Picture it: It's 2010, David Tennant had his last moments as the Doctor (or so we thought) and Matt Smith was introduced as the charming and witty Eleventh Doctor. But just how did he prepare for such a mammoth of a role?


As many Doctor Who fans will know, there are so many facets to the Time Lord - and that was no easy feat for Smith to master when he stepped into the shoes of so many before him.

In a new interview with Variety, Smith opened up about how one former Doctor in particular offered him advice on mastering the role.

The actor, who is set to star in the second season of House of the Dragon, revealed that David Tennant gave him a tip on learning his lines.

Smith explained: "The line-learning for that job was insatiable, and David Tennant, God love him, said to me when I phoned him [after] I'd got the job and asked him for bits of advice and he was really generous with that.

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"He was like, 'Learn all of your lines on the Sunday,' because you've got to go back and do them, because you're shooting like 10 pages a day."

Reflecting on playing the Doctor, Smith noted that the character is "the vocal point for the exposition", because he says quite literally everything he sees.

Smith continued: "Obviously, it's television, so you're not doing it visually in quite the same way you would in a film. You've got to explain what's going on to the audience because the story has to move so quickly. So the line learning was just off the Richter scale, a lot."

While Smith has gone on to take on various other roles, including Prince Charles in The Crown, he noted Doctor Who as "one of the greatest experiences" of his life, not just for him but also his friends and family.

He said: "The day-to-day of having to think like the Doctor is like magic, really."

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Doctor Who continues on Saturday 1st June on BBC iPlayer and BBC One.

Previous seasons are available to stream on BBC iPlayer with episodes of the classic series also available on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.


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