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Our Resident 'Doctor Who' Expert asks: WHO is Matt Smith?

by Joey Paur

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Just "WHO" is Matt Smith? He has come out of relative obscurity to claim the role of one of the UK's most beloved characters, The Doctor, in the longest running science fiction show in the world, 'Doctor Who'. The native of Northampton, England, the 26 year old actor became the youngest actor to take over the role of The 11th Doctor, edging out the 5th Doctor by 3 years at the time of his casting in 1981.

Matt Smith was born in Northampton, England on October 28, 1982. Before he started acting he had quite a burgeoning football career, until a back injury prevented from allowing him to play anymore. His drama teacher introduced him to acting by signing him up to play the 10th juror in an adaptation of Twelve Angry Men. The rest, as they say is history.

Smith's first television role was as Jim Taylor in the BBC adaptations of the Sally Lockhart quartet books The Ruby in the Smoke and The Shadow in the North, opposite Billie Piper in the lead role. He would act alongside Piper once more in the Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

He also has won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Newcomer in his role as Henry in the critically acclaimed Polly Stenham play That Face

Smith's first major television role came in the form of 26 year old Danny in the show Party Animals. Party Animals was a show about parliamentary advisors and researchers in Westminster.

All of this is all well and good, but does it give Smith what he needs to be "The Last of the Time Lords"? Executive Producer Stephen Moffat had this to say on the subject.

"The Doctor is a very special part, and it takes a very special actor to play him. You need to be old and young at the same time, a boffin and an action hero, a cheeky schoolboy and the wise old man of the universe. As soon as Matt walked through the door, and blew us away with a bold and brand new take on the Time Lord, we knew we had our man."

I am a firm believer in the fact that there has never been a bad Doctor, just bad people behind the scenes. Whenever Stephen Moffat is involved something spectacular has come to the screen. In this instance I am reserving my judgment until Spring 2010 when Matt Smith takes over the TARDIS. The pair of shoes he is putting on however, are a mighty big pair. That I wouldn't put past anyone to follow.

-The Doctor

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