Doctor Who needs a new Doctor

Matt Smith is giving Doctor Who fans something new to obsess about after the mind warp that was the season seven finale: he is quitting.

Smith will be leaving Doctor Who after he finishes filming the year-end Christmas special.

Smith, who has played the Time Lord for four years now, said of his departure:

“Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show.

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“Having Steven Moffat as show runner write such varied, funny, mind bending and brilliant scripts has been one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges of my career.

“The fans of Doctor Who around the world are unlike any other; they dress up, shout louder, know more about the history of the show (and speculate more about the future of the show) in a way that I’ve never seen before.

“It’s been an honour to play this part, to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the Tardis for a spell with ‘the ginger, the nose and the impossible one’. But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls. Thank you guys. Matt.”

The BBC confirmed that Smith’s departure will take place after he appears in the 50th anniversary and the 2013 Christmas special.

The 30-year-old actor, who is set to star in Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, How to Catch a Monster, first stepped into the Tardis in 2010, and at the time was the youngest actor to play the role.

Moffat, Doctor Who’s lead writer and executive producer,