Is Matt Smith leaving 'Doctor Who' a huge mistake?

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More than perhaps any scripted drama on TV, the nature of Doctor Who is forward-looking renewal, embracing the sort of periodic cast upheaval that other shows strive to avoid at all cost. For actor Matt Smith, who is preparing to shoot his final episode as the Time Lord, stepping off the cult hit is an unnerving prospect.

“I feel very proud to be a part of such a wonderful legacy,” Smith said Thursday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills. “The thing about Doctor Who is he always looks forward. The show will get bigger and better and carry on without me … we shoot nine to 10 months a year, the show has come to a natural tipping point … it’s at the top of a cycle … it’s a good time of me and the show … it was a hard choice. I’ll miss it.”

Smith pointed out, however, that “just because I’ve done Doctor Who doesn’t give me a divine right to walk into any other jobs,” adding: “I’ll ponder it and sometimes think, ‘I’ve made a huge mistake. What am I doing?'”

The actor shouldn’t be too worried. He already has his next gig lined up, appearing in next year’s How to Catch a Monster, a fantasy film produced and directed by Ryan Gosling.

Doctor Who producer Marcus Wilson added: “As you say, when it’s time to go, it’s time to go. We want to send him out with a bang. Coming out after the 50th anniversary episode — our most ambitious episode yet — everybody wants to top that.”

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