Big news over the weekend concerning "Doctor Who" and sorry for just getting around to it now (but such are the vicissitudes of being without the Internet or a computer): Matt Smith is leaving the series. His final episode will be this November when the series celebrates its 50th anniversary.
This is "big" because Smith has emerged as a major star during his four-year run which has been an acclaimed one. Herewith the statements:
"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."
Ah, and of course Steven Moffat, "Who's" current steward and producer and a big star in his own right:
"Every day, on every episode, in every set of rushes, Matt Smith surprised me: the way he'd turn a line, or spin on his heels, or make something funny, or out of nowhere make me cry, I just never knew what was coming next. The Doctor can be clown and hero, often at the same time, and Matt rose to both challenges magnificently. And even better than that, given the pressures of this extraordinary show, he is one of the nicest and hardest-working people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Whatever we threw at him -- sometimes literally -- his behavior was always worthy of the Doctor. But great actors always know when it's time for the curtain call, so this Christmas prepare for your hearts to break, as we say goodbye to number Eleven. Thank you, Matt -- bow ties were never cooler. Of course, this isn't the end of the story, because now the search begins. 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! After 50 years, that's still so exciting!"