"Sontaran" Director Douglas MacKinnon InterviewBookmark and Share

Sunday, 4 May 2008 - Reported by R Alan Siler
Today's Sunday Mail carries an interview with Douglas MacKinnon, director of just-broadcast episodes "The Sontaran Stratagem" and "The Poison Sky".

Having grown up watching Doctor Who as a young man, and remembering the Sontarans' debut appearance in 1973's "The Time Warrior" starring Jon Pertwee and Elisabeth Sladen, directing these episodes was a dream come true for him.

"To get a two-parter with Catherine Tate and Freema Agyeman and the Sontarans was just fantastic. I'd personally put the Sontarans third after the Cybermen and the Daleks as big legends in the legacy of Doctor Who villains."

MacKinnon, a Scotsman, had nothing but praise for series lead David Tennant: "He's everything people say, generous, kind and, most importantly, a very, very good actor. The thing with Doctor Who is the leading actor sets the pace to an extent and David's enthusiasm for the role is infectious for everyone."

But the production was not without incident: at one point during the shoot, MacKinnon managed to break the TARDIS.

"During filming I was working on the TARDIS and I managed to break the bit in the middle which goes up and down. I wanted it to go too fast for a dramatic scene and it just stopped working. I couldn't believe I'd broken the TARDIS! Thankfully, we managed to fix it half an hour later but I had this surreal phone call with my nine-year-old son Thomas, who is a massive Doctor Who fan, back home in Fife and said: 'You'll never believe what I did today...' And he shouted to my wife Mandy: 'Mum, dad's broken the TARDIS!'"