Smith to take over from Tennant in Doctor Who

Matt Smith, who appeared in the National Theatre’s production of The History Boys, has been named as David Tennant’s replacement in Doctor Who.

The 26-year-old actor, who also starred with Billie Piper in the BBC’s adaptation of Philip Pullman’s The Ruby in the Smoke, will take over in the role of the Doctor in the fifth series, which will be broadcast in 2010.

Smith was revealed as the new lead during a special edition of Doctor Who Confidential that was broadcast on BBC1 on Saturday.

Speaking about taking on the role, he said: “It’s a wonderful privilege and challenge that I hope I will thrive on. I feel proud and honoured to have been given this opportunity to join a team of people that has worked so tirelessly to make the show so thrilling.”

Smith said he hoped to “learn from the standards” set by Tennant, whom he said had “made the role his own, brilliantly, with grace, talent and persistent dedication”.

“The challenge for me is to do justice to the show’s illustrious past, my predecessors, and most importantly, to those who watch it. I really cannot wait,” he added.

The fifth series will also have a new lead writer and executive producer in the form of Steven Moffat, who is taking over from Russell T Davies.

Moffat will be joined by Piers Wenger, who will be the new executive producer for BBC Wales.

“The Doctor is a very special part, and it takes a very special actor to play him. You need to be old and young at the same time, a boffin and an action hero, a cheeky schoolboy and the wise old man of the universe. As soon as Matt walked through the door, and blew us away with a bold and brand new take on the Time Lord, we knew we had our man,” Moffat said.

Smith, who was a member of the National Youth Theatre, has also appeared in the BBC2 series Party Animals, in Polly Stenham’s play That Face at the Royal Court and in the West End and in Swimming with Sharks opposite Christian Slater.

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