It has been quite a haphazard two months for BBC U.K., also for Doctor Who as both actors, Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, were nominated for (and won) Best Actors in a drama.
During the last six months, however, Matt Smith has been giving many conflicting interviews stating he will only continue for another season as the Doctor so he can pursue his motion picture career. As he stated in an interview for VH1 in October when he was asked if he would come to the United States to work:
“Well hopefully soon, you know. I’ve got another year of Doctor Who, but then I’m certainly going to come and give it a shot, come hang out in L.A.”
However in one of his latest interviews, Matt finally gave us this:
“I just sort of take each year as it comes really. We’ve got all the rest of this year to get through and then we’ll just sit down and review it from there and see where it goes. But I love playing the part and I love working with Steven Moffat (Writer/Producer).”
Matt Smith has provided one of the most memorable Doctors in the past 20 years, alongside David Tennant (10th Doctor). His take on the drama, as well as the humor of the Doctor has created a following again in the United States, as well as bringing in so many new fans to the show who are slowly deciding to catch up on the rest of the seasons. The series has gone from a British cult series to a worldwide phenomenon in the course of three years.
With the possible good news, there is some sadness that I do need to report on.
Karen Gillan is leaving the show. Karen recently gave an interview where she speculated how her character, Amy Pond, should leave the show.
“Death would be an option. I don’t want Amy to pop up again every so often, because for me it would take away from the big, emotional goodbye.”
“Once she’s gone, she’s gone.” She says. “I want people to remember the Amy Pond era as a good one.”
If Amy Pond dies in the series, she would officially become the first of the Doctor’s companions to perish on the show. This is causing a lot of Whovians to wonder if it is the best idea for the mother of River Song to be killed off at such an early point after the discovery that River is the daughter of the Ponds.
The other bad news is that her onscreen husband, Rory, played by Arthur Darvill, will also be exiting the series at the same time. Here is Karen’s interview right after winning the National Television award for best actress in a drama:
Steven Moffat has stated that there will be a “heartbreaking” storyline written up for the farewell of the Ponds. The true happenstance behind the story is being kept tightly under wraps. Filming will begin this month in locations around England, as well as the BBC studios. Here is what Steven Moffat recently told reporters in an interview, after being hounded for information about the 7th season:
“Okay, here it is; the best answer you can have. I don’t know. If I did know, I wouldn’t tell you. When I do know, what I know will change, so I won’t really know then either, and then it will change again, so I still won’t really know, and if, secretly, I’d really known all along, I’d still be telling you I don’t know, because everything I said I knew, could be wrong, so I’d never really have known in the first place.”
What else could we expect from the man who has been weaving a tale that crosses time, space and dimensions only to have them all interlinked at the end of each season?
Speculation about who will be replacing the soon departed Karen Gillian has been gathering speed. Actress Sophia Myles, who portrayed Madame De Pompadour in the season two episode “The Girl in the Fireplace,” re-posted on her twitter account a message from Steven Moffat on the 11th of January:
“Right EVERYBODY who follows me, go and follow @SophiaMyles – spin that fireplace. NOW. I’ll explain later. Or not.”
And then shortly after added the following two tweets:
“Watch this (fire)place. The plot thickens…”
“WHO is ready to ROCK? Count me in! X” (Possibly referring to the band The Who, But no concerts are scheduled before the closing ceremony of the 2012 summer Olympics.)
I don’t believe that we will be seeing Madame De Pompadour as the Doctor’s companion, but I would wager a bet that the Madame will be returning for an episode in the new season. Steven Moffat in the last few weeks, however, has been hyping her up in a few of his own tweets such as this on January 27th:
“Look, @SophiaMyles, who is like Madame de Pompadour and Lady Penelope AT ONCE, wants more followers. WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU ALL??”
Steven Moffat is known for his new take on the Doctor Who tales which weave a deep and twisting path through the course of just about all of the episodes in a season. He has the ability to make something miniscule that happened become a massive part of the final outcome of the season. Steven is promising that the next season, which is purposely not being released until Autumn this year, will be the most dramatic of the recent seasons.
Recently he has also spoken with www.scotsman.com giving a deep and in-depth interview about the 2012 Doctor Who season, its 50th anniversary (which is 2013), and the possibility of a motion picture, as we have earlier reported. Here is an excerpt when referring to the movie news recently reported:
“Extracting new information about the revived Doctor Who has never been easy. A magnet for rumour and misinformation, the series attracted confusion again recently when Harry Potter director David Yates claimed he was making a rebooted movie version with an entirely different cast and mythology. ‘It’s completely inaccurate!’ says Moffat. ‘There’s nothing there. I mean it would be lovely, yes. If anything, the only good bit about this is that it might actually focus our minds on thinking that we actually should do a film. But to state the bleeding obvious, it’s not going to be a different version of Doctor Who with two different Doctors at the same time. Of course not, we’re not that silly. That would be no way to run a franchise, would it? I’d love it to happen, but that version you heard was just a guy getting cornered on the red carpet and not really being on-message.’”
I hope that this bit of news, from the mouth of the Executive Producer, is as calming to the rest of the Whovians out there as it is to me. However it does not completely kill the idea of a standalone Doctor Who film. Rather he is stating that it gives them the fuel for thought about making a film. That instead of having two Doctors running at the same time, there would only be one. My question is that if there can be only one, which version of the Doctor would be chosen? One for both the small and large screen? Or just a large screen? Or just a small screen Doctor?
Filming on the 7th season of Doctor Who will begin in the middle of February, and the series has been pushed to later in the year, as Moffet stated again to the Scotsman:
“It’s done very well in the summer, it’s not like we’ve ever suffered from it, but it’s almost like an aesthetic thing. If you’re having to close the curtains so you can see the screen, that’s not a good time to be watching a show that’s largely about tunnels and torches. I think it’s a show you watch in the dark.”
With Steven Moffat, Matt Smith, the farewell of Amy and Rory Pond, the introduction of a new companion, the continuation of the River Song story, and the promised 50th anniversary special episode to be aired in 2013, this is going to be quite a season.
“Why talk in the singular? Again, genuinely, the plans are at an early stage, but we have some very clear ideas about some of the things we’re doing, and I think Doctor Who fans and kids will think it’s the best thing ever. We’ve got a load of very big plans – the mere fact that we’re talking about this two years before the event should tell you how seriously we’re taking it.”
The next fourteen episodes of Doctor Who are shaping up to become a year that will live on in infamy in the minds of the troves of fans around the world watching the Doctor’s exploits each week on television. Moffat has also stated that the chances of a two-part story are almost zero. He says that double-episode storylines do not save money when producing, so why should he have them?
He also wants to have episodes with massive cliff-hangers, and as he put it:
“I want slutty titles and movie-poster plots. I want big pictures and straplines. The first episode I’m writing is called ‘[Spoiler] of the [Spoilers]’. And it’ll feel a bit like ‘Die Hard’, that first episode.”
“Everyone is expecting us to do another year like 2011. You’re not going to get that at all. You’re going to get the biggest, maddest set of episodes ever.”
This is an impossible quote to follow up, so I will leave it there. I look forward as always to hearing your thoughts in the comments below. I will continue to let you Whovians know what is coming through the Time Vortex.