Matt Smith announced this week that he will step down from his role as the current Time Lord on the ever-popular and long-running BBC series Dr Who following the airing of this year's Christmas special. Needless to say, the show's producers are currently compiling a list of potential replacements for Smith, however there is word that they may make a surprise casting choice by hiring the first female Doctor the show has seen.

Producer and head-writer Steven Moffat will look to put his ever-lasting stamp on the show he helped return to the public zeitgeist, by introducing the historic character development. The Mirror reported the potential casting decision on Sunday (June 2), following the news the Smith was due to leave.

The paper alluded to a comment made by Moffat at the Edinburgh TV Festival in 2012 when he discussed the unpredictability of the Doctor and that having a female Time Lord is a very feasible idea. He said, “It is a part of Time Lord lore that it can happen. Who knows, the more often it is talked about the more likely it is to happen some day.”

A quick glance at the current bookmaker's picks for the next Time Lord does indicate that things won't change too much though, with the top contenders all male. History could still be made though if second favourite for the role, Homeland's David Harewood, is picked instead, with the actor becoming the first black Doctor. Skyfall's Rory Kinnear is currently favourite for the post, with his 007 co-star Ben Whishaw also strongly touted for the role. However, given the success of Smith - who was practically unknown to audiences before his turn as the Doctor, it is likely that the show will hire another newcomer to the role.

As if excitement about the potential appointment wasn't high enough, Moffat's statement to The Mirror today might up the anticipation that bit more. He said, "Somewhere out there right now - all unknowing, just going about their business - is someone who's about to become the Doctor. A life is going to change, and Doctor Who will be born all over again! After 50 years, that's still so exciting!"

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