Following David Tennant's decision to step down at the end of 2009, the team behind Series Five of Doctor Who decided to cast Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith quickly, so that new adventures could be created and scripts written with him in mind.
"The script is where it starts", Matt revealed in a new interview Doctor Who Magazine. "It's always about the words, and luckily we're in the hands of Steven Moffat [Doctor Who's incoming Head Writer], who has this show ingrained in his soul and searing through his blood. It's really born into his whole fabric - and that's the job for me over the next few months, to make this show part of my fibre.
"I think Steven is going to be the main creative source for me, and we're going to discover it together - who the Doctor is in Steven's mind and words, coupled with pockets of my personality, my history, my life, and the man and the human being that I am. I've got a meeting with Piers [Wenger, executive producer] next week to discuss that, but I think we'll start rehearsing and, you know, just sit around Piers' or Steven's kitchen table, read the scripts together, talk about the part. We'll talk about my intentions, their intentions, how we feel it can fly, and sing, and be as brilliant and as Doctor-y and as excellent as it can be."
Matt, who is already fully immersed in the role, will be the youngest actor to take on the identity of The Doctor. Asked what costume his Eleventh doctor might sport, Matt admitted that he was "a big fan of long coats and rather dashing scarves in everyday life, so who knows? For the audition, I rocked up in whatever, so I think they're having to tone down what I wear in real life for the Doctor!
"I am a rather elaborate dresser. That's what's lovely, there are all these exciting things - what's he going to wear, what's he going to do in his first scene with his companion, which monsters will he meet, will he meet the Daleks? This show is so alive, it really is. I can't ever quite forget that I'm the Doctor - which is weird, because it's still so far away. But it's always there in my subconscious, because it's the Doctor! It's like, there's Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and Doctor Who. It has resonance in our cultural fabric."
Since being announced as the Eleventh Doctor in a special edition of Doctor Who Confidential, Matt has already started to receive fan mail - even before any scenes for the Fifth series have been shot.
Matt says he will make his Doctor "as varied, brilliant, dark, unpredictable and happy and sad as I can." "I'm really going to work my socks off in the next few years and do my best to enjoy it as much as I can," he added. With previous credits including The Ruby In The Smoke' and Pat Animals, Matt promises to get to the heart of his new role and its long history. "I'm going to make it my business to do so, and fall into it with as much depth as I possibly can."
Four Doctor Who Specials featuring David Tennant will run from spring 2009 into New Year 2010, after which Matt will take over for Series Five.
The full interview can be read in the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine.