The Eleventh Doctor for the popular British science fiction television series Doctor Who has been cast. Actor Matt Smith will replace David Tennant as the Doctor for the show’s fifth season, beginning in 2010.
The original Doctor Who series ran from 1963 to 1989 and featured eight different actors in the role of the Doctor. To explain the cast changes, the Doctor’s character would experience regeneration each time a new actor was brought in to play the role. When the series was revived in 2005, Christopher Eccleston assumed the role of the Ninth Doctor.
The Tenth Doctor, David Tennant has been on the series since 2006, starring in three full seasons of the show. Before leaving the role, Tennant will appear in four Doctor Who specials that will be broadcast in 2009 and early 2010.
At twenty-six years old, Matt Smith will be the youngest actor yet to portray the Doctor. Smith has worked in both stage and television. His first major television role was as Jim Taylor in the BBC adaptation of the Phillip Pullman novel The Ruby in the Smoke. In this production, Smith starred alongside the actress Billie Piper, who played the Doctor’s assistant Rose Tyler from 2005 to 2006 on the Doctor Who series. Smith has since appeared in the BBC series Party Animals, as well as The Shadow in the North, a sequel to The Ruby in the Smoke film.