ibishtar (ibishtar) wrote in doctorwho,

Steven Moffat and Tom McRae interviews touch on series 7 and 50th anniversary

Mild spoilers about series 7, including the already announced returning enemy and casting news
Interview with Steven Moffat here Transcript of Doctor Who parts:

Moving on to Doctor Who - how was it bidding farewell to Karen Gillan (Amy) and Arthur Darvill (Rory)?
"Oh, it's incredibly sad. The thing you can forget about this is, while the audience are losing people that they see for a few months per year, Karen and Arthur are walking out of something that they've been involved with every day for years. It's not just a professional change, it is a personal upheaval.

"I'm trying not to say it's like being dumped, but a huge part of your life changes. I think of Karen and Arthur, and from Matt [Smith]'s point of view - people that you saw every single day and have become absolutely part of your de facto family are now gone, never ever to be in that place in your life again.
"So it's a huge upheaval - it's personal and it's human. People should not underestimate how upsetting it is for everybody involved in it. I don't mean 'upsetting' in the sense that it's a tragedy - it's not a tragedy! But it's a huge bloody change - it's someone moving out of your house, that's how big it is."

There are going to be five Doctor Who episodes in the autumn, then a Christmas special, then eight more in 2013 - what was the thinking behind that structure?
"I don't know, on this occasion, that the thinking particularly came from me, actually. I've always been open to anything that shakes [the series] up. I think that decision actually came from the BBC.

"But I've been well up for anything that we can do to shake up the transmission pattern, the way we deliver it to the audience and how long we make the audience wait, simply because that makes Doctor Who an event piece.
"The more Doctor Who becomes a perennial, the faster it starts to die. You've got to shake it up, you've got to keep people on edge and wondering when it will come back.

"Sherlock is the prime example, as far as that goes. Sherlock almost exists on starving its audience. By the time it came back this year, Sherlock was like a rock star re-entering the building!

"So keeping Doctor Who as an event, and never making people feel, 'Oh, it's lovely, reliable old Doctor Who - it'll be on about this time, at that time of year'. Once you start to do that, just slowly, it becomes like any much-loved ornament in your house - ultimately invisible. And I don't want that to ever be the case."
There's been a lot of secrecy surrounding the new companion - when can we expect to learn who Jenna-Louise Coleman is playing?
"Christmas! But don't expect to learn everything! We've got a good story and there are some proper legitimate surprises in it. I'm excited by it. I think we're going to do some fun stuff."

Are you hoping to conceal the companion's identity until the Christmas special actually airs?
"We can't really contain everything, because people will crawl all over us with cameras and sneak views of scripts and call-sheets. Something will get out. But we've been fairly sly, so let's wait and see.

"Again, a lot of the audience that I talk to specifically avoid any spoilers and I'm absolutely certain they have a better experience of the show. As I've always said, if I could make it on the dark side of the moon, I would, but you can't do these things.

"I got pilloried by somebody at some deep level of naivety about the industry - they were angry that I'd revealed the fact that Amy and Rory were even going to leave! But y'know, actor's agents really do have to advertise their client's availability - I had no choice but to announce they were going to leave. But in an ideal world, you wouldn't even do that."

And are plans for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who under way too?
"Yes, they are. I had a meeting about that earlier in the week!"


Video of full interview with Russell Tovey and Tom McRae at SFX. Transcript at Den of Geek. Doctor Who relevant parts:

Russell Tovey: It’s the most nervous I’ve ever been when something’s come out on TV, because everything I do is quite cult-y and digital and it’s got a fan-base and it’s found its audience but [Sherlock's] like prime-time, proper. You know, I had the same thing when I did Doctor Who with Kylie Minogue but that wasn’t as big a part but with Sherlock it was like [pulls scared face].  But yeah, it was good to do and Benedict and Martin are awesome and it was a Mark Gatiss script and he’s also awesome.”

As an added extra, Tovey’s chum, Doctor Who writer Tom MacRae (The Girl Who Waited, The Age of Steel, The Rise of the Cybermen), who was also present, had a few words to say about what to expect from series 7.

Tom MacRae: All I can say about the upcoming fiftieth is that obviously there’s a big Dalek story opening the new series which is absolutely brilliant and any expectations you’ve got, double them, it’s that good. It’s so, so, so, so brilliant. And then the fiftieth which obviously is going to be a big hark back to everything that’s gone before, there’s going to be lots of nostalgia for Doctor Who fans over the next year or two years.

Are there rules when writing Doctor Who, things you are and aren't allowed to do?

Tom MacRae: I think you’ve got to be conscious that it is at its heart a children’s show, so there are rules about swearing obviously. We don’t show blood, so you can have green alien blood or humans zapped and falling down but they can’t bleed. We don’t tend to have human on human violence, which is kind of an unwritten rule. But I suppose the point is really that it’s so flexible as a format…

Tovey interrupts: I had blood, when I got shot. I had blood everywhere!

TM: You did, didn’t you. But you didn’t have that much blood did you?

RT: Yeah I did, I got shot and I was holding it…

TM: That’s another thing [on Doctor Who], people don’t get shot with guns, it’s always like laser guns…

RT: I got shot with a gun and I bled! And it was human-on-human violence!

TM: There we go, Russell Tovey, redefines a genre… But you can change it, like The Girl Who Waited didn’t have any guest characters, and I don’t think anyone’s ever done that before so that was something that was new but it still feels like Doctor Who”.

Tags: guest actors, interviews, steven moffat, writers
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