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3/06/2012 04:57:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

In The Media:

Matt Smith was interviewed on the TARDIS set by Steve Hargrave for ITV1's Daybreak, during which he discussed Karen Gillan's departure, and his and the show's future: she’s a great friend, and creatively I have a really interesting relationship with her and Arthur, but I think by the same token the show is bigger than any of us - it’s been going in 2013 fifty years and it will continue way after me. It’s a thrill playing the part - as you see, this is work, this is home, I spend a lot of time here - I don’t want to give it up anytime soon. We've got a whole season to make, a Christmas special as well, so no time soon, I won’t be leaving anytime soon." Additionally, the Radio Times quoted him as saying: "We’ll get this season out the way and see where I’m at. I take it season by season and I take the job day by day because there’s no other way you can do it." [The full interview can be watched via the Daybreak website]

Speaking a little more on her decision to leave, Gillan herself explained how she wanted to be involved with her departure: "Oh, yeah! It would be so weird to just receive a script and find out that it was the end. That would be really weird. Oh, my god, I don't know how I would feel about that. It was nice. I was just thinking about it and I had this instinct of when I wanted to leave, so I called Steven Moffat and we arranged dinner. He told me where he was at, story wise, and together we were like, "Okay, this is when we can do it." It was actually so lovely and pleasant, and we both felt that it was the right time. In all honesty, I've had the best years of my life working on the show, so I’m going to be so sad to go. I really am." And on knowing how she will leave? "I wanted to keep it a surprise, for as long as possible, and keep the excitement in there." [Collider, 2 Mar 2012]

Writer Toby Whithouse discussed the new companion: "To be honest it was probably more of a mutual decision than people would assume. These things tend to be kind of agreed, particularly the companions have a natural shelf life. I know a bit about the new companion, I don’t know who they cast and even if I did if I told you Steven Moffat would come out here and punch me in the neck. Steven is one of the cleverest, most inventive people I’ve ever met in my life, and so you know it is in very safe hands with him. If he makes decisions, the chances are it’s for the best, it’s the best thing for the show." [Hollywood Reporter, 25 Feb 2012]

Steven Moffat talked about monsters in Doctor Who during press coverage for Sherlock in France: "I always say new monsters are better in Doctor Who because you fall in love with monsters when they're new. One of the temptations, particularly if it's a success is to keep repeating your hits, which means you hear it again and again and again." [Le Village, 28 Feb 2012]

Moffat has also intimated on Twitter that he has started work on 2012 Christmas Special: "Right then. It's that time of year already. I'm breaking out the Christmas songs ... !"

On Location:

Matt Smith and Karen Gillan were spotted on their way to Spain in the morning on the 6th March, as various members of the public tweeted their journey to Heathrow: firstly by Vicky Cole at Paddington Station, "Just saw the girl from Doctor Who!« Now I've seen Doctor Who!«"; then Erin Sykes at Heathrow itself, "Just seen Doctor Who in the airport, just a casual thing for me to do on a Tuesday.« Yes, actually Matt Smith! We followed him;) but then he got on his plane!«". Arthur Darvill was then spotted in Madrid-Barajas airport itself by Javier Alonso Fontaneda, confirming the trio would be filming there, with a return to the UK expected on the 16th March.

The Spanish shoot has also been confirmed by Doctor Who Magazine on the front cover for the next issue, due out Thursday.

Meanwhile, domestic filming without the two stars is planned at Cardiff Business School.

The Rumour Zone:

Being asked about the Express rumour from the weekend about the potential casting of Benedict Cumberbatch in the 50th Anniversary special, Matt Smith said: "I know Ben and I've not heard anything about it,” admits Smith. “But he’s a wonderful actor and a mate. I think he’s a bit busy being a Star Trek villain, and he’s Sherlock Holmes of course, so he’s a busy man." [Daybreak, via Radio Times, 28 Feb 2012]

Episode titles for the series have yet to be revealed, but an early contender for episode three of four has emerged, potentially tying in with the expected filming in Spain in the next few weeks.
(though this is currently considered a working title, it might well be felt as a spoiler ...)

The Gunslinger