Tonight’s Doctor Who season premiere was not short on incident (and if you’re a Whovian who hasn’t seen the episode yet, may I suggest you do so before reading any further — SPOILERS AHEAD). But the most heart(s)-wrenching moment came early on when Matt Smith’s titular time traveler was killed by a mysterious, astronaut suit-wearing figure. True, it was almost immediately revealed that the dead Doc was a future version of the Time Lord, but the event was still pretty darned noteworthy and looks set to have dramatic ramifications for future episodes.

EW spoke with Smith about the “death” of Doctor Who — here are his thoughts:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was it like to read the scene in which your character died?

MATT SMITH: [Laughs] Well, as with every actor in a long running series, I guess you go through a mixture of fear and intrigue. But then he came back really soon, so that was very exciting.

Were there a few post-demise pages where you were like…

“Oh no, what happened? What have I done?” But I think it’s really bold storytelling, to kill off a main character early on, especially that character. It’s the sort of territory we want to be investigating dramatically.

The episode suggested that you will be the last person to play the Doctor.

Really? Okay. [Laughs]

Will the “dead Doctor” plot line be resolved this season?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Totally.

Okay, now it’s over to you. What did you think about tonight’s episode? About the Doctor’s “death”? The return of River Song? The Silence? Amy Pond’s big news? The introduction of Mark Sheppard’s FBI agent? And of a certain Richard Milhous Nixon?

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