The BBC has confirmed that Matt Smith will be leaving the role of Doctor Who after this year’s Christmas Special.
His official statement, as per the BBC’s Doctor Who page, reads as follows:
“Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show. I’m incredibly grateful to all the cast and crew who work tirelessly every day, to realise all the elements of the show and deliver Doctor Who to the audience. Many of them have become good friends and I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the last four years. Having Steven Moffat as show runner write such varied, funny, mind bending and brilliant scripts has been one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges of my career. It’s been a privilege and a treat to work with Steven, he’s a good friend and will continue to shape a brilliant world for the Doctor. The fans of Doctor Who around the world are unlike any other; they dress up, shout louder, know more about the history of the show (and speculate more about the future of the show) in a way that I’ve never seen before, your dedication is truly remarkable. Thank you so very much for supporting my incarnation of the Time Lord, number Eleven, who I might add is not done yet, I’m back for the 50th anniversary and the Christmas special!”
It’s not a particular surprise — there’s a strong feeling for most actors that it’s a bad thing to become typecast — and it certainly shouldn’t be a problem per se for a series which has lasted 50 years now through eleven different main actors, and around 20 if the movies and Curse Of Fatal Death count.
Update: The BBC News report of his leaving is pretty sweet (and covers some of last night’s Vivid Sydney festivities to boot)
Source: BBC Doctor Who Page