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Matt Smith is Doctor Who! Jan 03

…which will prompt the question from many: who is Matt Smith? (Aside from the Eleventh Doctor.) Here’s a quick factfile to save your fingers and eyes from search engine fatigue.

Matt SmithAt just 26 years old, Smith will be the youngest Doctor ever, beating Peter Davison, who was 29 when he was cast as the Fifth Doctor.

Brought up in Northampton and initially planning to become a professional footballer, Smith studied drama and creative writing at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. Since then he has carved out a very respectable theatre career, his stage roles including Lockwood in The History Boys and Guy in Swimming with Sharks, opposite Christian Slater. He appeared in On the Shore of the Wide World, which won the 2006 Olivier Award for Best New Play.

His most notable TV role was a Labour researcher Danny Foster in BBC’s political drama Party Animals. He also appeared in The Ruby in the Smoke, its sequel The Shadow in the North and an episode of The Secret Diary of a Call Girl – all three of them opposite former Doctor Who companion Billie Piper.

Smith had a small role as the young Ralph Fiennes in In Bruges and will appear this year as one of the leads in Moses Jones, a new thriller for BBC Two, alongside Shaun Parkes (Zachary Cross Flane in The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit) and Tom Goodman-Hill (Reverend Golightly in The Unicorn and the Wasp).

Only recently mentioned in connection with the part, Matt Smith became a late favourite in the last few days, alongside Survivors‘ Paterson Joseph. Arguably Smith will be the Doctor least well known to TV audiences since Tom Baker. He’ll begin filming this year and should make his first appearance as the Doctor in 2010.

Update: I’m fairly optimistic about this choice, by the way. I’ve only seen Matt Smith in bits of Party Animals (a series I wasn’t a fan of), but he seems to have a good track record on stage and the production team were clearly impressed with him when he auditioned. A long time to go until we properly meet the new Doctor though…

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8 Responses

  1. He was my favourite out of those the BBC trailed on the news last night.
    Tall, slim and quirky looking. Perfect Brit-man.

    Rebecca Caroe

  2. 2
    Charles Quinn 

    Looks like a good choice, an intelligent, edgy, versatile actor with an interesting, ageless face. I liked Tennant a lot but I think he was too much a fan of the show and his Doctor too obviously a hodge-podge of Tom Baker and Peter Davison. Looking forward to 2010.

  3. 3
    glenn kirkaldy 

    what on earth are they thinking ? this kid is not doctor who. not no way not no haw. i was so looking forward to stieven moffets wrighting as i think he is brillient. but ther is not a chance that enybody can relate to this child as a 900 year old time lord. what they going to dress him in… a nappie and a lollypop ? the doctor is a man. someone you respect, fear, and look up to. not a skinny student with girly daft hair. if the doctor was real and he looked like matt smith i wouldnt want to travel with him. id tell him to sod off you little puff.

  4. 4
    Simon Darcourt 

    I think Matt Smith looks promising, but with Steven Moffatt behind him he can’t really fail unless he tries really hard. To those ‘fans’ creating such a fuss about this ‘too young’ Doctor, could I just remind you that a mere six years ago the idea of anyone playing the Doctor was just a dream. Let’s be grateful this wonderful show is still going on beyond 2010 and never take it for granted.

  5. 5
    glenn kirkaldy 

    ther is an old saying… never send a boy to do a mans job.

  6. I agree with Simon D: We’re in the dying days of a golden era, one which some of us felt we were really lucky to get. Series 5 is a bonus whether or not it is the start of another golden age.

    Slightly concerned that he is superficially similar to Tennant, but confident that Moffet and Wangner know more about these things than I do.

  7. Interesting article, was curious if you would allow me to link to it in a article im currently writing for my own website? Thanks

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