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How Matt Smith Could Return To Doctor Who

One of the most exciting things about "Doctor Who" is seeing who will be cast in the starring role when it's time for the titular Time Lord to regenerate. The BBC science fiction series, which began in 1963, has never been beholden to one star, but the regeneration concept has allowed it to maintain some form of narrative consistency through all of the casting changes. As a result, the show can introduce fresh Doctors without canonically erasing the actors who came before. Furthermore, the "multi-Doctor" episodes have allowed different versions of the character to cross paths in fun and interesting ways.

Of course, every "Doctor Who" fan likes certain actors more than others. Naturally, some Whovians would love nothing more than to see their favorite blasts from the past reprise the iconic role. Similarly, some of the actors associated with the character would love to re-enter the T.A.R.D.I.S. for more cosmic adventures. One of those performers is none other than Matt Smith, who played the Eleventh Doctor from 2010 until 2014. While Smith has enjoyed a successful Hollywood career since he left the sci-fi series, he's open to picking up the sonic screwdriver one last time.

Matt Smith wants to play the Doctor again

Earlier this year, Matt Smith was asked if he'd rather return to "Doctor Who" or star in a sequel to "Morbius." However, while the critical response to Marvel's polarizing vampire movie probably made some cast members unenthused about starring in a follow-up, Smith would prefer one last hurrah as the Time Lord for sentimental reasons. "Doctor Who's the best. Doctor Who's the best part in the world, you know," Smith told It's Gone Viral: Presents. "That's not to say I wouldn't love to be in a Morbius sequel with Jared because I would, but, you know, the Doctor's the Doctor — unbeatable. All part of the plan."

The actor reaffirmed this stance in an interview with Consequence, revealing that he's always up for having a conversation about returning as the Time Lord. "[You] always miss playing [the Doctor] because it's just a thrill. Every two weeks when you film an episode, bosh, there you are onto the next one in a completely different world and completely different sets. It's fabulous."

It remains to be seen if Smith will return as the Doctor down the line. Then again, is there actually a way to recast the actor in a way that makes sense to the rules of the "Doctor Who" universe?

Is it possible for Matt Smith to return as The Doctor?

The "Doctor Who" franchise has told several "multi-Doctor" stories throughout the years. For the most part, they are excuses to revel in nostalgia. That said, some of these episodes have rewritten the rules of the lore, providing new paths for old actors to potentially return to the fold as the Doctor.

For instance, the "Timeless Child" arc suggests that the Doctor has limitless regenerations, so it's entirely possible that he could use one of them to adopt an appearance that's been used before. After all, there are precedents for the Time Lords choosing an appearance, as evidenced by the time Romana seemingly changed on a whim in "Destiny of the Daleks" (per Den of Geek). Elsewhere, the show explains why Peter Capaldi also played Lucius Caecilius in "The Fires of Pompeii." To explain the resemblance, it's revealed that the Doctor made himself look like the historic Roman so he could remember his past.

Additionally, some episodes have shown that the Doctor can conjure up memories of previous guises. In 2013's "The Day of the Doctor," Tom Baker — who's implied to be his version of the Time Lord — tells Smith's character that he might see some familiar faces in the years to come. 

In short, there are plausible ways to bring back Smith as the Doctor. That said, fans might be waiting a while, as Ncuti Gatwa is set to play the next incarnation of the beloved character.