Matt Smith Matt Smith

The Doctor is out on Doctor Who.

Matt Smith, who plays the title role in the BBC series, will make his exit at the end of the year after starring in the show's 50th anniversary 3D special on Nov. 23 and the annual Christmas special, when he will regenerate.

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"Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show," Smith said in a statement. "I'm incredibly grateful to all the cast and crew who work tirelessly every day, to realise all the elements of the show and deliver Doctor Who to the audience. It's been an honour to play this part, to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the TARDIS for a spell with 'the ginger, the nose and the impossible one.' But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls. Thank you guys. Matt."

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Added executive producer Steven Moffat: "This isn't the end of the story, because now the search begins. Somewhere out there right now - all unknowing, just going about their business - is someone who's about to become The Doctor. A life is going to change, and Doctor Who will be born all over again! After 50 years, that's still so exciting!"

Last month, Doctor Who was renewed for an eighth season.

Will you miss Smith as the Doctor? Who do you think should replace him?