Like most Doctor Who fans, I was excited to learn that the powers-that-be would be announcing the identity of the actor to portray the Eleventh Doctor today. Unfortunately, I don't live in the UK, so I had to rely on the web for my information. Still, I was able to learn that Matt Smith was officially named within a few minutes of the information being revealed on Doctor Who Confidential.
Now the question is: Who is Matt Smith? I've never heard of him!
That's not unusual, of course. I've never heard of any of the Doctors before they'd gotten the role (though, to be fair, that can really only apply to 8-11, since I only started watching Doctor Who in the late '80s). I was able to be online for an "official unveiling" when the 8th Doctor was first announced on AOL (Remember when AOL was the place for online stuff?), but I'd never heard of Paul McGann at the time, nor of Christopher Eccleston a few years ago. I should have been more aware of David Tennant via the Big Finish audios and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (the movie version), but hadn't made the connection on my own.
IMDB wasn't any help at all. There are lots of guys named Matt Smith. Through this site, I was able to get a bit more information. But, although I've heard of some of the shows it lists, I've not seen any of them. I have been able to verify that, at 26 years old, Smith will be the youngest actor ever to play the role (Peter Davison previously held that distinction).
I'm sure we'll all have an opportunity to learn more about the actor in the coming months. Current assumptions are that Smith will assume the role on-screen in the last of several "movie" epsiodes being done before the series picks up properly next year, so probably around Easter of 2010. In the meantime, congratulations to Matt Smith in landing this iconic role!