A New Regeneration?

Matt Smith in the season finale of Doctor Who

Matt Smith in the season finale of Doctor Who

There is a disturbance in the Whoniverse.

If you are unaware of what exactly the disturbance is, or of what the Whoniverse is, don’t worry. It’s only the biggest group of space nerds on this side of the galaxy, begun almost 50 years ago.

Doctor Who has been on the airwaves for decades, first starting in the UK on November 23, 1963. (Any coincidence with the Kennedy assassination? Doubt it.) Long time viewers know the basic plot of the story — a runaway alien man steals a time-travel machine and goes traversing through time and space, only to end up  in 1960’s Britain. From there, he meets a pair of bewildered but eager humans who decide to travel with him in the never-ending journey across the stars, fighting off enemies as they go. This alien man, known affectionately as “The Doctor”, is a sassy, wise man, who never seems to die — only “regenerate”. In short, he stays alive, but changes bodies.

So why is this a big deal for Whovians across the globe?

The current regeneration of the Doctor, the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), is slated to regenerate again: only this time, it’s during the Christmas Special.  The latest reports from The Sun (UK) have Matt Smith leaving the show on the Christmas Special, merely because he is speculated to be engaged with a movie deal with Ryan Gosling. (A movie directed by Gosling? I guess it was bound to happen.) Not everything is certain until Steven Moffat, the current writer, makes it official.

But this leaves people to wonder: who will take over as the next Timelord?

Many sources are leaning toward Benedict Cumberbatch, the leading star in BBC’s miniseries Sherlock. He has branched out significantly in his major roles, taking on Smaug in The Hobbit and the evil Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness. Some are also speculating a woman to play the part of The Doctor, though the role is a strong male part. Dame Helen Mirren, Dame Maggie Smith, and Tilda Swinton are names thrown out there as women Timelords.

Who will the writers choose? Will Matt Smith actually leave the show on Christmas? I guess it’s a wait-and-see game. Until then, you can view Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor in the season premiere of Doctor Who, airing on BBC America and BBC One on March 30th.

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