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Paul Rance 'discovers' Matt Smith - the 11th TV Doctor Who


Matt Smith made his first appearance as the Doctor on New Year's Day, 2010, replacing the 10th TV Doctor Who David Tennant. The new Doctor was slyly revealed on the 'Doctor Who' companion show, 'Doctor Who Confidential', on BBC1 on Saturday, January 3rd, 2009. So slyly revealed, if you had not been looking at the captions you'd have missed the moment! Matt was revealed as the 11th TV Doctor (let's not forget Peter Cushing either) - and was not an obvious choice for many.

Matt Smith is the youngest Doctor Who at 26 years old, and is fairly unknown. Born in Northampton, England, on October 28th, 1982, Smith was a promising footballer, playing at youth level for Northampton Town, Leicester City, and Nottingham Forest, until a back injury curtailed his career, and then he switched to acting. Studying drama at the University of East Anglia, Smith was, by this time, already a member of the National Youth Theatre, and gained a good reputation fairly quickly, notably acting opposite film star Christian Slater on the stage in two plays - 'Fresh Kills (2004)' and 'Swimming With Sharks (2007/08)' - the latter being his West End debut. 2006 had seen Matt Smith make his TV debut, ironically opposite Billie Piper, who had played 'Doctor Who' assistant Rose Tyler, in an adaptation of Phillip Pullman's 'The Ruby In The Smoke' on the BBC. 2007 was to see Smith's most acclaimed roles - on both stage and TV. He played Henry, the son of an alcoholic mother in 'That Face', on the stage, and geeky Danny Foster in BBC drama series, 'Party Animals'.

'Survivors' and 'Jekyll' star Paterson Joseph was a personal favourite of mine to get the role of Doctor Who, but Matt Smith does have an otherworldly look about him, though, like many, I'm not that familiar with his work to date. I suspect he'll be more Tennant than Eccleston, but I didn't expect David Tennant to be the type of Doctor I initially expected.

Matt Smith said of his appointment: "I'm so excited about the journey that is in front of me. It's a wonderful privilege and challenge that I hope I will thrive on. I feel proud and honoured. 'Dr. Who' is an iconic part of our culture." Smith began filming for the 2010 BBC series of 'Doctor Who' in the summer of 2009, and he will appear in his first series in the spring of 2010.

- Paul Rance/

Matt Smith's TV & Film Roles (TV unless otherwise stated)
(most recent roles - in italics - listed first)

Doctor Who (2010-    ) The Doctor
Together (2009/II) (Film) Rob

Moses Jones (2009) Dan Twentyman
The Street (2007) Ian Hanley
Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2007) Tim
The Shadow in the North (2007) Jim Taylor
Party Animals (2007) Danny Foster
Masterpiece Theatre - The Ruby in the Smoke (2006) Jim Taylor
Gotham, IL (2004) (Film) Curious Onlooker


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