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24 April 2011

The overnight viewing figures are in for 6.1: The Impossible Astronaut.

The episode achieved a figure of 6.5m viewers, with an audience share of 36.7%.

Doctor Who was the second most-watched programme of Easter Saturday, with Britain's Got Talent taking the top slot with 9.5m viewers.

Final BARB ratings will be available within the next 10 days.

+ What did you think of the episode? Rate / Discuss in the DWO Forums!

[Source: Andy Parish]

22 April 2011

SFX Magazine have added a recent interview with Steven Moffat to their website:

So your second year as showrunner is upon us. What did you learn from your first?

“The trouble with Doctor Who is that it’s so story-specific. There isn’t a set way of making Doctor Who. With a lot of shows, like Press Gang or Coupling, you think, ‘Well, that’s how we make it, that’s what it looks like and generally speaking there’ll be a scene like this…’ That sounds very reductionist and awful, but my favourite series of all time, The West Wing, falls into that category. Most of them are pretty much the same. You could, pretty much, take various different episodes of The West Wing and stitch them together in a different order, graft the sub-plot of one onto the main plot of another. It’s a genius work of art, but you do realise at a certain point you know how to make it. Doctor Who isn’t like that. You’re doing pirates one week, and then you’re doing a spaceship – possibly in the same episode!”

And you never get a sense of confidence making it?

“I think we’re much, much more confident now than we were in the beginning, just because at the very start you’re simply flailing. It’s like being strapped to the front of a train and trying to shout instructions to the driver. You have no idea how fast it’s going to go, the speed it’s going to go…”

You cast the Doctor spectacularly well. What strengths did you see in Matt’s performance last year that you wanted to capitalise on this year?

“That was a very, very gradual process. It was obvious from the get-go, from the very first scenes he did where they’re on the beach in the Angels episodes and he’s perfect as the Doctor. He’s not as good as he is now, but he’s perfect. He came through the door tonally perfect. He absolutely got what sort of show it would be. Quite purposefully, and sensibly, I said that if this new Doctor is a bit David Tennanty at the beginning then that makes perfect dramatic sense. I was still probably writing him a bit David Tennanty. David had made such a huge impression in the role that it made sense. But also, a few minutes before he meets little Amelia Pond, he was David Tennant, so why would he immediately not be like that? So Matt stretched into the part and took it over and made it his own, and sort of obscured his predecessor. It’s instinctive but he becomes much dafter, much sillier, and curiously more the old boffin than David ever was, in a way, even though he’s the younger one. Just more sort of basically mental!”

Did you spot stuff like Matt being really good with kids, and think, “That’s something that I can use”?

“Well, that was purely by accident. I’d already written the scene where he meets Amelia. But he’s fantastic with children. When I started writing it I was vaguely writing the Doctor as I roughly wrote it for Chris and for David. At a certain point you realise that you are writing stuff that you would never have written for Chris and David – the daffiness, the fact he forgets things, the fact he’s hopeless with women and flirtation and all that stuff, which David’s Doctor and Chris’s Doctor were very, very good at. All that gangliness… you get influenced by his weird body language, and the fact that he does seem like a completely different creature from a young, good-looking 28 year-old, which is, in fact, what he is. He’s resurrected the idea of the Doctor being mad. Not just eccentric but properly mad. I think Gareth Roberts’ episode ‘The Lodger’, which was the last one we did in the first series, was the fullest Matt performance. All that stuff where he’s doing the air-kissing because he thinks, “Is that how we talk?” – you sort of buy it. And he drinks wine and just goes bleurghh and spits it out. And even though that’s in direct contradiction of things that we know about the Doctor being a sophisticate, it completely sits with him, and those are moments that you would never have bought with Chris or David.”

“The Beast Below” had a particularly jolting moment where he suddenly lashed out in anger. But that wasn’t something that you seemed to revisit.

“We do revisit it. You will see scary Doctor again, without doubt. That wasn’t a particular decision. I quite like writing a grumpy Doctor. It just didn’t really come up in the stories. It wasn’t moving away from that at all. And we do have proper grumpy Doctor returning. And moments of scary Doctor, as well. Because he’s very, very good at them. It’s quite alarming – I’m used to the Doctor’s anger, and indeed his sadness being, in a very good way, quite theatrical, whereas Matt’s not that sort of actor, so when he does anger or tragedy or any of those big emotional things it’s quite visceral; it’s quite serious and heartfelt. It’s horrible to think that you’ve brutally disappointed this sweet man. And he is. Let’s not pretend otherwise about the Doctor, he is fundamentally incredibly sweet and incredibly kind, and all the things that he has to be to be the Doctor. But there are moments when he loses that, or he can’t sustain it.”

Is it quite a collaboration between you and Matt in shaping the Doctor?

“I don’t think we’ve ever – or certainly not for a very long time – had a proper sit down conversation about it. It’s more a collaboration in the sense that I’m writing stuff, seeing what he’s doing, instinctively following him, and then he’s following the script. Oddly enough, like David before him, he’s absolutely punctilious about dialogue. He never paraphrases. If he wants to change a line he’s on the phone. He’s very, very precise, very exacting, never ‘make it up’. But I do think the show is the Doctor, so you have to leave a blank space in a way and let the new Doctor, the current Doctor, occupy it.”

Can you talk about the decision to split the series in two? What drove that creatively?

“I think there was a very, very odd shape to last year, because we had nothing but event episodes for a while. David’s last year was occasional specials, and every one of them, of course, was promoted as an event. And then you had the huge event of David’s last two episodes, and then you had the huge event of Matt arriving. And then you think ‘And now it’s just on television…’ That’s good, but it starts to feel routine. And I kept saying, ‘We need a mid-season finale.’ It’s a long time to expect people to follow a big old arc plot, 13 weeks. You need something in the middle that makes it big. But of course the term mid-season finale literally means nothing. You can say that as many times as you like. It’s not a finale. It’s bollocks. It’s on next week. In fairness the idea has been floated several times for Doctor Who, and this time I thought let’s have that, let’s just do it twice. Because there’s a moment in the middle of a series where everyone just thinks ‘Well, it’s been back on for a few weeks, you can rely on it, it’s always there…’ So they think if they miss an episode it doesn’t matter so much, it can’t be a very important one this week. I know people think that way, because I think that way about some other television series, that I really, really like, but I don’t completely love. And the interesting thing about Doctor Who, and the challenge of it always is, if we do a special episode with all this publicity and all guns blazing, we can get 11, 12 million viewers. That’s a fact. But the core audience, the audience that we don’t ever drop below is probably around 6.5 million. And I would like to know how we can more often access those other six million, and try and keep them onboard. And say to them ‘Don’t just leave because Christmas is over. Maybe you want to see the next one too? And maybe the one after that?’ Just lure more of them in.”

So how does that impact on your storytelling? Is it as simple as chopping the season in two?

“Well, no, because it forces you to say ‘Well, there’s going to have to be a finale.’ You can’t just pretend that episode seven is going to be just another episode, and it will suddenly stop. No, there has to be a big va-voom, and then there has to be another va-voom that reintroduces the series.”

How did you want to kick off the series?

“My big thing was starting with a two-parter, and starting with quite a dark, quite an actiony, quite scary one, as opposed to our traditional approach of starting with a romp.”

And you filmed in America for that one.

“It does make more difference than you feel morally that it should. You suddenly see them standing in the desert, and you can see miles to the horizon. It feels properly American that two-parter. I think it’s a very, very convincing America that we pull off.”

Can you talk about the diversity of stories that you’re giving us this year?

“Curiously enough, I never really believe that you approach a television series by balancing it all. Would you want it to be properly balanced or have all of them just be really good? In other words, if you had two historicals in a row and they were both fantastic, who’s going to write in and complain? How many people are going to do that? How many people noticed in the second series of Doctor Who that ‘Tooth And Claw’ was only two weeks away from ‘Girl In The Fireplace’, and they were both celebrity historicals? Who cared? Did anybody care? So you don’t worry about that. So, yes, there’s diversity because it’s Doctor Who, but frequently the diversity is about the genres you move into. Matt Graham gives us quite a dark one, a dark, clever, very funny a two-parter. And I’d say Matt Graham’s Doctor Who is slightly different, it’s more like a police procedural somehow, in a way! You’ll throw those words back at me when you see it, but he takes a different angle on it.”

Most Doctor Who writers have just absorbed the style of the show in childhood, haven’t they?

“I think they have. I mean, you can try and define it – are you entertaining eight year-olds, are you exciting 14 year olds, are you making 40 year-olds laugh their heads off? You could answer all those questions yes and still not get it right. You have to be engaging every age group by all possible means. I’m no longer in touch with online fandom but I remember when I was – when I was just writing for the show, not running it – I did think at times, on some of those forums, that these are the people in the whole world who understand Doctor Who the least. They’ve stared at it so long, and invested so much in it that they no longer understand what it is. They can’t see it for what it is. Everyone else in the whole world gets it better than they do. That in itself is unfair, because loads of them aren’t like that at all, but you know what I mean? You just think ‘No, it’s not that kind of show, it’s not like that…’”

How much joy do you take in keeping secrets from various members of your cast? Matt tells us he’s frustrated that Alex Kingston knows more than he does, Arthur doesn’t know what’s going on at all…

“It was fun. It was just a laugh. It wasn’t anything serious. We wanted Alex to come back to be River again, so I thought I’d phone her up as I didn’t know how she was feeling about it. She’s a very successful, very glamorous actress and we make her film at night in the mud. At some point you think ‘Hm, maybe she won’t want to…’ I phoned her up and said ‘Look, I’ll talk you through what’s going to happen with River next year…’ And I realised quite quickly into that conversation that she was just going ‘Ooh, hooray!’ and had no idea why I was telling her, because she was perfectly happy to come back. Now I do have a general belief that if you want to have a secret, keep it. Don’t ever tell anybody who doesn’t need to know, because you’re not only trusting them, you’re trusting everybody that they trust, and everybody that those people trust. So I just didn’t tell the others. And then it became funny. I’d turn up on set and Alex would come over to me and cover her radio mike and have a whispered conversation with me, while I could see out of the corner of my eye Matt standing there going ‘But… I’m the star of the show!’ So that was just a laugh. At the same time, he should learn when the Doctor learns, which was when he read the script.”

I did wonder if it was you trying to feed the performances…

“You wouldn’t need to. Matt’s good enough that he could have done it anyway. But if they don’t need to know, why tell them? Poor old Arthur! This became a running joke. I’d be talking to Karen and Matt about Doctor Who, and he’d always be walking i n just as I’d be finishing a very, very long spiel. And it happened the other day, at a readthrough; I was filling in all the principals on what was going to happen in episode 13, how it was going to end, how we were going to get out of the problem that we’d set ourselves. And I realised as I ended that the door had banged and in walked Arthur. And we all just fell around laughing, saying ‘Oh, I’m sorry, you’ve missed it… again!’”

When you got the Doctor Who gig did you have the long game fully formed? Or is it something that changes year by year?

“It changes year by year. The danger of a long game or a big old plot arc is that you can start sacrificing the current episode because you think ‘Ooh, this’ll pay off later.’ And that’s no use in a show like Doctor Who. You can’t say ‘Well, it’s rubbish now, but wait til you see how it pays off.’ You can’t be driven too much by your big story idea. In truth, the big stories we tell tend to be very, very lightly sketched in. It’s more great, grand allusions rather than a great big masterplan. You have a sort of idea but I would throw it all out tomorrow if I suddenly thought of a great new story idea. If it contradicted it I’d just get rid of it. It’s about satisfaction every Saturday.”

How is Doctor Who seen by the BBC these days?

“I think all of us as fans probably don’t appreciate just how utterly loved Doctor Who is at the BBC, because no show performs like Doctor Who. Alright, there are shows that do slightly better, but not after this number of years, and not shows that sell all over the world. Think how many people have now seen ‘Rose’, that first Christopher Eccleston episode. Never mind who saw it in the first week, or even the first year. People are still watching that for the first time. Just imagine if we were able to add up everybody who eventually, over a period of years, watches an individual episode of Doctor Who, which unlike The X-Factor, unlike EastEnders, unlike any of those shows, continues to exist on your shelf. We’d be the biggest show in the country. One of the biggest shows in the world. If they measured book sales this way we’d be saying, ‘Well, it only counts if it sells on the day!’ Doctor Who carries on gaining new viewers. I’d love to know what percentage of Britain has now seen Christopher Eccleston’s first episode, say, or David Tennant’s first episode. I’m sure it’s way, way over half. That’s what we don’t quite appreciate, especially as television is going to change and we’ll be more like publishers than broadcasters, because the time of transmission is now just the date of publication, isn’t it? You know you can catch it on iPlayer, on iTunes, you know you can see it later… There’s no impetus, or not the same impetus, to see it at the time. And that’s the world in which Doctor Who will triumph. Which is why I got so ratty at the time they were saying our ratings were down when they weren’t. I remember yelling at some journalist, which I shouldn’t have done, saying do you even know that iPlayer isn’t counted in the ratings? You know there’s a whole 2 – 2 ½ million we’re not even allowed to mention, in typical BBC style. The only absolutely verified members of the audience, the only ones who are definitely there, aren’t counted in the ratings! We just use the big guess. But anyway, that’s me ranting on…”

Do you think Doctor Who embodies the best of the BBC? Is it a flagship for values that are under threat?

“Yes. I think it’s the most BBC show in the world. I can’t imagine anything more BBC than Doctor Who because I can’t imagine anyone else who would make it, and continue to make it, and continue to cherish it. It can look like madness to a tiny mind, as indeed the BBC can look like madness to a tiny mind, but that’s just what genius looks like if you’re an idiot. It’s not madness! It’s utter brilliance. This is one of the very few characters entirely created by television and for television and sustained by television, that is a legend alongside James Bond and Sherlock Holmes and Dracula. It is an extraordinary thing. I’m not even trying to be mean about American networks, but can you imagine them doing Doctor Who? It’s half Hammer Horror, half Generation Game, a genuinely frightening horror series aimed at young children. It’s all those mad conflations of ideas. But at the same time while it is the most wondrous and magical and fairytale thing, it’s born out of a scheduling decision. It’s born out of them saying, and how clever they were, ‘We need to join the children’s audience here to the adult audience there, and let’s have a show that everybody watches’. A problem they solved so brilliantly in 1963 that it still works now! Who else and where else would it ever happen? It’s all of the BBC in one barking mad show.”

** Interview conducted by Nick Setchfield for SFX Magazine.

[Source: SFX]

21 April 2011

DWO have seen 6.1: The Impossible Astronaut and have put our spoiler-free preview together:

The wait is over! Series 6 gets off to a flying start with the curiously titled, 'The Impossible Astronaut' - a story that is unlike anything we have seen, or even imagined, before.

It's a real knotty one to describe as so much of the plot is spoileriffic, not to mention complex. Complex is good though! It's so easy as a viewer to simply vegetate and accept everything you see on screen without challenging you or making you think.

Steven Moffat really makes you work as the many strands that bind The Impossible Astronaut, and no doubt the rest of Series Six, weave their way through a thoroughly entertaining 45 minutes.

Doctor Who feels a little more grown up now, but at the same time, a little more childish in places. The beautiful locations, the grim locations, some of the subject matter and plots just make you feel that the stakes have risen higher than ever before.

We start off the episode with five minutes of fun, taking us from a royal court (where The Doctor is getting up to mischief again) right through to a Laurel and Hardy movie (more Doctor-y mischief). Three TARDIS blue envelopes are delivered to their recipients and a fourth to a mystery man. All of the recipients are summoned to an exact location at an exact moment in time, but why, and by whom?

Then, get ready to have the rug pulled from the very fabric of your being as Steven Moffat delivers the first course of what will play out to be one of the greatest story arcs to date.

Throw in a big dollop of President Nixon, the FBI, the scariest monsters ever to have appeared in Doctor Who (hands down), and a cracking cliffhanger to boot, and you have yourself a truly unmissable televisual masterpiece.

The only problem is we have a whole 7 days until we find out what happens next...

Rating: 9/10

Five things to look out for...

1) "I won't be ______ ___ again, but you'll be ______ me"

2) The Doctor's special fizzy straw.

3) Joy in the bathroom.

4) "River, make her blue again!"

5) Amy has two secrets The Doctor doesn't know about!

[Source: DWO]

21 April 2011

ShortList.com have added a brand new interview with New Series Producer, Marcus Wilson to their website:

THE NEW VILLAINS ARE AMAZING

“The Silence [which we’ve heard about since last series] have a special power to make people forget them. They’re scary. And Lily Cole plays a Siren, a type of demon who lures soldiers to their death. Then, in episodes five and six, we’ve got something called The Flesh. It’s a technology that lets humans create duplicates of themselves — but this being Doctor Who, things don’t run smoothly.”

WE GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO KEEP THINGS A SURPRISE

“For the final scene of the last episode before the mid-series break, we only gave the actors their final lines. Everyone else had a script that just said ‘interior of a spaceship hanger’ and that was it. We get papped every day and there are Facebook groups dedicated to where they think we’re going to be filming next. They’re right a freakish amount of the time, so on location we have to black out car windows so that they can’t see the guest stars and monsters. It’s unfair to spoil it for the fans.”

JAMES CORDEN WANTS TO BE A REGULAR

“What’s lovely about Doctor Who is that people want to guest star in it. We set out the story commissions for this series and we knew that we wanted to do a sequel to [episode] ‘The Lodger’. James said, ‘Tell me when, I’ll be there.’ We thought that his episode would be a one-off, but it did so well that everyone was keen to do another. Now he’s pitching to us for a trilogy.”

MATT SMITH’S ROLE AS THE DOCTOR SET TO GO ON AND ON…

“Matt Smith makes the show a great environment to work in. He turns up with a lot of energy, welcomes the guest cast and is ready to work. Matt and Karen [Gillan, Amy Pond] have a sweet brother/sister relationship. You cut the camera and immediately they’re dancing to some tune that they’re singing. They both love it. Matt especially is very keen to continue in the role.”

[Source: Short List]

14 April 2011

DWO were lucky enough to receive an invite to the BBC America Doctor Who Series 6 premiere in New York, and our very own Robyn Schneider was there to report LIVE from the event. Check out the video below:

In an unprecedented display of support for the British import show, over a thousand fans turned out at New York City's Village East Cinema on Monday for the chance to watch the Doctor Who season six opener--and to see the cast and crew. The U.S. premiere screening, courtesy of BBC America, featured appearances by Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston, Steven Moffat and executive producers Piers Wenger and Beth Willis.

** With thanks to BBC America.

+ 6.1: The Impossible Astronaut airs in the UK and the USA on Saturday 23rd April 2011.

+ For this and many other exclusive videos, check out the Doctor Who Online YouTube Channel.

[Source: DWO]

<mce:script

13 April 2011

The BBC Doctor Who website have uploaded two new clips from 6.1: The Impossible Astronaut:

[Source: BBC Doctor Who website]

12 April 2011

The BBC Doctor Who website has confirmed the return of The Cybermen in Series 6 of Doctor Who.

The metal meanines will be back for the second half of the season, which will air in the Autumn, and it is believed they will return in Episdoe Twelve.

Those of you who pay extra special attention to the new image released today, will notice the omission of the Cybus logo on the chestplate of the Cybermen - not to mention an Auton-caped Rory.

[Source: BBC Doctor Who website]

5 April 2011

The BBC Press Office have issued a Press Pack for Series 6 of Doctor Who:

Doctor Who returns to UK screens later this month for a seven-episode run which opens with a spectacular two-parter set in the USA and penned by "Who supremo" Steven Moffat.

In the opening two episodes, co-produced with BBC America, key scenes have been filmed in Utah for a story set in the late Sixties in which the Doctor, Amy and Rory find themselves on a secret summons that takes them on an adventure from the desert in Utah – right to the Oval Office itself.

The new series follows on from the Doctor Who Christmas Special which featured guest stars Katherine Jenkins and Michael Gambon, and has been split into two blocks, with the second block to be shown in autumn 2011. By splitting the series Moffat plans to give viewers one of the most exciting Doctor Who cliff-hangers and plot twists ever, leaving them waiting, on the edge of their seats, until the autumn to find out what happens.

Steven Moffat on Series 6:

Steven Moffat is Lead Writer and Executive Producer. After taking over the reins on Doctor Who last year, Steven Moffat has certainly been kept busy. He's answered seven quick-fire questions on what to look out for when the show returns at Easter.

How has this series evolved from last year?

Well we've moved through the funfair a bit – we've done the rollercoaster, now we're on the ghost train. Last year, in a way, was all about saying, don't worry, it's still him, it's still the same show, nothing's really been lost. Losing a leading man like David Tennant is seismic – unless you gain a leading man like Matt Smith. It's been the biggest joy to see him stride in and just claim that TARDIS for his own. But now he's really here, and the part is his, and the bow tie is cool, he's ready to lead us places we didn't know existed. Last year we reassured you – this year, to hell with that, we're going to worry the hell out of you. How well do we really know that man, or what he's capable of? We're putting the "who?" back in the Doctor.

Is there a major story arc to look out for?

Oh, there's a big story being told this year, and major mysteries from the very off. As ever, in this show, the stories all stand alone, and every episode is a perfect jumping-on point for a new viewer. But at the same time the over-arching plot will be a bigger player this year. More than hints and whispers – we're barely 10 minutes into episode one before our heroes face a dilemma that they'll be staring at months from now. And there will be no easy answers.

Will there be new monsters?

They're ... scary. Very scary. And, ohh, I don't want to say more – there's the Silence in episodes one and two, the Siren, in episode three, the Gangers in five and six, all these are more than just freaky costumes and masks; there are SCARY ideas here. And just wait till you meet Idris in episode four.

Is this series scarier than the last one?

See above. Yes, I think so. But it's not JUST scary – it's funny and moving and revelling in its own insanity too.

How have the characters evolved?

The big difference, I suppose, is how long the Doctor is hanging around in the lives of his companions. His normal MO is get them while they're young, and leave them while they're young too. He's careful to put them back where he found them, before he screws up their lives. But here he is, married couple on board – and much as he loves them both, he does wonder if it isn't time he got out of the way; before something really BAD happens.

Did you always plan for Amy and Rory to get married?

Oh, always. Married couple on the TARDIS, that was the plan from the off.

What can you tell us about the cliff-hanger at the end of episode seven?

Normally our cliff-hangers are lives being threatened; with this one, three live are changed FOREVER.

Matt Smith on Series 6:

Matt Smith inhabited the role of the Doctor last year and instantly won a legion of fans with his kooky take on the iconic character. Here he reveals what lies in store for the Doctor and his fellow TARDIS travellers in 2011, and why the Fez is no longer his favourite hat.

"I think The Silence are one of the greatest monsters of recent years and certainly one of the scariest," reveals Matt Smith. "They're also very clever and I love the fact they've been silently working since the dawn of time to make The Doctor come unstuck."

Matt is talking about the new breed of monster which viewers will be introduced to in the opening two episodes of the series. He is remaining tight-lipped about what viewers can expect but he does offer some insights into the story arc for this series. "Steven [Moffat, writer] has a grand plan and some of the seeds he planted in the last series start coming to fruition and affecting the characters in drastic ways," explains Matt. "Every character is faced with the most seismic and high-stakes choices we've seen so far."

Opening the new series is a special two-part story penned by Steven Moffat and set in America, marking the first time in its history that an episode of Doctor Who has been filmed there. The cast spent three days in the desert in Utah but that didn't stop hardcore Doctor Who fans from tracking them down. "It was very strange," laughs Matt. "We were in the middle of the desert and suddenly there was a lady with a campervan and deck chair, holding an iPad up with a moving screen which read 'autograph please!'. I mean how on earth she knew we were in the middle of the desert I have no idea, but it certainly proved her dedication to the show!

"The landscape was incredible," continues Matt, "and I think being in America, filming in that terrain, has definitely added a sense of scale and a filmic quality to this series of Doctor Who. It was an amazing experience and a brilliant laugh. I have to confess that I think the Stetson has been my favourite hat for the Doctor so far, 100 per cent. Viewers may well see more of the Stetson later in the series but I couldn't possibly reveal when..."

Alex Kingston joined Matt, Karen and Arthur in Utah to reprise her role as River Song and Matt admits it was great to have her back. "I'm very fond of Alex and I simply love the part of River Song because it makes the Doctor come unstuck; she's the one person in the world who knows more than him. I think Steven has written some really revelatory stuff about the character and she's extremely important to this series," teases Matt.

"We've also been incredibly lucky to welcome a number of fantastic guest stars including Hugh Bonneville, Suranne Jones and Lily Cole. James Corden also returns later in the series," reveals Matt. "I've admired so many people who have been involved and all of them have brought a touch of quality."

Matt also has high praise for his fellow co stars, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. "I think with Rory, Arthur has perfectly judged the humour and he's got some fantastic storylines with Karen. I do think that Amy and Rory now being married has changed the dynamic in the TARDIS and in many ways it's the Doctor who is perhaps the odd one out," explains Matt. "However, Karen and Arthur are hilarious and together we are always mucking around between takes and telling silly jokes to annoy each other!"

Matt also reveals that his clumsy reputation is still fully justified! "I was chatting away to someone the other day on set and I had my hand on a lamp stand. Little did I know that as I was leaning it was actually turning and suddenly it came crashing down on my head!"

Perhaps it was lucky for the rest of the cast then that Matt wasn't tasked with any sword fighting in episode three which is set on a pirate ship: "It was 4am and we had four huge rain machines making us soaking wet but we all loved it. Karen had to do the sword fighting though," chuckles Matt, "I just had to walk round and act clever in the background!"

Karen Gillan on Series 6:

Karen Gillan burst onto TV screens last year as feisty companion, Amy Pond, and immediately secured her place in Doctor Who broadcasting history which has been an integral part of British culture since the Sixties. Returning for her second series aboard the TARDIS, Karen reveals what lies in store for Amy, the naughty tricks her co-stars play on her and why she has a newfound passion for fencing.

"There were clues planted in the last series that are going to become major storylines in this one," divulges a conspiratorial Karen Gillan; a revelation which is bound to have all "Whovians" avidly watching Series Five to spot what the Inverness-born actress is referring to.

"There's a really interesting arc in this series that involves all of the major characters and it's evident from the first episode that everyone on the TARDIS is withholding secrets from one another," continues Karen. "It makes for a fascinating dynamic between the characters and it's incredibly important to the overall series."

Karen also believes that Amy has more respect for her new husband Rory after his recent adventures. "I think Rory has perhaps developed the most out of all the characters," explains Karen. "By the end of last series he became a Roman Centurion hero and he had changed a lot; it felt like he had earned his place in the TARDIS. In fact, it's hard for me to imagine the TARDIS without him now!"

But has married life changed Amy Pond? Karen quickly sweeps that concern out of the way exclaiming: "if anything she is even more Amy Pondish! I don't think it would work for Amy to completely change now that she's a married woman and I certainly don't think she should become a subdued version of herself. However, I do think being married has helped to define the Doctor and Amy's relationship and I can reveal that something takes place this series which makes Amy see Rory in a new light..." teases the actress.

While the majority of filming for Doctor Who usually takes place in Cardiff, the cast found themselves in the middle of the desert in Utah last November to film scenes for the opening two-parter. "The new series starts with a real bang," exclaims Karen. "Filming in Utah was so much fun and I spent a lot of time running around the desert; the scenery was amazing and simply wouldn't have looked the same if we had filmed it in Cardiff against a green screen. The desert backdrop really gives the opening two episodes an epic feel."

However, it wasn't all fun for the actors as temperatures plunged below freezing at night and then they had to battle searing temperatures during the day. "We were all 'thermaled' up and I had on two pairs of trousers and four tops! Then the sun would come up making it blistering hot and we'd all peel off the layers," laughs Karen.

But despite the elements, Karen enjoyed being reunited with Alex Kingston who plays enigma River Song. "Alex is so much fun to have around," reveals Karen. "She makes the TARDIS team feel complete."

But the question on viewers' lips is: "will we find out who River Song actually is?"

"The ending of this first set of episodes has been hidden from everyone!" laughs Karen. "Even I got given a dummy ending to episode seven and it was only at the read-through that Steven Moffat took me, Matt and Arthur into the corridor to read the proper version on his laptop. We then all paced around going, 'oh my God!'. It's brilliant and viewers will just have to tune in to find out more. It certainly provides a fantastic cliff-hanger to see us through until the autumn."

Karen also reveals that this series is set to be the scariest yet with the debut of a number of new monsters. "Ooh, in particular I think The Silence, which are the new monsters in the opening two episodes, actually rival the Weeping Angels in terms of scariness and they look disgusting!" says Karen, screwing up her face in revulsion. "The concept behind them is ingenious because it feels like they are undefeatable, and this series also sees the return of some of the Doctor's oldest foes, but with an interesting twist..."

A new series of Doctor Who wouldn't be complete without a number of well known guest stars; Hugh Bonneville, Lily Cole, Suranne Jones and Marshall Lancaster are all billed in upcoming episodes.

"The great thing about this show is that it attracts big names and everyone who comes on set is so excited to be part of the Doctor Who experience," explains Karen. "These actors could all be off doing other things but they choose to come on the show because they are either fans or their kids are, so it makes the whole experience enjoyable. For me, it's also a wonderful experience to watch these people at work – it's like an acting masterclass every episode."

With each story set at different points in time and occasionally on alien planets, Amy Pond has certainly experienced a lot in her relatively short time on the TARDIS. But for Karen the episode that really stands out for her this series features Hugh Bonneville as a Pirate Captain in the 1600s. "I had a brilliant time filming this episode," reveals Karen. "Swinging across a pirate ship was a particular highlight and I loved doing the sword fight. I'd never done anything like that before so I literally picked up the sword and started learning moves with a stunt guy – in fact I loved it so much that I actually want to take it up as a hobby! Luckily I caused no major injuries on set, although I did collide with Arthur at one point but that was his fault."

It is clear that Karen has become firm friends with her co stars Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill and their chemistry certainly translates on screen. "We genuinely mess around all day," confesses Karen, "but I think that works because as a viewer I'd like to see the Doctor, Amy and Rory having fun. Of course we are serious when we need to be, but in general we clown around between takes and I think that helps to create chemistry on screen.

"Matt has also taken to hiding in my trailer and I'll go in, humming to myself, and then he'll just jump out at me and shout", giggles Karen. "The first time he did it was hilarious because he scared me so much that I fell backwards against the wall and slid down it! He also has an annoying habit of filming me when I fall asleep, while in make-up in the mornings, and it's a hideous sight – I'm not going to lie!" continues Karen. "Arthur eggs him on and the pair of them gang up but don't worry, I give as good as I get. Although it's brilliant when Alex Kingston is around because she knows how to handle them!"

So with two mischievous lads and a number of monsters to deal with, both Karen and Amy Pond have a lot to contend with, but where would Karen go if she had sole control of the TARDIS? "The tundra," she says, "no reason why! Just go with it!"

Arthur Darvill on Series 6:

Arthur Darvill won over Doctor Who fans last year playing Amy Pond's devoted boyfriend, Rory Williams. The pair are now enjoying life as newlyweds aboard the TARDIS and returning for his second series, Arthur reveals how his character has grown, what being married to the feisty companion is really like and how filming on a pirate ship made his childhood dreams come true.

Out of all the characters, Rory has perhaps been on the biggest journey since stepping into the TARDIS. "Last series I think Rory felt like he was on the outside looking into this world he was desperately trying to save Amy from," admits Arthur. "But he's very much inside that world now and married life has stopped him feeling so unworthy. He feels that he's proved himself."

Arthur believes that Rory's new-found confidence is all down to his exciting travels with the Doctor and Amy. "His sense of adventure has awoken," reveals Arthur. "But he hasn't become arrogant in any way, he's just more comfortable."

However, his new self belief hasn't helped him shake the nickname "Mr Pond". "I think Amy will always wear the trousers in the relationship. As much as Rory has proved himself, it's Amy after all, and I dare any man to be in charge of that relationship. She's a firecracker," laughs Arthur.

It's obvious that three isn't a crowd when it comes to life in the TARDIS, but how does Arthur find working with Matt and Karen? "They're brilliant, it's lucky we all get on so well. The most fun I have is when all three of us are together; it's a really good working relationship. It helps that we all came on board together because we're growing as a unit and keeping each other on our toes."

Doctor Who is known for its fantastic guest stars and the new series is no exception, featuring the likes of Hugh Bonneville as a Pirate Captain and David Walliams as a mole-like alien. Alex Kingston also makes a welcome return for Arthur, "Alex is back, which makes the team feel complete. She's just a dream to work with and is hilarious on set." But Arthur isn't daunted at the prospect of working with such household names. "Funnily enough I get more nervous meeting writers than actors," he recalls, "even more so with Neil Gaiman as he's just brilliant."

This year, the cast swapped Cardiff for Utah in the USA to film the epic opening two-parter set in the Sixties. "Filming in America was amazing, especially going to an area of America which I've seen in so many movies," says Arthur.

Asked what his highlight of the series has been, Arthur excitedly reveals that it was filming on board a pirate ship for the third episode. "Going on a pirate ship was unbelievable; it felt like we were on a movie set." But it wasn't pirates that Arthur was worried about; instead it was clumsy Karen Gillan let loose with a sharp weapon. "Karen got to do a massive sword fight and I thought she was going to be a liability. Someone was going to have their eye out at the very least! But she was actually pretty good, I think she'd been practising secretly," confides Arthur.

It appears Amy's swashbuckling skills could come in useful this series as Arthur hints that the monsters are scarier than ever before. "The ambition of the show has grown, there are a lot of surprises this year," hints Arthur. "It's not necessarily a big monster on the screen, but ideas that are presented in episodes one and two that keep building throughout the series." One monster stands out in particular for him. "I think The Silence are really going to blow people's socks off. They're terrifying," exclaims Arthur.

Rory and Amy may be settling into the routine of married life, but the honeymoon period definitely isn't over for Arthur when it comes to the show: "Everyone cares so much about it, which is what makes coming to work such a joy every day," he says.

[Source: BBC Press Office]

5 April 2011

Ian Wylie has sent us details of his report from last night's Series 6 Doctor Who Press Launch.

Episodes one and two of season six provide the darkest – and scariest – opening ever to a Doctor Who series.

Ninety minutes of sometimes quite astonishing television containing secrets that cannot yet be told.

Gathered at London’s Kensington Olympia, current home of the Doctor Who Experience, we were shown the two-part opener – The Impossible Astronaut and Day Of The Moon.

Followed by a 30-minute on stage Q&A with writer and showrunner Steven Moffat, Matt Smith, Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Alex Kingston (River Song) and Arthur Darvill (Rory), chaired by the Daily Telegraph’s Neil Midgley.

To read Ian's full review of the series opener, together with the full Q&A with the team, visit his blog, here.

[Source: Ian Wylie]

4 April 2011

In the next issue of Doctor Who Magazine (#433) - which sports 4 (yes 4) collectible covers, showrunner Steven Moffat talks exclusively to the magazine, confirming that one of the main four cast members (The Doctor, Amy, Rory & River Song) are marked for death and WILL die in the Series Six opener...

Of course, everything may not be as it seems, in what promises to be one of the biggest and most epic seasons of Doctor Who to date.

You can read Steven Moffat's full interview in DWM Issue #433, which is out this Thursday, priced £4.50.

+ Subscribe to Doctor Who Magazine from just £16.30!

Vote for who you think will 'die' in the Series 6 opener, in the DWO Forums.

[Source: @DWMTweets]

1 April 2011

BBC America have uploaded a new trailer promoting Series 6 of Doctor Who, which you can now watch below:

+  Discuss the Trailer in the DWO Forums.

[Source: BBC America]

30 March 2011

The BBC Doctor Who website have now uploaded the full trailer for Series 6 of Doctor Who:

+  Rate / Discuss the Trailer in the DWO Forums.

[Source: BBC Doctor Who website]

29 March 2011

To herald the new series of Doctor Who, BBC Learning and Doctor Who Confidential today announced Script To Screen, an exciting competition that will give one lucky team of school children the chance to write their own Doctor Who mini-adventure starring the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith.

To win this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, school children aged 9 to 11 years will be encouraged to collaborate on a three-minute script that takes the resident Time Lord on a new quest travelling through space and time inside the TARDIS.

The lucky winners will travel to the BBC's studios in Cardiff where they will see their script brought to life by the Doctor Who team and cast, including Matt Smith.

Doctor Who Confidential will also be on hand to take viewers behind the scenes to show how the script gets developed from paper to television screen – from the first script meeting, a cast read-through, on-set filming... all the way to the final edit.

Saul Nassé, Controller of BBC Learning, said: "Doctor Who is loved by children across the UK, and I can think of no better programme to inspire the next generation of story tellers.

"The Script to Screen competition is a fantastic way for children to learn new writing skills, whether or not they are winners. We are delighted that the stellar cast and crew of Doctor Who are on board for this journey of learning through time and space."

Children can be as creative and imaginative as they like in order to put together a story that's filled with all the excitement and adventure of the popular BBC One sci-fi drama.

The action-packed script must feature Matt Smith and can include one of four fearsome monsters/aliens from the show: Ood, Judoon, Cyberman or Weeping Angel, as well as a brand new human character to test the wits of the Doctor.

Tailored learning resources will be available on the BBC Learning website to help guide teachers and pupils through the process.

BAFTA winner and head writer at Doctor Who, Steven Moffat, will also offer his expert advice and helpful tips on how to pull together a stand-out script with memorable characters.

Steven Moffat said: "Doctor Who made me want to write. It made me fall in love in television, script-writing and storytelling, and led me by the hand to the best job in the world. It also made me want to defend the Earth from aliens but that hasn't come up so often.

"I know the power this show has to set young imaginations alight, because I've lived it, so I'm incredibly excited to be involved in this project. Plus it's never too early to start looking for your replacement."

The winning script will be chosen by Steven Moffat, Saul Nassé and executive producers of Doctor Who, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis.

[Source: BBC Press Office]

28 March 2011

The SFX website has unveiled the title for Episode 4 of Series 6 of Doctor Who.

The episode, written by Neil Gaiman, is now confirmed as 6.4: The Doctor's Wife.

New Series Producer, Marcus Wilson, says on the episode:

“It’s an episode that involves quite a big sprawl, huge alien world locations and a new take on a familiar character, which required a lot of work. It’s a big episode, but I think it’ll be one the fans will love. It’s a real love letter to the fans.”

[Source: SFX]

26 March 2011

The BBC Doctor Who website have uploaded a new promotional image for Series 6 of Doctor Who.

The image shows Amy, The Doctor and Rory reflected in an Astronauts helmet - a theme that has been running throughout this week's promos on the BBC Doctor Who website.

[Source: BBC Doctor Who website]

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