Matt Smith will continue to play the Doctor in the BBC’s flagship science-fiction television drama, when he returns from Hollywood this summer.
The British actor is currently in America filming How to Catch a Monster, the directorial debut of Hollywood actor Ryan Gosling.
It’s no secret that Smith wants to work in America; and news earlier this year that he’s secured his first Hollywood film role fuelled rumours that he was about to hang up his fez and hand in his sonic screwdriver.
Indeed, when season eight began, back in September 2012, the Mirror claimed Smith had quitDoctor Who, only for the BBC to issue a denial.
Speaking to Sun TV Magazine, Smith now confirms, “We come back and shoot the [Doctor Who 2013] Christmas special over the summer, then we go on to the next series, which will either start filming at the end of this year or at the start of 2014.”
Steven Moffat – Doctor Who’s head writer and executive producer of – confirmed last weekend that season eight of Doctor Who was already in pre-production.
Speaking at the BAFTAs, on Sunday, Moffat said, “This is a thing that just seems to have slipped by … so can I say it very firmly: series eight is absolutely, definitely confirmed. It is real and it’s happening – it’s [taking up] most of my time at the moment.”
Prior to flying over the US to work with Gosling, Smith completed filming on the Doctor Who 50th-anniversary special, which is expected to be broadcast on Saturday, 23 November 2013 – the exact date 50 years ago that Doctor Who was first seen on British TV.
The as-yet-untitled Moffat-penned special will see the return of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor – a role he played from 2005 to 2010. He will be joined by Billie Piper, reprising her role his first assistant, Rose Tyler.
Tennant, Smith and John Hurt (The Elephant Man) will all play the Doctor in an episode that sees the return of the Zygons, a Who-universe monster not seen since the 1970s.
Meanwhile, the current season of Doctor Who comes to an end this evening, with a storyline that the BBC have tried to keep tightly under wraps. However, those efforts were seriously hampered earlier this week after it was revealed that a small number of customers in the US had already received the Blu-ray containing the episode, The Name of the Doctor.
On Monday, the BBC pleaded with those who now know the ending – which, Moffat says, will change for ever the nature of Doctor Who – not to spoil it for everyone else. On Twitter, Moffat promised that they would release exclusive footage of Smith and Tennant from the anniversary episode, if nothing got out prior to the premiere of the finale this weekend.
The Season 8 Doctor Who finale, The Name of the Doctor, stars Matt Smith as the Doctor and Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara. As well as featuring Kassius Carey Johnson and Eve de Leon Allen as Artie and Angie – the Doctor’s young TARDIS-travelling companions from last week’s episode, Neil Gaiman’s Cybermen adventure, Nightmare in Silver – the story also sees the return of the Doctor’s friends, Madam Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny (Catrin Stewart) and Strax (Dan Starkey) – last seen inThe Crimson Horror, by Mark Gatiss – and Richard E Grant as the Great Intelligence, a role he first played in the 2012 Christmas special, The Snowmen.