Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Specials in HD - DWM 405 News

This month's Doctor Who Magazine reveals that the upcoming Doctor Who specials will be shot in High Definition, a first for the series. Previously the production team has resisted the move to HD, because of the higher costs involved particularly with effects shots. Executive Producer Julie Gardner said the team has been planning the move to HD for many months. James Strong, who is directing Planet of the Dead, has considerable experience working in HD on programmes such as Hustle. The change means the programme will be shown on the BBC High Definition channel as well as on BBC One. BBC HD is available subscription free in Europe on Freesat. The channel is also part of the Sky HDservice and the Virgin Media HD service.

In other news the magazine also reveals that K-9 is due to play a large part in Series Three of The Sarah Jane Adventures. He is likely to appear in around 6 episodes of the 12 part series.

The magazine, out on Thursday, contains the first magazine interview with Matt Smith, recently revealed as the Eleventh Doctor. It asks how he plans to go about playing a 950-year-old Time Lord?

"The script is where it starts, it's always about the words, and luckily we're in the hands of Steven Moffat, who has this show ingrained in his soul and searing through his blood. It’s really born into his whole fabric, and that's the job for me over the next few months, to make this show part of my fibre. I think Steven is going to be the main creative source for me, and we're going to discover it together, who the Doctor is in Steven's mind and words, coupled with pockets of my personality, my history, my life, and the man and the human being that I am. I've got a meeting with Piers (Wenger, executive producer) next week to discuss that, but I think we'll start rehearsing and, you know, just sit around Piers' or Steven's kitchen table, read the scripts together, talk about the part. We’ll talk about my intentions, their intentions, how we feel it can fly, and sing, and be as brilliant and as Doctor-y and as excellent as it can be."

When asked what he might wear as the Doctor? "I’m a big fan of long coats and rather dashing scarves in everyday life, so who knows? For the audition, I rocked up in whatever, so I think they’re having to tone down what I wear in real life for the Doctor! I am a rather elaborate dresser. That's what's lovely, there are all these exciting things – what’s he going to wear, what’s he going to do in his first scene with his companion, which monsters will he meet, will he meet the Daleks? This show is so alive, it really is. I can't ever quite forget that I'm the Doctor – which is weird, because it’s still so far away. But it’s always there in my subconscious, because it's the Doctor! It’s like, there’s Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and Doctor Who. It has resonance in our cultural fabric."

Also in the magazine:
  • Showrunner-in-waiting Steven Moffat shares with DWM readers just what it's like to cast a new Doctor Who in Production Notes.
  • Remember the Zygon gambit? The Yeti in the Underground? Or that, frankly, unmissable invasion by thousands of Daleks after Earth was transported billions of miles across space? DWM investigates why so many people in the Doctor Who universe, apparently, don't!
  • Susie Liggat talks to DWM about her experiences as the producer of the UK's best-loved drama series.
  • The Fact of Fiction revals some surprising secrets about 1975's Planet of Evil.
  • Can the Doctor and Majenta prevent the Day of the Lokhus? And what will become of Maxwell Edison? Find out in the final part of DWM's latest comic strip, The Stockbridge Child by Dan McDaid, with art by Martin Geraghty.
  • Neil Harris writes an open letter to Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, full of helpful advice, in You Are Not Alone.
  • DWM turns the tables on the BBC's "Doctor Who correspondent" and asks Who on Earth Is Lizo Mzimba?