Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Christmas Guest Stars Revealed

Outnumbered star Claire Skinner will be joining the Doctor Who team for the 2011 Christmas Special. Skinner, who was spotted last week filming for the special, will play a super-mum, Madge Arwell, in the story set in the middle of winter during World War II.

Showrunner Steven Moffat promises the episode will be the 'most Christmassy ever' with a chase through a 'Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe' type forest, complete with an ice villain. The story sees the Doctor acting as the caretaker of a creepy old house in Dorset before embarking on an adventure with Madge and her two children Lily and Cyril.

Moffat said how much he enjoyed writing the Christmas special for Matt Smith:
The Doctor at Christmas - nothing is more fun to write. Maybe because it's so his kind of day - everything's bright and shiny, everybody's having a laugh, and nobody minds if you wear a really stupid hat. Of all the Doctors, Matt Smith's is the one that was born for this time of year - so it's the best news possible that he's heading back down the chimney.

Joining Skinner will be comedian and presenter Alexander Armstrong (who also plays Mr Smith in The Sarah Jane Adventures), Fast Show veteran Arabella Weir, and comedian Bill Bailey, who said on Twitter:
Tour done, wine is on,thanks to all who came along-back to Blighty to film Doctor Who Christmas Special..Onward!

Claire Skinner

Claire Skinner is currently starring as Sue Brockman in the BBC One hit Comedy Outnumbered, which is currently in its fourth series.

She trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and her first role was in Hanky Park, by Walter Greenwood at the Oldham Repertory Theatre. She later joined the Royal Shakespeare Company appearing in Measure for Measure at the Young Vic. On stage she has appeared in Charley's Aunt, Othello and most recently in Deathtrap at the Noel Coward Theatre in London. Film roles include parts in Sleepy Hollow, Bridget Jones's Diary and And When Did You Last See Your Father?

She is married to Doctor Who director Charles Palmer.
Bill Bailey

Bill Bailey is an English comedian, musician and actor.

Best known for his stand-up work, Bailey is a well known figure on many comedy panel shows, such as Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Have I Got News for You, Just a Minute and QI.

Bailey was listed by The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy in 2003. In 2007 and again in 2010, he was voted the 7th greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups. He provided the voice of the sperm whale in the 2005 film The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and has had parts in Burke and Hare, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang and Skins.
Alexander Armstrong

Alexander Armstrong is is a British comedian, actor and television presenter.

He co-starred in four series of Armstrong and Miller from 1997 to 2001 alongside his university contemporary Ben Miller. He played David Cameron in the satirical fictional documentary The Trial of Tony Blair and a sex-addicted guest in Hotel Babylon in 2007. He appeared in the 2007 Christmas Special of the classic BBC sitcom To the Manor Born playing Adam fforbes-Hamilton, the nephew of Audrey DeVere. He has provided the voice of Mr Smith, an alien computer, in The Sarah Jane Adventures since the series began in 2007.

He currently hosts the BBC daily Quiz show Pointless.
Arabella Weir

Arabella Weir is a British comedian, actress and writer.

She is best known for her roles in The Fast Show and for writing several books including the international best seller Does My Bum Look Big In This? She is a regular contributer to the BBC2 comedy series, Grumpy Old Women. She makes regular appearances in the BBC Radio 4 comedy series Smelling of Roses and "Down the Line". Weir played an alternate female version of the Doctor in the Big Finish play Exile. In the E4 teen drama/comedy Skins she appeared as as the mother of Michelle Richardson.



Production continued for the Special this week, with the cast and crew settling in for filming yesterday at Uskmouth Power Station.


Details on filming at the power station that may be considered spoilers.






The site was set up to look like a futuristic corridor. A fire engine was also in attendance, and earlier reports had indicated that a canal boat was to be "blown up", though it is believed that such an idea was dropped due to health and safety issues at the power station. Matt Smith (or stunt double) was also seen at the location.



Photo: Steven Joes, via Yfrog


Photo: Steven Joes, via Yfrog

(with thanks via Twitter to: Steven Joes, Stez Hughes)