Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Matt Smith on Series 6 and beyond

Digital Spy interviewed Matt Smith before the approaching return of Doctor Who. Here are some highlights:

What can you tell us about ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’?
“It starts with a young Amy and Rory, and eventually the Doctor arrives and they’re older at that point. Then for some reason we’re in Germany in the 40s and we stumble across Alex Kingston, River Song. I won’t tell you how or why she appears, but it’s great Doctor Who. And then of course this creature called the Tesselecta comes in and adds the dynamic of the monster, as it were. But underneath all that the Doctor’s dying – again! But Steven manages to reinvent that notion all the time. I just think he was on top form when he wrote it, really.” 

What can you tell us about the Tesselecta?
“Have you seen Terminator 2? The Tesselecta has that sort of wonderful ability, and it’s a monster operated by tiny miniaturised people inside. It’s a cracker. It’s a real cracker. Again, [that's] Steven’s mad and brilliant mind. Basically it’s sort of like a universal policeman and goes round the universe catching criminals. Hitler is a criminal guilty of war crimes so the Tesselecta can come and it can impersonate his chief of staff or whatever and pop him off or take him in or imprison him. So you can imagine what happens when the Tesselecta meets River Song, and the Doctor for that matter. So it’s trying to reprimand Hitler.” 

What can you tell us about what’s coming up in future episodes?
“The whole River story really gets explored in episode eight. Episode nine, we’ve got Danny Mays and some crazy really freaky dolls. We find ourselves trapped in a dollhouse, which is a really clever idea. [Episode] 10 is Amy Pond in a Tom McRae story, where I think Karen gives her finest performance of the episodes so far – she’s spellbindingly good in it. Episode 11 is brilliant – David Walliams, there’s a minotaur, and it’s a mad Toby Whithouse story. It feels like The Shining or something. [In episode] 12 we’ve got James [Corden] back on fine form again. I want to get him back again next year because I love working with him and I think Craig is a great character for the Doctor to play off – a less funny version of Laurel and Hardy! And then 13 is, to my mind, kind of Steven being totally brilliant and mad and telling the story like a feature film sprawling through time. I have to add that you ask me these questions and this is only my opinion – I could be completely wrong!” 

How will the Doctor's relationship with River change now that he knows who she is?
"I don't know! I guess that depends on Steven. I think fundamentally it's kind of always going to be the same because she's always going to just frighten and allure him at the same time. He's going to go back and meet the River he knows at some point. She's still going to be crazy old irreverent River, so I imagine it'll have the same flavor. Who knows - it could go in a million directions. I have no idea where Steven wants to take it, but I'd like to think she'll still be the one that makes him come unstuck."

Where will Amy and Rory be at the end of the year? Assuming that if they’re reunited with their kid they can’t really be time travellers, is this it for them?
“No, I don’t think it’ll be the end. I don’t think so. I mean, all good things come to an end but I don’t know if now’s the time. I think they’ll be back.” 

What do you make of comments from some critics who have said the show is too hard to understand?
"You can't dumb it down for the critics! There goes my good review... My response is that it's like The Simpsons. The Simpsons can be received on many levels - it's the same for Doctor Who. People say it's too scary for kids - no it's not. Kids should feel afraid of Doctor Who. All the adults I've talked to remember fondly being afraid when they were kids. That's part of the reason they remember it and love it. And if you're afraid in a controlled way, you sort of appreciate fear in some respect. Is it too complicated? I mean, it's only as complicated as you choose to invest, I think. 

Have you seen the script for the Christmas special yet?
“No! But I know what it’s about. It’s a bit crappy because I can’t tell you anything, but I went for dinner with Steven and he told me the first two episodes of next season and I nearly fell off my chair. Honestly, it’s so brilliant, it’s such a clever idea that I was like, ‘Well…’ But we talked a lot about the special then. I love the Christmas special – it’s one of my favourite ones to make. It’s got a clever idea. I don’t know where he gets it.”

Do you know the number of episodes you’ve got next year?
“I’ll shoot 14. it’ll be the whole thing – a Christmas special and yeah, a 13-episode series.” 

And you’ll be in the TARDIS for the 50th Anniversary, is that right?
“I think so, as I’m led to believe. Especially now being involved and being a fan of Doctor Who – I’ll be a lifelong fan of it – to be involved in a show… You look at the celebrations for Coronation Street – it was huge, wasn’t it? And I think Doctor Who has a similar place and is an institution in similar ways and all the rest of it, and to be a part of it is just a real privilege.”

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