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BBC - Doctor Who
The episode you just watched (or will see on BBC iPlayer!) was produced by Derek Ritchie who also produced next week’s Before the Flood and adventures featuring Maisie Williams. We’ve persuaded Derek along with veteran Doctor Who producer Nikki Wilson to field your questions for another round of Ask the Experts!
Let us know what you’d like us to ask Nikki and Derek on your behalf and we’ll select the best and most imaginative questions then bring you videos of their answers very soon!
Simply email your questions to TheDoctor@bbc.co.uk or tweet your questions to us at @bbcdoctorwho using the hashtag, #AskTheExperts
As always we’re looking for the most interesting and creative questions! It’s essential to avoid talking too much about upcoming storylines… Those secrets will be revealed as more of Series 9 hits our screens!
So, get tweeting or emailing and let us know what you want to know from the producers… What their job entails, what it’s like working with the stars, their fave memories and hopes for the future… You decide… Just let us know!
Categories: Doctor Who
Episode 3 of the new series is called Under the Lake and premieres on BBC One this Saturday at 8.25pm. Here are 8 reasons why we can’t wait…It’s the Clara and the Doctor versus ghosts!
We’re Game of Thrones fans and so having Paul Kaye on board for the ep is another reason for us to get excited. In Thrones he played Thoros and although we’re not sure about his role in Doctor Who, he seems to be playing a dead guy in a top hat. Oh-Kaye…Toby Whithouse
It’s by the same writer that gave us School Reunion, The Vampires of Venice, The God Complex and A Town Called Mercy. We couldn’t be happier, unless this one was called The Vampire School Mercy Complex. Maybe next time.New, New, New!
We love Missy, the Daleks, Davros and Skaro. In fact love is too small a word for it. But Doctor Who always mixes it up well and after a cracking adventure with some familiar foes it’s great to be plunged into a new adventure with new threats and new friends. Which one of these guys do you think will be your fave?That line!
We know we’ve already had a little squee about it being a ghost story, but look! These particular ghosts are tooled up and comin’ at ya… Who you gonna call? THE DOCTOR!!!
Categories: Doctor Who
BBC Three announces Doctor Who Spin Off
BBC Three today announces Class - a new 8 x 45 minute Doctor Who spin off from the acclaimed YA author, Patrick Ness. Class is a YA series set in contemporary London. Incredible dangers are breaking through the walls of time and space, and with darkness coming, London is unprotected. With all the action, heart and adrenalin of the best YA fiction (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Hunger Games), this is Coal Hill School and Doctor Who like you’ve never seen them before.
Steven Moffat says, “No one has documented the dark and exhilarating world of the teenager like Patrick Ness, and now we're bringing his brilliant story-telling into Doctor Who. This is growing up in modern Britain - but with monsters!”
On his first television series, writer Patrick Ness says, "I'm astounded and thrilled to be entering the Doctor Who universe, which is as vast as time and space itself. There's so much room there for all kinds of amazing stories, and to work with Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin to find a place to tell one of my own has been an absolute joy. I can't wait for people to meet the heroes of Class, to meet the all-new villains and aliens, to remember that the horrors of the darkest corners of existence are just about on par with having to pass your A-Levels."
Damian Kavanagh, Controller BBC Three adds, “We’re excited to give Patrick Ness this opportunity to work with us at BBC Three and the Doctor Who family. Patrick understands young audiences and I’m delighted he will use his incredible skills as a storyteller to delight audiences on BBC Three. BBC Three will always innovate and offer opportunities for brilliant new talent."
Polly Hill, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning, adds, “I am thrilled that Patrick Ness is writing his first drama series for BBC Three. The combination of Patrick and Steven Moffat, is an exciting partnership that has created a brilliant Doctor Who spin off for our BBC Three audience.”
Class is executive produced by Steven Moffatt, Patrick Ness and Brian Minchin. It was commissioned by Damian Kavanagh, Controller BBC Three and Polly Hill, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning.
An 8 x 45 minute series produced by BBC Cymru Wales in association with BBC Worldwide for BBC Three.
The series will film in and around Wales from Spring, 2016 and be on air next year.
Categories: Doctor Who
The ARCADE is now live in the Doctor Who Game Maker so you can share your amazing games with the rest of the world! And as everyone loves a mission, each week we are going to set a Game Maker Weekly Challenge where we will be looking for games created with a specific theme… This week’s challenge is to create a game featuring Colony Sarff!
At the end of each challenge we will showcase our favourite games on the Doctor Who website and feature them in the Game Maker arcade. To take part in the Weekly Challenge, use the Game Maker to create a game featuring Colony Sarff and when you have finished your game, publish it to the arcade… It’s that simple! If you want to show off your published game to friends and family, you can get a direct link to your creation in the MAKE GAMES section of the Game Maker.
Colony Sarff is classed as an ENEMY in the Game Maker, but you can actually make a game where you control Colony Sarff as a PLAYER… And you can even set him to fire snakes! To set Colony Sarff as a PLAYER go to the player selection screen and click SHOW ALL. You will then be able to select and control Colony Sarff. To make him shoot snakes you just need to add a BLAST component!
Check out Strax’s How To Guides to get more great tips for the Doctor Who Game Maker and come back to the website every Monday for our Weekly Challenge Roundup of the best games and the next week’s mission!
Categories: Doctor Who
The winners of our recent Mission DALEK competition visited the TARDIS yesterday (Thursday, 24 September) where they met the Doctor himself – Peter Capaldi!
Peter chatted, signed autographs, had photos taken with the successful entrants and expressed his delight at the standard of all the videos, remarking on what an inventive, creative bunch Doctor Who fans are!
As well as talking with Peter, the visitors met the man who designed the current TARDIS set, Michael Pickwoad, and were shown around the studios by Doctor Who producer, Derek Ritchie. The day ended with a trip to the Doctor Who Experience, hopefully rounding off what had been a great Doctor Who experience for everyone!
Mission DALEK was part of the BBC's Make It Digital season which is all about inspiring you to get creative with digital technology. Check out their site for great advice, inspiration and tips on how to get involved… and get digital!
Finally, massive thanks again to everyone who got involved with Mission DALEK and you can enjoy the winning entries online, now!
Categories: Doctor Who
The Witch’s Familiar is on BBC One on Saturday at 7.45pm. Here are a few reasons we can’t wait for it!WILL HE DO IT???
The last time we saw the Doctor he was on the ancient battlefields of Skaro, Dalek-gun in hand and a very nervous young Davros in front of him. The fact that the Doctor has just barked, ‘Exterminate!’ can’t have done the kid’s nerves any favours…We want to find out what’s happened to Clara...
She can’t be dead! Can she? Well, we’ve seen her in trailers for the series and she certainly looked alive but on a show as timey-wimey as Doctor Who you can take NOTHING for granted!That Doctor/Davros face-off…
The Daleks are out in force and oh my (Time) Lord there’s a real mix of the little monsters with even the Special Weapons making an appearance! After the episode finishes we’ll be asking you to vote for your fave so get ready to select your number one Dalek!What’s Davros up to?
That’s not really been explained yet, has it? Or did he REALLY just fancy a chat with the Doctor?Missy!
Again, we guess she must have survived. I mean, dying is very much for other people, but we’d like to know how she got out of being exterminated? Any ideas? Maybe ‘apparently’ getting killed was all part of her Master plan?The Next Time bit
Are we allowed to admit this? That the moment one episode finishes we LOVE the sneak peek of the following adventure. We’re really looking forward to ep 3 - Under the Lake - and want to learn more about this dude…Time Flight (of Stairs)
Colony Sarff is one of those monsters that we instantly liked/hated and we’re curious to know if old snake face will play in any part in Davros’ machinations. We asked him what his ‘dark lord’ was up to, but he wouldn’t tell. In fact, he made no bones about it - he’s not a Grass Snake.It’s an episode of Doctor Who!
Okay, we admit it. We always look forward to EVERY episode of Doctor Who. So maybe ignore the above. There’s a new episode of Doctor Who? Hey, we’re in. Anyone who phones us for the 50 minutes following 7.45pm on Saturday, well, let’s just say THEY WILL BE EXTERMINATED!!!
Categories: Doctor Who
It’s been officially confirmed that Jenna Coleman, who plays Clara Oswald, will leave Doctor Who during the new series which starts tomorrow, Saturday 19 September.
However, it’s not been revealed exactly when Clara leaves and the question many are already asking is how will she part company with the Doctor?
Jenna Coleman made her Doctor Who debut on 1 September, 2012 as Oswin Oswald in Asylum of the Daleks. She returned on Christmas Day of that year, playing Clara and remained with the Eleventh Doctor from the following episode, The Bells of Saint John, onwards. She stayed on board the TARDIS for all of Peter Capaldi’s episodes to date and after filming for the last series finished, Peter commented, ‘Jenna has been absolutely brilliant. I think she’s wonderful in the show, and she’s my favourite companion.’
But Series 9 sees the Impossible Girl’s departure although the how, why and when are all questions we’ll have to watch the new adventures to find out…
Whatever happens, we’ll bring you the inside info first but for the time being we’ll prepare to say goodbye to Clara and good luck to Jenna. We’ll miss them both.
Categories: Doctor Who
We set you Mission DALEK – you chose to accept it!
Thousands of you got involved with Mission DALEK and we received hundreds of entries to the digital creativity competition. Knowing what an inventive, creative lot Doctor Who fans are, we expected a high standard of clips but the judges were blown away by just how brilliant your stories were!
How does the Doctor end up facing the Daleks again? YOU CAN SEE THE FIVE WINNING ENTRIES HERE!
One of our judges, Doctor Who producer Derek Ritchie, told us, ‘we were very impressed by the fantastic standard of entries, and the variety of digital creativity on show – animation, cosplay, digital art, the inventiveness of Doctor Who fans knows no bounds!’
If you missed out on the Mission DALEK competition you can still learn about the art of making videos with our ‘how to’ guides that remain on the site and the BBC’s Make it Digital initiative is ongoing – find out more, now.
Also, why not try the fantastic, brand new Doctor Who Game Maker? You can create awesome new games which you’ll be able to share with the world very soon!
Finally, HUGE thanks to everyone who got involved with Mission DALEK. We picked 5 ‘ultimate’ winners but there were hundreds more people we salute for their stunning efforts. So now the Doctor’s story moves on from Mission DALEK… Where to? Find out on Saturday, 7.40pm on BBC One!
Categories: Doctor Who
We’re delighted to announce the launch of the Doctor Who Game Maker! It’s fun, easy to use and best of all, it gives you the chance to manipulate the Doctor Who universe like never before, letting you create your own action-packed games featuring the Doctor, Clara and a huge range of other heroes, monsters and worlds from the series.
It requires no technical knowledge, no download and works on desktop and tablets meaning you can get creative whenever and wherever you want! The Game Maker allows you to build something simple in minutes before moving onto more complex ideas as you get the hang of it. You’ll also be able use the arcade feature on your mobile so you can play games on the go. But be careful… It’s addictive!
Within minutes you can create a fun game from scratch, or use one of a selection of templates to help get you started! Templates include classic game formats with a Doctor Who twist, such as platform games, puzzles and racers. There’s a vast range of assets on offer to help you create your own unique games – including stunningly designed environments, monsters new and old, friends, foes, and spaceships from across the galaxy.
The Doctor’s old Sontaran friend, Strax, is on hand to offer advice with a range of helpful guides that show you how to get started, change the games’ physics to make things fly, animate objects and even add special effects. And there’ll soon be an Arcade area letting people play games made by users from around the world!
Jo Pearce, Creative Director, BBC Cymru Wales Interactive, said: “The Doctor Who Game Maker rounds off a big year for Doctor Who as part of Make it Digital. Our Doctor and the Dalek game introduced our audiences to coding basics, Mission Dalek competition encouraged fans to create stories using digital technology, and now we’re giving fans the chance to make their own games. It’s hugely exciting and we can’t wait to see what people come up with.”
Launched as part of the BBC’s Make it Digital season, the Doctor Who Game Maker gives young people the chance to get creative with digital technology and introduces them to game design. The Game Maker was produced in collaboration between BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Digital, Aardman Animations, Aerian and BBC Connected Studio, and is built using the BBC’s new mixital technology.
Categories: Doctor Who
The Doctor, Clara and Missy will be back on our TV screens on 19 September in The Magician’s Apprentice, but you can conjure them onto your computer screens now by downloading this image and setting it as your wallpaper!
Just click on the required format of the version you prefer and when it opens, right click to save the image or set it as your wallpaper.
Categories: Doctor Who
Sure, Clara gets to see alien civilisations, battles hideous monsters and helps to save the universe on a fairly regular basis… But here are 10 reasons why we reckon Miss Oswald has the best life…If she has a dodgy date she can go back in time and make it better…
Travelling with the Doctor didn’t always make things easy between Danny and Clara but on occasions, having a time machine at her beck and call came in useful. You might say the TARDIS helped her out, time and time again. (See also: Cooking a turkey for Christmas dinner).She gets to play with the Sonic Screwdriver.
Come on. Who wouldn’t want to mess about with a piece of the Doctor’s coolest alien tech?She never knows what’s going to happen next…
One minute she’s in a school storeroom, the next she’s in a Dalek! Clara could be popping out to meet a friend and the next moment find herself robbing a bank on another planet and when her phone rings it could be her dad…Or maybe it’s the guy in front of her calling from the past when he had a different face! Clara never knows what’s going to happen next and we love the fact that in the new series she embraces this sense of adventure… We can’t wait to see where it takes her!She gets to rock looks like this…
From fab frocks to serious space suits the TARDIS wardrobe has provided Clara with loads of outstanding outfits!She gets to wind the Doctor up…
He’s the Doctor. He’s a Time Lord. He’s from the planet Gallifrey in the Constellation of Kasterborous. He’s over two-thousand years old and he’s the man… Actually, he’s the man who it’s quite fun to wind up, which Clara enjoys doing whenever she’s gets half a chance. Whether she’s pretending his beloved TARDIS is a snog box or cheekily calling herself the Doctor, she treats the Time Lord as an equal and is always up for pulling his leg.She meets the Doctor’s friends.
Normally meeting your friends’ friends can be a bit of a bore but you have to pretend to like them and fake a ‘so what?’ attitude even if they say something crazy. ‘You don’t like Doctor Who? Really?’ (Translation: ‘You don’t like Doctor Who? Are you insane?’) But meeting the Doctor’s friends means hooking up with characters like Vastra, Jenny and Strax. Just watch out for flying newspapers, eh Clara?She works at Coal Hill School.
The London secondary has had its share of unique pupils from the irrepressible Courtney Woods to a certain Susan Foreman who just happened to be the Doctor’s granddaughter… It’s been invaded by a deadly Skovox Blitzer and Daleks and its staff members have included Clara herself, Danny Pink, an undercover Time Lord plus two of his first traveling companions – Ian and Barbara. So, it’s fair to say Clara – always in a class of her own – has picked a school where things are never dull!She has the best boyfriend break-up story.
Agreed, it’s a bit sad – Danny getting turned into a Cyber soldier and then dying, but look on the bright side. Next time someone asks why she isn’t with her boyfriend any more she can kill the question with, ‘He died to save me and the whole of our planet before sacrificing himself AGAIN so a little kid could be reunited with his parents.’ Say what you like, but it certainly beats, ‘We’re on a break.’She gets to meet her heroes!
Her best friend is the universe’s greatest hero… Whatever face he wears, he always has her back…
Categories: Doctor Who
If you love online games or have ever wanted to create and share your own Doctor Who game, stand by for some great news!
The Doctor Who Game Maker launches on 15 September and is designed to help you create brilliant games using a huge range of heroes, monsters and worlds visited by the Doctor. The variety of games you’ll be able to make and play is enormous. From the simple to the staggering, the only limits are your imagination and ambition.
Or if you’d prefer to simply enjoy other people’s games – no problem! You can battle foes like the Daleks, Cybermen and Sontarans and attempt to guide the Doctor through encounters with Missy and new enemies that make their entrances in the imminent series.
If you’re up for making your own games you’ll find it’s much easier than you think and incredibly rewarding! Video tutorials featuring the Doctor’s Sontaran ally, Strax, will help make the build process easy-to-understand and fun and once your games are online you can challenge your friends to try them… And give theirs a whirl!
We can’t wait to see what you think of it!
Categories: Doctor Who
Michael Pickwoad is the Production Designer for Doctor Who, responsible not just for the sets of the show, but the look of much of the Doctor’s world. This is your chance to ask him anything you’d like to know!
Simply email your questions to TheDoctor@bbc.co.uk or tweet your questions to us at @bbcdoctorwho
A highly respected, BAFTA-nominated Production Designer, Michael joined the Doctor Who team back in 2010, receiving his first credit on the show for his work on A Christmas Carol. Since then he has designed everything from a pirate ship to a time ship; the Dalek asylum, Orient Express in space, Trenzalore, Missy’ s ‘heaven’ and a whole lot more. Perhaps most famously he designed the current version of the TARDIS interior and we’re about to see more of his stunning work throughout series 9…
Let us know what questions you’d like us to put to Michael and we’ll select the best and most imaginative and put them to him. We’ll bring you videos of his answers very soon!
As usual, here’s the bit we must emphasize: we’re looking for the most interesting and creative questions! It’s essential to avoid talking too much about upcoming storylines… Those secrets will be revealed when Series 9 hits our screens!
So, get tweeting or emailing and let us know what you want to know from the man who designs alien worlds…
Categories: Doctor Who
We’ve got four great new interviews with the Doctor Who team! Get the low down from Peter Capaldi (the Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara), Michelle Gomez (Missy) and Lead Writer & Executive Producer, Steven Moffat.
It’s all ahead of Doctor Who’s return on Saturday, 19 September. The show storms back onto our screens with The Magician’s Apprentice, the first episode of a two-part adventure. Want to know more? Who wouldn’t? Luckily, the following details about it have just been released…
“Where is the Doctor?” When the skies of Earth are frozen by a mysterious alien force, Clara needs her friend. But where is the Doctor, and what is he hiding from? As past deeds come back to haunt him, old enemies will come face-to-face, and for the Doctor and Clara survival seems impossible…"
The second episode hits our screen the following Saturday (26 September). Called The Witch’s Familiar, the following details have just been released about it:
"Trapped and alone in a terrifying Dalek city, the Doctor is at the heart of an evil Empire; no sonic, no TARDIS, nobody to help. With his greatest temptation before him, can the Doctor resist? And will there be mercy?"
Dalek city! Evil empire! Greatest temptation! What?! We can’t wait!
Categories: Doctor Who
On Saturday, 19 September, Peter Capaldi returns for his second full series as the Doctor. Here Peter reflects on his favourite moments, his feelings about the Time Lord’s latest adventures and what we have to look forward to in the weeks ahead…
Question: Coming back to film your second series, how has the atmosphere been on set?
Peter Capaldi: It’s been lovely to be back and everything’s been very positive. I think everyone’s been happy to be on set in Cardiff and the scripts are very good and strong. Everyone’s become enthused with the spirit of adventure that runs through the scripts, it’s been exciting!
Q: How are you feeling about this new series? What can viewers expect?
PC: I think they’ll find a lot of thrills, lot of mystery, a reckless Doctor in pursuit of adventure. It’s… hopefully full of spectacle and adventure - it’s not a sitting back, domesticated, reflective series, it’s the Doctor and Clara roaring through time and space in search of thrills. So I think it’s great, it should be a fun watch for audiences at home.
Q: Can you tell us about the opening episode?
PC: The opening episode of the new series is fabulous - the story is going to take us across the Universe into all types of dark, terrifying and funny places. It’s a particularly epic one to start, with lots of old favourites, Missy and the Daleks are returning and particularly for those who are nostalgic with the Daleks of the 60s, there are some special surprises in store.
Q: Has the TARDIS changed?
PC: There’s been a few changes in the TARDIS. As we came to know my Doctor a little bit more, we needed to reflect that more in the environment that he lived in. I don’t think my Doctor fits in with the whole idea of Edwardian time traveller, there’s a kind of resurge of that in the look of the TARDIS as it was, so I wanted to make it a little sharper. There are a few more elegant, 60s, classic design things knocking around as opposed to Edwardian or Victorian.
Q: How has the dynamic changed between the Doctor and Clara since series 8?
PC: I think the Doctor and Clara are really having a good time. They’ve had some conflicts and challenges, but generally if you can weather the storms, you often find that your relationship is much stronger. That’s certainly the case with the Doctor and Clara.
They’re very bonded, they’re like a little gang. The Doctor has realised that he’s 2,000 years old and life is short, he wants to enjoy himself and enjoy having Clara around. She’s very good at trying to help him. He’s still rather impatient with human beings, which some people take as being socially inept, but he just can’t be bothered with them, he has better things to do. But she helps him a lot more, she tries to improve his manners and social skills. But they are very deeply bonded, it’s a very curious relationship, it doesn’t really have an equivalent in television. It’s a non-romantic, but deeply bonded pairing which is strangely full of affection, it’s more deeply felt than simple romantic relationships.
Q: What is his relationship like with Missy in the opening episodes?
PC: I wouldn’t say their relationship has changed since he saw her last. Missy’s role is slightly different, but you’ll have to wait and see!
Q: With a wealth of different sets and filming days on locations, would you say they enhance the look and feel of the episodes?
PC: I think the design of the show is always really, really important and it gives a great cinematic feel to the show. It expands it, makes it not simply domestic, but quite cosmic and big. It’s good to have spectacular sets and locations, because it adds more physical texture to the show and opens it up more, it’s all pretty cinematic.
Q: Have you got any favourite moments from playing the Doctor?
PC: For me, obviously to get to play the Doctor, the whole things is a delight. Some of my favourite moments are when we reveal something of the Doctor’s more alien nature. For instance, in ‘Kill the Moon’ when he’s able to look into time and read it, and communicate that, I think that was fun to do.
Q: What was it like to battle Daleks from the different decades in episode 2? Any favourites?
PC: I don’t have a particular favourite, but I do like to see the little old ones, they’re very sweet as they’re quite small. But actually they’re still strangely brutal, nasty little pieces of work, but are rather handsome and classy. They were great fun and do what is expected of them, you get a whole group of them together in the opening episode. I think we had about 20 of them in the studio so that was very exciting. Once you had them all moving, it was very funny watching Hettie (Macdonald) directing them, because she was directing them like actors - ‘you’re getting upset at this moment, have a look at your friends’ - and they’d look at their friends and then she’d say - ‘you need to look nervous now’ - and they’d actually be able to convey nervousness - it was actually very, very clever. It was like being in a Dalek theme park, with a free ticket, so that was fun.
Peter Capaldi returns as the Doctor on Saturday, 19 September. You can watch the trailer for episode 1 now!
Categories: Doctor Who
On Saturday, 19 September, Jenna Coleman returns as Clara Oswald in the new series of Doctor Who. Here Jenna shares her feelings about everything from her character’s development to hanging about (quite literally!) on location…
Question: How are you feeling about this new series?
Jenna Coleman: Really excited, a lot of the stories are very self-contained two-parters, it’s a lot more space bound and it’s all about adventures and time travelling. The amazing benefit of doing them, is not only do you get more time to explore the story but also at the end of the first part you get to create a huge cliff hanger. Clara and the Doctor are really united, they’re strong together and are just enjoying travelling and doing and seeing as much as possible. It’s very adrenaline fuelled and full of reckless adventure, with them throwing themselves head first in to it.
Q: Clara seems to be more determined and focused on time travelling, do you see that she’s moved on since the last series?
JC: In a way she’s cutting ties with earth more and more. Since losing Danny I think her perspective has changed on life and in a way she’s lost fear of her own mortality a bit. When that happens there’s a sense of freeness. She doesn’t fear her own mortality anymore going in to adventures, so there’s nothing holding her back. So when that happens it can be quite dangerous, as much fun as it is, but I think there’s definitely something in that for Clara, she’s losing herself in the position.
Q: It seems like the Doctor and Clara are more alike than ever before… would you say that’s true?
JC: There’s an ease between them, a shorthand, and she is becoming more and more like him. I think they’ve always been a lot more similar than perhaps other Doctors and companions have been. I think she quite wants to be like him, but the more time they spend together the more doctorly I suppose she’s getting and more independent of him. There are quite a few stories in this series where you see us parting ways, where we’re covering different bases and then you see us coming back together, they’re a proper team. I think they’ve been through so much together, they know each other so well that they’re entwined.
Q: Working with guest cast in each block, how does the dynamic change on set for yourself and Peter?
JC: The two of us are always behaving as stupidly as we do, and it’s been lovely having Michelle back, she’s always a laugh. Maisie is wonderful, I was a really big fan of hers before she came to Doctor Who, she fits right in so it’s been really great having her join us. One of the most wonderful things about the show is every episode feels so different, it feels like a whole new show in a way.
Q: What has been your favourite episode from this series and why?
JC: Episode 11 will be really unique and the Viking episode was so much fun to film. The scripts for episodes 7 and 8 are really strong, Peter Harness has done such a good job with those. They feel like quite different Doctor Who episodes - tense, they feel very relevant, provoking, and clever.
Q: You have great looks this series - do you have any input in to what you wear?
JC: Practically with Doctor Who there are so many different looks, my idea for Clara is very much a school teacher who rides a motor cycle, in a retro 60s style but also sci-fi. The aim was to merge all those elements together for Clara’s look.
Q: In episode 1 the Doctor is lost and you’re contacted by your greatest enemy, Missy. How do Clara and Missy work together to save the Doctor without killing each other?
JC: I think it’s because the peril that the Doctor’s in is so great that the only thing to do is to put differences aside and work together. I think in a way, Clara’s quite fascinated by Missy, but disgusted at the same time. That’s partly to do with how Michelle Gomez plays her, she’s so magnetic that you can’t help but like her, even though you’re supposed to hate her. It’s one of the really clever things she does. Clara and Missy actually end up getting on, but remembering they don’t like each other again.
Having two females that are very close to the Doctor is interesting for Clara to witness, because the Doctor and Missy are enemies, but they are also very ancient friends. They have a past and history that they cannot even touch upon, or even understand how you can like or be in love with somebody that has repeatedly tried to kill you throughout time and space.
I also think it’s interesting for Clara to operate under a female Time Lady, she’s so used to running with the Doctor that to be with a Time Lady is quite a new experience for her. Somebody who is so maniacal is quite fun. You think you’re safe and within 30 seconds you’re literally being pushed down a cliff.
Q: You’ve done a few stunts in the series - can you tell us about them?
JC: I’ve done a lot of hanging upside down this series - upside down on a cliff in Tenerife was new, but surprising, it looks so easy but it’s not at all. It was tricky because we could only do it in minute spurts, filming the scenes. I also had a scene where I was hanging outside of the TARDIS too, so it seems to be one of my specialities this series!
Jenna Coleman returns as Clara in The Magician’s Apprentice on Saturday, 19 September. You can see her talking more about Clara’s ‘look’ and the trailer for the series’ opening episode is available now!
Categories: Doctor Who
Last seen during Death in Heaven, Michelle Gomez is back as Missy in The Magician’s Apprentice. Here Michelle talks about her return, her character’s relationship with the Doctor and who’s going to take over the world…
Question: You’ve re-joined the Doctor Who cast and reclaimed the role of ‘Missy’ for series 9… What was it like being back on set?
Michelle Gomez: It felt so good to be back, especially as I thought it was all over for Missy at the end of series 8. But then, of course, she is the Master, after all, so anything can happen, even dodging death. I'm still in a state of shock at actually being in a show I watched avidly as a child.
Q: How did you feel when you were asked to return?
MG: I was thrilled to be asked back, it's not every day one gets to travel through all of space and time. When they asked me to return, it's not that I had to think too hard about it, of course I said yes. And I'd say yes again if it came to it, but nothing's a guarantee so I'm aware this year might be her last. But I sincerely hope not.
Q: You appear in the opening episodes with Clara, tell us about it…
MG: The dynamic between Missy and Clara takes on a whole new shape and not one I had imagined. There is something not quite right about it that makes for slightly unnerving viewing. Missy gets bored very easily. You can imagine her and the Doctor in the classroom. Missy using her intellect even then to cause mischief and disrupt.
Q: Tell us about your relationship with Clara in these episodes.
MG: Our relationship shifts greatly from where we left off in the last series. Dare I say there might be a hint of respect there? Perhaps not quite respect. More a healthy dose of circumspect, from both I guess.
Q: Shooting in a large cinematic location abroad in Tenerife, what did the location add to the scenes?
MG: There’s a sense of opera about that strange volcanic landscape - grand and loud in its infinite vastness, which provided us with a perfect backdrop for our needs. It had a harsh but strange beauty, almost lunar. Which was kind of the point.
Q: Tell us about your relationship with the Doctor in these episodes…
MG: They are still opposite magnets repelling mostly, but at times they also attract. There is an undeniable shorthand that comes with a lifelong friendship. A friendship that at some point went very wrong. They are both from the same place eons ago, so the weight of that history they share is the bedrock of their relationship.
Q: Can you describe your character ‘Missy’? Tell us how she’s developed since series 8…
MG: Missy is a force of nature. She is a fearless, slightly psychotic killer whom you can't help but like just a little bit. She's very honest in her role as the Master. This is how she sees it - they both kill. The Doctor feels bad about it, she doesn’t. To her the Doctor hides behind his remorse whilst she thrives in the power to destroy. She has many tools to do this, but so far we have seen but a few. Reading minds, hypnosis and moving obstacles just by thinking about it are to name but a few. She doesn't bake much. Well, not in the conventional sense.
Q: Currently the Doctor Who team has a strong Scottish feel with Peter, Steven and yourself as part of the crew… What feedback have you received from your home town?
MG: Go Scotland!!!! When asked recently what does Gallifrey look like, I replied ‘Glasgow’, I'm sure that went down a storm. I think they are very proud. It's a Scottish take over with Peter, Steven and I all from Glasgow. The Weegies will take over the world.
Q: You live in New York and there’s a big Doctor Who following in America - are you recognised when you’re in the US as much as the UK?
MG: I’d say around the same amount. Which is not much at all. Missy and I have a very different dress sense so the fact I'm not wandering around in full Victorian garb means I get to walk around pretty freely.
Q: What do you think Doctor Who means for British drama and its identity overseas?
MG: It’s a product that reaches across the seas and touches people across the world. It ignites their imaginations with brilliant storytelling that all the family can enjoy. There aren’t too many of those shows around anymore which makes it all the more special.
Michelle Gomez returns as Missy in The Magician’s Apprentice on Saturday, 19 September. You can find out more about the self-confessed ‘Queen of Evil’ and the trailer for the series’ opening episode is available now!
Categories: Doctor Who
The new series of Doctor Who begins on Saturday, 19 September and here the show’s lead writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat, opens up on challenges, changes and the joy of two-parters…
Question: Doctor Who is back! How has the dynamic of the series changed since series 8?
Steven Moffat: Peter Capaldi returns with his second series as the Doctor - it’s the glory years of the Doctor and Clara. They’ve been through the angst, the Doctor has been through his fear of not being a good man, and Clara has been through her fear that this might not be the Doctor. They’re on equal footing with a new dynamic between them and are relishing the Universe. They’re linking hands and running towards a brand new world of epic adventure on a cinematic scale. They are clearly heroes and loving every minute!
Q: How is the series different from last year?
SM: I think it’s a big, mad and exciting series. You’ll be grinning a lot more, there’s more comedy mixed in with some of the darkest stuff we’ve done – the Doctor’s first big entrance kind of sets the tone.
Q: Why did you decide on re-introducing two-parters?
SM: We’re doing bigger stories and two-parters allow you all those massive cliff hangers. 45 minutes has served us incredibly well, but it’s time to change it up a bit, change the rhythm. It’s not just about being longer, sometimes it’s about going deeper. And you won’t always be quite sure whether you’re watching a two-parter or not - how much longer the jeopardy will last. We’re aiming to be unpredictable.
Q: Tell us about the guest cast.
SM: We have a vast array of guest cast this year that means we can build on the depth of stories - develop intrigue and backstories even further. We have the magnificent, insane and comedic Missy returning; young outstanding Maisie Williams taking up a new role as her character challenges the Doctor in unexpected ways; and of course Osgood is brought back from the dead, the Doctor might be in for a surprise with her… This time he might not be able to trust his number one fan.
Q: Did you have any challenges writing for the series?
SM: We always like a new challenge on the show - bringing adventures set on dangerous alien planets, urban thrillers, underwater ghost stories, journeys that take us from Vikings to the end of time itself, we’re pushing the boundaries once again with the most experimental episode Doctor Who has ever made. I’ve written a one hander for the Doctor, I can’t tell you too much about this, but it’s certainly unique and a big first for the show!
Categories: Doctor Who
This Christmas Alex Kingston returns as the kick-ass archaeologist with big hair, big attitude and a big new adventure! To celebrate the news we’re looking at ten of her finest moments to date!Silencing the Doctor in the Library
Let’s start at the beginning. Sort of. River bamboozles the Doctor and to use the Time Lord’s own words, ‘There’s not a lot of people who can do that…’ Immediately sassy, enigmatic and fun, this was one Song that didn’t need time to grow on us!Well, let's see…
‘You’ve got a time machine, I’ve got a gun… What the hell! Let’s kill Hitler!’ We loved the ‘Mel’ version of River… As Amy’s best friend she was a dangerous, reckless, gun-toting and feisty female… Actually, no change there, then!How Exciting!
She finally got serious and tied the knot with the Time Lord (didn’t she?) in The Wedding of River Song. It was the day the Doctor should have died but he ended up ‘marrying’ River, instead. And if that wasn’t enough of a result, this happened…The Melody Lingers On…
It’s easy to forget that the mystery surrounding River Song was part of what made her such a compelling character and a zillion theories about her background were flying around before A Good Man Goes to War. She was the Master! She was Romana! She was… Well, we know now and the eagerly anticipated reveal of who River really was didn’t disappoint!The Doctor’s Wife
On the downside, her attempt to kill the Doctor wasn’t the best way to cement relations with the man she loved, but on the upside it triggered a season which kept us guessing how the Doctor would escape what looked like certain death.Cheers!
We’ve always admired River for her whip-smart one-liners, like the time when Jenny asked how she managed to magic up a bottle of Champagne and an elegant flute. Without missing a beat, River replied with a smile, ‘Disgracefully…’Until the Next Time…
Okay, this may be a cheat but we have a feeling the 2015 Christmas Special will be another highlight in her life and crazy career. River Song and the Twelfth Doctor. Really. What’s not to love? We can’t wait for a River to run through Christmas…
Categories: Doctor Who
Alex Kingston returns to Cardiff to reclaim her role as Professor River Song for the highly anticipated 2015 Doctor Who Christmas special, part of BBC One’s essential seasonal viewing.
It’s Christmas Day in the future and the TARDIS is parked on a snowy village street, covered in icicles, awaiting its next adventure. Time traveller River Song meets her husband’s new incarnation, in the form of Peter Capaldi, for the first time this Christmas.
Day one of filming the eleventh Doctor Who Christmas special starts this week and is written by Lead Writer and Executive Producer, Steven Moffat, produced by Nikki Wilson and directed by Douglas Mackinnon (Doctor Who, Sherlock).
River Song made her first Doctor Who appearance in 2008 in ‘Silence in the Library’ and ‘Forest of the Dead’ and has appeared in 15 episodes to date.
Award winning Alex Kingston comments on her reappearance, “To be honest, I did not know whether River would ever return to the show, but here she is, back with the Doctor for the Christmas special. Steven Moffat is on glittering form, giving us an episode filled with humour and surprise guest castings. I met Peter for the first time at Monday’s read through, we had a laugh, and I am now excited and ready to start filming with him and the Doctor Who team. Christmas in September? Why not!”
Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, adds, “Another Christmas, another special for Doctor Who - and what could be more special than the return of Alex Kingston as Professor River Song? The last time the Doctor saw her she was a ghost. The first time he met her, she died. So how can he be seeing her again? As ever, with the most complicated relationship in the universe, it’s a matter of time...”
The witty line-up of guest cast joining Alex for a magical adventure on the TARDIS will be announced over the coming months.
The BBC Cymru Wales produced drama will return to BBC One on Saturday, 19 September with a 12 episode series, followed by the Christmas special on Friday 25 December.
Categories: Doctor Who