Doctor Who: An Unsolved Mystery

Doctor Who - Series 7B

“AND the Doctor’s greatest secret will be revealed.”

Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat speaking at a London press conference last Friday morning.

The content of which was embargoed until now, just after midnight in the early hours of Monday, together with the new pics which also feature on this page.

We were shown The Bells of Saint John – the opening episode of series 7b – written by Steven Moffat.

To be screened on BBC1 and BBC America on Saturday March 30.

The media preview was followed by that Q&A with Matt Smith (the Doctor), Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara) and Steven Moffat.

You can read my full transcript further down this blog, edited to remove any major spoilers.

Steven’s reply was part of the answer I got after asking the trio to talk about their personal highlights in the next eight episodes.

Followed in November by Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

Although the latter are still under wraps, the press conference did give us a tiny taste of what is ahead.

“You won’t be disappointed,” promised Matt, having seen the script for the birthday episode.

“I read it and I clapped at the end.

“It’s going to be the biggest, the best, the most inventive, the most exciting year for the show.

“And I think this script, it 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 the mark, the genius of it.”

Jenna agreed: “Reading especially the finale of this season as well, without giving too much away, it really is epic and I think it’s really a treat for the fans of the last 50 years.”

As you’ll see from the Q&A transcript, there was plenty to interest fans of the Time Lord, as well as those of Sherlock.

Steven explained his decision to bring back the Ice Warriors in one episode while also saying that Doctor Who no longer had to raid its back catalogue for old monsters.

While Matt revealed:

“Towards the end of the season…I think we might have one of those clever Moffat creations.

“One of the new classic monsters. And they’ve got a great name and they are so brilliant.”

The opening episode – actually ep seven of series seven after a series break – is very possibly the best “first episode” I have ever seen.

Directed with a pace to rival James Bond’s Skyfall and also set in a modern day London.

Introducing a 2013 Clara as perhaps the most intriguing companion in the show’s long history.

With Jenna a joy to watch on screen.

Most will already know that it introduces The Spoonheads and involves the perils of wi-fi and the web.

Including a very good joke from Steven about Twitter, hewn from his own experience before quitting that particular branch of social media.

If you’re looking for a sign of just how memorable this 50th year is going to be, then look no further than The Bells of Saint John.

I won’t spoil it for you, but to put part of the Q&A into context, we see the Doctor as a monk…and there are Jammie Dodgers.

Along with a portrait of Clara Oswin Oswald and her now classic line: “Run you clever boy…and remember.”

As Jenna pointed out during the press conference: “There’s nothing worse the Doctor hates than an unsolved mystery.

“And that is what she is.”

It certainly sets up a fascinating, epic path ahead.

With a 1963 programme called Doctor Who in the very best of hands.

BBC Drama Controller of Commissioning Ben Stephenson introduced the screening:

“As ever, I can’t say anything about anything because everyone keeps running over to me saying, ‘It’s embargoed.’ So I’m saying to all of you, ‘It’s embargoed.’ But the reason it’s embargoed is because it’s brilliant. What I can say is Jenna, having flirted with the show over the last two episodes she’s been in, finally commits and is one of our most marvellous assistants, I think in the history of Doctor Who. So it’s a real treat to see her coming through in this eight part series.

“As ever, Matt Smith is a god…as ever, he just does something extraordinary with his Doctor. He’s always funny and yet always truthful. And I think as the series goes on you really see the depth of that character coming through. He makes you cry and he makes you laugh. And that’s just in real life.

The Rings of Akhaten. Episode 7.8 written by Neil Cross.
The Rings of Akhaten. Episode 7.8 written by Neil Cross.

“And, of course, TV’s Steven Moffat, without whom we wouldn’t be here. Last week I got three brown envelopes from Steven Moffat. Well there were four. One of them had money in, but that’s something else. And one of them was episode one of Sherlock. One of them was the DVD of this and one of them was the script of something to do with Doctor Who that’s happening later in the year…(laughter). That’s how hard he works.

“And I know it’s boring to talk about people working hard and not very glamorous. But sometimes in all of the conversation about how brilliant people are, we forget that people are committing hours and hours and hours and nights and night and nights. Committing themselves to writing shows as brilliantly as this. So on a pure hard work level, I want to thank Steven and everyone else involved in the team.

“But, of course, he doesn’t do it alone. There an army, phalanx of producers. And, of course, Wales plays a huge part in this. Roath Lock is an extraordinary studio complex. It’s the most Hollywood you’ll get in the whole of the country and it’s in Wales.

“So, as I say, you can’t say anything about this episode. What you can say is that it’s brilliant and you can also say it’s the best first episode of Doctor Who ever. That’s official. You can definitely say that.

“I really hope you enjoy it. Afterwards there will be a Q&A with Matt and everyone. So that’ll be exciting. Thank you. Sit back, enjoy.”

Doctor Who - Series 7BThe post screening Q&A with Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman and Steven Moffat, hosted by Boyd Hilton.

My full transcript is below but edited to remove any major spoilers.

Q (Boyd Hilton) : So Jammie Dodgers?

Steven Moffat: “We get no free Jammie Dodgers. Let’s just get that straight right away.”

Matt Smith: “I have actually been sent a box of Jammie Dodgers. No, no I haven’t…”

Q: It felt almost slightly James Bond-ish. Exciting, London-ey…was that a conscious thing?

Steven Moffat: “We were talking about the fact we were going to have to do a modern day story to introduce Jenna yet again. But this time not kill her. And Marcus Wilson, our producer, said, ‘Let’s do it as a proper London thriller.’ So as close as we can get – given that Doctor Who is mad – to James Bond or Bourne or something like that.”

Q: Jenna – this is your proper introduction. Obviously you’ve been in two episodes and you’ve had various deaths and personalities. Do we feel this is it? We’re finally meeting you? Does it feel that way to you?

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “I suppose this is kind of take three. And then this is the Clara that we will be with for the next episodes. But with all of the Claras, there’s kind of an essence that’s the same running throughout. But this is the Clara that we will be with and know for the next…”

Steven Moffat: “Unless we kill her.” (laughter)

Cold War - episode 7.9 written by Mark Gatiss.
Cold War – episode 7.9 written by Mark Gatiss.

Q: Matt – how has it been dealing with a new companion who has so many different levels and personalities and deaths?

Matt Smith: “I think it’s quite nice for the Doctor because I think having got his grieving for the Ponds out of the way, I think she’s re-ignited his curiosity in the universe and given him his mojo back, for want of a better word. Yeah. And I just have to say that I think she’s done…I mean you see on the screen…I think she’s absolutely brilliant. It’s been a joy to work with Jenna and I’m really proud of the work we’ve done. And I think it’s exciting for the character. It gives him a new lease somehow.”

Q: Riding a motorbike?

Matt Smith: “It was such a lovely day in London. We both went, ‘This isn’t a real job?’ It was great fun. That and just playing football…if I get to play football in the show. And I’d just like to say that I think the director Colm (McCarthy) has done the most fantastic job. I think he directed it with wit and verve and pace. I think it was brilliantly made.”

Q: Yes, it was an incredibly fast moving, exciting episode?

Matt Smith: “Yeah.”

Q: Do you feel Steven – I was watching an old episode the other day to try and work out what the difference was…and the pace seems to be, for me, the main difference. These episodes…you pack so much in. Is that fair?

Steven Moffat: “Yes, of course it’s got faster down the years. But the truth is all television has. If you look at old Doctor Who compared to other television shows at the time, it was faster. So, yes, you do try and go madly fast in Doctor Who – more stuff, more colour and more sooner all the time.”

Q: You keep saying that every episode is going to be like a film – every single episode to be packed full of a whole film in 45 minutes?

Steven Moffat: “Next week he’s in a cupboard. No, he’s not. Actually can I just tell you that I think what we’ve got, in effect, this year is we’ve got three opening episodes. The next two are fast-paced nail biters as well. So as normal we get one big, super-fast mad one at the beginning and settle down. But we don’t settle down for ages in this one. It’s like having three episode ones in a row.”

Hide - episode 7.10 written by Neil Cross.
Hide – episode 7.10 written by Neil Cross.

Q: And there’s an episode coming up where you journey into the centre of the TARDIS…

Steven Moffat: “Oh, you’re a fanboy at heart.”

Q: …I was talking to Matt the other day about that episode, just the title alone (Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS) is incredibly exciting. How much can you tell us about it? How much will we see of the TARDIS?

Steven Moffat: “You will go to the heart of the TARDIS. You will see more of the TARDIS more properly than you’ve ever seen it before. It’s all that stuff. The moment I got that title and gave it to Stephen Thompson, who wrote it, it was just the title alone gets…because I remember years ago…in the Radio Times there was a little article saying, ‘In this week’s episode the Doctor dodges the Sontarans through the many rooms of the TARDIS.’ 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 I thought that day, ‘Some day! Somehow, I will do what I can to get into television and do that properly!’ (laughter) And that worked out. So Michael Pickwoad (production designer) goes mad and gives us the TARDIS and gives us all manner of things.”

Q: And apparently a swimming pool?

Steven Moffat: “Wait and see. There’s way more than a swimming pool. Wait ‘til you see what’s in there.”

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Q: Jenna – how has the chemistry worked with Matt? You’ve worked on it but not worked on it. Do you feel that from the start you had that? You had something between you that was going to work on screen? Or have you worked on that? Have you literally sat there with Matt behind the scenes going, ‘Right, let’s work on it.’”

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “I think it’s a bit of both. Instantly from the first audition I definitely felt it. And it was a feeling of walking away from the audition room thinking…I kind of felt like I’d been knocked off my feet a bit, actually. It was a bit of a hurricane. But just the feeling of, ‘This is what I’d really like to do day in and day out.‘ Because every day really is so different and I really don’t know what he’s going to throw at me, which is great. It’s keeping that spontaneity. And then I suppose you get used to each other rhythms as well. They both feed into each other really.”

Matt Smith: “And I think that that’s something that you got so immediately. Jenna…with Steven’s writing there’s such rhythm to it. I think you were immediately inside it. And then we have fun, don’t we? That’s the main thing. It’s such a fun show to make. But it is something where you’re cast – and it was the same with Karen – and then it’s like, ‘Have chemistry!’ And acting chemistry, because you’re exposing yourself and all that…and this show, she’s done so brilliantly at jumping in and jumping on the train of it. But there’s always a sort of period of evolution with any characters. That’s the fun bit, I think.”

Q: You’ve already snogged, so we’ve got that out the way.

Steven Moffat: “In the show.” (laughter)

Q: You snogged Dawn French this morning, didn’t you? (On Radio Two’s Chris Evans’ Breakfast Show Red Nose Day special)

Matt Smith: “For 50 quid. And Jennifer Saunders. On Radio Two. It was nice. I had a good time.” (laughter)

Q: Will you be giving out Comic Relief snogs to anyone…

Matt Smith: “Hey, for 50 quid a snog, if it raises a bit of money for Comic Relief.”

Q: I’ll give you 50 quid.

Matt Smith: “Go on then.”

(Matt and Boyd then enjoyed a polite kiss to applause from the audience)

Matt Smith: “That was a bit of a pansy snog as well!” (laughter)

Steven Moffat: “What do you do for a hundred?’ (laughter)

Matt Smith: “Stop pimping Doctor Who!”

Steven Moffat: “It’s my career…”

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Q: Matt did tell me that he’s read the script for the 50th anniversary thing. He said, ‘You will not be disappointed.’

Steven Moffat: “That’s what we’ll put on the poster then.”

Q: What do you mean by that?

Matt Smith: “Well, it sort of does what it says on the tin. You won’t be disappointed. It’s my cryptic way of going…no, the thing is, much as we’d love to tell you everything, 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. I’m telling you nothing more. But you will not be disappointed. I think it’s going to be the biggest, the best, the most inventive, the most exciting year for the show. And I think this script, it delivers on all those points that you want it to for where the show is at this time. It’s brilliant.”

Q: And how did you (Jenna) feel when you read it?

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “Exactly the same. How do I say without saying anything? This is a new skill that I’m learning. Reading especially the finale of this season as well, without giving too much away, it really is epic and I think it’s really a treat for the fans of the last 50 years.”

Matt Smith: “It somehow manages to pay homage to everything and look forward. And I think that’s the mark, the genius of it.”

Steven Moffat: “Information content of that – zero! You know less and less…we are subtracting information. That is my aim.”

Q: So the filming takes place soon, in April. And the filming of the new Sherlock…it’s all happening at the same time? How do you feel about that?

Steven Moffat: “Fresh and vigorous..well, it’s very exciting. I always end up belly-aching about it because I think if I did anything other than belly-ache I’d sound like I was boasting a lot. But it’s absolutely brilliant, incredibly exciting. We’ve just had the read through for Sherlock, which was in storming form, and now we’re just embarking on the 50th (anniversary) Doctor Who.”

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Q: How do you both feel about being…you’re the Doctor, you’re the companion, in the 50th anniversary year? When you got the role did it hit you that, ‘Actually, I’m going to be playing it in the 50th anniversary year?’

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “No, no, not immediately at all. The focus was on the story coming up and those things. But going to the stamp launch that we went to the other day and seeing the 11 Doctors on a stamp and it all gets signed off by the Queen…”

Matt Smith: “Does it?”

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “Yeah. You got signed off by the Queen.”

Matt Smith: “Cool.”

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “At 10 ‘o clock on a Saturday morning…”

Matt Smith: “That’s what she does?” (laughter)

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “It just makes you realise what you’re part of, things like that.”

Q: Matt – when did it strike you that you’re the incumbent?

Matt Smith: “Well it’s the show’s year. But to be the incumbent Doctor, it’s the most thrilling…it’s been the most thrilling ride anyway but to be part of it now is a huge privilege. I’m thrilled. And as I say, we’re upping the scale of everything. It’s 3D…I won’t say anything about the event but there’s just a bit more for your buck. There’s more bang for your buck.”

Q: It’s longer?

Steven Moffat: “46 minutes…I’ve just said that for the sheer hell of it. Someone is going to write that down and create a whole blog of that. ‘Moffat Says 46 Minutes.’”

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Boyd then opened questions to us journalists in the audience.

Q: Can I ask Jenna-Louise to talk a bit more about being blown away at that audition? What was so impressive about what you were seeing that made you feel it was like a hurricane?

Matt Smith: “Yeah, what was so impressive?” (laughter)

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “It was more because…obviously I had read the scenes and prepared them in a certain way. And then basically, as soon as you’re approached by Matt all of that goes out the window and you don’t quite know what’s going to happen or where it’s going to go. So it was that kind of spontaneity. We kind of just played around. And what was lovely as well is Matt made me feel like he was auditioning with me, which was really nice. So it was kind of like show and tell – all of the producers left the room and left me and Matt to just literally run around and play.”

Matt Smith: “We had team time, didn’t we?”

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “And then everyone came back in and then we got to do it. I just didn’t know where it was going to go. I just felt thrilled and excited by it. And, again, it was the idea of doing this day in, day out. It was cool.”

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Q: (From me, as it happens) Obviously you don’t want to give too much away. But can you talk us through some of your personal highlights of this series and the guest stars that you’ve got coming in?

Matt Smith: “Gosh, yeah. We’ve got Liam Cunningham, who is a personal favourite actor of mine. We’ve got a submarine. We’ve got the Ice Warriors, we’ve got the Cybermen back in new guise, we’ve got Neil Gaiman writing a script, we’ve got Diana Rigg playing an old hag (laughter) – but brilliantly with great charm and sexiness and grace. And her daughter (Rachael Stirling), who is also brilliant. And the scenes between them. That’s a Mark Gatiss script which is full of fanboy love. I think both of his scripts.”

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “I’ve never seen you (Matt) as quiet on set, with Dame Diana and her daughter as well. Both of us were sat watching them both and watching the dynamic. We go to a big alien planet…”

Matt Smith: “Yeah, that was fun, wasn’t it? With as many aliens as we’ve ever seen in one place…”

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “Yeah. In an amphitheatre of aliens. So we’ve got so many pictures…we’ve got an entire day of us sat, kind of like all of you guys (the audience) but you all had prosthetic heads on as aliens.”

Matt Smith: “Doing a little swaying…”

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “Yeah, swaying away. (laughs) We are under the sea, we’re in a submarine. We are in the infinite interior of the TARDIS…”

Matt Smith: “And I think towards the end of the season – I don’t want to give too much away but I think we might have one of those clever Moffat creations. One of the new classic monsters. And they’ve got a great name and they are so brilliant.”

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “They are. They are absolutely brilliant. They’re a monster that…they don’t chase you, they just come at you slowly. And they’ve got a style which I find really quite terrifying. They’ve got a style to them. But I think that’s all we can probably say.”

Steven Moffat: “And the Doctor’s greatest secret will be revealed. And actually will. I’m not lying.”

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Q: With this being the 50th year, has there been a bit more of a pressure to keep the balance between fanboy referencing and keeping it accesible to maybe first time viewers?

Steven Moffat: “It’s been a long time since we’ve bothered, really, hasn’t it? The thing about Doctor Who…I think there was one problem within the first year…when it came back. Because I think everyone just became a fan. And the truth is people stop me in the street with the most abstruse questions. And they’re real people. They’re not fans like me. And I’m thinking, ‘You’re not supposed to know that stuff. That’s supposed to be mine…’ To be honest, it feels like everyone’s a fan. The level of knowledge is very intense. But it’s very, very easy to keep Doctor Who accessible because it’s designed to be. The format can be summed up in such a short sentence, even after all this time. ‘It’s a man who can travel anywhere in time and space in a box that’s bigger on the inside.’ We’re done. That’s all you need to know. Everything else you can pick it up. People quite often ask me, usually Americans, ‘What’s a good jumping on point?’ And you say, ‘Well that’s like asking, what’s a good James Bond film to start with?’ They’re all fine. You’ll get it. I don’t think it’s difficult…and it’s not difficult to balance that. It’s surprising how much the general audience want the detail and the continuity and the call backs to their childhood…because we all remember it.”

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Q: Two things. Firstly Matt, your socks are amazing…”

Matt Smith: “Thanks.”

Q: …I’ll give 50 quid to Comic Relief for those. Secondly, Steven – you talked about television has got faster over the years and I was taken at how well directed that episode was. The scale of intensity of what directors are doing with television at the moment has just been on a real roll for the last 10 years or so. I’m wondering where you’re finding your directors and what kind of things you’re looking for. Because we’ve talked about how Jenna’s jumped into the show…you’re bringing lots of new directors and talent in as well?

Steven Moffat: “It’s a very good question. I hope I can do it justice. Where do we find them? We find directors like Colm (McCarthy) there, sitting right behind you, with ambition, not just to get the show made but to show off a bit. That’s what you’re looking for. Directors who – and the same with Sherlock – actually actively want to impress you. They’re not just there to get the show done in the time. Which is actually quite difficult in itself. But ones who are really ambitious – storytellers…and we make no demands on Doctor Who for it to be the same every week. We are saying, ‘This one’s your one. Make it your one.’ We say that to every…the writers as well…treat it like you own it. And that’s really important. So there’s a category of writer and a category of director – and that category is called talented, I would say – where they leap at that. They say, ‘This is mine. Right now it belongs to me and I can do what I like with it.’ That’s what we want. People with authorial ambition.”

Q: Jenna – I just wondered how you feel like Clara’s relationship with the Doctor has changed since Christmas and also before that?

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “Well, obviously, for her this is a completely clean slate. She is oblivious. She is meeting the Doctor as he turns up on her doorstep as a monk for the first time. So that’s her first impression. So, for me, it’s to treat it completely as a clean slate. But what I really love, and especially because that’s the first time we’ve seen…is that the dynamic is so different because there’s nothing worse the Doctor hates than an unsolved mystery. And that is what she is. So you can really see it arcing over the next episodes.”

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Q: I just wanted to ask you Steven about doing Doctor Who and Sherlock at the same time. How you keep them separate, whether you ever have ideas for lines then you’re torn over who to give them to? How you separate them?

Steven Moffat: “They’re just in little different parts of your head. They honestly feel really quite different. The way the pace of a Doctor Who goes is completely different to the pace of a Sherlock. Although I’m talking about television being really, really fast, it is – but Sherlock has the longest scenes in the world…it just lives in a different place…and Mark (Gatiss) and I are both always saying, ‘You can never not do something or do something based on the fact that we both do both shows.’ You can’t say, ‘But we had that in that show, so we can’t do it in that show.’ If Doctor Who and Sherlock were made by different people you wouldn’t ever worry about that. Aesthetically I don’t find it at all difficult to divide it in my head because they feel very, very different places to me.”

Q: With the 50th anniversary script now landing on people’s desks in brown envelopes, as we heard earlier, what sort of lengths do you have to go through to protect the secrets of this episode (the 50th) in particular?

Steven Moffat: “Random execution…we’re just very, very careful and we kill people. Was I smiling? Look, it’s difficult. What can I say? 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.”

Matt Smith: “Well, you cultivate the habit of giving nothing away. And then it’s quite nice. You’re sat on all this information and people are genuinely intrigued. It’s one of the responsibilities of being in this show. You have to be discrete about what you tell people. But you have to give people enough. Because otherwise what’s the point in all you guys turning up? You scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours…” (laughter)

Steven Moffat: “For 50 quid.”

Matt Smith: “So that’s the fun bit, I think. But the show – it’s based on impact. And we want it to be. And that’s why we’re so grateful when you are…when you see these things and you write about them in a certain way, because it’s based on delivering it on a Saturday night to people in their homes.”

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Q: Just wanted to ask Matt about Doctor Who’s new clothes. Did he choose them himself and what was the inspiration, because they’re quite Teddy Boy-ish, I thought?

Matt Smith: “Yeah. Well, they’re still tweed. I always wanted something purple. But it was perhaps too bold in season one. And if you look back at all the interviews that I’ve done previously, I’ve always said I thought the costume would continually evolve. We’ve got a wonderful costume designer Howard (Burden) and it was one of those things. The Ponds leaving and the Doctor’s mentality changing slightly and a new title sequence and a new beginning for a new era. We thought, ‘Why not give the Doctor a little revamp?’ And I think it really works. I like it.”

Q: Questions for Matt and Jenna. There’s a few digs in this episode about Twitter and as far as I’m aware, Matt, you’re still not on Twitter..?

Matt Smith: “I’m not on Twitter, no.”

Q: …but Jenna you are…

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “Oh no I’m not.”

Boyd Hilton: “Fake Jenna…”

Q: So why is that? And what do you think about Twitter?

Matt Smith: “I don’t think they’re digs. I think they’re gags. A dig would be like…I don’t know…but maybe it is. Why am I not on Twitter? I don’t know really. I spend so much time on my phone and I find the idea that you communicate your life via Twitter quite peculiar. And so it’s just never really interested me. But, that said, I think it’s wonderful that you can gauge, if you’re a fan of…I don’t know who’s on Twitter…but Steven Moffat (IW note: Who left Twitter some time ago) or whoever…that you can engage with them if you’re a fan. But it’s just not really up my street. I’m not on Facebook either. I can’t be bothered.”

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “Yeah, I’m the same. It’s just about trying to keep off the internet, really.”

Matt Smith: “Yeah. And also eventually…anyway, it’s just not my cup of tea really.”

Boyd Hilton: “You were on Steven, weren’t you? And then you weren’t. What’s your current Twitter status?”

Steven Moffat: “I’m not there anymore. The trouble is, it does take up your time when you start looking at it. When I sit at that computer I need as few distractions as possible. So I removed it from my life. I think it’s a fascinating thing Twitter. And as a means of promoting something it’s brilliant, extraordinary. The trouble with it…I mean the only way to – I think if you’re involved in something like Doctor Who – go on it, and I haven’t done this, would be to go on with a different name. Because then you can just talk to people as opposed to everybody asking you, ‘How does Sherlock survive?’ or something. It gets a bit tedious after a while.”

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Q: Jenna – when my 16-year-old nephew heard I was going to be coming here today to talk to you in a press conference he got rather hot under the collar and asked me to get your autograph. I wondered what reaction you’d had from fans generally since you’ve started in Doctor Who? Any love letters, any marriage proposals, that kind of thing?

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “No. (laughter) No, not at all. I kind of feel slightly removed from it, really. I’ve had some lovely fan mail through but I think I’m just too short. I don’t get recognised….”

Steven Moffat: “That’ll change.”

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “You see Matt’s tall and he’s got quite a distinctive walk.” (laughter)

Steven Moffat: “Somebody stole his horse.”

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “Whereas I’m shorter and I’m honestly convinced that’s mainly part of the reason.”

Matt Smith: “What? So people recognise me because of my walk?”

Jenna-Louise Coleman: “Like you can see you from behind. In the same way you could recognise Ricky Gervais from behind…”

Steven Moffat: “You’re piling on the flattery now. It’s perfect chemistry.” (laughter)

Q: (Australian journalist) Australia has got strong connections with the Doctor. Next year will be the 25th anniversary of it being in Australia and I think an Australian was involved with the first episode – the theme music. Even Kylie. Any chance at all in the future of the Doctor visiting Australia in the TARDIS?

Steven Moffat: “Well sure. These things are story driven. It’s not like you phone up and offer us incredibly lucrative deals to film there. But if they wanted to…but it’s an amazing location, Australia. It’s quite far away so we’d need to sort it out. But it’s an amazing place to be.”

Q: The Doctor’s fez?

Matt Smith: That’s his hat which he (Steven) never gives me for very long.”

Steven Moffat: “It’s become your iconic headgear.”

Matt Smith: “At all the conventions, that’s what everyone wears.”

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Q: A couple of questions for Steven. Firstly, what do you think of previous anniversary episodes that have been made?

Steven Moffat: “I loved them all.”

Q: Any in particular?

Steven Moffat: “Technically The Three Doctors wasn’t an anniversary episode. We just remembered it that way. But it was one year early for it. But I think that was a glorious show. I remember adoring The Five Doctors when it came out…I just remember thinking it was fantastically good. I like a big party bash.”

Q: And also can you tell us a bit more about the return of the Ice Warriors?

Steven Moffat: “Oddly enough, I slightly resisted them. I was slightly worried that…well first of all, I don’t think we still have to go into the back catalogue of the old show any more. Originally we did that to affirm that this new thing really was that old thing. Now that both shows are merged together and nobody really bothers to make a distinction between them anymore, we don’t really need to do that. And I always slightly thought they’re slow moving and you can’t hear what they’re saying. Is that the archetypal slightly silly monster? But then Mark (Gatiss) had been going on and on about it during a phone call which was meant to be about Sherlock, he started pitching this idea…a couple of very, very clever ideas of what we could do with an Ice Warrior. And I went for it at that point. But we were very concerned, as you’ll have seen in the clips, that that 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 is slightly less familiar so you will be seeing the Ice Warrior in a familar form but with at least one big surprise.”

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Doctor Who - Series 7B

Celia Imrie as Miss Kizlet.
Celia Imrie as Miss Kizlet.


Doctor Who - Series 7B

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Doctor Who - Series 7B