The Sixth Doctor Speaks: Colin Baker On Matt Smith's Departure From 'Doctor Who'

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It might be a little while before we know the reasons behind Matt Smith's seemingly abrupt departure from the BBC's global hit series "Doctor Who." But in the meantime, we were fortunate enough to get a reaction from another former Timelord, the sixth Doctor Colin Baker, who was participating in a panel and signing at this weekend's Denver Comic Con.

After the jump, find out what Baker had to say about the end of every actor's run as the Doctor.

When I caught up to Baker, he was just wrapping up a signing session for fans out on the convention floor, and had only just minutes before learned of Smith's pending departure. When I asked his thoughts on the news, he old me "I hadn't realized he'd done three years, which one tends to think is about the right length of time. I imagine there's a lot of people clamoring for his services in other stuff and I know that he wants to direct--I've heard that. So I understand." Baker said that while he was sad that Smith was departing, fans should see this as "another stepping stone in the saga of 'Doctor Who.'"

Baker added that he had a great deal of affection for the current incarnation of the Doctor: "I shall miss him because he's been a very interesting and unusual Doctor, with echoes of the old Doctors like [the second Doctor] Patrick Troughton and [the first Doctor] William Hartnell."

I asked Baker about his feelings about the end of his own time as the Doctor back in 1986, and he reflected on his time with the character with a lack of sentimentality: "Well as an actor, one is used to just starting and ending--you just get on with it, really." Still, he says "You never really leave 'Doctor Who'--it stays with you forever."

Baker can be seen in the upcoming British supernatural thriller "Shadows of a Stranger."