Doctor Who Series 8 to star new Doctor, Matt Smith leaves

Matt Smith’s final episode of Doctor Who will be the 2013 Christmas Special

Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor in Doctor Who
Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor in Doctor Who

Many of us are surprised that he stuck it out this long, but 11th Doctor Matt Smith has announced he’s leaving Doctor Who at the end of the year despite his previous claim that he would be back for Series 8, meaning he only has two episodes left – the 50th anniversary episode and the 2013 Christmas Special.

The star said in a lengthy statement:

When you gotta go, you’ve gotta go. 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. 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 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 have never seen before, [their] dedication is truly remarkable. 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. 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 been an honour to play this part, to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the TARDIS for a spell with ‘the ginger, the nose and the impossible one’. But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls. Thank you guys.

Doctor Who Series 7 Part 2 will be available to own on 20 May 2013. Pre-order it on Blu-ray for £21.50 or on DVD for £17.75 from Amazon.co.uk.