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December 31, 2013 12:03 PM   Subscribe

Did Matt Smith quit, or was he fired from Doctor Who?
posted by blue_beetle to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
He wanted to do other projects, and also, he didn't want to be typecast, so he left the show voluntarily.
posted by Hanuman1960 at 12:06 PM on December 31, 2013

From a July interview:

It’s something that I was considering for a while. It’s one of those jobs where there’s never a right time, because part of you just wants to do it forever. ... The show will get bigger and better, and I’ll become a fan and look back on my time and just go, “I’ve had the most wonderful journey.”
posted by jbickers at 12:13 PM on December 31, 2013

If you believe the Moff in this interview, it was planned that way almost from the beginning:

We discussed ages ago that we would do three series and then he would do the 50th and then he’d do Christmas. That was Plan A for a very, very long while. That may sound cold that it was so far in advance but you’ve got to plan a career.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:15 PM on December 31, 2013

It kinda sounds like all Doctors burn out after a few years and quit on their own, anyway.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:29 PM on December 31, 2013

It is very common for actors playing the Doctor to decide they've had enough after a few seasons. This is why the regeneration thing was started in the first place. Matt Smith seems to have had a pretty typical run, as such things go.

I doubt there was any animosity, in either direction. At this point it is known that any given incarnation of the Doctor isn't forever.

Re the idea that a three series run was planned in advance, keep in mind that when a starring role is cast on any TV show, the actor agrees to a contract that typically lasts an agreed-on amount of time. Most TV shows have an exit strategy/backup plan for what happens when the actor decides not to renew. Doctor Who most certainly would, because, again, regeneration is an established aspect of the canon.
posted by Sara C. at 1:42 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

UK TV actor contracts are also fairly typically 3 seasons long for main characters, while US TV actor contracts are longer (6 years or something?). It's a lot more typical for actors on UK series to move on sooner than US series for that reason (and the surrounding culture of shorter stints that gave the UK shorter standard contracts and is supported by them). There was a lot in the entertainment press about this when Dan Stevens left Downton Abbey after the third series, and how that's a lot more typical for UK actors with their shorter contracts.

(US actors get to renegotiate salary terms, but the TV show they're on has an "option" to renew them or not renew them, at the show's discretion, for however many years.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:05 PM on December 31, 2013

It does feel like Smith had an unusually short time in the role, but IIRC somebody added up the total number of episodes Smith and David Tennant did and they were comparable. Maybe Smith's run just seems shorter because Tennant's run had longer breaks between seasons? I don't know.

In any case, everything I've heard suggests that Smith is a swell guy and is leaving with zero animosity either way.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:23 PM on December 31, 2013

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