Doctor Who: Matt Smith was tempted to stay another 2 to 3 years

News Louisa Mellor 12 Jul 2013 - 09:45
Matt Smith

Steven Moffat reveals that Matt Smith had come very close to doing another series of Doctor Who...

One lunch with Steven Moffat (sushi, we like to think, with one of those exciting conveyor belts) and the fate of the Eleventh Doctor could have gone very differently. In the interview showrunner Moffat gave to EW this week, he revealed that Matt Smith came very close to sticking around for at least another series, and possibly more.

"We discussed ages ago that [Matt] 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. [Laughs] The question was, ‘Will I be able to talk him out of it?’ We went out for lunch and he said that he’d come very close to doing another series but it was the same argument: ‘If I do another series, I think I might do two more series, or three more series. I think I might never leave.’ 

I knew how long, when he first came in, he was broadly speaking intending to do. And obviously, being the man I am, I always tried to persuade him to do longer and to do more and he [stayed] a little bit longer than he intended to. I knew that he would do what most of them do and do his three years. It’s a difficult thing for any departing Doctor [...].

Curiously enough, it was really to me that David Tennant resigned. Because he was considering whether to continue now that I was taking over. And both of them went through the same experience. It’s not like leaving any other part, it really isn’t. It’s sort of like abdicating and it’s genuinely emotional, it’s upsetting. It’s an upheaval in your life. It’s something you really have to contemplate. And I remember what both of them said during their period of anguish — when they were contemplating letting somebody else into the TARDIS — they both said, 'There’s part of me, I would just stay doing it forever. So, if I don’t leave now, maybe I’ll just carry on forever. And that wouldn’t be right for me or the show.'"

Who knows? In a parallel universe, perhaps Moffat's persuasive powers (and the heat of the wasabi) worked their magic so that somewhere out there, Smith is staying on for series eight and beyond.

Comic Book Movie / Entertainment Weekly

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It's a shame Matt couldn't be persuaded to stay just a little longer but i really hope he enjoys celebrating the anniversary before the curtains come down and he moves away fom the police box.From a science fiction fanboy's perspective 2013 has been thoroughly miserable with Gerry Anderson,Ray Harryhausen,Richard Matheson ,Carmine Infantino and Iain Banks dying so i could really do with the 50TH anniversary of Doctor Who being the giant event it should be.I'm sure when Matt leaves properly that he'll still find that Police Box following him through time whatever he does anyway.

This could just be Matt Smith being poilite. He may have been desperate to leave but was just too nice to tell Stephen Moffatt otherwise.

I think he should have stayed two more years. His Doctor was the one that has most evolved over time and he needed the extra two years to complete his Doctor.

Look, goofballs, here's the equation: You stay ONE year, you get to be a villain in GI Joe. You stay THREE years, you get to be the lead good guy of a bad remake. Maybe if you stayed FIVE years, you could be the lead in a GOOD film?

I'm just saying, stay a little longer and see what it gets you, how about it?

This is why I'd like an older actor who would be prepared to do a long stint (health permitting) instead of running off to try LA

He should have done at least 1 more series.

The comments alluding the 'failed Hollywood career'...I really think DT and Ecclescakes would just stay working in any role that interests them, be it on stage or screen. The idea that an actor has failed because they don't become an A-list Hollywood actor is dumb.

What on earth are you on about?!?

Again, the actors who have appeared as The Doctor so far in the new series have not run off to try LA. . .

What on earth are YOU on about?!?

Chris Eccleston - Heroes, GI Joe, Thor 2
David Tennant - Rex is Not Your Lawyer, Fright Night (2011)

Hell, even Russell T. ran off to LA to do Torchwood Season 4! They "conquer England", then run off to LA to do bit parts in questionable nonsense.

The Moff is the glorious exception to that rule. He was slated to do two more Tintin movies with Spielberg and turned them down to do Who. He's the only one who's got his priorities in order (Sherlock notwithstanding). :)

Exactly. Enjoyable though Sherlock was, it contained all of the adult content I'd felt was missing from Doctor Who! If only Moffatt had focussed on what he'd claimed was his #1 passion, we could have had a run to match the mid-70s! Instead of the patchy, childish, occasionally brilliant but ultimately frustrating sixth and seventh series we got. Maybe then, Matt would have stuck around for an eighth!

Exactly. If they're saying Eccleston had a failed film career I can only assume the site has some very young posters - too young to remember the early 90s. Or the late 90s. Or the early 2000s for that matter. Eccleston had an excellent career in film and television for decades before Dr Who. He's also had his rule of no more than 1-2 seasons per show since he started - doing a short, full character arc with a memorable exit worked well for him when he left Cracker and it's hard to think of a tv series he's appeared in without it being a 'one series guest star' contract since then.

I seriously recommend our younger brethren to take the 5 seconds to check Wikipedia and see just how insignificant Dr Who was to the rest of the guy's career. In the meantime typing this has given me a hankering to rewatch shallow grave:-)

Shallow Grave, Elizabeth, Clocking Off and Othello weren't good films? That's just for Eccleston, and he's mainly a stage actor at that. I also recommend The Shadow Line.

I think there should be a new producer to replace stephen moffat to coincide with the new Doctor coming, because personally I'm sick of his crap finales and boring River Song storylines.

Eccleston's the main antagonist in the new Thor movie. So the younguns are wrong anyway XD

Not sure what Tennant's up to...

Wrong. Appearing in US movies/tv shows is NOT running off to LA. Maybe you missed all the other great work both Eccleston & Tennant have done, such as their excellent stage performances.

Yeah. NOT wrong.

Sure, Eccleston was in 28 Days Later (in a supporting role) before Who, but he was their ringer star they got to relaunch the franchise. And he did ONE season.

What had Tennant done (and I love him, don't misunderstand me) in LA before Who? Just checked his IMDB and I don't see a whole lot of US Productions before 2010, then suddenly TV pilot and the Fright Night remake. Coincidence?

And I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but I AM saying it happened, and Mr. Smith is following the same path. The movie he just did, where he cut his hair? "How to Catch a Monster" by Ryan Gosling, his first US production, to my knowledge.

Oh, and Karen Gillan is gonna be in the Guardians of the Galaxy, a Marvel/Disney movie, and Russell T Davies (who I also love) ends his book discussing his upcoming MOVE TO LA.

So as much as you'd like to deny it, it IS happening. I just wish they'd spend a little longer in the roles. We're burning through Doctors at an alarming rate.

Jason, stop being a pedant. It was a figure of speech, not a bloody commentary on his CV.

Matt Smith should've stayed on as the doctor. Too many changes now, it's becoming old. Give these actors at least a 5 to 6 year contract....

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