British tabloids typically have about a 50% accuracy rate with their 'scoops' on Doctor Who, the long-running British sci-fi series. Sometimes they're very right, and sometimes they're horribly wrong, but the fact that they might be right is enough to keep them going -- and enough to keep us listening.
The latest such rumor comes from The Sun, whose insider sources claim that star Matt Smith is slated to leave the series after this year's upcoming Christmas special.
Smith, who has played the Doctor since 2010, has starred in three series of the show so far, and is contracted to appear at least through the show's Christmas special. Apparently, though, Smith wants to venture into Hollywood films -- he's already slated to star in Ryan Gosling's directorial debut, How to Catch a Monster, due out next year.
This rumor seems fairly credible, considering Smith's previous statements regarding the role (despite loving playing the Doctor, he doesn't want to do it for too long). Of course, nothing's official until it's announced by the BBC -- Smith could easily decide he wants to sign on for series 8, or at least stick around for a few episodes of that series before leaving halfway through. It's all conjecture at this point.
Companion Jenna-Louise Coleman is already confirmed to be starring in series 8.
Smith has been absolutely fantastic in the role, but the fact that these rumors are flying around means that it's time to start speculating about his replacement as well. Lots of names are flying about (the Sun mentioned Homeland's David Harewood, who I think would be a good choice). Who do you think should be the Twelfth Doctor?
Doctor Who will return next Saturday with the episode "The Bells of Saint John" on BBC One in the UK and BBC America in the US.