Here’s a bombshell, if true. The Mirror is reporting that Steven Moffat, who’s leaving Doctor Who as a producer and writer, is teasing that Matt Smith could be the first of the 12 Doctor to regenerate.
Could, and should, such a thing be possible?
The online story goes on to state, “Moffat, who has announced his own departure from next year, has said Matt is ‘quite open about how much he misses it, and how much he wishes he hadn’t left’, according to The Mirror.
He has previous admitted to trying to persuade his ‘friend’ to stay three years ago, explaining: ‘Matt, who was a friend and ally, was leaving. I couldn’t get him to stay. It felt like everything was blowing up around me.'”
This would be the first time that a Doctor has regenerated into a previous version of himself for the television series.
Let’s address why this could be happening:
1. Peter Capaldi seems as though he wants out of the series. Most Who leads only do the show for three seasons and when his next season airs, next year, he’ll have hit that mark. I think that Capaldi has done a super job as the Doctor, but his stories have not been equal to other Who tales. In interviews he doesn’t seem to have the passion he had originally for the character.
2. The Who franchise is not as hot as it’s been. There are many reasons as to why this is, and replacing the lead with an actor who headlined the franchise from a more popular time is an easy way to get the ratings back up. This has worked before for an iconic British hero: ask George Lazenby about James Bond.
3. Smith hasn’t gotten the same high profile acting positions or success that David Tennant has enjoyed after exiting Who. A return to Doctor Who would be a return to a high profile career and a character that he did exceedingly well with. There’s also this quote from the article, “Matt, who starred in the series from 2010-2013, meanwhile has made it clear he’d love to return, telling a fan in April when asked if he would play the Doctor again, ‘I really want to.'”
Let’s address why this can’t be happening:
1. Forwards, not backwards. It’s not been done before. It’s not supposed to happen. This would seem to strengthen the argument to do so all the more, but it flies in the face of all Who history. Gallifreyans turn into someone new, not old. That’s always been one of the joys of watching the series over several different actors: to see how they will bring something new to the series. There are countless science fiction reasons to explain why it would happen, or a simpler solution, such as the series is just following Smith’s Doctor before he regenerated, but it’s a terrible misstep to have the character regenerate into a previous Doctor.
2. It comes across as a desperate move. All I can picture are heads exploding and ledgers flying about Portland Place as shouts of “We’re losing money! Get the previous Doctor back!” resound.
3. Moffat is trying to ramp up attention for the current Who. In my opinion, Who has suffered under Moffat’s tenure. I believe he can write an excellent story, but he should not have been supervising the series. Under his rule, Who has slowly tumbled from the Tennant heights, which Smith followed, decently. Moffat wants to go out on top and chumming the waters with this type of fodder makes the fans talk. And, yes, I realize I am feeding that frenzy with this article. Hyping the future — or previous — Who lead, a decision Moffat should have no business in casting, brings attention to the series. This could be true with one sentence from the article, “Representatives for Doctor Who and Matt declined to comment when contacted by MailOnline.”
So a tidbit has been thrown into the cosmos. Could Matt Smith be returning as Doctor Who in new adventures? What do you think?