Tom Baker Talks About His Return

From Unreality Primetime:

Following his surprise appearance in last Novembers Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, former Time Lord Tom Baker has expressed his thanks to fans and wished them all a happy New Year!

Baker, who appeared on our BBC screens as the fourth incarnation of The Doctor from 1974 – 1981, appeared briefly in the global celebration of the hugely popular BBC family sci-fi series, The Day of the Doctor, helping to guide then current Time Lord, Matt Smith on his quest to save the world from himself.

His appearance was warmly welcomed across the world, and Baker has revealed on his official website how he felt “swamped in love” following fans reactions, as well as revealing that he and Matt Smith did not discuss his appearance in the episode, explaining:

“Wonderful messages came in from around the world following his cameo in the The Day of the Doctor, which he revealed was filmed in Cardiff last spring. Through the wintry darkness of April, I travelled to Cardiff where my scene was to be shot. The BBC decided that I shouldn’t stay in a hotel in Cardiff in case people guessed what I was there for. Matt and I did not discuss the scene or talk about what it might mean; God forbid! No, we started just after eight am and about four hours later I was released.”

Baker also took the opportunity to reveal his experience of the London ExCel three day party held in the shows honour over the weekend of the anniversary, explaining:

“It was tumult: the fans cheered as if I had come back from the dead and the cheering did the trick… I travelled back in time: it was wonderful. I enjoyed it all.”

Finally Baker divulged his power-less Christmas period having been in the midst of the South East storms which left many homes without power over the Christmas period, as well as thanking fans for their support:

“Sue & I had to manage the best we could in the darkness, trying to be cheerful and entertaining ourselves. He looks forward to completing more recordings for Big Finish Productions in the New Year. I have never been happier at work than I am with my colleagues at Big Finish. The actors are well cast and are wonderful company.

“I am constantly touched and amazed by the personal stories people have told in my guestbook about how watching Doctor Who helped them through difficult times and inspired them to make something of their lives. Thank you for sharing these wonderful stories with me and other fans. I certainly find it very interesting.”

Doctor Who returns later this year for its eighth series, with new Doctor, Peter Capaldi at the helm of the infamous Tardis!

50th Clip #SaveTheDay

For the Children in Need special.  Don’t watch if you’re trying to avoid spoilers.

Coleman Interview

Jenna Coleman talked to The Guardian about her career, ComicCon, Matt Smith’s last episode… all kinds of stuff:

San Diego’s Comic-Con festival, held each July, is the densest concentration of nerds in our galaxy. For the duration, grown men and women walking around in superhero costumes is the norm, not the exception. Earlier this year, Jenna Coleman – the 27-year-old actor formerly known as Jenna-Louise Coleman (only her mum still calls her Jenna-Louise apparently) – went to her first Comic-Con. There were 130,000-plus attendees; tickets had sold out in 93 minutes. Along with Matt Smith, her co-star in Doctor Who, she spent four days being spirited through hotel kitchens, out of back doors and into cars with forbiddingly opaque windows.

Not that Coleman and Smith remained incognito for long. “Nice costumes!” they screamed out of the car window at one middle-aged couple dressed as the Doctor and Clara, their characters from the series. The man didn’t recognise them, but “Clara” did, and appeared to start convulsing on the pavement. “The most embarrassing thing is that the traffic is so bad that you don’t go anywhere,” says Coleman. “So all you can do is sit there and put the window up.”

Comic-Con was Coleman’s first proper exposure to the fanaticism of the Whovians. She had never watched Doctor Who before she became the new “companion”, but the responses to her performances have been effusive, bordering on obsessive. Doctor Who blogs – of which there are legion – praise her as quick-witted and independent yet vulnerable, and are particularly taken with the flirtatious relationship she has with Smith’s Doctor – a spark that was absent with his previous companion Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillan. Or, as Matt Smith himself put it: “Clara’s different from Amy. He has more chance of snogging Clara.”

While Coleman knew Doctor Who inspired extreme passions, it had not really hit home until Comic-Con. “I was always asked how I had found the fans, but I’d just been filming in Cardiff,” she says. “At Comic-Con it was amazing to see how far-reaching it is. I thought I’d be overwhelmed, but I was humbled. It’s something that Matt says: the star is the show.”

That maxim is more obvious than ever this year as Doctor Who celebrates its 50th birthday. The centrepiece is a 75-minute special on 23 November called the Day of the Doctor, which was shot in 3D and will be shown on BBC1 and in 400 cinemas across eight countries. The episode will bring together Smith and Coleman with some of their predecessors, including David Tennant and Billie Piper, and introduce a new “dark” Doctor, John Hurt.

After that, Smith will be hanging up his bow tie and vintage Harris Tweed jacket in the Christmas special. The speculation over his successor, which shared a hysteria in common with the announcement of a new pope, ended in August when Peter Capaldi was unveiled on primetime television as the new pontiff – sorry, 12th Doctor. Coleman only found out herself a short time before the rest of us.

“They told me and Matt when Prince Charles and Camilla came to the set,” says Coleman. “We were both: ‘Ahhh, of course.’ It takes you a few moments – I don’t think he was on any of the original lists. People were talking about Rory Kinnear and people like that, but as soon as you say it, you’re like: ‘Of course.’ As Steven Moffat [Doctor Who‘s lead writer] said: ‘He’s the Doctor.’ And it’s brilliant that we’ve gone so different from Matt.”

Smith’s final appearance, however, will clearly be a wrench. “I just read the script the other night,” says Coleman. “I’d been putting it off for ages and ages, because once you read the last page, that’s it, the story is over. So I read 10 pages on the tube and I stopped, and then I picked it up again the other day and finished it. I was an absolute mess, an absolute wreck. But it’s good; it’s sad, but it’s what needs to happen. It’s perfect.”

Everything is looking good for Coleman right now, but, over a coffee in an east London café, there is a wariness as she talks about her career. It is not so long, after all, since she was unable to book an audition – for anything. She worked in a bar and attempted to get into Rada, but froze in her admission interview, forgot all her lines and was turned away. “I’d always wanted to be an actress,” she admits. “I was like: ‘What if I’ve been wrong all along?'”

Coleman does not come from a long line of performers. She was born in Blackpool (“a great place for a Doctor Who episode: it’s weird, quite romantic, but it’s not found what it’s supposed to be now”) and her dad – who has a business, with her brother, fitting the interiors of bars and shops – would watch her in school productions and wonder where the acting bug had come from. Aged 11, Coleman appeared as a bridesmaid in the musical Summer Holiday with Darren Day, and the singer gave her a Debenhams voucher as a thank you.

She had some wild moments in her teens – “I was a bit rebellious from 14 to 17, if you know what I mean” – but pulled it round to become head girl at Arnold School and get good grades. Coleman had a place at York University to study English literature, but was offered a spot on Emmerdale and took that instead. It was great – lots of acting experience, decent pay, living in Leeds – until her storylines dried up. “I had about six months where I wasn’t doing very much on a day-to-day basis, just going into the pub and sat having a chat,” she recalls. “So that’s when I decided to leave, and that’s when I ended up getting storylines.”

Coleman’s not kidding. In short order, her character Jasmine Thomas had a lesbian affair with her best friend Debbie and became pregnant by her father, Cain Dingle. She had an abortion and another fling with a local copper, Shane Doyle, before clubbing him to death with a chair leg and being sent to the slammer.

But after almost four years on the soap, Coleman couldn’t get another job. She moved to London, took some bar shifts and started an Open University degree in English before deciding to try her luck in Los Angeles. There she rented a room off an old lady in West Hollywood and went to auditions most days.

“I was going for parts I was never in a million years going to get,” she says. “Like a 30-year-old wife, and at this point I looked so young – not that I look much older now. But it wasn’t about that. I just relished walking into an audition room with people with an open mind and getting to read. I must have had 40-odd auditions in three months – it was relentless, but I came back to England a lot more fearless.”

Coleman did get one part: the “tiniest, tiniest thing” in the 2011 tights-and-fights action film Captain America: The First Avenger. But that was enough. It led to a bigger role in the BBC4 adaptation of John Braine’s novel Room at the Top, which led to Julian Fellowes casting her in Titanic, which led to Stephen Poliakoff choosing her for Dancing on the Edge, which aired on BBC2 this year.

Any struggles certainly seem long distant now. Next month Coleman will appear in the BBC three-parter Death Comes to Pemberley, PD James’s smart, what-happened-next take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The action starts six years on and Coleman plays Lydia Wickham (née Bennet), Elizabeth’s younger and perennially self-absorbed sister.

“Lydia’s basically very hysterical, and I’ve had a lot of licence to go wild with it,” Coleman says. “I went through the book and I wrote down all the words she’s described as and it’s like: ignorant, idle, wild, volatile, indulgent. The director was like: ‘We should want to slap you in the face.'”

Between Doctor Who and Death Comes to Pemberley, time travel and period drama, Coleman says she has had a hectic few months. She has barely been home and hardly seen her boyfriend, Richard Madden, who has been quite busy himself as Robb Stark in Game of Thrones. “We’re both young and I want us both to have our adventures and do our thing,” she says. “But if you want something to work, it’ll work.”

In fact, the problem, Coleman finds, is the real world becomes rather dull when you are not slaying Cybermen all day. “Doing Doctor Who you’re on a cloud, doing stunts, being dropped in gloop,” she says. “Then suddenly you stop and I’ll be walking round thinking: ‘Real life is actually a bit boring.'”

Trailers

I was away this weekend, then I came back and my laptop died (arrrrrrrrrrrrrg!) so I wasn’t able to get these out sooner, but here are the trailers that were released for The Day of the Doctor!

Opinions?

BBC Press Pack

The BBC has released a press pack containing the pictures from the previous post and some interviews.  I wish I was lucky enough to get these things, but since I’m not actually press… well, no joy for me.  HOWEVER, now that it’s out there, I’m more than happy to share it.  In the future though if anyone would like to include me on that sort of thing I’d be glad to promote it ;)….:

The Doctors embark on their greatest adventure in this 50th Anniversary Special: in 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion. All of reality is at stake as the Doctor’s own dangerous past comes back to haunt him.

The Day of the Doctor is written by Steven Moffat; directed by Nick Hurran; executive produced by Steven Moffat and Faith Penhale and produced by Marcus Wilson. It stars Matt Smith, David Tennant and Jenna Coleman with Billie Piper and John Hurt.

INTERVIEW WITH STEVEN MOFFAT – LEAD WRITER AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Question: What is it like being the writer for the Doctor Who 50th special?

Steven Moffat: Since I was a little boy, the idea of writing a Doctor Who story at all was remarkable enough to me. But writing the 50th special was exciting and terrifying – everything that showbiz should be.

Q. So where did the story for ‘The Day of the Doctor’ come from?

SM: I didn’t want this to just be a celebration of 50 years of the past. I wanted it to be a celebration of the mythology of the legend of the Doctor and all that entailed. This should be the first step on the next journey, guaranteeing the 100th anniversary. The story focuses on the most important thing that ever happened to the Doctor. We very rarely do that in Doctor Who as it’s usually about the people the Doctor meets or the companion that travel with him. This time it’s different.

Q. ‘The Day of the Doctor’ welcomes back the shape-shifting Zygons, a monster we haven’t seen since the 1970s. Why did you decide they were the ones to bring back?

SM: The Zygons without question are a design classic. They are superb; brilliant from the voice, to the appearance. Essentially we’ve resurrected exactly the same Zygon as Tom Baker fought back in the 70s. They are beautiful, and it’ll show that the special looks forward to the future of Doctor Who and also celebrates the legend.

Q. At the end of the last series we were introduced to John Hurt as the Doctor. What does John bring to the role and can you tell us anything about his Doctor?

SM: With John Hurt we have serious acting royalty and that was the intent of John’s character. John is one of the most distinguished film stars of British origin, one of the most distinguished actors this country has produced and has now become part of Doctor Who mythology.

Q. There have been Doctor Who anniversary specials before, which are so well loved. How do you think this one will be remembered?

SM: There’s only really been one anniversary special before and that was for the 20th anniversary with ‘The Five Doctors’. ‘The Three Doctors’ wasn’t an anniversary special as it was one year too early, but we remember it that way. I adored ‘The Three Doctors’, it was brilliant, an accidental piece of magic. I also loved ‘The Five Doctors’. I did think that was the one where possibly the desire to celebrate overwhelmed the desire to tell a story. But I can’t really begrudge it that!

Q. ‘The Day of the Doctor’ will be the first time we see Doctor Who is proper 3D. Did you write the script with 3D in mind?

SM: My first impulse was if we’re going to do 3D it had to be part of the plot. We actually have to make 3D part of the story and if at all possible, to try and make 3D a bit scary. I wouldn’t say it’s in every scene, but there is an element of the show that exploits the fact of 3D.

Q. The 50th special will mark the return of David Tennant to the role of the Tenth Doctor, starring opposite the Eleventh, Matt Smith. How was it having two Doctors on set?

SM: It was eye twisting at times. You don’t quite realise how these two men have become hard wired into your brain as the Doctor. Matt and David got on so well and their interaction on screen is a sublime double act. Matt said to me, “It’s a bit like Laurel and Laurel. It’s like Hardy didn’t turn up”. They are absolutely great together. Sometimes very, very, different, other times in moments they choose together they are exactly the same.

Q. And seeing Billie and David on set together how was that?

SM: Seeing Billie and David standing on set together was quite epic. Billie told me that as she is very good friends with both Matt and David, she felt quite torn and divided. She didn’t know how to deal with both of them at the same time, so if she was talking to one she would stroke the arm of the other.

Q. And finally, where will you be watching the episode on 23 November?

SM: I’ve got two impulses. One is to watch it at home with my friends, particularly friends who made the show. My other impulse is to go out and join the party. But it’s a difficult one. When Matt and I watched ‘The Eleventh Hour’, we watched it many times before it went out. Then came the faithful day, the 3rd of April 2010. Matt came round to my house, my parents and his parents were there to watch the episode go out and have our future decided. Everyone sat down, but Matt and I couldn’t stay in the room. So I might be watching it peering round my kitchen door with Matt.

INTERVIEW WITH MATT SMITH – THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR

Stepping back on to the TARDIS for his penultimate ride, Matt Smith takes on the role of the Doctor in his greatest adventure yet. Here he talks about being part of the epic 50th adventure.

Question: What is it like starring in the 50th anniversary special, one of the biggest years for the show?

Matt Smith: It’s a thrill to be in the 50th anniversary. I feel very proud to be part of it and it’s a credit to everyone who started the show back in the 60s that it’s come this far. It’s a great format and a great idea.

Q: ‘The Day of the Doctor’ marks the return of David Tennant and Billie Piper, and we get the revelation of John Hurt’s Doctor. What was it like working alongside them all?

MS: It was a joy to work with David, Billie and John Hurt. I’ve worked with Billie before and I’d obviously seen all of David’s work, especially as the Doctor. He’s a brilliant actor and a brilliant Doctor. It’s quite strange, I always sort of get that surreal thing of looking and David and thinking, ‘Oh my God, there’s Doctor Who’. And John is acting royalty. Another wonderful Doctor and again, a good bloke. I think looking back over my tenure on this show one of the great privileges has been the quality of actors that you get to work with.

Q: Was there any kind of competitiveness between the different Doctors and companions?

MS: No we’re not competitive, I mean there’s a funny bit in the script between the 10th and 11th Doctors comparing Sonics, so there’s competitiveness in the story, but not off screen. We just had a laugh and it was exciting to see David back in the pin striped suit and the Converse. John only has to move his eyes and he flaws you and Billie’s, Billie. I adore Billie, so we had a great time.

Q: Were there any moments when you were standing on the floor waiting for action to be called and thinking ‘Oh my goodness, I’m actually doing this’?

MS: Of course, there’s always those moments in Doctor Who when you’re going, ‘Wow we’re doing Doctor Who and there’s David Tennant over there and John Hurt over there and Billie over there and there’s a Redgrave over there’. There are a lot of those moments when you make this show. But I think the wonderful thing was there was great down time. I just enjoyed spending time with David and obviously for me as well as I am about to leave the show, it was really interesting to talk to him about that experience and his experience on the show, because it is a very individual experience playing the Doctor. It was quite nice to go, ‘What was that bit like for you?’ and it was just sort of enlightening really.

Q: Moving on to stunts, some pictures have been published of you hanging from a TARDIS in front of crowds in Trafalgar Square. What was that like and did you need to be convinced to go up there?

MS: I was hoisted up over 90 feet, double Nelson’s Column, hanging on a wire under the TARDIS. They used the biggest crane I think they had ever brought to Trafalgar Square. I really had to persuade them to let me go up, but I had the most wonderful view of London. It was raining and really windy, but I loved it and would do it again. It was one of the rare brilliant opportunities that you only get with Who.

Q. As well as being shown on BBC One, ‘The Day of the Doctor’ will be available in 3D to those with a 3D TV and in some cinemas. What was it like filming in 3D?

MS: The rigs for the cameras are much heavier and poor Joe, who is our wonderful cameraman, had a very tough time of it. It was like having a 6-year-old or 7-year-old child on your shoulder all day. There’s just a lot more time, the technical process of filming everything is more laborious.

But also there are a lot of plusses and I’m really excited to see how Doctor Who lends itself to it, because I think as a show and a format it really suits the idea of being shot in 3D. I think it’s good for a show like Doctor Who to be at the forefront of technology and that’s what we’ve always been.

It’s always been at the front of the advancement in film and even with the wobbly sets, at least they were having a go and I think it’s a good step forward. It’s an evolution.

INTERVIEW WITH DAVID TENNANT – THE TENTH DOCTOR

Last seen in his pin stripe suit and Converse trainers in 2010, David Tennant returns as the Tenth Doctor in the 50th anniversary special. Here he talks about rivalry between the Doctors and coming back to the show.

Question: What is it like being part of the 50th in one of the biggest years for the show?

David Tennant: It’s very exciting to be around for the big celebration episode. I think since I left the expectation had been that I’d end up in this special, because there is a precedent for old Doctors coming back for a visit around the anniversary time. I was thrilled because it’s a huge thing for Doctor Who and it’s a huge thing for television in general. So few shows run beyond a few series and 50 years’ worth is quite a legacy, so I’m very honoured to be part of that.

Q: What is it like working with Matt and Jenna, was there any rivalry or competitiveness between the two sets of Doctors and companions?

DT: It’s funny, I think people almost expected Matt and me to be at loggerheads, but we’ve really enjoyed it. I guess when you‘ve played a character for a long time you kind of feel like you know how they’ll react in most situations. It’s delicious to be handed a situation that’s completely new and a character meeting a version of himself is not something that you come across in a lot of drama. So to get to play that with someone as talented and as quick and brilliant as Matt is nothing short of jolly good fun.

Q: You’ve probably seen some of the previous anniversary specials, but how do you think this one compares to them?

DT: It’s very hard to be objective about something you’re in, especially when you set it up against things that you experienced as a child. But I certainly remember when ‘The Five Doctors’ was on, it was electrically exciting. That was of course in the day when we didn’t even have a video player. You couldn’t revisit things, so the chance to see old Doctors that I had never seen on the telly at all, acting with the current was fantastic. I hope that this will have some of that buzz for today’s generation.

Q: Do you still watch Doctor Who?

DT: Of course, I watch it every time it’s on along with the rest of the nation.

Q: How did you find filming in 3D compared to 2D?

DT: Our job as actors remains the same really, but you’re aware that there’s a whole extra layer of technical stuff that has to be dealt with and the cameras are bigger. We shot a lot on this hand held camera, which was quite trying for Joe our intrepid camera operator who has this enormous thing that he has to lug around and navigate around the set; he did it brilliantly. But it causes some headaches for the camera teams and for the post production side of making it. We’re not doing too much novelty weaving into the lens for the 3D effect, but it gives it an extra zing.

Q: What was it like working with Billie again?

DT: It’s always lovely to see Billie and to be on set with her is a particular joy. She’s one of my favourite actresses and one of my favourite people, so I was very happy to be in the same room as Billie.

Q: Where will you be watching the episode?

DT: Wherever I am in the world and whatever I’m doing, I’m sure I will make time for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special.

Q: During filming did you ever have a pinch yourself moments thinking, ‘God I’m back’ or anything like that?

DT: I think the thing with filming Doctor Who is that there is so much excitement around it and there’s so much enthusiasm for it that often the lead up to getting here is more of a delight then shooting it. Because once you’re on set there’s a script and there’s lines and you’ve got to get the scene shot and they’re the pressures that filming always has. Really, you’re just trying to film the scenes the best you possibly can, so you sort of put aside the idea that you’re making something that is a moment in television history. The pressure of that would sort of paralyse you really.

INTERVIEW WITH JENNA COLEMAN – CLARA OSWALD

Back in the TARDIS, Jenna stars as companion to the Eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith. Having met more Doctors than any other companion, this time she comes face-to-face with more than one Doctor at once.

Question: What is it like starring in the 50th special, one of the biggest year’s for the show?

Jenna Coleman: It’s fantastic. I feel really spoilt to be honest and lucky to be in the show in the first place, but also to have come in at this time. Whilst we were filming it felt very celebratory and special. Working with David, Billie and John, I feel really pleased to be part of the whole thing.

Q: What was it like working with David and Billie, was there any competiveness between the different Doctors and companions?

JC: I think there’s a competitiveness in them that kind of brings out the best in the Doctor. You see it on set that they are so totally different Doctors, but they just complement each other. They make fun of each other mercilessly.

Q: What were your thoughts when you first heard about John’s character?

JC: So not only do we have David back, we also have John Hurt starring as the Doctor, which is massively exciting. And again the three of them complement each other totally, and it utterly works. It’s great to see all of them together.

Q: There are some big stunts in this episode. What was it like filming in the TARDIS dangling from a crane in front of crowds in Trafalgar Square?

JC: It’s one of the major stunts that we did and one of the big opening sequences at the beginning of the episode. We actually filmed it in a couple of stages including at St. Athens airfield where me and Matt were in the TARDIS being swung from side to side. Then in the second half, we were actually lowered down into Trafalgar Square. I think it will be quite an iconic image, it certainly felt like that on the day. Although I didn’t get to the do the really high stunt in Trafalgar Square, which I was devastated about and was kind of stood around begging people to go up, but I got to do the end of it.

I am quite scared of rollercoasters, but when you’ve got a camera pointing at you and loads of crew then you kind of just tend to be really brave. That’s one of the thrills of the show.

Q: What differences did you find filming in 3D compared to 2D?

JC: Loads of differences. Well for a start the cameras are massive, so you kind of can’t miss them and they’re really heavy for the poor camera operators. The framing is quite different and when the

Doctor points you can kind of really react to it. I just think the show lends itself so well and there are so many moments in it that will work really well in 3D. On the first day I saw Matt in the TARDIS in 3D and it felt like the world was coming right out at you.

INTERVIEW WITH JOANNA PAGE- QUEEN ELIZABETH I

Welsh actress Joanna Page takes on the role of Queen Elizabeth I and talks here about playing the monarch with an accent and filming romantic scenes on top of a mountain in Neath.

Question: What’s it like being part of the 50th, one of the biggest years on the show?

Joanna Page: It’s amazing being part of the 50th anniversary. I just remember getting an email asking if I’d play Queen Elizabeth I, which in itself I couldn’t believe because she’s so iconic, even in the history of Doctor Who. I’ve always wanted to be in Doctor Who and now to be in it and playing Queen Elizabeth I is absolutely fantastic, so exciting.

Q: And what did you do when you first found out about the news?

When I first found out about the news I phoned my mum and my dad and obviously, told my husband and then I sat down and read the script, because I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I just couldn’t believe that they had sent it to me as it was like gold dust. There were all these rumours in the papers about what’s happening, and so and so is coming back and I just thought I’m actually going to know what happens. I’ve never done a job where you have to keep a secret before and it’s been really difficult, but also really exciting because you know and no one else does.

Q: You’re playing royalty; can we expect a Queen Elizabeth with a Welsh twang?

JP: Well it’s very funny being one of the most well-known Welsh people and having to stand up and say, ‘How dare you, I’m the Queen of England’. That did make me laugh, but no, I’m playing her with an English accent. But John Hurt said she actually wouldn’t have had a very English accent, because there were so many different influences.

Q: What was it like working Matt, David, Billie and Jenna?

JP: It was quite scary working with Matt, David, Billie and Jenna because they’re iconic and they’re these major characters that I’ve watched and are part of Doctor Who history. It’s really funny acting with them because you look at them and they’re almost like cartoon characters because you see them so much and you’ve watched them and you believe them.

It’s just been fascinating and working with the two Doctors is brilliant because it’s the same character, but seeing how the two boys just play them completely differently and how they work off each other it’s really funny. After reading the script and then hearing it all in the read through it just all came to life and I thought, ‘Wow this is going to be fantastic’.

Q: There’s a little bit of romance between Queen Elizabeth and the Tenth Doctor. What was is it like filming those scenes?

JP: Filming the romantic scenes were quite difficult because my first day was on top of a mountain in Neath. It was absolutely freezing, it was blowing a gale and David, the Tenth Doctor and I, are having a picnic. So I’m lying across him and he probably couldn’t breathe, because I’ve just got this massive costume on, and he’s feeding me grapes as I’m just desperately shivering. You’ve got to try and play it romantic and relaxed, when actually you’re freezing cold. I think our lips were turning blue and I stopped feeling my hands. The next day, because it had been so cold with the wind my hands were bright red and all blistered because they were so chapped. So everyone is probably jealous, thinking she gets to kiss the Tenth Doctor and it’s all romantic, but it’s not; my lips were numb and my hands were chapped.

Q: Where will you be watching the episode?

JP: I’m going to be watching the episode in my living room. My husband has been asking for ages if we can buy a 3D TV and I said no, but now after putting on the glasses myself, it’s fantastic so I’ve said we have to get a 3D TV. So we’ll be watching it in the living room with all of my family round and then I’ll probably go to the cinema and watch it as well.

Tom Baker Interview

The BBC posted an interview with Tom Baker today.  The 4th Doctor was my first and favorite Doctor, although I’m afraid if I go back and re-watch the episodes I may find he’s tied with Ten…  There’s just something about the iconic look of him that brings back memories.  Anyway, I’ll let you read it for yourself and decide if you learned anything about him too.  For instance, I didn’t realize he doesn’t watch the show!:

Tom Baker is planning to break the habit of a lifetime on 23 November.

The actor says he’s never been interested in watching Doctor Who – including his own stories – but he plans to sit down in front of this month’s special episode that will mark the show’s 50th anniversary.

“I hope it’s going to be terrific,” he says. “It’s such a landmark. It’ll be a big, emotional thing, but I don’t know what they’ll do – I’ll make an exception and watch that.”

With his long scarf and love of jelly babies, Baker’s fourth Doctor remains one of the most instantly recognisable incarnations of the Time Lord. He is also the show’s longest-serving star, having played the role from 1974 to 1981.

“I can’t explain the show’s longevity any more than I can explain my own,” booms the 79-year-old actor when we meet in a private members’ club in London’s Covent Garden. “It’s just a happy accident.”

Baker admits he “wasn’t at all happy” just before he was cast to replace Jon Pertwee in what is arguably British TV’s most well-known role.

After joining Olivier’s National Theatre company in the late 1960s, Baker moved into films. He was Rasputin in Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) and had roles in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Canterbury Tales (1972) and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973).

But he was working as a labourer when he was cast in Doctor Who.

“I was going through a bad time of feeling rejected, even though I’d had a flirtation with movies. I was on a building site, having no skill there except to make the tea and use a drill,” Baker recalls.

“So when the opportunity came to play Doctor Who, it was a jackpot.”

Baker’s co-workers on the building site found out the news by reading it in the Evening Standard.

“I went to work next morning – famous! They were so thrilled for me. I legged it down to Barclays Bank and got an advance and gave them a party. It was like being reborn.”

Baker admits he had no idea how he was going to tackle his role as the new star of Doctor Who.

“How could I? I didn’t watch it. I didn’t watch it when I was in it and I haven’t watched it since. So when it came, and these scripts were given to me, one of the problems was they were being written for Jon Pertwee – so I had to wrench it my way.”

Without doubt, Baker made the part his own. Viewing figures went up and many of his stories – The Ark in Space, Genesis of the Daleks, The Brain of Morbius, The Deadly Assassin and The Robots of Death – are regarded as classics.

How did he find being the Doctor?

Baker beams. “It was a great experience. Actors want a big audience, and to be admired and to get applause is one thing, but to be adored is something I recommend.”

He reminisces about visiting schools and hospitals, doing charity work and being flown round in helicopters.

“Everywhere I went I was waving like royalty and dishing out 50 pence pieces,” he says.

“It was so much better than real life. I stayed so long because real life at the time wasn’t so terrific.

“Being Doctor Who, I used to look at the clock and know at half past four we were going to stop rehearsing – and that was a sad moment for me because I wanted to stay in this beautiful, unreal world.”

Asked if he has kept any Doctor Who props, Baker responds: “I had lots of bits and pieces but they’ve all been begged off me by the charities. It’s all gone now.”

“I have some interesting letters from fans who saw me as a messianic figure and thought I could do miracles.”

He flashes one of his Doctor-like grins: “They were quite mistaken, but I didn’t disabuse them.”

‘In the groove’

After leaving Doctor Who in 1981, Baker’s career embraced TV, stage and film.

In 1982 he was Sherlock Holmes in BBC TV’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, and his stage roles included Hedda Gabler, Educating Rita (RSC) and She Stoops to Conquer (NT).

More recent TV roles include Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), Monarch of the Glen (2004-5) and the narrator of Little Britain.

Despite his assertion that he’s not watched his own stories, Baker has, of course, sat through some of them for DVD commentaries and at conventions.

In recent years he has reprised the role of the Doctor for a number of Big Finish audio adventures.

“I’m back now in the groove,” Baker says. “The fans want to go back in time and I don’t disappoint them because I haven’t advanced at all from Doctor Who.”

All these years on, the actor notes, Doctor Who fans can still be in awe of him.

“Anyone who’s on television gets a reaction when playing a heroic part like the Doctor. And it still happens now with much older people.

“But some of them are telling me lies,” he adds, with a glint in his eye. “I met an old lady, aged about 85, the other day, who said: ‘When I was a little girl I used to hide behind the sofa when I saw you!'”

Many of those who watched the show in the 60s and 70s have helped bring on the next generation of fans.

“People introduce me to their grandchildren or to their children,” Baker says. “It’s very sweet that it’s passed on affectionately by parents, showing my old stuff.

“Small children sometimes approach me and ask ‘is it true you used to be Doctor Who?'”

Happy Birthday Matt Smith!

Matt Smith is 31 today!  I hope he’s celebrating in style 🙂

SmithBDay

As an added birthday surprise, the Mirror says that screenings for the 50th Anniversary have sold out.  I was considering driving all day to see the closest show, but if this news is true it appears I no longer have that option…  I’m very disappointed!  Read the full story:

Cinema tickets for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary special screenings have sold  out.

Screenings will take place in 216 cinemas across the UK at the same time as  the special will air on BBC One on Saturday November 23.

The news sadly means that those of us not lucky enough to bag a ticket for  the special screenings will miss out on seeing outgoing Doctor Matt Smith’s chin in glorious 3D.

Which will no doubt devastate Smith, who told GT just how excited he is.

Grinning, he said: “My chin is in 3D. I think it’s about time. Frankly I  think it’s exciting. I think this show was born for 3D. The TARDIS in 3D looks  brilliant.”

While Matt’s thrilled by his chin, former Doctor David Tennant, who reprises his role in the special,  says the script is what excites him.

“I think what works with this is the script is very story led, rather than  fill it with things that make people ‘oh it’s a special anniversary lovely  birthday thing’.”

It was recently announced that the BBC will simulcast the 75-minute long  special to countries across the globe.

There will also be cinema screenings across the world with fans in the United  States, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Germany and Canada having the chance to  enjoy the special on the big screen.

In addition to the cinema screenings, the special will also be played to the  20,000 fans who will gather at London’s ExCel for an official celebration event,  which will feature appearances from Matt Smith, and former Doctors Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Tom  Baker.

The BBC is also planning a slate of special programming to mark the 50th anniversary of  one of its most successful and famous shows.