Revealed on the UK television show Doctor Who Confidential today, the 26-year-old actor will be taking over the role of the infamous Doctor when the show returns for its fifth full season of the new run in 2010.
Mr. Smith is a relative newcomer, and has only been in a handfull of television shows in the UK to date. His name hadn’t even been brought up in any of the speculation lists as to who would be the next Doctor, so this comes as quite a surprise to fans of the series.
He will be 27 at the time filming begins, making him the youngest person to ever assume the controls of the TARDIS, the Doctor’s time machine. Most people had assumed we might see a return to an older actor in the role, something the old version of the series favored, but instead the fans have been thrown a curve ball by taking the role even younger.
For any one who may be unfamiliar with the series, the Doctor is the last living member of a race of people known as the Time Lords. Due to their mastery of time, and unique physiology, they are able to regenerate themselves in to a whole new body at times of death if proper arrangements have been made. Due to this ability, the Doctor is now over 900-years-old, which makes for interesting challenges for an actor having to play both their physical age and the wisdom of someone who has lived that long.
This will be the eleventh version of the Doctor to play out on television, and the twelfth overall if you count two odd movies from the 1960’s. How he will stack up amongst the other Doctors will remain to be seen, and how he will do in the overall standings as the best Doctor Who won’t be determined until he has at least a few episodes under his belt. He will have some huge hurdles ahead of him as we are coming out of what is arguably one of the most popular actors to assume the mantle, David Tennant.
You can check out a brief interview with Mr. Smith below, and I wish him the best of luck in this monumental task.