Doctor Who fans were shocked this week by news of showrunner Steven Moffat’s departure. Matt Smith, the Eleventh Doctor, has just weighed in with his reaction to the startling news. In an interview with Juliette Boland of the Anglophile Channel’s Timey Wimey News, Smith gave an especially thoughtful comment about his former colleague.
“I’m sad he’s leaving Doctor Who. I think he’s done so much for it. He’s done so much for me. He pretty much is Doctor Who. But the show will always endure. There’s a wonderful writer [Chris Chibnall] coming in. And as always, it’s about regeneration and the reinvention of things. He has done so much for the show and I just feel privileged that I got to work with one of the greatest writers to be involved with that show. It’s sad to see him go, but I’m excited to see what he does next.”
Smith and Moffat essentially started together at Doctor Who. Moffat had written several episodes for the show, and had just been hired to replace Russell T Davies. The show was also in need of a new Doctor. Moffat was the incoming producer for Doctor Who, and Smith was a young unknown when he auditioned for the role. Moffat was an instant fan and advocate of Smith, who was famously just 26 when he became the Eleventh Doctor in January 2009.
Moffat told the Daily Mail at the time of Smith’s casting, ‘The Doctor is a very special part, and it takes a very special actor to play him. 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.’
Smith is on the press circuit for his new film, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which will be released in February 2016. The film is based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, with some help from Jane Austen.
Oh come on, it’s not startling news. We knew Moffat was leaving after Series 10 a long time ago. He even more or less said so when he said back in November they were looking for his replacement. There’s no shock involved, except maybe from those who didn’t expect the person chosen to replace him, of course. Even people who loved Moffat’s work (and there’s more of us out there than haters would care to admit) knew he had to be reaching the end of his time with the show. I just hope Series 10 lives up to the excellence of Series 9 which in my opinion will be remembered as Moffat’s best (unless 10 tops it, of course!).