Matt Smith on Doctor Who exit: “everything can always be better”

Matt Smith has recently seen his odds shorten for the James Bond role as well as receiving rave reviews for his part as Daemon Targaryen in Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon – but what does he think of the way he left one of his most famous roles to date, that as the Eleventh Doctor in BBC science fiction series Doctor Who?

“Well, look, it’s always hard leaving that show because it’s such a wonderful part to leave.” Smith told a panel at Motor City Comic Con (see video below).

He added: “Part of me, I knew I had to leave really but part of you goes, ‘Oh I could stay for a bit’. Regenerating is, it’s tough. Was it the best episode it could be? I dunno, maybe… maybe not.”

The actor, whose last episode as the Doctor was the 2013 Christmas special, The Time of the Doctor concluded:

“But I thought Steven [Moffat] wrote some really great stuff. And it was nice, I had Jenna [Coleman] and Karen [Gillan] there as the two companions and stuff so yeah – look, I was proud of the body of work up to that point. Erm, you know… But I think everything can always be – better.”

Smith took over as the lead actor in Doctor Who in 2010 from David Tennant and starred in the series for three years, before being succeeded by Peter Capaldi.

Whereas we know that David Tennant is definitely returning to Doctor Who in 2023 for the 60th-anniversary specials under Russell T Davies and that Peter Capaldi has ruled himself out of a multi-Doctor episode, we’re still not sure if Smith will return for the 60th opposite Tennant in a repeat of their time together in the 50th-anniversary show, The Day of the Doctor.

Smith has previously suggested he may be keen to return to the show with the right script. Both companions Jenna Coleman and Karen Gillan have also in the past suggested they would be open to a return to the series at some point in the future, so there could be a chance of more big names in the 60th shows.

Doctor Who will return to screens on Sunday October 23rd at 7.30pm in the UK for Jodie Whittaker’s final episode of the show, The Power of the Doctor, which will see her battle old enemies like the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Master with the help of many companions and friends.

Whittaker will be succeeded by Ncuti Gatwa as the next Doctor Who lead actor, with filming on the new series expected to begin in November 2022.