Is Matt Smith leaving Doctor Who?

The eleventh Doctor may have let the cat out of the bag.

In an interview yesterday released by the Radio Times, Matt Smith was asked about the possibility of being typecast as a goofy eccentric if he stayed on as the doctor for too long.

In response he reportedly said, “When I finish [Doctor Who], I’ll be…” he paused at this point, seemingly realizing that he was about to give something away, “Well, I don’t know how old I’ll be, but by the end of next year I’ll be 29 so…” then he paused again.

Paul Jones of Radio Times takes this as a bit of a slip up on the actor’s part, giving away that he’s going to finish the next season – which will span 2012 and 2013 due to BBC budget cuts – and then make a clean break.

It would not be unprecedented for an actor to only do three seasons as The Doctor, in fact it’s longer than the ninth Doctor, who only completed one season before leaving the show on poor terms.

He finished the interview on a different note.

“When I’m 40, I won’t be playing the same parts,” Smith said. “If people are going to employ me on the basis that I once played the Doctor, that’s up to them. If the part’s right, the money’s good, why not?”

When Matt Smith began in the role at the beginning of the previous season (we’re allowed to call them seasons now that they’re on BBC America), he received a mixed reaction from fans, mostly because the previous actor, David Tennant was so well loved by audiences.

Since then, however, he has become one of the most popular Doctors ever – coinciding with the official expansion of the franchise into American television.

Previously, it was shown in the States nearly six months behind the broadcast in Britain. The current season of Doctor Who, which resumes on 27 Aug this year with Let’s Kill Hitler, is the first to be broadcast simultaneously (to the day only) on both sides of the Altantic.