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Bookmark and Share Children vote for the Doctor to appear on banknotes

12/20/2014 12:01:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

The Yorkshire Building Society undertook a survey in November to discover who children would like to see on new banknotes, with the favourite among the 2000 7-16 year olds wanting it to be the Doctor!

A quick trip in the TARDIS to the future would reveal that a new face has regenerated on to British banknotes, if the nation’s children had their way.

The Doctor has been chosen as the face of future currency in a survey of seven to 16-year-olds conducted by Yorkshire Building Society to mark its 150th anniversary.

The Time Lord from Gallifrey was the overwhelming favourite to be featured on the next banknote with one in six children (17%) selecting him. Mum and Dad were the next most popular choice with just over 10%, followed by Cheryl, One Direction and Wayne Rooney.

Other answers given for the survey of 2,000 children included Radio 1 breakfast DJ Nick Grimshaw, Winston Churchill, Stephen Hawking and Sherlock Holmes.

If the Doctor – who is currently played by Glasgow born actor Peter Capaldi - was to appear in his current incarnation on the note, he would be the third Scotsman to appear on a Bank of England note.

Eighteenth century economist Adam Smith became the first Scotsman to feature on an English banknote in March 2007 when he appeared on the new series of £20 notes issued by the Bank of England.

Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer, James Watt, was the second to appear in 2011 on a new £50 note.

Tanya Jackson, Head of Corporate Affairs at Yorkshire Building Society, said:
The results from our survey show just how popular the iconic character of the Doctor is to children.

It is a happy coincidence that last year Doctor Who celebrated its own milestone anniversary with the programme reaching its 50th year and Yorkshire Building Society has also stood the test of time as we have been celebrating our 150th birthday this year.



In an alternative universe the Doctor has already had that privilege ... fake notes created for a scene in the 2006 Christmas Special The Runaway Bride where a cashpoint spewed out lots of money included the image of the tenth Doctor as played by David Tennant on the "£10" notes (with then-producer Phil Collinson adorning the "£20" notes).

Bank note featuring the 10th Doctor (Credit: BBC)

(with thanks to Yorkshire Building Society)

Bookmark and Share Predict the Ratings for Last Christmas

12/19/2014 11:34:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

As we enter the last few days before Christmas Day, the battle over which show will top the overnight ratings continue apace. Out of ten bookmakers currently offering odds on the winning programme, Doctor Who is currently fifth-placed at 11/1; Mrs Browns Boys is the favourite at the time of writing at 6/5, followed by Eastenders at 5/2, Miranda at 4/1 and The Queen's Speech at 6/1.

The full evening line-up for BBC1 and ITV show the following odds:

BBC1  5:00pm Strictly Come Dancing   35/1    ITV  5:20pm You've Been Framed                 100/1
BBC1  6:15pm Doctor Who              11/1    ITV  5:50pm Paul O'Grady For The Love Of Dogs  100/1
BBC1  7:15pm Miranda                  4/1    ITV  7:00pm Emmerdale                           96/1
BBC1  7:50pm Call The Midwife        19/1    ITV  8:00pm Coronation Street                   26/1
BBC1  9:00pm Eastenders               5/2    ITV  9:00pm Downton Abbey                       47/1
BBC1 10:05pm Mrs Browns Boys          6/5

The winning programme will be the one that achieves the highest BARB overnight rating.

Doctor Who News: Predict The Ratings Competition


Peter Capaldi as the Doctor (Credit: BBC/David Venni)Another tradition at Christmas is our "Predict the Ratings" competition, and we are once again proud to be running the competition in association with Big Finish Productions, who this year offer a copy of Jago and Litefoot 5 signed by its stars, Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter, plus three additional signed scripts from recent productions. In addition we will also include a copy of Last Christmas when released on DVD or Blu-ray.

The aim is to guess the final consolidated viewing figure, as reported by BARB to the nearest 10,000 viewers (i.e. two decimal places). This figure includes all those watching the episode within a week of broadcast, but does not include those watching on iPlayer.

For comparison with previous years, you can view the final ratings for The Christmas Invasion, The Runaway Bride, Voyage of the Damned, The Next Doctor, The End of Time part one, A Christmas Carol, The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe, The Snowmen and The Time of the Doctor via This Week in Doctor Who.

To enter the competition, please send the following details to comp-ratings@doctorwhonews.net:
  • Your name and preferred email address
  • Your country of entry (full details will be requested only if you are the winner)
  • Your guess at the final rating to the nearest 10,000 (eg. 15.31m)
Terms and Conditions:
  • The competition closes at 6:15pm GMT, 25th December 2014.
  • Only one entry will be accepted per person.
  • The competition is open worldwide.
  • BARB figures are expected around 10 days after transmission; we will contact the winner once they have been published.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Extra: Last Christmas on the Red Button

12/19/2014 03:24:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Peter Capaldi as the Doctor (Credit: BBC/David Venni)This year's Christmas Special, Last Christmas will be accompanied by a fourteen minute edition of Doctor Who Extra, available online after the story has broadcast like with Series Eight earlier this year. The behind-the-scenes documentary will also be made available on the BBC Red Button service, with the dates to the end of next week currently known:

Join Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Nick Frost as the cast and crew of Last Christmas reveal the inside story of the Twelfth Doctor's first seasonal special!

Christmas Day7:10pm-10:25pm
Boxing Day8:55pm-10:00pm
SaturdayMidnight-6:00am

More broadcasts are expected over the course of the weekend and following week.

Bookmark and Share Big Finish Character Joins Doctor Who - Legacy

12/18/2014 02:31:00 pm - Reported by Marcus


Tiny Rebel Games have announced that the Big Finish character Charley Pollard is today joining the online game Doctor Who Legacy.

Charlotte Elspeth Pollard, played by India Fisher, was a companion of the Eighth Doctor in the award winning audio series.

A new level featuring Charlotte Pollard as the Eighth Doctor’s ally in a new battle with a Sontaran spaceship, is released today.

To celebrate the arrival a livestream chat with Big Finish's Nicholas Briggs took place on Wednesday, and is available to watch here. Livestream players can use a special code, 9374-6962-9398-2687, to unlock coloured time fragments to help with leveling up Charley. The promo code can be redeemed by going in-game and selecting the options menu, then choosing the promo code tab and entering the key into the field.

Doctor Who: Legacy is currently available on Google Play, iTunes, Amazon Appstore and on Facebook.

Bookmark and Share The Magician’s Apprentice

12/18/2014 01:18:00 am - Reported by Marcus

The BBC has revealed the title of the first episode of the next series of Doctor Who will be The Magician’s Apprentice.

The name was revealed by showrunner Steven Moffat at the press screening of Last Christmas held at the BFI in London last night.

The series, the thirty-fifth in the show's history, and the ninth since the series returned in 2005, begins filming in early January.

Bookmark and Share Minecraft: Doctor Who Wave 2

12/17/2014 08:51:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

A new set of Doctor Who-inspired skins will be available to purchase for the game Minecraft from tomorrow, featuring a range of characters from both the classic and modern series. As reported on the XBox website:

Doctor Who fans can add a new collection of Time Lords, companions and foes to their Doctor Who-inspired Minecraft universes with the Dec. 18 release of “Doctor Who Skins Volume II” for Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition and Minecraft: Xbox One Edition. “Doctor Who Skins Volume II” provides more than 50 new character skins, including the classic Seventh Doctor, Donna Noble, Captain Jack Harkness, monsters and Cybermen. With this skin pack, you can now finally pair K9 with The Tenth Doctor while building a home that is bigger on the inside.

Minecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol IIMinecraft - Doctor Who Skins Vol II

The full set contains the following: the tenth Doctor; the tenth Doctor (Suit); the eighth Doctor; the seventh Doctor; the fifth Doctor; the third Doctor; the second Doctor; Donna Noble; Martha Jones; Captain Jack Harkness; Liz Shaw; Jamie McCrimmon; Ace; Jo Grant; Tegan Jovanka; Wilfred Mott; Mickey Smith; the Master (2007); Sontaran (2010); K9; Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart; Bannakaffalatta; Judoon; Sycorax; Cyberking/Miss Hartigan; Racnoss; Slitheen; The Beast; Rassilon; Heavenly Host; Scarecrow; Cybershade; Azal; Axon Monster; Omega; Alpha Centauri; Gell Guards; the Nimon; Sutekh; Sea Devil; Ood; Saturnynian (fish form); Cyberman (2012, non-Cybus); Cyberman (2013); Cyber-Lord; Cyberman (2006, Cybus); Black Cyberman (1980s); Cyberman (1980s); Cyberman (1970s); Cyberman (1960s v1); Cyberman (1960s v2)

The Skin Pack will be available to purchase worldwide by Minecraft players on the Xbox One and Xbox 360 via the XBox Store.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine - The 2015 Yearbook

12/17/2014 01:52:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The 2015 Yearbook (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)The latest Special Edition of Doctor Who Magazine reviews an incredible year for the programme, its spin-offs and licensed merchandise. Highlights include the magazine's first major interview with the show’s executive producer, Brian Minchin, in which he reflects on Peter Capaldi’s first year as the Doctor and looks forward to further adventures with the twelfth Doctor.

Editor Marcus Hearn said:
This is the Doctor Who Magazine almanac. We’ve taken a fresh look at every episode from Peter Capaldi’s first series, but we’ve also explored many other corners of the Doctor Who universe. For many fans, the television series is just part of a world that includes DVDs, Blu-rays, books, soundtrack albums, audio dramas and action figures. We’ve tried to reflect the last 12 months in all those different areas.

Also inside the 100 page issue:
  • Features on every episode in Peter Capaldi’s first series.
  • We speak to the team that accompanied Capaldi and Jenna Coleman on the Doctor Who World Tour.
  • Fourth Doctor Tom Baker discusses his return to television and audio Doctor Who.
  • Eighth Doctor Paul McGann reveals what he thinks about Capaldi’s Doctor.
  • Orchestrator and conductor Ben Foster previews the 2015 Symphonic Spectacular.
  • Inside the new ‘making of’ show, Doctor Who Extra.
  • Behind the scenes at the new Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff.
  • Interviews with some of the key players behind recent books, soundtracks, audio dramas, DVDs, Blu-rays and action figures.
  • Highlights from the year’s newspaper and magazine reviews of Doctor Who.
  • A round up of Doctor Who’s awards and honours from the last 12 months.
  • Detailed tributes to the Doctor Who luminaries who passed away in 2014.
  • ...and much more!

Doctor Who Magazine: The 2015 Yearbook is due out on Thursday 18 December.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Experience advert to be shown in cinema and on television

12/16/2014 11:54:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

In the run-up to Christmas the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff will be promoted in cinema and television in a new advert featuring Peter Capaldi as the Doctor:

Some TV and cinema viewers will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, in the new Doctor Who Experience TV advert. The advert gives fans and families a sneak preview of some of the adventure visitors will go on. Spoiler Alert - we haven't given too much away but you will see some of the interactive adventure.


Props from this year's Christmas Special, Last Christmas, are also being displayed in the Experience's foyer.


The attraction is closed today (16th December), and between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. It will also be closed on both Mondays and Tuesdays during January.

Bookmark and Share Tom Adams 1938-2014

12/13/2014 05:56:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The actor Tom Adams has died at the age of 76.

Tom Adams was best known to Doctor Who fans for playing Commander Vorshak, the leader of Sea Base 4, in the 1984 Fifth Doctor story Warriors of the Deep.

He played Dai Nimmo, known as Diversions, in the classic 1963 film The Great Escape.

On television he appeared in many classic series including Casualty, Strike It Rich!, The Enigma Files, Dixon of Dock Green, Spy Trap, Z Cars, General Hospital, The Avengers, Emergency-Ward 10 and The Onedin Line where he played Daniel Fogarty in twenty episodes.

Adams had a distinguished voice and worked as a voice-over artist on many adverts. He was a long-running voice of E4.

His agent Emma Harvey paid tribute
A true gentleman, his personality was as big and warm as his voice. We’ll miss him very much.
The actor died after a battle with cancer.

Bookmark and Share Sneak Peek: Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3

12/13/2014 02:06:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

December 24 sees the release of Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 by Robbie Morrison and Dave Taylor and Titan have released some preview images from the issue.
In the distant past, the land that would be India played host to a war between ancient aliens, whose cross-temporal battles contributed to the country's rich myths and legends. Kali, oldest and deadliest of these creatures, was thought defeated long, long ago; her body scattered throughout time to prevent her return. But her psychic essence could not be killed... nor her millennia-long quest for vengeance.

Now, in the 23rd Century, she is on the brink of resurrection. And with India at the forefront of human spaceflight, it's not only Earth that falls to her predations if she succeeds – but the whole cosmos!

In a race against time, and across it, the Doctor and Clara must gather secrets, intelligence and allies from across India's past, present and future – if they are to survive... THE SWORDS OF KALI!
Comes with three covers to collect!

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3

Bookmark and Share Fish Fingers and Custard - Issue 15

12/13/2014 01:44:00 pm - Reported by Marcus


Issue 15 of the fanzine Fish Fingers and Custard is out now.

Included in the magazine
  • Reviews of the 50th Anniversary
  • A 50th Anniversary Diary
  • Goodbye Matt Smith
  • 'Thrifty Fives'
  • Where's The Money Gone
The Issue can be purchased from fishcustardfanzine.co.uk for £2 (UK) and £4.50 (Rest of The World).

Bookmark and Share Last Christmas - New Trailer

12/11/2014 06:42:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The BBC has released a new trailer for the 2014 Christmas special Last Christmas.

Bookmark and Share The Tenth Doctor #5 - Sneek Peek

12/11/2014 02:40:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Next Wednesday December 17 sees the release of Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #5 by Nick Abadzis and Elena Casagrande and Titan have released some preview images from the issue.
GABBY IS DYING FOR HER ART.

With the Doctor half the man he should be, under the draining influence of an alien tourist trap, Gabriella is left to shoulder the burden of saving him, the planet, and the future of art in our galaxy - and all on her first off-world trip, no less!

Trapped in a terrifying creative retreat, where what was once beautiful has been rendered corrupt and horrifying, is Gabby strong enough to reverse whatever has been done to the Doctor and save an intergalactic artistic community from itself? You’d better hope so!

And who, or what, are the deadly Consultants… and what plans do they have for the Doctor?!
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #5 comes with two covers to collect: an art cover by Verity Glass and a photo cover.

Credit: Titan Credit: Titan Credit: Titan Credit: Titan Credit: Titan Credit: Titan

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine 481

12/10/2014 03:00:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 481 (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)
Doctor Who Magazine Issue 481 in bag (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)
The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine previews the festive special, Last Christmas, with head writer Steven Moffat giving the magazine the lowdown on the Doctor's face-off with Santa ...

I think I’m being pretty open that it’s Santa meets Alien meets The Thing from Another World meets Miracle on 34th Street. It’s a weird mash up! There’s a base under siege, there are scary monsters. It’s one of the scariest Christmas Specials we’ve made, actually...

Also inside this issue:
  • DWM talks exclusively to Santa himself, Nick Frost, along with his elf helpers, The Wolf and Ian, played by Nathan McMullen and Dan Starkey. Meanwhile, Michael Troughton, who plays Professor Albert, talks about making his television Doctor Who début, and his close family connection to the series.
  • Rachel Talalay, director of this year's phenomenal two-part finale, Dark Water and Death in Heaven, talks to DWM about the challenges of bringing this masterful Cyber-story to our screens.
  • DWM comic strip artist Mike Collins goes back to the drawing board and reveals all about his new role as a storyboard artist for the latest television series of Doctor Who.
  • Former showrunner Russell T Davies reveals new facts about 2007's Voyage of the Damned in The Fact of Fiction!
  • This year gave us a new series and a fantastic new Doctor, and DWM looks over the past 12 months with the Review of 2014!
  • The first part of a brand-new comic strip for the Twelfth Doctor and Clara as they embark on a wartime desert adventure in The Instruments of War, written and illustrated by Mike Collins.
  • The intrepid Time Team passes comment on 2008’s festive Cyber-Special The Next Doctor.
  • It may be Christmas, but Steven Moffat still has time to answer readers’ questions in his exclusive column.
  • Jaqueline Rayner compiles her Christmas wish-list for Relative Dimensions.
  • The Watcher presents his annual Fiendishly Festive Christmas Quiz!
  • Have your say on Peter Capaldi’s first series as the Doctor in the DWM Season Survey.
  • Dark Water and Death in Heaven are put under the spotlight in The DWM Review.
  • The Watcher goes back to the early days of Doctor Who merchandise in Wotcha!.
  • The DWM Crossword, competitions, and much more!

The bumper-sized 100 page DWM Issue 481, which includes a giant double-sided poster, is out tomorrow.

Bookmark and Share Last Christmas - Interviews

12/10/2014 01:18:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The BBC has released a set of interviews with showrunner Steven Moffat and the stars of the 2014 Christmas special Last Christmas.

The Doctor and Clara face their last Christmas.

Trapped on an arctic base, under attack from terrifying creatures, who are you going to call?

Santa Claus!
Steven Moffat - Q&A

What can you tell us about the plot of this year’s Christmas special?
Well obviously as everyone knows from the end of Death In Heaven, it’s the ultimate meeting of Christmas heroes - Santa Claus meets Doctor Who. The buddy movie you’ve always wanted. In addition to that, it’s quite surprising - it won’t be what some people expect because it’s a thriller of an episode. The Christmas element is covered in the fairly notable form of Santa Claus and the elves and their sleigh. But the rest of it is very much Doctor Who – scary, in a polar ice cap base, scientists under threat. I keep describing it as Miracle On 34th Street meets Alien.

Viewers will be thrilled to see the Doctor and Clara brought together again - what can we expect from this and what can you say about what brings them together?
They’re brought together by a crisis that returns the Doctor to Earth to help Clara. The stuff that separated them, the lies they told each other – all of that will be addressed in this episode. We don’t just ignore it for the sake of Christmas. It is properly addressed and forms the emotional core of the episode.

Nick Frost seems an inspired choice for Santa Claus – how did that casting come about?
As ever with Doctor Who we’re very lucky to have Andy Pryor casting for us and he suggested Nick Frost. The moment you think of Nick Frost as Santa Claus you just know he’s exactly right – he has the right style, has the right attitude and more than that he seems like a slightly 'funky' Santa Claus – the sort of Santa Claus that OUGHT to turn up in Doctor Who. Simultaneously he subverts the role of Santa Claus and affirms it very definitively. He’s a truly great Santa. It’s hard to think of anyone else for the role once you’ve seen him.

Will we see the traditional Santa we know and love, or should we expect a different side to him?
Santa Claus will be real, and definitely not evil. Parents shouldn't worry, Santa is presented, as he is in real life, as a great Christmas hero.

How do the Doctor and Clara become involved with Santa Claus?
As was shown in the Children In Need clip, Clara encounters Santa Claus on a rooftop with a crashed sleigh and a couple of grumpy elves. Then the Doctor turns up too.

Did you also have Dan (Starkey) in mind as one of the elves?
Obviously we know Dan really well because he plays Strax, and we’ve been thinking that he should play a part without all the prosthetics on. We needed elves with attitude and real comic timing and Dan is a brilliantly funny actor. So if Dan will forgive me, it’s fair to say he’s the right height, genuinely funny and we just thought he’d be perfect for that role.

How does writing and filming the Christmas special differ from the series?
The Christmas special is an oddity because it’s on its own. As a matter of production, we don’t have episodes either side of it. We just have a few weeks where we shoot that one episode so certain pressures are removed from us – we’re not prepping another show. You should also be slightly aware that there will be more people than usual who don’t usually watch it by virtue of the fact it’s on at Christmas time. It’s become a bit of a Christmas tradition to watch Doctor Who so there will be a number of people who maybe haven’t seen it since the last Christmas special.

What is it about Peter’s Doctor that you think fans are enjoying the most?
What Peter triumphs in is that he is bracing. We’ve been used to a particular kind of Doctor across three very different actors – Chris (Eccleston), David (Tennant) and Matt (Smith). The Doctor has been younger, blokier, slightly more modern, you might say more approachable. We’ve now thrown that into reverse. There are moments with the other three actors where you can see a spiky, scary older man inside him and now we’re seeing more of that man. Peter is bracing – he’s a reminder that the Doctor isn’t your best mate or your big brother; he is in fact a quite scary man from outer space who nonetheless will save your life. He makes you look for the heroism more which I think is exciting - it throws you off balance. It’s almost like going from Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig as James Bond. Making the Doctor older has inadvertently made the show feel new again. He’s different and different is good.

The show is now a global phenomenon. How was it this year to see the reactions of fans in different countries?
We’re quite used to seeing Doctor Who launched in the UK and it’s always fun, but essentially people here are used to it. Seeing the extraordinary reactions when we arrived at various airports on the world tour when people were chanting our names and shouting like we mattered was very exciting. We had no idea that it would happen and that people who lived in other parts of the world were so invested in it. The increasing world significance of the show is something that we don’t really see most of the time. We just go to Wales and make our show, we’re not thinking about the people in Rio or America who seem to be hanging on our every word. It’s been great to see how it plays out on the world stage.
Peter Capaldi - Q&A

Everyone will be pleased to see the Doctor and Clara brought together again for this Christmas special. What does bring them together?
A terrifying festive dilemma forces the Doctor back to Earth to help Clara. Then a story unfolds which is quite unexpected – I can’t really say more than that.

How does filming the Christmas special differ from the series?
It’s all very festive and even though you’re shooting in October it does lull you into the festive spirit, because there are lots of Christmassy things around. There are snow machines all the time which is lovely but they’re noisy like lawnmowers or concrete mixers. We have Christmas lights, polystyrene icebergs - which is classic piece of set dressing on Doctor Who. There’s a roast dinner going on in Clara’s house and a big Christmas tree. There were also lots of tangerines!

What was your reaction to Nick Frost being cast as Santa? What sort of Santa does he play?
I was delighted when Nick was cast, I’m a big fan of his. I love Hot Fuzz and Shaun Of The Dead. He’s actually quite a traditional Santa but with a comic undertone. He is the real Santa – he’s not a robot or an alien, but he is a little bit cantankerous. He’s a little bit like the Doctor and at first they don’t really get on together.

How do the Doctor and Clara become involved with Santa?
Santa appears on the roof of Clara’s house and only the Doctor knows the danger of it.

What can viewers expect from this episode?
It’s both really scary and really festive. It manages to be quite frightening and still have Santa Claus in it. It is extremely Christmassy but there is a plot line in it that is quite dark and I think Steven (Moffat) has done a brilliant job at balancing those two things. It’s perfect for Christmas viewing – it supplies everything that Doctor Who should supply at Christmas. It’s scary but it leaves you feeling warm and cheerful.

What have been your fondest memories of your first year as the Doctor?
It’s difficult to say what specific moments were significant to me because the whole thing has just been amazing. So many things have been fantastic. The first time you go onto the set, the first time you meet a Dalek or even the first time the TARDIS wobbles when you shut the door. I know it won’t last forever so I’m just enjoying it all.

The show is now a global phenomenon – how was it to see the reactions of fans in different countries earlier this year? What is it about your Doctor that you think they’re enjoying?
It was extraordinary to see how popular the show is all over the world. I’ve had the great benefit of riding the wave of success that Matt (Smith), David (Tennant) and Chris (Eccleston) had started. I myself was fascinated by what made the show so popular abroad. To me it seems a particularly British thing. However, it seems that the themes of escapism and adventure are universal. Fans of Doctor Who are usually so warm-hearted and creative. It’s quite moving to see how much they love it. You don’t realise when you’re making the programme that it’s reaching out to so many people in Latin America or Asia or Australia. Obviously the character is so popular now and the concept is so clever, so I think that is what they’re responding to rather than me.

What will you be doing this Christmas and is there anything you want from Santa?
I’ll be watching the Christmas Special and I want a tangerine and a Doctor Who annual because that’s what I had as a kid.
Jenna Coleman - Q&A

What’s it like for Clara to be reunited with the Doctor in the Christmas Special?
She’s just really glad to be back with him. She’s dealing with the death of Danny Pink but happy to be back in the arms of the TARDIS again, and meeting Santa. A lot of the episode is about telling that adventure, and it’s about the Doctor and Clara resolving what they’ve just been through.

What was it like coming back to film the Christmas Special?
It was good because we’d had the build up to filming the finale, and then Peter and I went off on the World Tour, so we were obviously tired but we were rejuvenated having had a break. We had such a big reaction from around the world and then you get back to filming and back to what feels like your home really. It’s always like that when you’re filming the Christmas Special, and you’re surrounded by tinsel and mince pies and all of that on set every day. Even though it’s October you get a bit of Christmas spirit.

It’s a very Christmassy theme this year. What did you think when you heard there was going to be a real Santa Claus, and played by Nick Frost no less?
Genius. And it’s like Steven (Moffat) said in the read-through - his name is actually ‘Frost’ so it couldn’t be more perfect. Nick really pitches Santa Claus so well between being the Santa as we know him and being very traditional, and then also cutting the act and giving quite a contemporary feel. So it works really well within the context of the episode and he has got the right tone. He’s really nice to have around on set, very funny in between takes and on camera.

You must have had a lot of fun filming the Christmas episode with Nick?
I keep using the word funny to describe Nick but what I mean is he can take anything and make it hilarious. You can give him any line and he’ll just do something with it and I don’t even know how he does it. I’ve never seen Peter (Capaldi) corpse as much as when we were working with Nick. Even in make-up every morning before you get ready to go on set he would have you cracking up.

What does Clara make of Santa Claus?
When she meets him she can’t quite believe he’s there, because bumping into Santa Claus on your roof is quite a weird way to wake up. Deep down she has always wanted to see him, and so when he materialises it’s really a nice thing.

And working with the fabulous elves played by Dan Starkey and Nathan McMullen?
It was like they’d been working together for years. I thought they must have been rehearsing in their trailers because the timing and the double act between the two of them is like they’ve grown up together almost. But they’d only just met!

What can viewers expect from the Christmas special
It makes you question reality. You can’t quite figure it out. It makes you question what is real and what isn’t, but with a thriller and psychological element. It’s very Doctor Who - it’s got all of the traditional elements as well, and the one sequence we have with the sleigh is so magical. It’s what you want to sit down and watch at Christmas.

How do you like to spend Christmas?
With my family eating lots of food, surrounded by grandparents and nieces and lots of good TV, and going for nice big country walks. I really embrace Christmas. I love it.
Nick Frost - Q&A

How much of a Doctor Who fan are you?
On a scale of one to ten I’m probably a seven, if I’m being honest. I suppose most actors would just say ten. I was a big Tom Baker fan and I liked Sylvester McCoy, and Peter Davison. Then I missed out on that Saturday evening TV for a long time. I lived abroad and I travelled and I worked most Saturdays, so it just drifted out of my consciousness. Matt Smith reignited my love of the show and my love for that special feeling you get on Saturday when you can put your feet up and watch. There’s so little original sci-fi on British television, and to get something like Doctor Who that’s prime time Saturday night is something really special I think, as a science fiction fan. When Matt left and Peter came in I thought ‘he’s perfect’. It’s like James Bond. If you love Connery more than Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan more than Timothy Dalton – they’re still James Bond. They just bring different things to it. I love what Peter’s doing with it – I think it’s great.

How did the part come about?
It was just offered to me which was fantastic. I was in the pub on a Friday afternoon. It was about 5 o’clock and I had about two percent battery left on my phone. My agent phoned me and all I heard was ‘they’re going to offer you a part as the guest lead in the Christmas special on Doctor…’ I thought Doctor what? Doctor Kildare?! So then I had to wait until I got home to get the message and I was thrilled. It’s a big deal to be a guest lead in Doctor Who for the Christmas special. It’s the most popular show in the world right now essentially, and with this one feature in this one episode, more people will probably see that than all things I’ve done combined.

Was it fun playing Santa and being part of the production?
I’ve loved it. I felt quite bereft that I wouldn’t get to put on my beard once we’d wrapped. I think the real secret of Doctor Who is the fact that people presume and assume that they have essentially a bottomless budget – but they don’t. It’s just that the people who work on the show make it seem like they have because of their inventiveness and ingenuity. It’s great to watch, and everyone made me feel welcome. It’s a place where you can do some good work because you trust everyone and like everyone.

How would you describe your Santa?
There’s a percentage of ‘Ho Ho Ho’ as every good Santa needs, but that’s all people ever see of Santa. They never see him day to day or when he’s a bit grumpy, or when he’s in a playful mood or if he’s a bit cross. I’ve tried to get all those sides to him. Hopefully he’s funny. I wanted him to be funny and I wanted him to be like what he is essentially – and that’s the spirit of Christmas.

How does he get on with his two elves (played by Dan Starkey and Nathan McMullen)?
It’s fairly fractious. They take any chance they can to undermine him in front of people, and it makes Santa very cross but at the same time he’s very protective. I’m not sure if they’re his sons or not? What’s the relationship between the elves and Santa Claus? Are they just friends or are they just employees? Is there some kind of blood line? I’m not sure…

What would you say viewers can look forward to from this Christmas special?
There’s going to be a nice combination of comedy and terror, and cool creatures – and Christmas fun. There’s a sleigh ride and snow. It’s going to be beautiful!