In the new issue of Britain’s Radio Times, on sale today, DOCTOR WHO show-runner Steven Moffat talks about writing the 50th anniversary story, “The Day of the Doctor” (which is nominated for a BAFTA) but more importantly he chats about casting Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor.
In the interview, Moffat says:
When you choose a Doctor, you want somebody who is utterly compelling, attractive in a very odd way. None of the Doctors are conventionally attractive, but they’re all arresting. Handsome men don’t quite suit. Matt Smith’s a young, good-looking bloke from one angle but is actually the strangest-looking man from another. You need that oddity; you need somebody who is carved out of solid star, really.
I was thrilled when the Doctor called in his past (and future) incarnations to help save Gallifrey in the DOCTOR WHO 50th anniversary story “The Day of the Doctor,” but I was also disappointed that the sequence was so brief. Well, that problem has been solved by enterprising an enterprising YouTuber.
Yes, thanks to some clever splicing and re-editing, we have a meatier sequence of the Doctor helping himself! GALLIFREY FALLS NO MORE!
While promoting the launch of 30 episodes of classic DOCTOR WHO on Britain’s Horror Channel, erstwhile Fourth Doctor Tom Baker revealed he is interested in returning to the series — and wouldn’t mind appearing with other incarnations of the Doctor!
This cosmos-rattling change of heart came as he was being interviewed by the Horror Channel:
“I turned down ‘The Five Doctors’ because it wasn’t long since I’d left — I had left DOCTOR WHO because I think I’d run my course. I didn’t want to play 20 percent of the part. I didn’t fancy being a feed for other Doctors — in fact, it filled me with horror! Now, of course, if someone asked me to do a scene with some other Doctors, I think, if they let me tamper with the script, it would probably be quite droll. I would think about that, yes.”
And Baker even said he would like to appear alongside the current 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi.
“I wouldn’t rule anything out. If it was a nice part, with some good lines, I might deign to appear! I greatly admire Capaldi; he’s lovely, and apparently he’s a great fan of DOCTOR WHO — he might ask for me!”
The outgoing 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, talked to Wizard World Comic Con, according to DoctorWhoTV, and talked about his favorite time on DOCTOR WHO.
“For me, the best storytelling was in series five. It had great adventure and great clarity and I loved that whole idea about the Pandorica and the Big Bang. It was the one I connected with most. Looking back I think some of my best work was in my first series because I was actually taking real risks and that was a real moment.”
Matt was also partial to the speeches his Doctor got to make in series five, citing his favorite: “I think it has to be when I talking to the spaceships in ‘The Pandorica Opens.’”
When asked about series six, Matt said:
“I think in terms of revelations, River being Amy’s daughter was a bit ‘What the hell?!’”
I have to agree with him there; the River reveal was a bit out there — no matter how much groundwork was laid. I think my biggest problem with River’s parentage was/is that I don’t believe that’s what Steven Moffat had in mind when he came up with the character. I cannot believe that he said to himself, “This River gal will some day turn out to be not only the Doctor’s wife, but the daughter of a couple of his future companions!”
The Grand Moff may be a master planner — see Amy’s arc — but I doubt he’s that good!
As wonderful as the last stand of the 11th Doctor was, there are still some DOCTOR WHO fans who insist on being confused by the details of “The Time of the Doctor,” including that whole “the Doctor’s tomb is on Trenzalore” business, rather than simply accepting the message of virtually Matt Smith’s entire run: “Time can be rewritten.” So that’s what he did.
No, these folks insist on some explicit timey-wimey explanation for the Doctor visiting his own grave/not grave. Fortunately, executive producer Steven Moffat has devoted a column in the current issue of Doctor Who Magazine to addressing the issue of whether “The Time of the Doctor” contradicts “The Name of the Doctor.”
While the end of Matt Smith’s tenure as the 11th Doctor restored Gallifrey and set up the mystery of exactly where the planet is now, don’t be too surprised if the 12th Doctor fails to find his home planet in the eighth series of DOCTOR WHO. Or maybe even the one after that.
Frequent WHO scriptwriter Mark Gatiss (“Cold War”) — who will pen two episodes again this season— suggests a visit to Gallifrey might be a bad idea:
“Every time you go back to Gallifrey, it starts to make the Time Lords a bit too domesticated. I know that’s why Russell T Davies came up with the whole idea of the Doctor being the last one because eventually if you see them so often they become a bit like a bunch of MPs, whereas if you talk about them as this amazing, powerful force, they’re much more exciting.
“I don’t know if I would want to [write a Gallifrey episode]. I think the way the Time Lords were represented in “The End of Time” and “The Day of the Doctor” was very exciting because we’re seeing them in a crisis and they’re trying to come up with different ways of saving themselves.
“But I suppose if the Doctor ever does find Gallifrey again, then we might find out more. Who knows…”
I firmly believe it all comes down to the story. If you have a strong idea for a Gallifrey tale, then tell it; if you’re just looking for an excuse to show an alien planet, go somewhere else, please.
The same goes for anything else: The story must come first. If you have an absolutely killer Dalek story idea, then let’s see it. If not — if you could substitute any other monster without changing the tale appreciably then it’s not a Dalek story — don’t shoehorn the pepperpots in just because.
Yeah, because I like to torture myself, I decided to finally post this image of the former stars of DOCTOR WHO — Matt Smith and Karen Gillan — that was taken the first time they both appeared in character and in costume as the Doctor and Amelia Pond waaaaay back before series five began filming. Karen would later swap out the pale blue sweater for a brilliant red version as location shooting got under way for “The Time of Angels,” the very first episode they did together (though not the first broadcast). Oh, the feels…