Looks like Whovians are in for another Christmas tearjerker. Matt Smith, the current Doctor Who, has just announced that he will leave his role as the Doctor on Doctor Who at the end of the year, with his final episode to be the Christmas special.
Smith became the Doctor in 2010, and piloted his new-look TARDIS into the garden of a young Scottish girl we would come to know as Amelia "Amy" Pond. The 11th Doctor also travelled with Amy's husband, Rory Williams, and later he travelled with Clara "Oswin" Oswald, also known as The Impossible Girl.
During his tenure as the last Time Lord, we've seen Matt Smith's Doctor fight off Weeping Angels, Daleks, Cybermen (new and old), as well as The Silence.
Show runner Steven Moffat told the BBC that Matt Smith still surprises him after four years in the role.
Here's Matt Smith's full statement about the departure:
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 11, 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.
The most recent episode of Doctor Who saw the Doctor visit his grave on Trenzalore, a place where a recent prophesy has said will see "the fall of the 11th".
It's mighty interesting to wonder how the 11th Doctor will depart us, but even moreso to think who the new Doctor might be.
We still have the upcoming 50th Anniversary special with Matt Smith, as well as the Christmas Special. [BBC]