'Doctor Who' is back! We meet his latest assistant
Jenna-Louise Coleman, Matt Smith and showrunner Steven Moffat tell us what we can expect from the rest of series seven
Mon Mar 25 2013
The pace of the show seems to be getting faster and faster.
‘It’s got faster down the years, but then all television has. You do try and go madly fast in “Doctor Who”. We’ve got three fast-paced nailbiters in a row this year – we don’t settle down for ages.’
And we’re journeying to the centre of the Tardis in one episode?
‘You will see more of the Tardis than you ever have before. I remember years ago reading about an episode in the Radio Times where the doctor dodges the Suntarans through the many rooms of the Tardis. I could not wait for Saturday, but there was a problem with the scenery and they shot it all in a disused hospital and it was so disappointing! I thought, some day, I shall remedy this!’
How do you balance appealing to the fanboys with keeping the casual viewers interested?
‘People stop me in the street with the most abstruse questions, and they’re real people. Everyone’s a fan, and the level of knowledge is very intense. But it’s very easy to keep “Doctor Who” accessible, because it’s designed to be. The format is so simple: a man who can travel anywhere in time and space in a box that’s bigger on the inside. That’s it! Americans often ask me what a good jumping-on point is, which is like asking which James Bond film is a good one to start with is. They’re all fine, you’ll get it.’
And the Ice Warriors are back…
‘I don’t think we have to go into the back catalogue any more, now that the new and old shows are merged together. We thought, they’re slow-moving and you can’t really hear what they’re saying – is that the archetypal slightly silly monster? But Mark [Gatiss] had been going about it and started pitching a couple of very clever ideas about what we could do with an Ice Warrior. This one is a super version of the original.’
Do you ever worry about using the same idea in an episode of ‘Doctor Who’ and an episode of ‘Sherlock’?
‘They just live in different parts of my head. The pace of “Doctor Who” is completely different. “Sherlock” has this reputation of being really really fast, and it is, but it has the longest scenes in the world – nine minute scenes. It lives in a different place. Mark and I are always saying you can never do something, or not do something, because we both do both shows. You wouldn’t worry about that if they were made by different people.’
What are your own highlights from the new series?
‘The Doctor’s greatest secret will be revealed. It actually will!’
‘Doctor Who’ returns on Saturday March 30 2013, 6.15pm, BBC1
- Rated as: 4/5
It’s been described as ‘Doctor Who’ does ‘Skyfall’ and, as a hectic, stunt-filled romp across London, this mid-series comeback certainly fits that bill. But there’s also more than a shade of ‘Invasion of the Bodysnatchers’ and ‘Black Mirror’ in the concept of ‘The Bells of Saint John’, which sees Celia Imrie’s mysterious corporation hijacking wifi and uploading people’s souls to a data hub on behalf of a client whose motives are as mysterious as their identity.
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- Rated as: 4/5
A couple of quibbles aside (Imrie’s ‘secret plot’ wants for a little secrecy), this is prime Moffat-era ‘Doctor Who’.