Matt Smith, a 26-year-old actor whose name had not even been mentioned for the role until the last couple of days, has been cast as the 11th incarnation of the Doctor in BBC’s long-running sci-fi series, “Doctor Who.”
Smith will officially take over the role when the fifth series of the show debuts in 2010. Until then, popular David Tennant will continue to star in the title role in a series of specials through 2009 and early 2010. It is expected that the famous “regeneration scene” — in which Tennant’s 10th Doctor will “die” and transform into Smith’s 11th Doctor — will take place in the conclusion of a two-part special that will be broadcast in the UK for the Easter holiday in 2010.
The announcement of Smith’s casting was made during a special episode of “Doctor Who Confidential” on BBC 1 on Saturday.
Smith, who will be the youngest actor to ever play the approximately 1,000-year-old Time Lord, has coincidentally appeared in three series opposite former “Doctor Who” companion Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) — “Ruby in the Smoke”, “The Shadow in the North”, and “Secret Diary of a Call Girl”.
Following Tennant into the Doctor’s TARDIS will be no easy task for Smith. Tennant, who has starred in the titular role since a 2005 Christmas special (“The Christmas Invasion”) has become arguably the most popular actor to ever play the character, even surpassing perennial favorite Tom Baker, who starred as the floppy hat/long scarf-wearing Fourth Doctor from 1974-1981.
Watch an extended interview with Matt Smith below: