Doctor Who Live: The Next DoctorBookmark and Share

Friday, 2 August 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Charlotte Moore, BBC One Controller (Credit: BBC)The BBC have announced that the next star of Doctor Who is to be revealed this coming Sunday evening in a special programme to be broadcast live on BBC One at 7:00pm, and simulcast by BBC America.

Update Friday Canadian channel SPACE have confirmed they will also broadcast the live show.
Update Saturday ABC Australia have also confirmed they will broadcast the live show.

Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor is to be presented by Zoe Ball, and is expected to feature previous Doctors, companions, special guests and 'celebrity' fans, leading up to the reveal of who has won the coveted role. Charlotte Moore, the Controller of BBC One, said:
BBC One is the home of big live events and this special live show is the perfect way to reveal the identity of the next Doctor and share it with the nation. The Doctor is a truly iconic role and I’m more than excited about the booking.
In order to keep the half-hour show and the announcement under wraps, the BBC promoted it last week as an entertainment pilot that would pay tribute to 50 years of Doctor Who. For television schedules they instead listed a repeat of Celebrity Mastermind in the timeslot - a similar tactic was employed back in 2009 with Matt Smith's announcement, when the scheduled The Ten Doctors turned out to be a smokescreen for The Eleventh Doctor. BBC America, meanwhile, have had a repeat of The Eleventh Hour scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

Smith will also feature in Sunday's broadcast, lending advice on what it takes to play the Doctor; the show will also include interviews with Jenna Coleman and executive producer Steven Moffat, who said:
The decision is made and the time has come to reveal who’s taking over the TARDIS. For the last of the Time Lords, the clock is striking twelve.

The casting process itself has been a well-kept secret, with plenty of speculation as to who will take on the role. Ben Stephenson, the Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, commented:
We can’t wait to unveil the next Doctor with everyone live on BBC1 on Sunday night. Amongst all the speculation and betting, there has been lots of fun and intrigue at work as we’ve been using the codename Houdini as a decoy! It’s the biggest secret in showbiz, even those working with the new Doctor on other projects at the moment have no idea they are in the presence of the 12th incarnation.
As reported on Wednesday, established names such Peter Capaldi, Ben Daniels, Chris Addison, Rory Kinnear and David Harewood have all been popular choices with the betting public - though it is just as likely that a previously unconsidered name will be revealed come Sunday evening, as with Smith in 2009.

Charles And Camilla To Visit Doctor Who StudiosBookmark and Share

Thursday, 20 June 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are to pay an official visit to the Doctor Who studios in Cardiff next month to mark the show's 50th anniversary.

It will form part of the royal couple's annual Wales Week, in which they tour the country to publicise its positive aspects.

Their diary shows that on Wednesday 3rd July they will be meeting cast and crew members of Doctor Who during a set visit to the Roath Lock studios.

A spokesman for Clarence House, which is their official residence in London, said:
The Prince and the Duchess always enjoy their annual visit to Wales and this year they are looking forward to a varied programme of engagements including everything from Dylan Thomas's Boat House to Doctor Who's TARDIS! Their Royal Highnesses are also keen to highlight the vital work being done across Wales by some of the charities they are involved with.
While they are at Roath Lock the couple will meet Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman, and will encounter some of the Doctor's enemies as well. It is not known as yet which production team members will be presented to Charles and Camilla.

This won't be the first official brush with the world of Doctor Who for the Duchess of Cornwall. While opening the West Wilts Show in Trowbridge in July 2009 she encountered a Dalek and TARDIS at a display dedicated to the programme.

Earlier this month, Coleman was presented to the Queen when the monarch officially opened the rebuilt Broadcasting House in London.

Jenna-Louise Coleman meets the QueenBookmark and Share

Friday, 7 June 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Jenna-Louise Coleman was one of the people honoured to speak to the Queen during a visit by the Monarch to the BBC's new Broadcasting House, which she officially opened today. After passing by the resident Dalek, the Queen was then introduced to the actress - next to the TARDIS!

Coleman later spoke to BBC News about her experience:
The Queen and I had a conversation about time-travel, and I told her I am the Doctor's assistant and we get to travel anywhere in all of time and space, to which she replied "That must be fun" - to which I replied it really is, it's marvellous, not knowing where you're going to be from one week to the next.
And did she ask who the next Doctor might be?
No! Everybody else in the building has asked me who the next Doctor is, and I can tell you honestly we don't know. It's going to be a long, long search. But yes, I'm being asked that question a lot.
The full interview with BBC News can be watched in the United Kingdom via their website.

The Queen meets Jenna-Louise Coleman at BBC Broadcasting House, 7th June 2013 (Credit: BBC News) The Queen at BBC Broadcasting House, 7th June 2013 (Credit: BBC News)

Doctor Who wins Peabody AwardBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who has been presented with a Peabody Award, one of the highest honours in American media.

The George Foster Peabody Awards recognize distinguished achievement and meritorious service by broadcasters, cable and webcasters, producing organizations, and individuals. Selection is made by the Peabody Board, a 16-member panel of distinguished academics, television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts.

The citation reads:
Seemingly immortal, 50-years-old and still running, this engaging, imaginative sci-fi/fantasy series is awarded an Institutional Peabody for evolving with technology and the times like nothing else in the known television universe.

The award was accepted by Steven Moffat, Jenna-Louise Coleman, and Matt Smith at a ceremony in New York last night.

TV Choice Awards 2013 Longlist AnnouncedBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The longlist for this year's TV Choice Awards has been announced, with Doctor Who nominated for Best Drama Series.

It is up against 22 other shows in the category, which this year has been changed from Best Family Drama, in which the show has previously featured and won.

In addition, Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman are up for, respectively, Best Actor and Best Actress, with Smith facing challenges from - among others - David Tennant (for Broadchurch), John Simm (for The Village), Derek Jacobi (for Last Tango In Halifax), and Daniel Mays (for Mrs Biggs), while Coleman must fend off the likes of Eve Myles (Frankie), Jessica Raine (Call The Midwife), Anne Reid (Last Tango In Halifax), Lesley Sharp (Scott & Bailey), Ruth Jones (Stella), Anna Maxwell Martin (The Bletchley Circle), Olivia Colman (Broadchurch), and Suranne Jones (Scott & Bailey) as the 25 contenders in her category are whittled down.

Voting in this qualifying round of the 17th awards is open online until midnight on Friday 14th June. A shortlist - again open to public vote - will then be revealed on Tuesday 2nd July with voting open for about a week, said a spokeswoman for TV Choice, and the winners will be named at a ceremony hosted by Ben Miller at The Dorchester in London on Monday 9th September.

The show or its actors have won a TV Choice award every year since 2005 except in 2009, including Christopher Eccleston (2005) and David Tennant (2006-2008) for Best Actor and Billie Piper (2006) for Best Actress.

BAFTA's Doctor Who Anniversary Tribute ReleasedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 16 May 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The video tribute to Doctor Who shown at last Sunday's TV BAFTA ceremony to mark the programme's 50th anniversary has been made available online.

The dazzling montage, which lasts 2 min 16 sec, features clips and dialogue from a multitude of adventures, and is followed by a scene inside the TARDIS where the Doctor, as played by Matt Smith, discovers a BAFTA award mask, which he likens to an Axon. He is corrected by Clara - Jenna-Louise Coleman - who takes the mask to present at the ceremony, which was hosted by Graham Norton.

Overseas readers may find the above will not play, in which case they should try this version:

The BBC Four adaptation of Room At The Top, in which Coleman starred, won the mini-series BAFTA. Other winners with Doctor Who connections were: Olivia Colman - supporting actress and female performance in a comedy programme; Sheridan Smith (companion Lucie Miller to the Eighth Doctor in the Big Finish audio dramas) - leading actress; Last Tango In Halifax, starring Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid, Sarah Lancashire, and Sacha Dhawan - drama series; Twenty Twelve, starring Hugh Bonneville, Jessica Hynes, and Olivia Colman - situation comedy; and Game of Thrones, starring Iain Glen, Harry Lloyd, and Liam Cunningham - audience award.

Radio Times Cover for The Name of The DoctorBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 14 May 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Radio Times (18 - 14 May 2013) (Credit: Radio Times)Next week's edition of the Radio Times (18-24 May 2013) sees Jenna-Louise Coleman grace the front cover. with the actress being featured as part of the publicity for the series finale, The Name of the Doctor.

Talking about being the public spotlight, she said:
Matt warned me that there’s nothing that can prepare you for it. All I can do is enjoy it. I’ve noticed some changes – nothing huge. I have a really cool job and get to do these crazy things and you do have so many ‘pinch me’ moments. I’ve just been sent emails with pics of the Clara doll, which is kind of...

That isn’t completely normal, is it? People do come up to me, but so far they’ve really engaged with the show and the character and just want to chat. Yesterday a little boy walked past and said, “You all right, Soufflé Girl?” Which put a smile on my face. So it’s not obtrusive.
Commenting on advice from her co-star, Matt Smith:
His first advice was never Google yourself and, now that I’ve got a three-month break, he said take your time and choose your next role carefully. I’ve read loads of scripts but nothing I’m really in love with.

In the beginning we see a Clara in the 60s, 70s and the 80s so there are a lot of costume changes, which I love. Always one for a bit of dressing up, me. Love a red carpet. Richard E Grant is back with his evil Great Intelligence, the Doctor’s greatest secret is revealed, all of his friends rally round to protect him and we finally understand why the Doctor has met Clara so many different times.

The full interview can be read in the new edition, out today.

Clara receives a letter summoning her to a mysterious meeting, where she is given a message for the Doctor. The meaning is uncertain, but when an enemy strikes the Time Lord is left with no choice but to travel to the one place in time and space he should never go - into a deadly trap that threatens to unravel his past, present and future.

Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman star in what promises to be a thrilling climax, with Alex Kingston returning as River Song. Sadly, fans will have to wait a full six months for their next Who fix, until the much talked-about 50th anniversary special which is due to be shown in November. Last in the series.

50th Anniversary Special: second photo releasedBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 2 April 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Hot on the heels of the one earlier in the evening, a new publicity photo for the 50th Anniversary Special's read-through has been released, this time featuring Matt Smith and David Tennant, plus Jenna-Louise Coleman and guest star Joanna Page:

Joanna Page, David Tennant, Jenna-Louise Coleman and Matt Smith at the 50th Anniversary Special readthrough (Credit: BBC)

Media RoundupBookmark and Share

Friday, 29 March 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
A roundup of recent media "clippings" for Doctor Who in the run-up to the series return tomorrow.

Matt Smith (The Doctor)

On his new co-star: "You’ll see on screen she’s absolutely brilliant and it’s been a joy. I’m really proud of the work we’ve done and I think it’s exciting for the character, he’s got a new lease of life somehow. Jenna’s inventive, she works tirelessly hard. I like her, which is good because you’ve got to get on. And I’m really proud of what she’s achieved and I’m pleased that it’s gone so well for her because I think she’s brilliant in it." [Yorkshire Evening Post, 27 Mar 2013]

On how they get along: "Really well. We’re good friends, actually, which is nice. It would be really rubbish if we weren’t! I guess you guys are the critics of this, but I think she has started really well. She’s immediately likeable and popular, which is a stroke of fortune. It was always going to be difficult coming in after Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill [who played Amy and Rory] because they became really loved and admired. I think she’s made it her own and she’s been inventive and brave. It’s not an easy show to waltz into. It moves at such a pace. And there’s such a fervent following and people have such clear opinions on it." [TV Choice, 30 Mar 2013]

On riding a bike around London: "It was very exciting. I am innately very clumsy, and my mother has always forbidden me from getting a motorbike. I’ve driven mopeds before, abroad and stuff, without her knowing – well, now she knows. But that’s like a big old Harley looking bike, and I wouldn’t know where to begin… It was amazing filming those scenes. It was on a rig, and we got to sort of travel round London. Car rigs are different because you’re in a car, but being on a bike it’s like you’re on a sort of fairground ride. It was a really crisp, sunny day and we kept going around Waterloo Bridge and Westminster Bridge and Waterloo Bridge and Westminster Bridge and it was just one of those days where you think ‘This is a very privileged place to be for a day at work." [SFX, 25 Mar 2013]

On the 50th Anniversary script: It sort of does what it says on the tin. You won't be disappointed. It's my cryptic way of going ... no, the thing is, much as we'd love to tell you everything, I read it and I clapped at the end. I think it's hilarious and I think it's epic and I think it's vast. I'm telling you nothing more. But you will not be disappointed. I think it's going to be the biggest, the best, the most inventive, the most exciting year for the show. And I think this script, it delivers on all those points that you want it to for where the show is at this time. It's brilliant. It somehow manages to pay homage to everything and look forward. And I think that's the mark, the genius of it." [This is Local London, 25 Mar 2013]

Matt also spoke to BBC News about the 'vast and epic' series. [BBC News (video), 18 Mar 2013]

Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara)

On the re-appearance of Clara: "You'll see an essence in the same way there was an essence of Oswin in Christmas Clara, there was a similar essence running through them, a similar spirit. We'll see that again with this Clara." RedEye Chicago, 27 Mar 2013]

Her take on The Bells of Saint John: "I saw it at the London screening that we did last week. It just looks brilliant because it’s such a ... from shooting the show there’s so much that happens afterwards from the CGI and the music and to make the episodes kind of as epic as they are so it’s gonna be great for me to sit there as a viewer and watch them as well. I was able to just enjoy all of the pieces of like the jigsaw coming together, and also you just realize how clever Steven Moffat is and the setup of the story that we have going through, arcing through the series, of the mystery of Clara Oswald and the Doctor trying to figure out who she is. It’s set up so brilliantly from everything that we’ve done so far through Steven. So, it’s exciting." [Access Hollywood, 26 Mar 2013]

On how the relationship between the Doctor and Clara develops: "I'm sure audiences will be looking out for it, and they have an advantage, over the two characters even, because they have experienced the Christmas special, but this series is a whole new beginning again. That sounds like such an unsatisfying answer, but one of the things that is explored in this series is that there is nothing the Doctor dislikes more than something he can't solve, something he can't explain, and that's exactly what Clara is. He can't figure her out. They are drawn together, and really like each other, but there's always this underlying feeling of them both trying to figure each other out. It's not plain sailing between them both." [New Zealand Herald, 28 Mar 2013]

On how her family keeps her grounded: "My brother is a joiner, like my dad, and they came to the Doctor Who set to see me at work. He’d never been much impressed by my acting stuff before but he watched filming and said: 'You’ve got the coolest job in the world – fighting the Cybermen.' I think he’s right." [Metro, 28 Mar 2013]

On her gran's plans for Matt Smith during filming for the 50th Anniversary: "I think she's gonna come on set when we're filming the 50th, which she's very excited about. She's gonna be patting Matt a lot. Matt's her favourite Doctor." [Access Hollywood via STV, 27 Mar 2013]

Steven Moffat (lead writer)

On the role of the companion: "We never see how the Doctor began his journey. We'll probably never see how he ends it. We'll probably never know why he embarked on it, but we know all those companions, who they were before they met the Doctor, why they ran away with him, and where they ended up. Those stories are complete. The Doctor is the enigma that enters their lives and changes them. The story is always about the person who changes the most." [Examiner, 27 Mar 2013]

On Jenna-Louise Coleman: "Well, she’s terrific! The most obvious answer is that she’s a terribly good actress. I know that’s a dull thing to say, but it’s the truth. You can be as beautiful and charming as you’d like, but if you’re not terrific at acting, it will mean nothing on the screen. She’s a terrific actress. She looks great. She has great comic timing. She looks like she belongs, somehow, next to Matt Smith. When the two stand together, they look like an instant team. They have enough in common, and yet have enough sharp contrasts, that it’s an instant poster when you stand them together." [Collider, 27 Mar 2013]

Other Media Items

Entertainment Weekly Issue #1252 Entertainment Weekly Issue #1252
Entertainment Weekly has been published with two different covers as it celebrates the return of Doctor Who this weekend. The magazine's cover story looks at how the show will celebrate its 50th Anniversary, and includes a touching tribute to the Time Lord from director Peter Jackson, who still has his eye on the Doctor: "They don’t even have to pay me! But I have got my eye on one of those nice new gold-colored Daleks. They must have a spare one (hint, hint)." [Entertainment Weekly, 21 Mar 2013]

Two associated videos have also been released, with the first featuring Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman discussing fans, whilst the second features Matt, Jenna and costume designer Howard Burden discussing the Doctor's new look. Burden commented: "When I first came into the series [on Asylum of the Daleks], we had an established look for the Doctor. As subsequent episodes came in, I was told that we could actually change the look. It was quite an intense process to actually make sure everyone was happy." [Entertainment Weekly, 22 Mar 2013]

Amongst its pages was a comment from Steven Moffat in which he said that statistically he was nearer the end than the beginning of his time on the show: "I just take it a year at a time. I think the feeling of it being done for you is quite unambiguous when it suddenly arrives.".

One name that cropped up as a potential replacement for Moffat earlier this month was that of Being Human showrunner Toby Whithouse: "I have heard the rumours. I've been hearing them for years now. In terms of my future on Doctor Who, this kind of speculation only takes place in the heads of the fans. No-one from the BBC has said anything to me. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intrigued by the idea, but also it would be terrifying. It's definitely something I'd be really tempted by but I'm genuinely not in any hurry to do it." [SFX via Metro, 11 Mar 2013]

The Sun reported that they believed Matt Smith would be leaving the show at Christmas, with their 'sources' suggesting the BBC already had someone in mind to replace him. However, the BBC have stated: "Sorry folks but even we don’t know what's going to happen at Christmas. It's not been written yet! But Matt loves the show and is to start filming the unmissable 50th anniversary, and the new series starting on Easter Saturday." [The Sun, 22 Mar 2013]

The report came after Matt's appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, where he said: "Doctor Who is one of of those jobs that you have to take year by year, it's ten months a year, it's all-consuming, so I don’t think you can plan five or six years ahead, or even two years ahead. It's a year by year thing, and at the moment it’s 2013 and we’ll see what 2014 holds."

The BBC statement didn't stop the Sun from polling readers for who they'd like to see next as the Doctor, with their results citing Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch as the favourite; the runners up were previous Doctor David Tennant, and comedy actor James Corden (who played Craig in the series). [The Sun, 24 Mar 2013]

Other Magazine Covers

Some other covers prominently featuring the series return:

The Big Issue 1044 (Credit: The Big Issue) TV & Satellite Week, 22-29 Mar 2013 (Credit: TV & Satellite Week) SFX Issue 233 (clean cover), published March 2013 (Credit: SFX) Radio Times (30 Mar - 5 Apr 2013) (Credit: Radio Times)

The Bells of Saint John: New Clips / Interview RoundupBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
A number of clips from the BBC and BBC America have been released to promote Saturday's The Bells of Saint John, joining those that have already been released earlier this week:


ITV's entertainment correspondent Richard Arnold spoke to Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman on this morning's Daybreak, chatting about the return of the series, the character relationships, and what might happen in the 50th Anniversary:
Jenna-Louise Coleman speaking to Richard Arnold, Daybreak 27 Mar 2013 (Credit: ITV)
Matt Smith speaking to Richard Arnold, Daybreak 27 Mar 2013 (Credit: ITV)
Jenna-Louse spoke about the relationship between the two: "Clara has kind of been billed as the impossible woman to the Doctor because she's this unsolved mystery that he doesn't understand, and a woman twice dead. There's kind of a lot going on between the two of them, he's trying to figure her out, she doesn't quite know him, so there's a lot going on." Matt responded to the description of the TARDIS as "the snog box": "(It) gives him a fright and irritates him hugely I think because the idea of snogging in it is just redundant." And on romance: Perhaps, you'll have to wait and see - god knows how he'd react to romance, the Doctor - or my Doctor, anyway!"

When asked about the Doctor's greatest secret, which Steven Moffat promises to reveal in the series finale, Jenna-Louise only said: "It's huge finale episode, it's a great build up into the 50th. It's a homage to the last 50 years, it's pretty epic."

Speaking about the 50th Anniversary special, Matt said: "It's a thrill and a privilege, and I think it's going to be the biggest and best year and the most momentous occasion - we hope - in the show's history. I've read the script and it balances looking back and forward in a glorious way. I've become a fan of the show, in the same way as when you watch it there's that, and there's that, and there's this and there's that." However, Matt wouldn't be drawn on the appearance of past Doctors though!
The interviews can be watched in the UK via the ITV Player until the 3rd April (last segment of the show).

Matt Smith was interviewed at London's Apple Store about the series return; this is available to listen to for free via iTunes. Jenna-Louise Coleman made an appearance on the Craig Ferguson show on the 18th March (search YouTube), and has recorded three segments with Access Hollywood on getting ready for the 50th Anniversary. flirting and kissing with the Doctor, and working with Matt Smith. An interview with Steven Moffat was conducted by Ed Stradling for the Gallifrey One convention in February, in which he talks(ish) about the eight episodes coming up, the 50th Anniversary and An Adventure in Space and Time.

Radio Times cover for The Bells of Saint JohnBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 26 March 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Radio Times (30 Mar - 5 Apr 2013) (Credit: Radio Times)Next week's Radio Times features the now traditional Doctor Who front cover to celebrate the return of the series to television this coming weekend.

Amidst several media reports of late about how long he'll remain with Doctor Who, Matt Smith told the Radio Times:
For ever! I came back and put the costume on for the photoshoot today. At the risk of sounding self-indulgent and cheesy, it really does make you want to go back and start shooting. I’m attached to the show for the next year and I take it year by year. I think that’s the only way you can take it.
Meanwhile, Jenna-Louise Coleman, playing his latest sidekick on the show, commented on what he's like to work with:
He demands sweets at certain times of the day and Diet Coke in his trailer.
The full interviews are in the new edition, along with a guide to the eight episodes that comprise this run provided by Steven Moffat, plus a free Monster wall chart.


Ever sat on a train, with a laptop, and watched all those wireless base stations appear and disappear on your screen? We live in a teeming ocean of wi-fi. The air is a soup of data, and don’t you ever worry that something else might be swimming along inside it? Well, if you haven’t worried so far, you might be about to start. Because here’s a gentle warning — sometimes you might see some strange alien symbols appear in your wi-fi menu. Don’t click on them. Just don’t click. Because that means there’s a Spoonhead really close.

The Doctor returns to contemporary London and finds himself meeting Clara Oswald for the third time — he’s been searching the universe for her, but will she even know who he is? There’s hardly time to worry about it, though, because all humanity is in terrible danger...

Doctor Who: first four episodes confirmedBookmark and Share

Monday, 18 March 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC have now formally announced details for the return of Doctor Who to television on BBC One on 30th March 2013 (time still be confirmed), along with interviews with the stars Matt Smith and Jenna-Louse Coleman, and lead writer/executive producer Steven Moffat.

Matt SmithHaving run down corridors from every monster imaginable, Matt Smith returns as the Doctor to face old and new foe. But he’s not alone. Along for the ride in his brand new TARDIS is the Doctor’s latest companion, Clara Oswald. Here Matt talks about what he is looking forward to from the epic new series.

I think it is going to be very exciting to introduce Clara to the world and Steven has hit a real vein of form, explains Matt as he chats enthusiastically about the new series.

Along with a new costume this series, the Doctor has a new TARDIS to travel through space and time. Walking on to the new TARDIS was like the first day at school, explains Matt. I actually found it quite difficult as I had got so used to the rhythm of acting on the old one, where I used to slide about on the glass floor, but Michael Pickwoad has done a fabulous job, he continues. This one is more like a machine.

Having lost his first companions, the Ponds, at the hands of the Weeping Angels in New York last year and after a period of mourning the Doctor is joined by a new companion this series, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, she’s done brilliantly well, says Matt. She’s kind, charming, thoroughly prepared and very brave as an actress. And most importantly of all we get on, which is vital on a show like this. I’m so proud of what she has achieved in the last year, he concludes.

So what do fans have to look forward to this series? An urban thriller, ‘The Bells of Saint John’, brings the series back with a bang as the Doctor’s search for Clara Oswald takes him to modern day London, where wifi is everywhere. But something dangerous is lurking in the signals, picking off minds and imprisoning them. Filming for this James Bond-esque thriller took Matt to Westminster Bridge, the Southbank and St Pauls, amazing, I loved shooting in London, says Matt, there is something so brilliant about having the locations there rather than just adding them in.

Following on from this the second episode, ‘The Rings of Akhaten’, take the Doctor and Clara away from earth and on their first proper adventure… in outer space. Featuring an alien market Matt remarks, it was very ‘Whoey’. We had between 50 to 60 prosthetic aliens, which is something that only really this show can offer, he continues, making it a very unique experience as an actor.

As well as introducing some new monsters, the new series brings back a couple of old monsters in the form of the Ice Warriors and Cybermen, I think it’s good to pay homage to the classic series, says Matt, especially for the fans. This series we have modernised some of the monsters for a whole new generation.

Soggy, like drowned rats, Matt is explaining the shooting experience for the third episode ‘Cold War’, written by Mark Gatiss. Set on a Russian submarine spiralling out of control in 1983 an alien creature is loose on board, having escaped from a block of Arctic ice. They built a submarine and the five-year old in me was like “yeah it’s a submarine!”, says Matt. I loved getting sprayed down at the beginning of the shoot, Matt continues, and it wasn’t a chore as it does so much of the acting for you, making it really authentic. Mark Gatiss has delivered one of the best episodes of the series, he concludes.
Jenna-Louise ColemanThe new series will mark the official introduction of the Doctor’s latest companion, Clara Oswald. Having already appeared in the series opener ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ in September and as Clara in the Christmas special, ‘The Snowmen’, here Jenna explains a little bit about her character and working with monsters.

Very excited, Jenna is talking animatedly about her first series as the Doctor’s companion. It will be fantastic to see the final version with all of the elements put together.

Having made a surprise appearance as one of the Doctor’s most notorious of enemies, a Dalek, in last year’s series opener, audiences have been treated to two different versions of the latest companion.

We’ve had one introduction to Clara in the Christmas special, but not necessarily the same Clara we will see in this series, explains Jenna. But the essence of all the different versions is the same, Jenna continues, she’s very brave and resourceful, a match for the Doctor and an explorer in her own right. She dreams of travelling and seeing the world and wants more than what’s on offer.

So how has Jenna found working with Matt Smith? Just a joy, it really is. He is the most perfect leading man and sets such a lovely tone on set, making the atmosphere so wonderful. There’s not much more you could ask for in your co-star, she says.

The series opener ‘The Bells of Saint John’ is a modern day urban thriller, which sees the Doctor and Clara face a monster in the wi-fi, as minds are uploaded by an organisation run by Miss Kizlet (Celia Imrie). Set in London, Jenna was thrown in to the deep end as she was asked to get on a motorbike… driven by the notoriously clumsy Matt Smith.

I loved shooting in London, says Jenna, it was so much fun. It was one of those moments where I thought “I’m filming Doctor Who, on a motorbike, riding across Westminster Bridge with the Houses of Parliament in the background.” So would Jenna trust Matt to drive her on a motorbike in real life? Well on screen it looks very exciting, but both of us were being very silly as we were so tightly strapped in. I just clung on!

As the newest edition to the show, Jenna explains how this series will take the viewer on the same journey of discovery she experienced when she first joined, especially for episode two ‘The Rings of Akhaten’ which is set on an alien planet. It’s one of my favourite episodes, says Jenna, it’s so weird and wonderful and something that only this show can offer. It show’s Clara for the first time what life with the Doctor will be like. It’s a complete fantasy, she continues, and it’s great for audiences as the story begins again and we get to explore all these strange new worlds together, as well as getting to know the Doctor again.

The third episode, ‘Cold War’, set on a Russian submarine marks the return of the classic Doctor Who monster the Ice Warriors. They were terrifying, exclaims Jenna, I think this is the first time Clara is really, really scared. The whole set was really realistic and built to size, which wasn’t too much of a problem for me, she jokes. So how did they make it look so realistic? Before every take they would come and spray us, the whole make-up process was reversed as they would damp us down in the morning and rub my mascara off! We were soaking wet for two weeks.

So having completed filming and watched most of the episodes, does Jenna have a favourite? I really like 'The Rings of Akhaten' as and it’s the first proper adventure for the Doctor and Clara.
Steven MoffatSo it’s back and with a James Bond-esque urban thriller. Why did you decide to kick-off the new series with a very modern day threat?

It was Marcus Wilson's idea. We were discussing how the first episode of the second run would probably be a contemporary Earth adventure, so the Doctor could meet the modern day Clara - and anyway, I wanted to do Wi-Fi monsters - and Marcus suggested we do a proper urban thriller. The Doctor can never be Bond or Bourne - but if he tried it might look a bit like this.

What else can we expect from the new series?

A haunted house, a submarine, a planet with cool rings, Victorian Yorkshire, a journey to the centre of the TARDIS, Dame Diana Rigg and her daughter Rachael Stirling together on screen for the first time, new Cybermen, and the Doctor's greatest secret revealed.

You are bringing back a couple of classic monsters with the Cybermen and Ice Warriors, are there any new ones to look out for?

Plenty of new monsters! Watch out for the Spoonheads, the Whispermen, and - my favourite - the Vigil. Oh and Neil Gaiman has done something horrible with the Cybermen!

We finally get to meet the Clara that will travel with the Doctor across the series’ eight epic adventures. Can you tell us a little bit about her character?

You've sort of met her, but you sort of haven't. The same shed load of attitude you saw before, the same rapid-fire banter with the Doctor, but this time she's living in modern London with no memory of the Time Lord!

How has the dynamic of the relationship between the Doctor and his companion changed since the introduction of Clara?

It's all new for the Doctor - this time the greatest mystery in the universe is standing right next to him.

What was it about Jenna that made you decide she would be right fit for the role of the new companion?

Casting is a funny process - the right people sort of choose themselves. It happened with Matt a long time ago, and when we saw him bantering with Jenna it happened again. Auditions start with you telling the actor about the character - sometimes they end with the actor telling you. That's what happened with Jenna!

A ghost story, a period drama to end all period dramas and an underwater siege, was it intentional to go as big as possible with this series in the year of the 50th?

We try to make every year the biggest possible, but when you see that big, glittering 50 hanging above you, you start trying even harder. I've been a fan all by my life and I know we have to deliver!

Story Synopses

The synopses and some publicity images have been released for the first four stories, including movie-style posters continuing the theme of the 2012 episodes:

The Bells of Saint John: Publicity Poster (Credit: BBC/Adrian Rogers/Ray Burmiston)The Bells of Saint John

The Doctor’s search for Clara Oswald brings him to modern day London, where wifi is everywhere. Humanity lives in a wifi soup. But something dangerous is lurking in the signals, picking off minds and imprisoning them. As Clara becomes the target of this insidious menace, the Doctor races to save her and the world from an ancient enemy.

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Colm McCarthy
Produced by Denise Paul

The Bells of Saint John: Publicity ImagesThe Bells of Saint John: Publicity ImagesThe Bells of Saint John: Publicity ImagesThe Bells of Saint John: Publicity ImagesThe Bells of Saint John: Publicity ImagesThe Bells of Saint John: Publicity ImagesThe Bells of Saint John: Publicity ImagesThe Bells of Saint John: Publicity ImagesThe Bells of Saint John: Publicity ImagesThe Bells of Saint John: Publicity ImagesThe Bells of Saint John: Publicity ImagesThe Bells of Saint John: Publicity Images
The Bells of Saint John: Character PortraitsThe Bells of Saint John: Character PortraitsThe Bells of Saint John: Character PortraitsThe Bells of Saint John: Character PortraitsThe Bells of Saint John: Character PortraitsThe Bells of Saint John: Character Portraits
The Rings of Akhaten: Publicity Poster (Credit: BBC/Adrian Rogers/Ray Burmiston)The Rings of Akhaten

Clara wants to see something awesome, so the Doctor whisks her off to the inhabited rings of the planet Akhaten, where the Festival of Offerings is in full swing. Clara meets the young Queen of Years as the pilgrims and natives ready for the ceremony. But something is stirring in the pyramid, and a sacrifice will be demanded.

Written by Neil Cross
Directed by Farren Blackburn
Produced by Denise Paul

The Rings of Akhaten: Publicity ImagesThe Rings of Akhaten: Publicity Images
Cold War: Publicity Poster (Credit: BBC/Adrian Rogers/Ray Burmiston)Cold War

The Doctor and Clara land on a damaged Russian Submarine in 1983 as it spirals out of control into the ocean depths. An alien creature is loose on board, having escaped from a block of Arctic ice. With tempers flaring and a cargo of nuclear weapons on board, it’s not just the crew but the whole of humanity at stake!

Written by Mark Gatiss
Directed by Douglas Mackinnon
Produced by Marcus Wilson

The Cold War: Publicity ImagesThe Cold War: Publicity ImagesThe Cold War: Publicity ImagesThe Cold War: Publicity ImagesThe Cold War: Publicity Images
Hide: Publicity Poster (Credit: BBC/Adrian Rogers/Ray Burmiston)Hide

Clara and the Doctor arrive at Caliburn House, a haunted mansion sat alone on a desolate moor. Within its walls, a ghost hunting Professor and a gifted psychic are searching for the Witch of the Well. Her apparition appears throughout the history of the building, but is she really a ghost? And what is chasing her?

Written by Neil Cross
Directed by Jamie Payne
Produced by Marcus Wilson

Hide: Publicity ImagesHide: Publicity ImagesHide: Publicity ImagesHide: Publicity Images

SFX 233Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 7 March 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
SFX Issue 233, published March 2013The latest edition of SFX magazine has just been published, and features an exclusive interview with Jenna-Louise Coleman. who plays Clara Oswald in the second half of Series 7, which kicks off on 30th March.

Talking about how the onscreen chemistry with co-star Matt Smith was developed, she said:
When I started on Doctor Who Matt said to me “Watch Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy films!” We were talking about our dynamic and trying to figure it out, realising we were a double act . . . It’s trying to find each other’s rhythm... So watching things like Spencer Tracy films really feed into that. Matt always said it’s about physically finding our rhythm... In a way the whole thing is like a dance, and the moment we started dancing together and finding that rhythm is when it worked.
The full interview is in SFX 233, in the shops now.

New Series 7 Publicity Picture ReleasedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 24 January 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
A new publicity picture has been released following yesterday's announcement that Doctor Who will be returning on Saturday 30th March for the first episode of eight in the next part of Series 7.

The image, as seen below, shows Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman. Although newly released, it appears to hail from a photo shoot last March when Coleman was announced as the new companion.