Matt Smith, who at age 26 will be the youngest person ever to take on the role, will be the next actor to portray the Doctor on Doctor Who, the BBC announced today.
This will be the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor since the series began all the way back in November 1963. Smith will take over from David Tennant, who has been playing the Doctor since the finale of the revived series's first season in 2005. Presumably the changeover will happen during the Christmas special a little less than a year from now.
In case you're wondering how this happens, the Doctor is a Time Lord from Gallifrey and whenever his current body gets too old or injured (or there's a contract dispute with the BBC) he has the ability to "regenerate": giving him a new body and usually a slightly different personality. So it's been the same Doctor ever since the beginning, just different versions of the guy.
And already, even before regeneration takes place, Matt Smith faces potentially more than any other Doctor before him. There's River Song who odds are good he'll finally "meet for the first time" now that Steven Moffat will be running the show. But on a more sinister note it has been rumored that Moffat wants to address the nasty business of the Valeyard now that we're getting Doctor #11.
What do I think of Matt Smith as the Doctor? I really don't know anything about him. But I definitely believe he looks like a potentially good Doctor. We shall see, beginning this coming December! :-)