Despite claims to the contrary, Matt Smith was not completely naked in a recent episode of the BBC's long-running family drama, Doctor Who.
Last week, the Internet was awash with rumours that Smith, as the eleventh Doctor, could be seen completely naked in The Lodger, an episode of the current series of the 46-year-old science-fiction show.
It all started following an article by Rich Johnston on the Bleeding Cool website, which included the following: "I was taking screencaps of that scene when the Doctor rushes out of his bedroom and drops his towel and well … it’s all a bit of a blur … but did they intend this, well, flash frame to be quite so visible? Did I just get some kind of world exclusive here? Fifteen minutes ten seconds in, doc cock watchers."
Johnston then went on to suggest that the tabloid press would pick up the story, suggesting that they'd use headlines such as "Cocktor Who" and "Doctor Who: The Todger".
While those headlines weren't actually used, several tabloid newspapers – including the Daily Star and the Daily Mirror – did indeed carry the story, directing fans to the specific "fifteen minute, ten second" point in the story.
However, Johnston points out that he was misquoted by the press, telling Digital Journal, "The Daily Star just made up their quote!"
Following the reported Internet frenzy, and keen to remind viewers that Doctor Who is aimed at a family audience, a spokesperson for the BBC responded: "Fans might speculate about what they saw. But I can assure them that Matt wasn't totally naked when he filmed these scenes. He was sporting an item to protect his modesty."
Subsequently, Smith himself has confirmed that he was indeed wearing so-called "modesty" shorts during filming of the scene. PA reports the actor as saying, "They give you these modesty trunks they call them or something. They are flesh coloured trunks and I'm afraid I was wearing them. [Fans] definitely didn't see more."
Since securing the role as the Doctor, Smith has been transformed overnight from being a virtual unknown to world-wide star, gaining a legion of fans – not least from within the gay community. In April, Gay Times, interviewed the 27-year-old actor, who, dressed as the Doctor, became the magazine's cover star.
The show's head writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat, has already described Smith's Doctor as like "a male-underwear model trapped in the body of Sir Patrick Moore" – the well-known English amateur astronomer who has presented the BBC's The Sky at Night since 1957, and who appeared as himself in The Eleventh Hour, Smith's first Doctor Who story, earlier this year.
And, later this year, the young star is to play Christopher Isherwood in a film about the gay author's time in 1930's Berlin. Christopher and His Friends – also starring Douglas Booth (17) as Isherwood's boyfriend – was made during the break in production of Doctor Who, which starts filming again in a couple of weeks.
The TV episode itself, actually started life as a comic strip (also called The Lodger) in Doctor Who Magazine. In that version, the tenth Doctor (David Tennant) was living with Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke). The comic-strip script and adapted-television script were both written by Gareth Roberts (The Sarah Jane Adventures).