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Matt Smith Insists He’s Not In Upcoming ‘Doctor Who’ Specials, So Why Am I Still Hopeful?

Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who (BBC)

Anniversary episodes are a big deal for Doctor Who fans. For the 50th anniversary special, 2013’s The Day of the Doctor, we got then-current Doctor Matt Smith, his predecessor David Tennant, and an exciting appearance from Rose Tyler actress Billie Piper. And now that the 60th anniversary episodes starring Tennant and Catherine Tate are so, so close, fans are wondering … Could we see David Tennant and Matt Smith acting opposite each other once again? Just for a little bit?

There’s been absolutely no confirmation that Matt Smith is involved in the new episodes but fans of his Eleventh Doctor remain optimistic no matter what. Some even think they might have spotted Smith’s visage on a playing card in one of the new posters for the 60th anniversary.

Matt Smith denies he’s returning

Yesterday a video dropped on YouTube of Matt Smith at the Middle East Film and Comic Con, which he attended in March 2023. In it, Matt says, “I’m not back [in Doctor Who].” When the interviewer asks if that means he will never be back, Matt answers, “I think so. I mean, who knows? I doubt it.”

When asked, “How many times have they called you, asking?” the actor replies, “Never.” After confirming this, he adds, “I’m a fan now. I can enjoy it as a fan, and I like that.”

So it really doesn’t look like Matt Smith will be reprising his role as the Eleventh Doctor. And perhaps for some that will be a big disappointment, not least because so many old Doctors have been returning lately. We had cameos from David Bradley, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, and Jo Martin in The Power of the Doctor, after all!

But on the other hand, the upcoming specials are already looking like a multi-Doctor story, what with both David Tennant and Ncuti Gatwa starring, and perhaps any other Doctors would take away from that. We do, after all, want some room to explore other storylines, including that of Donna Noble and her daughter.

Is this just a tried and tested trick?

Some people think Matt Smith might be pulling an Andrew Garfield. (Hey, he was also in Doctor Who!) Remember how in the run-up to Spider-Man: No Way Home, Garfield denied at every given opportunity that he was in it, only to pop out of a portal in the movie’s third act? Yeah …

Fans are clinging to hope that perhaps Matt Smith is pulling a similar trick. After all, he told Rolling Stone in 2022 that he would be happy to return “if it was the right script,” although he did add “I mean, I don’t know if I’ve got too old now. It would have to be really right.”

Don’t worry, Matt, you’re not too old. And even if you were, the show can easily work around actors getting older, and has done so this month even with Tales of the TARDIS, which starred multiple people who had major roles on the show in times past.

So, though Matt Smith fans shouldn’t hold their breath just yet, you never know exactly where the TARDIS may take a person…

(featured image: BBC)

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