Archive for the ‘Companions: 11th Doctor’ Category

Arthur Darvill (2010)

May 4, 2010

Here are some extracts from an interview with Arthur Darvill, aka Rory in the new series. Mild spoilers ahead, and you can see the whole interview here.

Q: When you went in for the part of Rory, how was the character described?

A: I got two scenes when I auditioned – no, I got three, there were two from episode one and then one tiny speech from episode six, that had so many details changed, it didn’t make sense. It was so secret. I knew that he was Amy’s boyfriend, because it was the scene on the village green that I had to audition with, from episode one. But I didn’t know much else.

Q: Did you already know Matt?

A: Yeah, we worked together on a play in London a couple of years ago, called ‘Swimming with Sharks’, with Christian Slater, which was fun. I think we did that for about five months, and we got on together really well, we kept in touch, and we always said we wanted to work together again. It was amazing when this came up, because what better place to work with someone than ‘Doctor Who’?

Q: How does Rory get drawn into the TARDIS?

A: Rory’s just kind of getting on with his life, really, and then the Doctor just suddenly turns up and says ‘Right, you’re coming with us’, and I don’t know what he’s talking about. As far as Rory’s concerned, he hasn’t seen him for two years, you know, all the stuff that happened in episode one… the Doctor hasn’t come back, and Rory’s like ‘We’re going to get on with our lives’, Amy was taken the night before so it’s only been a day since Rory’s seen her, so it’s quite a lot to take in. I spend most of episode six going ‘What is going on?’.

Q: What sort of companion is he?

A: Quite a bumbling one, I suppose. It takes Rory quite a while to get into it. I think someone deep inside he has an adventurous side, and Amy brings that out of him. It’s sink or swim, really, and he kind of doggy-paddles his way through it. And he has a few moments where he almost ends up being… more heroic than, in his mind anyway, he’s ever been in his life. But actually, in terms of what they’re doing, it’s not that much.

Q: We know there’s a kind of attraction between Amy and the Doctor. How does Rory deal with that?

A: Rory, throughout his whole life, I think has been quite jealous of the Doctor. Rory and Amy grew up together, and when Rory says ‘I used to dress up as him’, you know, he really did. I think one of the reasons he became a nurse was that it’s one step towards being a doctor, towards fulfilling Amy’s ideal person. So the fact that the Doctor is real, and that Amy’s gone off with him on these amazing adventures, is pretty hard for Rory to deal with. There’s a few moments of ‘Either I can leave her to get on with this, or I can step up to it’, and I think Rory steps up to it, eventually, in his own way.

Matt Smith & Karen Gillan (2010)

April 17, 2010

There have been loads of Matt Smith / Karen Gillan interviews recently, focusing on the new (2010) series, but this one’s particularly great since the interviewer is a showbiz reporter on Fox News. Turns out, ‘Doctor Who’ is as big as ‘Two and a Half Men’, and maybe even bigger…

Q: Welcome back, we have two guests from ‘Doctor Who’, Matt Smith and Karen Gillan.

Matt Smith: Thanks for having us on.

Q: So the show premieres on Saturday on BBC America, and I was lucky enough to get a preview last night, I got a sneak peek, and I loved it. But since ‘Doctor Who’ is much bigger in the UK, I wasn’t even sure who Dr. Who is. So since you two are the stars of it, who is Dr. Who?

MS: Dr. Who is a 907-year old Timelord who travels through space and time in something called a TARDIS, which is a time machine. And what’s brilliant about all this is that one week he can be in the past, the next week he can be in the future. And he does all this with a companion, played by…

Karen Gillan: And that’s where I come in! I play Amy Pond, his companion, and she’s really his best friend, and he meets her in the first episode in a really interesting way. And they go on adventures together.

Q: ‘Wired’ magazine has the sonic screwdriver on the cover. What does it do that’s so amazing?

MS: The sonic basically works on anything except wood. Anything electrical. So for example, if I wanted to do something to your computer, I could go ‘Bzzzzz’ and make it work in a really fantastical way. If I’m running away from an alien, I can point it at the door and it locks the door. So essentially it sort of unlocks and opens doors. It does everything that we need it to, narratively.

KG: Don’t tell them that!

MS: But it doesn’t work on wood.

Q: Karen, I understand your character’s Scottish. Were they debating whether to have your character be a Scottish person?

KG: Yeah, she is. Well originally she could have been from anywhere, and I auditioned for the role in two different accents, and then we just went with my own ’cause it just seemed to work. You don’t hear that on television so much.

Q: And we see the younger version of you, the 7-year old version.

KG: Who’s my cousin!

Q: Tell us about that.

KG: Well, they needed someone to play a younger version of me, and because I have a sort of weird Highland accent and ginger hair, and that’s not easy to find, they asked me if I knew anyone, and I put her forward and she nailed it.

Q: Had she acted before?

KG: No. Nothing. So it’s really incredible, what she’s done.

Q: Is she just in that one episode?

KG: That’s a secret.

Q: ‘Doctor Who’ is so big in England. It’s huge. It’s as big as something like ‘Two and a Half Men’, but even bigger than that. Did you guys get nervous?

MS: Well, yes, in England it’s the number one show. We didn’t want to break it, basically. We’ve had an overwhelming response, and we really hope you guys in the US will pick it up and dig it. I mean, it’s the longest running show on television, well, sci-fi show ever.

Q: What number Doctor are you?

MS: I’m number eleven.

Q: So how does the character change, is it like a (James) Bond thing?

MS: Well that’s the principle, we see him regenerate from one man to the next.

Q: Oh perfect, so it’s actually a logical transformation.

MS: Yeah, I mean he’s a 900-year old alien with two hearts. It’s mad, it’s bonkers. He’s James Bond but cooler. James Bond gets a boat, the Doctor gets a time machine.

Q: Can you play it for more than a year?

MS: Oh yes, I think the longest ever Doctor played it for seven. So you can really do a stint.

Matt Smith & Karen Gillan (2010)

January 26, 2010

DWM recently ran a very long and very interesting interview with Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, I definitely recommend buying a copy. This is a transcript from a piece of audio, from that interview, that appeared on YouTube. Karen Gillan talks about her police uniform, while Matt Smith enthuses about the beauty of the TARDIS.

Q: When was the first time you met? Was it at Karen’s audition?

Karen Gillan: Well I first met Matt when I did my recall, and I read with him. And he was very friendly, I have to say! I was actually quite intimidated about meeting Matt, because he’s Dr. Who and it was all very scary.

Matt Smith: Didn’t show.

KG: Well thanks, but I was feeling it inside. But he was very friendly and made me feel at ease.

MS: I do the reverse of that now. I’m a complete bastard and make her feel uncomfortable.

Q: I’ve got to ask you about the costumes. Matt, you did the regeneration in this.

MS: Well, no, in a newer version of this, ’cause this is the raggy Doctor.

Q: But how’s it been altered? Because you’re a bit, sort of, taller than David.

MS: He was a very thin man, whereas I’m rolling down the aisles! I don’t know how it’s been accommodated, if they’ve altered the waistline or… One would hope that at the tender age of 26, that I’m not spinning out of it. It’s been made raggedy.

Q: Karen, what about your first reaction to the police woman’s uniform? Because it’s been made quite… short.

KG: Yes, well we went through a long process trying to find this uniform. Initially, they wanted me in trousers, just because of the practicality of running around, but I did want the short skirt because of how we meet her and who her character is.

MS: Let’s say it out loud, it’s sexier, isn’t it? Come on…

KG: I do feel more sassy in it, which is good because I think she’s a sassy lady.

MS: Mmm… political…

Q: What clues can you give us about the dynamic between the Doctor and Amy?

MS: He’s less tolerant than most other Doctors, and she’s got fire in her belly, so they combust together. But there’s great affection and love there, and we’re developing that all the time. And Steven is truly a genius, he lives in a fairytale land and it sort of comes through, and that’s what I think is magical about this particular series, it taps into the fairytale side of it.

Q: Some of it seems almost Tim Burton?

MS: Yes! And the way it’s being shot, it’s sort of ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’-y. It’s exciting.

Q: What about acting opposite the iconic aspects of the series, the TARDIS, the Daleks, are they sort of pinch-yourself moments?

KG: Yes, totally. When I first met a Dalek, I couldn’t believe it. It’s just such an iconic image, and then you meet the guys who control them!

MS: And the TARDIS, the first time I saw that… I look at it every day now, and it’s breathtaking, it’s the most attractive thing in the world. It doesn’t matter where you put it, it doesn’t matter what landscape, it looks like someone brilliant has come back, like Picasso or someone, and placed it perfectly on a beach or… even, just in a room, it dominates, it’s like… Wow!

Q: There’s a long tradition, dating right back to the 60’s, of actors breaking the set. Bits coming off the console. Have you managed to keep it in one piece so far?

KG: Matt breaks everything.

MS: Yes, I think I’m the clumsiest Doctor in history. I break it daily. They give me things with trepidation.