This morning it was a Doctor Who fest on BBC 5Live radio as Matt Smith and executive producer Steven Moffat were interviewed by host Richard Bacon. The topics ranged from the popularity of ‘Doctor Who’, how much longer Smith will stay on as the Doctor, scientific discoveries and theories to how Moffat really feels about David Yates producing his own ‘Doctor Who’ movie. Of course they were also there to promote the upcoming ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas episode.
There was some great reveals during this interview especially watching Moffat’s response to the allegations that ‘Doctor Who’ has gotten too complex to follow (“Maybe the news is that people aren’t clever.”). Smith tried to dodge the question about whether or not he’ll be playing the Doctor during the 50th anniversary year of the show and there was a moment where he looked like he could be part of the gang from ‘The Big Bang Theory’ when talking about the discovery of the Higgs boson.
What was wonderful to watch was Moffat’s response about the possible movie that David Yates is said to be making. Yates has indicated that his movie wouldn’t involve Moffat or the television version of the Doctor. Moffat’s answer to that implies that there may be a ‘Doctor Who’ movie in his future plans. I got the impression that Moffat’s movie would be separate from Yates.
Here are some of the highlights of that 45 minute radio interview:
* Smith really didn’t know much about ‘Doctor Who’ prior to getting the role. The only exposure he had at the time was during the 10th Doctor’s era. At Moffat’s 50th birthday party, he actually went up to David Tennant (the 10th Doctor) and said, ‘You were my first ever Doctor!” (Imagine Tennant’s face to that comment coming from a 29 year old!) Matt said he wept.
It wasn’t until after, that he went back and started watching the episodes. Smith started backwards with Christopher Eccleston’s era. When he got to Patrick Troughton’s era, he thought Troughton really got what it meant to be the Doctor and he became Matt’s favorite.
* Moffat loves the sentimentality of the Christmas season and that’s why his Christmas episode reflects that. It also gives those viewers who don’t know much about the series a way to connect to the show.
* Moffat and Smith defend criticism that the show has gotten too complex. Smith states that the children he’s met don’t think so and that the American fans seem to embrace the complexities and the hidden meanings and messages that are in each episode.
Moffat states that his shows (‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Sherlock’) work on the assumption that the audience is intelligent. “I’m doing two shows that assume the audience is really really smart and they’re both doing incredibly well. Maybe the news is that people aren’t clever.”
* The two talk about how ‘Doctor Who’ is the most downloaded show on iTunes in the world and mention that in America, it is number one beating out ‘Glee.’
* Moffat won’t disclose any information about what he plans for the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’ or if the plans include a series or just one episode celebrating the event. He also stated that it’s “so early in the process” to even talk about it. Smith evades the question as to whether he will definitely be the Doctor during the 50th anniversary saying his contract is on a year by year basis (although some news outlets have already said he will be, here he doesn’t confirm nor deny it).
*Both confirm that season 8 will begin filming in February of next year and that there will be at least 14 episdoes (13 regular and 1 Christmas) and there’s “other stuff.”
* Both did a great shout out to a special young boy, Lucas, born with a rare genetic disorder.
* Moffat talks about his very first ‘Doctor Who’ episode that he ever wrote when he was 11 or 12 which involved the 4th Doctor (Tom Baker).
* Smith jokes about how he reads the script and likes to make sure the 11th Doctor hasn’t regenerated anywhere in it.
* Smith shows off his geek side talking about scientific theories and what interests him in the science world and how he admires British physicist Brian Cox.
* Moffat recommends watching ‘Rose’ or ‘The Eleventh Hour’ as their first ‘Doctor Who’ episode for those who have never seen the show.
* The most revealing part of the radio show, however, was Moffat’s response to the subject of David Yates’ possible ‘Doctor Who’ film. Moffat states that Yates was “talking out of turn.” Here’s more of what he said:
“…the film as described by him, of course, we are not going to do that. A film that contradicts the television series it would be…it would be a heathen thing to do. We would be beheaded to do such thing. It’d be wonderful to do a ‘Doctor Who’ film. When and if we did and hopefully we will be doing it, it will very much be an offshoot of the television series and we’ll be part of it and will star the television Doctor of course. Anything else would be heresy.”
So what do you think of it all? You can watch the full interview below and let me know your thoughts!
(videos courtesy of Blogtor Who)