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Matt Smith on leaving Doctor Who - gone by 2014?

There's new Doctor Who on the horizon, which means lead actor Matt Smith has been doing the media rounds to promote it. And since he's been on the gig a few years now, he's being hit with the predictable question: "When are you leaving, Matt? When are you leaving?"

And what did he say?

Well, as reported by Bleeding Cool, Smith spake the following:

"We’ve got Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary coming up in November 2013, and one assumes there’ll be another Christmas special after that, and I’d hope to be part of it. I take each year as it comes. All good things come to an end, but my mum is aghast at the thought of me ever not being the Doctor. The show is the star and will continue without me."

"I’m committed to it next year and will sit down with Steven Moffat and see where we go from there. I’ve no immediate plans to leave. I’m around for a whole year and that’s a long time."

Could we see a regeneration around the anniversary special in November? Ain't impossible - Smith's predecessor David Tennant stayed for three full series and a handful of specials. Once the current series seven completes, Smith will be in that ballpark too.

(For fans of maths: Tennant did eight sundry specials outside the regular 13-ep runs, counting The End Of Time as two and ignoring any short sketches for charity events. Smith, using the same criteria, will have done three such specials, including 2012's The Snowmen festive episode.)

So if Smith were to leave at the end of next year, he'd be only a few specials short of Tennant's reign. Maybe those guys are looking to set three-and-a-bit years as the standard tenure for a Doctor who wants to move on at the height of his powers.

In short... who knows. Maybe Smith is off in a year's time, there were still more rumours circulating from Bleeding Cool which also suggest it, but if so, he's had a good run and we should enjoy him while he lasts.

Or possibly he hasn't negotiated his contracts that far in advance and is being cagey for legal reasons. I'm sure this will come up (repeatedly) next year, especially if the BBC want to start filming a 2014 series with a new Doc - since they'll want to announce the new guy themselves, rather than let him get identified from set pics.

For now, let's just not let it ruin Christmas, eh?

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