the show will be resurrected, not the Doctor. It’s interesting that Matt says, “Trenzalore calls” in his statement. Trenzalore being, of course, the Doctor’s final resting place. Considering where the recent finale left events, and the notorious twelve-regeneration limit question, I still think there may be a highly significant reboot ahead. Or worse.

As the ONTD source quoted above says:

Doctor Who seems unlikely to return in its present form after Christmas. Moffat’s plans are not those of the BBC. They may well lose Matt Smith and Jenna Louise Coleman who have committed but on a pro-rata time scale.

This doesn’t fill me with dread, as it happens – I would far rather see the show retired for a while than to continue in its present state. I’ve made my feelings on that clear in earlier posts so I won’t go into it all now. I just hope that someone at the BBC has the sense to shelve the whole sorry mess until they can find someone with less of an ego than Moffatt to take it forward into its next regeneration. I have every confidence that it will come back. Yes, it will come back. Meanwhile, go forward in your beliefs, etc.

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