Doctor Who Press Launch Revelations

Friday 15 March saw the first screening of “The Bells Of Saint John” – opening episode of the new series of Doctor Who – at a press launch attended by showrunner Steven Moffat and stars Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman. SFX was there – and now that the pesky embargo is lifted it’s time to bring you all the juicy, newsy highlights from the Q&A session…

 

STEVEN MOFFAT on THE OPENING EPISODES:
“I think this year we’ve got three opening episodes. The next two [after “The Bells Of Saint John”] are fast-paced nail-biters as well. Normally we have one big superfast mad one at the beginning and then settle down, but we don’t settle down for ages with this one. It’s like having three episode ones in a row.”

 

 

JENNA-LOUISE COLEMAN on CLARA’S ARC
“For her this is a completely clean slate. She is oblivious. What I really love is that the dynamic is so different. There’s nothing that the Doctor hates more than an unsolved mystery, and that’s what she is, so you can really see it arcing over the next episodes.”

 

 

STEVEN MOFFAT on “JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE TARDIS”
“You will go to the heart of the TARDIS. You will see more of the TARDIS, more properly, than you have ever seen before. I remember years ago when I was a kid there was a little article in the Radio Times saying ‘In this week’s episode the Doctor dodges the Sontarans through the many rooms of the TARDIS.’ [that’ll be “The Invasion Of Time” episode six]. I could not wait for Saturday. But there was a problem with the scenery or something and they shot it all in a disused hospital. And it was so disappointing! And that day I thought, ‘One day I will do what I can to get into television and do it properly!’ And that worked out… There’s more than a swimming pool. Wait til you see it.”

 

MATT SMITH and JENNA-LOUISE COLEMAN on A NEW MOFFAT MONSTER
“Towards the end of the season, I don’t want to give too much away but I think we may have one of those clever Moffat creations, one of the new classic monsters. They’ve got a great name, and they are so brilliant.”

 

 

“They are absolutely brilliant. They don’t chase you, they just come at you slowly, and they’ve kind of got a style which I find really quite terrifying. They’ve got a style to them, but that’s all I can say.”

 

 

 

STEVEN MOFFAT on THE ICE WARRIORS
“Oddly enough I slightly resisted them. I was slightly worried. First of all, I don’t think we still have to go into the back catalogue of the old show anymore. Originally we did that to affirm that this new thing really was that old thing. Now that both shows are sort of merged together no one really bothers to make that distinction between them anymore. And I always thought they were slightly rubbery, slow-moving, and you can’t hear what they’re saying – and that’s kind of the archetypal slightly silly monster. But then Mark [Gatiss, writer of episode three], during a phonecall which was meant to be about Sherlock, started pitching me a couple of very, very clever ideas about what we can do with an Ice Warrior, and I went for it at that point. But we were very concerned that the design hasn’t been seen enough to be updated, in a way, so it’s a super-version of the original. Sometimes you think a design should be upgraded because it’s so familiar – that one slightly less so. You will be seeing an Ice Warrior in a familiar form, but with at least one big surprise…”

 

MATT SMITH on THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
“I read it and I clapped at the end. I think it’s hilarious and I think it’s epic and I think it’s vast. You will not be disappointed. I think it’s going to be the biggest and the best and the most inventive, the most exciting year for the show, and this script delivers on all those points that you want it to, for where the show is at this time. It’s brilliant. It somehow manages to pay homage to everything and look forward and I think that’s part of the genius of it. We’re upping the scale of everything. It’s 3D. I won’t say anything about the length, but there’s just a bit more bang for your buck.”

 

 

STEVEN MOFFAT on SECRETS TO BE REVEALED
“The Doctor’s greatest secret will be revealed. And it actually will. I’m not lying. Unless I am lying, and I was lying when I said that. But I’m not.”

 

 

 

STEVEN MOFFAT on HOW TO KEEP SECRETS
“Random execution. We’re just very, very careful. And kill people. I’ll tell you one length I’ve gone to which I think is a really, really good security measure – I make sure I don’t get a script. Because I will lose it. So I forbid people to hand me one. It’s just on my computer at home, under lock and key.”

 

 

Nick Setchfield

Rematerialise here for SFX’s first look at opening episode “The Bells of Saint John”

Doctor Who returns to BBC One on Saturday 30 March