UPDATE: Better pictures!

From the BBC press release:

The BBC today announced that Matt Smith has been cast in the role of the Doctor in the iconic BBC series Doctor Who. Smith will be the 11th Time Lord and will take over from David Tennant who leaves the show at the end of 2009. He will be seen in the forthcoming fifth series that will be broadcast in 2010. The fifth series will also have a new lead writer and Executive Producer in the form of the BAFTA award-winning writer Steven Moffat, who is taking over from Russell T Davies. Moffat will be joined by Piers Wenger, who will be the new Executive Producer for BBC Wales making the show.

Following David Tennant's decision to step down at the end of 2009, the team behind the new series set about casting the new Doctor so that new adventures could be created and scripts written with Matt in mind. The identity of the new Doctor was revealed on a special edition of Doctor Who Confidential that was broadcast on BBC One today (3 January) at 5.35pm (17.35 GMT).

Interview with Matt Smith:

In it Smith revealed his initial reaction at taking on such a legendary role and his thoughts on what direction the Doctor might now be going with him playing the part. Matt Smith said of his new role:

"I'm just so excited about the journey that is in front of me. 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. David Tennant has made the role his own, brilliantly, with grace, talent and persistent dedication. I hope to learn from the standards set by him.

The challenge for me is to do justice to the show's illustrious past, my predecessors, and most importantly, to those who watch it. I really cannot wait."

Lead writer and Executive Producer Steven Moffat said:

"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. 2010 is a long time away but rest assured the 11th Doctor is coming – and the universe has never been so safe."

Piers Wenger, Head Of Drama, BBC Wales, added: "With two hearts, a ferocious mind and over 900 years of experience behind him, it's not every 26 year old actor who can take on a role like the Doctor but within moments of meeting Matt he showed the skill and imagination needed to create a Doctor all of his own. It's just the beginning of the journey for Matt but with Steven Moffat's scripts and the expertise of the production team in Cardiff behind him, there is no one more perfect than him to be taking the TARDIS to exciting new futures when the series returns in 2010."

Doctor Who Confidential – The Eleventh Doctor can be seen on BBC iPlayer until 10 January 2009.

There will be four Doctor Who specials featuring David Tennant that will run in 2009 into New Year 2010 (dates to be confirmed). An extended interview with Matt Smith can be seen at

Matt Smith, 26, grew up with his family including one sister in Northampton. He was head boy at Northampton School For Boys where he excelled at sports, music and drama.

Already a stalwart of the National Youth Theatre, his theatrical experiences at the National Theatre include: in the award-winning History Boys (directed by Nick Hytner), On The Shore Of The Wide World (directed by Sarah Frankcom) and also in the acclaimed trio of plays Burn / Citizenship / Chatroom (directed by Anna Mackmin).

These roles led to Matt's first outings on the small screen, alongside Billie Piper in Phillip Pullman's period detective stories, The Ruby In The Smoke and The Shadow In The North (both BBC One), where he played Jim, right-hand man to Billie's detective heroine Sally Lockhart. These pieces were followed by the lead role of Danny in the BBC Two series Party Animals, the brilliantly observed drama set in the world of young politicians.

In a dazzling return to the Royal Court in 2007, Matt played Henry in Polly Stenham's award-winning first play That Face, opposite Lindsay Duncan. His performance gained Matt an Evening Standard Best Newcomer nomination and a year later the play had a second life in the West End at the Duke of York's Theatre. In between the two runs, Matt played Guy opposite Christian Slater's Buddy in Swimming With Sharks, Mike Leslie's searing West End adaptation of the 1994 Hollywood film.

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  1. Vector-Victor says:

    I did like Matt Smith's acting in the two Sally Lockhart outings,but he does seem rather young for the Doctor's role. Still,I'll wait until I actually see him in as the Doc to pass judgment.

    Personally,my own ideal Doctor would be Ian McKellan, but I suspect the days of casting an
    over-45 actor in the role are
    gone forever....

  2. FRANK says:

    I can see what Moffat and Wenger saw in him physically - he looks young but there is a quirkiness in there that could suggest wisdom beyond his years. It was the same with Davison. All the ming mongs thought he was too young and he played it very well in the end. All we need to wait for now is the actual performance. He's a good actor and I've enjoyed what he's done so far. I actually think he's unconventional casting and that's a good thing.

    Fraid the 40 plus Doctor is long gone but who knows - maybe it'll all change again for Doctor 12.

  3. Found on Have Your Say:

    "This decision, all in all, was an unhappy product of the BBC's anti-age bias and Russell T. Davies' penchant for pretty boys."

    *loses will to live*

  4. FRANK says:

    Have Your Say makes my blood boil. It just fills up with remarks from people who are anti-BBC and will grab any opportunity to say so.

    RTD had no say in the casting of Matt Smith at all. It was Piers and Steven who wanted him.

    *loses will to live with you*

  5. The people complaining that Mr Smith 'doesn't look like the Doctor' or 'doesn't behave like the Doctor' baffle me. The concept of ACTING seems to have passed them by.

  6. FRANK says:

    Most of the world seems to have passed them by, never mind the concept of acting!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think a number of people cannot accept the idea of an actor playing the Doctor who is younger than they are . Since we all get older it's bound to happen eventually. In 1963 I was 7 and William Hartnell was old enough to be my grandfather. Now we have Matt Smith who is easily young enough to be my son. What matters is how he plays the Doctor, not his own age (and he doesn't look really young anyway). After all, the Doctor is meant to be about 900 so the actor's age seems a bit irrelevant really.


  8. FRANK says:

    Quite right too. I very concise bit of reasoning there, Andrea!

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