The BBC decided to keep Doctor Who fans on tenterhooks for months on end when it came to the identity of the Thirteenth Doctor. Though Peter Capaldi revealed he was leaving the show in January of this year, we had to wait all the way until mid-July to learn that Jodie Whittaker was to take his place as the Thirteenth incarnation of the Time Lord.
One former star of the show, though, was lucky enough to find out about Whittaker’s casting slightly earlier than the rest of us. We’re talking about Matt Smith, the Eleventh Doctor himself, who employed a very subtle tactic to discover the info: he repeatedly begged the BBC bosses to let him know. Very classy, Mr. Smith.
The actor was chatting at Boston Comic-Con recently when he revealed the news, saying:
“I was literally – I was phoning people high up at the BBC going, ‘You have to tell me who it is. There’s a week to go, I want to know.’ [They told me] eventually, yeah, but only like three days before. And [by that point] I was like ‘You have to tell me – who is it? I have a right to know, it’s essentially me!’”
On why he was driven to such measures, Smith admitted that he still felt “excitement” for Doctor Who, and is particularly thrilled with the casting of Jodie Whittaker as he believes she’ll “reinvent” the show.
“It still generates that excitement because it can reinvent itself. And that’s what it’s done again – it’s gone ‘take that!’”
It’s nice to know that the star – who has since moved on to other successes like Netflix’s The Crown – is still plugged into the world of Doctor Who. Even if we’re kind of jealous that he got to find out about the new Doctor before we did.
Jodie Whittaker makes her Doctor Who debut in December’s Christmas special. Knowing Matt Smith, though, he’s probably already seen it.