Posts Tagged ‘Time Lord’

This Week On Doctor Who – 06 – 12 – 10

June 12, 2010

What lurks beneath the surface? Photo copyright of the BBC

SPOILER ALERT!! – The Doctor (Matt Smith) sets out to take Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) to Rio, but the TARDIS has other plans and materializes in 2020 Wales, where our heroes stumble upon an operation to drill down into the Earth’s crust. In doing so, however, humankind gets more than it bargains for, and the Time Lord comes face to face once again with an old acquaintance, the Silurians. The Hungry Earth airs Saturday, June 12th @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST on BBC America

The Doctor (Matt Smith), Nasreen Chaudhry (Meera Syall), Amy (Karen Gillan) and Tony Mack (Robert Pugh). Photo copyright of the BBC

Silurian Alaya (Neve McIntosh). Photo copyright of the BBC

Alaya (Neve McIntosh) and The Doctor (Matt Smith). Photo copyright of the BBC

As noted above, all photos copyright of the BBC, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

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Matt Smith Talks About Doctor Who

April 7, 2010

The Eleventh Doctor surrounded by some of his enemies. Photo copyright of the BBC

This is the second of four BBC America press interviews with Doctor Who cast and crew, counting down to the premiere of the show’s new season on BBC America, April 17th @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST. Enjoy!

IT may be the eleventh time an actor has taken on the iconic role of the Doctor, but Matt Smith hasn’t let that stand in his way of creating his very own vision for the character. Here, he explains what it was like to land the role and talks about his dream trip in the TARDIS.

“It was quite weird news to receive,” says Matt Smith, the youngest actor the play the title role of the hit show, Doctor Who. “I mean, at that point it was a piece of information I couldn’t share with anyone, so it didn’t feel tangible, but needless to say I was very pleased.

“I actually ended up walking around London listening to Sinatra on my iPod,” laughs the 27-year-old as he tries to explain the moment he found out he had won the much-coveted role of the Doctor. “Funnily enough, my mum had texted me to say she thought I should play the Doctor a week before my agent asked me to audition, so she was delighted I got the part. I was also abroad when it was announced on the BBC and my phone went mad – the bill was enormous!”

Matt Smith as the Doctor in his first adventure, The Eleventh Hour. Photo copyright of the BBC

Spanning five decades, Doctor Who has been a part of British culture for nearly 50 years. Since its successful return in 2005, both Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant have played the title role and made their own mark on the eccentric Time Lord. Now it’s Smith’s turn to give his own portrayal of the iconic character; a challenge which some young actors may have shied away from.

“I think these things are only as intimidating as you allow them to be,” explains Smith. “It’s a real privilege to join such a successful show; it’s a bit like joining Manchester United [soccer team]. It’s good to be part of something strong and long may it continue. Plus I couldn’t have inherited the role from a nicer man. I guess it’s like anything really, the more you do something the less daunting and intimidating it becomes.”

Smith admits, however, that his first day of filming, which took place on a beach in wet and windy conditions, was both daunting and challenging.

“It was very tough because we were up against the tide and could only film until 3 p.m.,” reveals the actor. “It felt like being in a twilight zone because there were so many people watching and dozens of paparazzi around! It was nice that Karen Gillan [who plays the Doctor’s new companion, Amy Pond] was there as well, though,” he continues, “because we were both going through the same experience. We were also surrounded by Doctor Who fans and every time I had to nip to the toilet they followed me. I’ve now learnt this is the norm on Doctor Who.”

Central to the story is the TARDIS, which transports The Doctor across time and space to a wonderful array of worlds and universes. The TARDIS is a living creature and regenerates along with the Doctor in the opening episode of the new series. The details of the new TARDIS will remain an onscreen surprise for viewers, but Smith confesses he was like a boy in a candy store when he first set foot in it.

“It’s like a Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche all molded into one!” exclaims the excited actor. “It’s so incredible because the TARDIS is an icon of our cultural history and suddenly I’m the one who’s flying it. I am quite clumsy, though, so I kept breaking parts of the console and the poor production team had to keep fixing it,” chuckles Smith. “But the TARDIS is a magic concept and it provides a constant source of wonderment and adventure for both the Doctor and the viewers.”

The Doctor (Matt Smith) meets his new companion, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan). Photo copyright of the BBC

There have been 10 previous incarnations of the Doctor, each with their own traits and quirks, but what can viewers expect from this bow tie wearing Doctor?

“He’s still the same man, but I think my Doctor is a bit more reckless; he’s a thrill seeker and addicted to time travel,” reveals Smith. “The Doctor is the mad buffoon genius who saves the world because he’s got a great heart, spirit and soul, but he also doesn’t suffer fools. I hope all of these things come across, but I think I’ve also injected a bit of my own personality into the role. I also helped choose the Doctor’s costume which was great fun. Steven Moffat [series executive producer] is very keen that the outfit isn’t seen as the overriding factor of the Doctor’s personality, but we still needed to find something that felt right. We tried on lots of things but kept reaching a dead-end. We dismissed a number of items including a long leather coat, a long blue coat and some short punky stuff! But then one day I brought in my braces and a tweed jacket and it went from there. Soon we had the whole outfit, although something still felt like it was missing and I asked if I could try on a bow tie – at that point the execs all bowed their heads in concern, but luckily when I tried it on we agreed it worked and it has sort of become the signature of my Doctor now.”

Joining the Doctor on his adventures throughout time and space is new companion Amy Pond, played by redheaded beauty Karen Gillan, and Smith admits the pair of them found it difficult to remain serious when filming scenes together.

“I always used to look forward to us being in make-up together because we would just make each other crack up. I think that’s important because it forms part of the energy of the show,” explains Smith. “I also think the Doctor and Amy share a sightly mad relationship; she’s a handful and he likes the fact that she challenges him and can sometimes act a bit bonkers. The way they are introduced to each other is truly magical and they form a deep affinity for one another.”

Throughout this series, Amy and the Doctor go on some truly extraordinary adventures.

“I loved filming the vampire stuff in Croatia, which doubled for Venice,” notes Smith. “I had to climb a huge bell tower with a rain machine pummeling water at me. It was freezing cold but I absolutely loved it! I also enjoyed filming part of episode 10 when I was yanked through the air on a harness after being hit by an invisible monster. However, my favorite scene to film was in the first episode when I ate fish fingers and custard with the character of Amelia. Luckily, they were actually breaded cakes so it wasn’t quite as bad as it sounds. I had to eat a lot of them, but it was an enchanting scene, so it was worth it.”

Young Amy/Amelia (Caitlin Blackwood) and The Doctor (Matt Smith). Photo copyright of the BBC

As noted above, all photos copyright of the BBC, so please no unauthorzied copying or duplicating of  any kind. Thanks!

New Doctor Who Arrives On BBC America In April

February 26, 2010

Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor in Doctor Who. Photo copyright of the BBC

BBC America announced today that the new era of the BBC’s iconic BAFTA-winning drama, Doctor Who, will make its U.S. premiere on Saturday, April 17th, 2010, soon after the UK broadcast. Doctor Who, BBC America’s highest-rated series ever, continues its tradition of rebooting with new lead actors and creative team. Matt Smith debuts as the new, Eleventh incarnation of the famous Time Lord alongside a new traveling companion, the enigmatic Amy Pond (Karen Gillan).

“Britain has a tradition of reinventing its iconic characters, like James Bond, Sherlock Holmes – and Doctor Who. In introducing the Eleventh Doctor, writer Steven Moffat is opening the show to a whole new audience, while serving fans with an exciting mix of intergalactic time travelling adventures. We can’t wait to meet his new Doctor!”comments Richard De Croce, Senior vice President Programming, BBC America.

BAFTA-winning writer Steven Moffat, creator of some of the most frightening and award-winning Doctor Who episodes to date, takes over as lead writer and executive producer. Writers for the new series include Richard Curtis (The Boat that Rocked, Love Actually), Chris Chibnall (Law & Order UK, Torchwood), Toby Whithouse (Being Human, Torchwood), Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentleman, Sherlock) and Simon Nye (Men Behaving Badly, Hardware). Guest stars include SAG Award winner Alex Kingston (ER, Flash Forward), Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo (The Secret Life of Bees, Hotel Rwanda) and Tony Curran (24).

Travelling both through time and space, the new series has the mysterious Doctor and Amy Pond together exploring 16th century Venice, France during the 1890s and the United Kingdom in the far future, now an entire nation floating in space. The first three episodes of the 13-part series have been confirmed as The Eleventh Hour, written by Steven Moffat, The Beast Below, also by Moffat, and Victory of the Daleks by Mark Gatiss.

Moffat’s work includes the hit comedy Coupling, the critically-acclaimed thriller Jekyll, the new BBC series Sherlock and, along with Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, the screenplay for The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, which is being directed by Steven Spielberg.

Piers Wenger and Beth Willis (Ashes to Ashes) also serve as executive producers on Doctor Who. It is a BBC Wales production for BBC ONE and distributed by BBC Worldwide.

As noted above, photo is copyright of the BBC, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Doctor Who: Planet Of The Dead on BBC America

July 24, 2009
David Tennant (The Doctor) and Michelle Ryan (Lady Christina de Souza) in Doctor Who: Planet Of The Dead. Photo courtesy of and copyright of the BBC

David Tennant (The Doctor) and Michelle Ryan (Lady Christina de Souza) in Doctor Who: Planet Of The Dead. Photo courtesy of and copyright of the BBC

SPOILER ALERT!! – Following last month’s premiere of Doctor Who: The Next Doctor on BBC America comes our hero’s next adventure, Doctor Who: Planet Of The Dead. In it, the Doctor (David Tennant) is trapped on a desert alien world with a red double-decker bus, but no TARDIS. He soon discovers the mysterious planet holds terrifying secrets hidden in the sand and is forced to team up with an enigmatic, aristocratic thief, Lady Christina de Souza (Eastenders, Bionic Woman, Merlin) to get back to Earth. But time is running out as the deadly Swarm gets closer. Will the Doctor defeat the Swarm and return to Earth safely with his gorgeous companion or will they face a life doomed on this strange planet?

David Tennant as the Doctor in Doctor Who: Planet Of The Dead. Photo courtesy of and copyright of the BBC

David Tennant as the Doctor in Doctor Who: Planet Of The Dead. Photo courtesy of and copyright of the BBC

Mini Q & A with David Tennant on Planet Of The Dead

Has filming the specials been different from filming the regular series?

“I think we get slightly more time to film the specials. I don’t know if that’s even true – we get four weeks to film an hour-long special whereas we get about two-and-a-half weeks to film a normal 45-minute episode. So we’ve got a little bit more time to play with, but then they tend to be a bit more ambitious. Certainly this one was, and you know the fact that we wanted to film in an actual desert and there aren’t a lot of those in South Wales. So we had to find somewhere in the world that we could achieve that and had an infrastructure that we could use to film in and that would have us, you know?

Tell us about the desert vistas.

“We went to the desert and got some incredible shots. I mean, I think you’ll notice it onscreen that we went a long way and that the director as well as the camera particularly made it count. I think it’ll look like an alien planet in a way that nothing we’ve ever done before has ever quite managed, just because it is an extraordinary sight, with the sun beating down on miles of sand and blue skies. It really is like being in another world, so it was quite useful for us!”

What is this episode about?

“Well, it’s about a bus that ends up on an alien planet and an international jewel thief who meets the Doctor and is quite intrigued by him. And it’s about two alien races, once of which is just doing what comes naturally, while the other is trying to get home. All of those elements kind of combine into a story that is a bit bonkers, extremely fast moving and sort of on a scope that is bigger than we’ve managed before. It’s very exciting having done a show for four years and still be able to find new stories to tell and new ways of telling them. It’s great, and it’s what makes it such a terrific show to work on.”

Things get a little hot under the collar for the Doctor (David Tennant) and Lady Christina (Michelle Ryan) in Doctor Who: Planet Of The Dead. Photo courtesy of and copyright of the BBC

Things get a little hot under the collar for the Doctor (David Tennant) and Lady Christina (Michelle Ryan) in Doctor Who: Planet Of The Dead. Photo courtesy of and copyright of the BBC

Mini Q & A With Michelle Ryan on Planet Of The Dead

Tell us about your character of Lady Christina de Souza.

“Christina is a mysterious, adventure-seeking aristocrat and is very much a loner who’s off in her own little world. She’s very daring, exciting, smart, sassy and a cool character.”

When did you first hear about the part, and why did it appeal to you?

“I first heard about the part just before Christmas and it appealed to me. I was reading lots of different scripts at the time and then I read this one and I was so engaged with the character as well as her journey. It was just a really interesting, dynamic script and few of those come along for young actresses, so I was kind of like, ‘Yeah, I’d like to be a part of this.'”

What’s it like working with David Tennant?

“It’s amazing. He is genuinely one of the most professional, lovely brilliant actors I’ve ever worked with. David has such a good vibe and he gives great energy to everyone. He’s really cool. It’s quite family-like and fun [on the set] and it’s been such a laugh to work on. The rest of the cast, including the supporting cast, have been been brilliant.”

How did you find working with the Tritovores?

“That was a bit of a shock, but they’re very good. It was cool doing all the special effects stuff where you’ve got these big creatures coming at you. I loved doing the harness and wire work; I was hung upside-down, dropped and bounced up and down, all of which was fun!”

What was it like on-set working with Lee Evans (Dr. Malcolm Taylor)?

Filming with Lee Evans is great. He’s actually really quiet, but then all of a sudden he’ll start being really funny. He’s just naturally funny and lovely.”

Is there a romantic spark between your character and The Doctor?

“There is a little bit of a romantic spark between the Doctor and Christina. I think she feels like she’s met her equal, and the Doctor feels like he’s met his match with Christina. She doesn’t come across many men that intrigue and inspire her the way the Doctor does. He manages to show her that she can actually use her skills to help other people, and that it’s more fun when you’re part of a team rather than being a loner. She goes on a journey with him and I think she’d like it to be more, but the Doctor is quite closed off to that because he’s been hurt in the past. He’s off doing his thing and she’s like, ‘Well, OK,’ and off on her next adventure!”

Sparks fly between the Doctor (David Tennant) and Lady Christina (Michelle Ryan) in Doctor Who: Planet Of The Dead. Photo courtesy of and copyright of the BBC

Sparks fly between the Doctor (David Tennant) and Lady Christina (Michelle Ryan) in Doctor Who: Planet Of The Dead. Photo courtesy of and copyright of the BBC

Doctor Who: Planet Of The Dead premieres Sunday, July 26th @ 8 p.m. EST/PST on BBC America.

Stay tuned to BBC America for more adventures with our favorite Time Lord. Doctor Who: The Waters Of Mars is the third special and along with two additional as yet untitled specials will premiere later in 2009 and early 201o.

As noted above, all photos are courtesy of and copyright of the BBC, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any form. Thanks!