Forget all of those rumors about a black Doctor Who or a female Doctor Who. Announced Saturday (Jan. 3), the BBC’s new Doctor Who is, as usual, a slender white male, albeit somewhat more youthful than usual.
Twenty-six-year-old Northampton born Matt Smith was revealed on Saturday as the new Doctor Who, making him the youngest-ever Time Lord.
The previous title of Youngest Doctor Who was held by Peter Dawson, who was 29 when he became Doctor Who #5 back in 1981.
Smith, who was revealed as part of Saturday’s “Doctor Who Confidential” on BBC One, will replace David Tennant, a popular Doctor Who who took over for Christopher Eccleston in 2005.
“I’m just so excited about the journey that is in front of me,” Smith says in a BBC statement. “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.”
Tennant formally announced his Doctor exit back in October. He’ll still film four specials through 2009, with the last of the special not airing in the United Kingdom in 2010. Smith, in turn, will begin shooting his first series later this year to also premiere in 2010.
“The Doctor is a very special part, and it takes a very special actor to play him,” raves series executive producer Steven Moffat. “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.”
Smith, likely a unknown for most American viewers, has a extensive stage background in London, as well has a number of British TV credits, including a lead role in BBC Two’s “Party Animals.” His TV background also includes a funny Doctor connection. He made his first TV appearance in “The Ruby in the Smoke” opposite Billie Piper, a former Doctor’s companion. He also reteamed with Piper on the “Ruby” follow-up “The Shadow in the Smoke” and “Secret Diary of a Call Girl.”
Until the very last minute, Smith’s name hadn’t really been associated with the role. More conventional candidates included “Viva Blackpool” (and “Basic Instinct 2”) star David Morrissey, “Life on Mars” star Jon Simm or James Nesbitt (“Jekyll”). There had also been strong speculation that Paterson Joseph (“Survivors”) might become the first black Doctor.
Check out video of Smith’s announcement: