Time(lord) of the rings… Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman interviewed.

March 19, 2013 | By | Reply More

Having run down corridors from every monster imaginable, Matt Smith returns as the Doctor to face old and new foe. But he’s not alone. Along for the ride in his brand new TARDIS is the Doctor’s latest companion, Clara Oswald. Matt and Jenna-Louise Colema talk about what they are looking forward to from the new series.

Ep 7: The Rings Of Akhate

Time(lord) of the rings.

“I think it is going to be very exciting to introduce Clara to the world and Steven has hit a real vein of form,” explains Matt as he chats about the new series.

“Along with a new costume this series, the Doctor has a new TARDIS to travel through space and time. Walking on to the new TARDIS was like the first day at school,” said Matt. “I actually found it quite difficult as I had got so used to the rhythm of acting on the old one, where I used to slide about on the glass floor, but Michael Pickwoad has done a fabulous job. This one is more like a machine.”

Having lost his first companions, the Ponds, at the hands of the Weeping Angels in New York last year and after a period of mourning the Doctor is joined by a new companion this series, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman.

“She’s done brilliantly well,” says Matt. “She’s kind, charming, thoroughly prepared and very brave as an actress. And most importantly of all we get on, which is vital on a show like this. I’m so proud of what she has achieved in the last year.”

So what do fans have to look forward to this series? An urban thriller, ‘The Bells of Saint John’, brings the series back with a bang as the Doctor’s search for Clara Oswald takes him to modern day London, where wifi is everywhere. But something dangerous is lurking in the signals, picking off minds and imprisoning them. Filming for this James Bond-esque thriller took Matt to Westminster Bridge, the Southbank and St Pauls.

“It was truly amazing, I loved shooting in London,” says Matt. “There is something so brilliant about having the locations there rather than just adding them in.”

Following on from this the second episode, ‘The Rings of Akhaten’, take the Doctor and Clara away from earth and on their first proper adventure… in outer space. Featuring an alien market Matt remarks, it was very ‘Whoey’. “We had between 50 to 60 prosthetic aliens, which is something that only really this show can offer, making it a very unique experience as an actor.”

As well as introducing some new monsters, the new series brings back a couple of old monsters in the form of the Ice Warriors and Cybermen.

“I think it’s good to pay homage to the classic series, says Matt, especially for the fans. This series we have modernised some of the monsters for a whole new generation.”

“Soggy, like drowned rats,” was Matt on the shooting experience for the third episode ‘Cold War’, written by Mark Gatiss. Set on a Russian submarine spiralling out of control in 1983 an alien creature is loose on board, having escaped from a block of Arctic ice.

“They built a submarine and the five-year old in me was like ‘yeah it’s a submarine!’. I loved getting sprayed down at the beginning of the shoot, and it wasn’t a chore as it does so much of the acting for you, making it really authentic. Mark Gatiss has delivered one of the best episodes of the series.”

The new series will also mark the official introduction of the Doctor’s latest companion, Clara Oswald. Having already appeared in the series opener ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ in September and as Clara in the Christmas special, ‘The Snowmen’, Jenna explains a little bit about her character and working with monsters. “I’m very excited. It will be fantastic to see the final version with all of the elements put together. We’ve had one introduction to Clara in the Christmas special, but not necessarily the same Clara we will see in this series. But the essence of all the different versions is the same. She’s very brave and resourceful, a match for the Doctor and an explorer in her own right. She dreams of travelling and seeing the world and wants more than what’s on offer.”

So how has Jenna found working with Matt Smith? “Just a joy, it really is. He is the most perfect leading man and sets such a lovely tone on set, making the atmosphere so wonderful. There’s not much more you could ask for in your co-star, she says.”

The series opener ‘The Bells of Saint John’ is a modern day urban thriller, which sees the Doctor and Clara face a monster in the wi-fi, as minds are uploaded by an organisation run by Miss Kizlet (Celia Imrie). Set in London, Jenna was thrown in to the deep end as she was asked to get on a motorbike… driven by the notoriously clumsy Matt Smith.

“I loved shooting in London. It was so much fun. It was one of those moments where I thought “I’m filming Doctor Who, on a motorbike, riding across Westminster Bridge with the Houses of Parliament in the background.”

So would Jenna trust Matt to drive her on a motorbike in real life?

“Well on screen it looks very exciting, but both of us were being very silly as we were so tightly strapped in. I just clung on!”

As the newest edition to the show, Jenna explains how this series will take the viewer on the same journey of discovery she experienced when she first joined, especially for episode two ‘The Rings of Akhaten’ which is set on an alien planet.

“It’s one of my favourite episodes – it’s so weird and wonderful and something that only this show can offer. It show’s Clara for the first time what life with the Doctor will be like. It’s a complete fantasy and it’s great for audiences as the story begins again and we get to explore all these strange new worlds together, as well as getting to know the Doctor again.”

The third episode, ‘Cold War’, set on a Russian submarine marks the return of the classic Doctor Who monster the Ice Warriors. “They were terrifying. I think this is the first time Clara is really, really scared. The whole set was really realistic and built to size, which wasn’t too much of a problem for me, she jokes.  Before every take they would come and spray us, the whole make-up process was reversed as they would damp us down in the morning and rub my mascara off! We were soaking wet for two weeks.”

So having completed filming and watched most of the episodes, does Jenna have a favourite? “I really like ‘The Rings of Akhaten’ as and it’s the first proper adventure for the Doctor and Clara.”

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Category: Doctor Who, TV

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Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

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