Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

Fresh from a raucous, standing-room-only appearance at Comic-Con, the producers and stars of the BBC America series Doctor Who hit Beverly Hills and TCA this morning to promote the forthcoming mega-hyped 50th anniversary special coming November 23. There is a bittersweet edge to the marketing, however, since Matt Smith — the latest in a long line of actors to portray Doctor Who — is leaving the series after four years later this year. He’s currently shooting his final episode now. Why leave? “Well, I’ve done it four years,” Smith said, “and we shoot nine or 10 months a year.” In other words, it’s a lot of work. But its more than that, he insisted. “It’s just a good time for me and for the show,” he added. “It wasn’t an easy choice to make…I feel very proud to have been part of such a wonderful legacy of actors.” Smith is confident the show will continue just fine into its 51st year once he’s gone. “The show will get bigger and better and carry on without me,” he said, “and people will forget.” Producer Marcus Wilson insisted that no real thought has been yet been given to recruiting a replacement for Smith in the lead.