The Complete Ninth Series: Blu-ray/DVD details announcedBookmark and Share

Monday, 21 December 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Worldwide have released details for the forthcoming on The Complete Ninth Series, due out in the United Kingdom on Blu-ray/DVD from 7th March 2016 and in North America from 5th April 2016.

The Complete Ninth Series (DVD) (Credit: BBC Worldwide)


The Complete Ninth Series (Blu-ray) (Credit: BBC Worldwide)

Doctor Who: The Complete Ninth Series
Released 7th March 2016 (UK), 5th April (USA/Canada)

Peter Capaldi returns as the Doctor alongside Jenna Coleman with guests including Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams. Now that the Doctor and Clara have established a dynamic as a partnership of equals, they’re relishing the fun and thrills that all of space and time has to offer. Tangling with ghosts, Vikings and the ultimate evil of the Daleks, they embark on their biggest adventures yet. Missy is back to plague the Doctor once more, the Zygons inspire fear as they shape-shift into human clones, and a new arrival moves in cosmic way.

The DVD and Blu-ray contains all twelve episodes from Peter Capaldi’s second series in the role, with guest star’s Maisie Williams and Rufus Hound as well as the brilliant Missy (played by Michelle Gomez). The Complete Boxset also contains the 2014 Christmas Special, Last Christmas and this year’s highly anticipated The Husbands of River Song and more than four hours’ worth of VAM, including:

DVD Commentaries:
  • Under the Lake and Before the Flood: actor Sophie Stone, writer Toby Whithouse, producer Derek Ritchie
  • The Woman Who Lived: actor Maisie Williams, producer Derek Ritchie
  • Sleep No More: actor Reece Shearsmith, writer Mark Gatiss
All The Doctor Who Extras from Series 9:
  • Doctor Who Extra: The Magician’s Apprentice & The Witch’s Familiar
    Peter Capaldi reveals all, and shows off his guitar riffs, as we get the inside story on this stunning two-parter. Featuring additional interviews with Michelle Gomez and Steven Moffat.
  • Doctor Who Extra: Under the Lake & Before the Flood
    Go backstage and meet some very ghastly monsters! Discover the secret of a special celebrity appearance as Paul Kaye welcomes us on location, and we reveal how to make a big splash on set. Featuring interviews with Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, writer Toby Whithouse and production designer Michael Pickwoad.
  • Doctor Who Extra: The Girl Who Died & The Woman Who Lived
    Maisie Williams talks about crossing fandoms, celebrates her birthday with an impromptu quiz, and generally everyone has a lot of fun, as Rufus Hound gives us a unique view of what it’s like to make Doctor Who. Featuring interviews with Peter Capaldi and Maisie Williams.
  • Doctor Who Extra: The Zygon Invasion & The Zygon Inversion
    The Zygons are back! We discover how a Zygon keeps fit, and Ingrid Oliver tells of her delight at once more playing the Doctor’s biggest fan, Osgood! Featuring interviews with Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Ingrid Oliver.
  • Doctor Who Extra: Sleep No More
    Mark Gatiss reveals the story behind the horror, Reece Shearsmith reviews the importance of space glasses, and we look at the challenges of making this unique episode. Featuring interviews with Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat.
  • Doctor Who Extra: Face the Raven
    Joivan Wade (Rigsy) is shocked to be back, but he’s not the only character to return for this unforgettable adventure, as we discover the perils of thinking you are invincible. Featuring interviews with Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat.
  • Doctor Who Extra: Heaven Sent & Hell Bent
    Steven Moffat and director Rachel Talalay reveal the challenges of creating the puzzle-box that is Heaven Sent, we get wind-blown in Fuerteventura, and we witness the departure of a companion as we go on set for Jenna Coleman’s last day of filming. Featuring interviews with Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Steven Moffat and Rachel Talalay.
  • Doctor Who Extra: The Husbands of River Song
    Matt Lucas is our guide as we join River Song, the Doctor and a star-liner full of supervillains for this festive Christmas special. We get the heads-up on the Hydroflax from Greg Davies, reveal Alex Kingston’s favourite Sonic, and we find out what Peter Capaldi is getting for Christmas. Featuring interviews with Peter Capaldi, Alex Kingston, and Steven Moffat.
Doctor Who Documentaries:
  • Writing Who
    The definitive guide for a would-be Doctor Who scriptwriter. We follow Sarah Dollard on her intricate journey to create her episode, Trap Street. From the highs of pitching her original idea to Steven Moffat, to the challenges of writing her first draft – faced with a blank page and typing Int. TARDIS Day - to seeing her episode becoming reality.
  • Dalek Devotion
    Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat reveal the inspiration for the return of the Daleks to the incredible season opener of series 9, how their earliest memories have shaped their devotion to the ultimate killing machine, and the journey to the Dalek homeland of Skaro.
  • The Adventures of River Song
    Join Alex Kingston and Steven Moffat as we look forward to River’s return in The Husbands of River Song. Find out how River’s character came to be created, why Alex just had to play the role, what happened when the cast discovered who River really is. Narrated by Nina Toussaint-White.
  • Doctor Who: Sublime Online
    A video selection box of the funniest, most insightful and engaging online treats from behind the scenes of Series 9. With interviews and magical moments from Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat, and featuring a host of guest stars, including Maisie Williams, Michelle Gomez, Rufus Hound, Ingrid Oliver and Slipknot.
  • Clara’s Journey
    In 2012, Jenna Coleman joined Doctor Who and took her place in television history as the Doctor’s newest companion, Clara Oswald. Having become the longest serving companion since the revival of the show, Clara’s time on the TARDIS has now come to an end, so we can now look back at just what made the Impossible Girl, well, possible. Featuring interviews with Peter Capaldi, Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman. Narrated by Colin McFarlane.
  • The Fan Show’s Finest
    Christel Dee gives a whistle-stop guide to Doctor Who: The Fan Show the online series that celebrates Doctor Who and the amazing creativity of the show's fans. We get a peek inside Steven Moffat’s writing lair, take a look into the Old Monster’s Retirement Home and step into the amazing world of Minecraft to find out how fans are celebrating their love for the show online. We even get face to face with the Doctor and Missy to ask them all the questions the fans want to know.
  • Other VAM includes the Series 9 US prequel - The Doctor’s Meditation, deleted Scenes, Series 8 recap and all Series 9 trailers and prologue, the 2015 San Diego Comic Con Panel and an interview with Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman hosted by Wil Wheaton.

The Complete Series Nine will be available to pre-order from our Amazon Shops in the UK (Blu-ray/DVD), USA (Blu-ray/DVD) and Canada (Blu-ray/DVD), and can also be purchased from the BBC Shop and other retailers. (please note that at the time of writing only Amazon in the USA have the item up for pre-order, the others are expected to have it available shortly)




Release date and trailer for Series 9 DVDs/Blu-Rays in GermanyBookmark and Share

Thursday, 26 November 2015 - Reported by Pascal Salzmann
Series 9 GERMAN Preview-Cover (Credit: Polyband)German DVD distributer Polyband released a trailer for the upcoming Series 9 DVD and Blu-Ray boxed set, announcing the release date even before the UK.

The 6-disc set, containing all 12 episodes of Series 9 as well as the upcoming Christmas Special, will be released on 18th March 2016. According to the Polyband Website, there will be many bonus features on the set, including a 45 minute interview with the cast, conducted by former Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Will Wheaton.

Series 9 will premier in Germany on 3rd December 2015 on the TV channel FOX. You can already pre-order the DVD's and the Blu-Rays at Amazon Germany.






New publicity image for Face The RavenBookmark and Share

Sunday, 15 November 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC have released a new promotional image for next week's episode, Face the Raven, due to be broadcast at 8:10pm on BBC One.

Face The Raven: The Doctor and Clara, as played by Peter Capaldi and Jenna Colman (Credit: BBC/Simon Ridgway)




The Dalek Invasion of Abbey RoadBookmark and Share

Saturday, 19 September 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Further publicity for tonight's episode of Doctor Who occured this morning on London's Abbey Road, where Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and "friends" recreated an iconic image ...


"The Doctor and Clara make a guest appearance at the iconic Abbey Road crossing, London,
as they rock out in style this morning, accompanied by the extra-terrestrial Daleks."
Abbey Road Crossing! (Credit: BBC)

"If you leave me,
I'll never make it alone.
Believe me when I beg you,
Don't ever leave me alone.

When you told me you didn't need me any more,
Well, you know I nearly broke down and cried.
When you told me you didn't need me any more,
Well, you know I nearly broke down and died."


Lyrics from "Oh! Darling" written by Lennon and McCartney, on the Beatles album "Abbey Road"




Jenna Coleman to leave Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Friday, 18 September 2015 - Reported by Harry Ward
Jenna Coleman and Clara (Credit: BBC/David Venni) The BBC has officially confirmed the departure of Jenna Coleman from Doctor Who. The actress revealed the news exclusively on BBC Radio 1's Breakfast Show. She told presenter Nick Grimshaw: "I have left the tardis - it's happened, I've filmed my last scenes." ITV has also confirmed she is to play a young Queen Victoria in their new drama Victoria. Coleman said: "I am delighted to be cast as Queen Victoria in this ambitious drama of her life. She is a vivid, strong, inspirational and utterly fascinating woman in British history and I can't wait to tell her story." The series will be produced by Paul Frift (In The Forest Of The Night, Last Christmas).

Adventures to last me a lifetime. Thank you @bbcdoctorwho. But as they say 'It ain't over till it's over' - Jenna Coleman on Twitter.

Coleman made her first appearance in Doctor Who with a surprise role in 2012's Asylum of the Daleks, where she played the fateful Oswin Oswald, a Junior Entertainment Manager on the starliner Alaska. She returned later that year in The Snowmen, this time playing a Victorian barmaid/governess. Again, her character didn't survive the episode... Her first regular companion role came in 2013's The Bells of Saint John, which started the "Impossible Girl" story arc.






BBC keeping quiet on Jenna Coleman's futureBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 16 September 2015 - Reported by Harry Ward
Jenna Coleman as Clara (Credit: BBC / David Venni) Jenna Coleman's involvement with Doctor Who beyond 2015 is in doubt again after the Mirror reported the actress has "quit" the show to play a young Queen Victoria in a new ITV drama. The article states: "She is thought to have already filmed her final scenes, and will bow out before the Christmas special."

This year's Christmas special will feature Alex Kingston back as River Song but there has not been an announcement of Jenna's involvement. She is also missing from November's Doctor Who Festival guest lineup.

The news that Jenna Coleman has "quit" has been published in other British papers including The independent, The Telegraph and The Guardian. The BBC has reported the story on their news website but the Doctor Who production team have declined to comment.

The Mirror previously reported that Jenna Coleman had quit and would leave at the end of Last Christmas. Steven Moffat wrote in Doctor Who Magazine 484 that Death in Heaven was to be her last episode but she had changed her mind:
That was her last episode. And then she asked me if she could be in Christmas? So I said, 'Okay, I'll write you out in Christmas.' She came to the read through and did the 'write out' version - and again changed her mind.

But the truth is I never wanted her to go. I didn't really want Death in Heaven to be her last episode. And with Last Christmas, I'd already written the alternative version where she stayed, and I preferred that version. For Christmas Day it's a bit nicer. Frankly, I didn't want to lose her. She's an amazing actress, and she never stops working to make Clara better. I was very happy to go the extra mile to make sure we could keep her.




Series 9 interviewsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 8 September 2015 - Reported by Harry Ward
The BBC have released interviews with the main cast of the 2015 series of Doctor Who; Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez and executive producer, Steven Moffat.

Cast interviews

Doctor Who is back, how has the dynamic of the series changed since series 8?
Peter Capaldi returns with his second series as the Doctor - it’s the glory years of the Doctor and Clara. They’ve been through the angst, the Doctor has been through his fear of not being a good man, and Clara has been through her fear that this might not be the Doctor. They’re on equal footing with a new dynamic between them and are relishing the Universe. They’re linking hands and running towards a brand new world of epic adventure on a cinematic scale. They are clearly heroes and loving every minute!

How is the series different from last year?
It’s a big, mad and exciting series. You’ll be grinning a lot more and there’s more comedy mixed in with some of the darkest stuff we’ve done - the Doctor’s first big entrance sets the tone.

Why did you decide to reintroduce two-parters?
We’re doing bigger stories and two-parters allow you all those massive cliff hangers. Forty five minutes has served us incredibly well, but it’s time to change it up a bit, change the rhythm. It’s not just about being longer, sometimes it’s about going deeper. And you won’t always be quite sure whether you’re watching a two-parter or not - how much longer the jeopardy will last. We’re aiming to be unpredictable.

Tell us about the guest cast.
We have a vast array of guest cast this year that means we can build on the depth of stories and develop intrigue and backstories even further. We have the magnificent, insane and comedic Missy returning; young outstanding Maisie Williams taking up a new role, as her character challenges the Doctor in unexpected ways; and of course Osgood is brought back from the dead. The Doctor might be in for a surprise with her, this time he might not be able to trust his number one fan.

Did you have any challenges writing for the series?

We always like a new challenge on the show: bringing adventures set on dangerous alien planets; urban thrillers; underwater ghost stories; journeys that take us from Vikings to the end of time itself. We’re pushing the boundaries once again with the most experimental episode Doctor Who has ever made. I’ve written a one-hander for the Doctor, I can’t tell you too much about this, but it’s certainly unique and a big first for the show!
Coming back to film your second series, how has the atmosphere been on set?
It’s been lovely to be back and everything’s been very positive. I think everyone’s been happy to be on set in Cardiff and the scripts are very good and strong. Everyone’s become enthused with the spirit of adventure that runs through the scripts, it’s been exciting!

How are you feeling about this new series? What can viewers expect?
I think they’ll find a lot of thrills, lot of mystery, a reckless Doctor in pursuit of adventure. It’s very thrill aired, hopefully full of spectacle and adventure - it’s not a sitting back, domesticated, reflective series, it’s the Doctor and Clara roaring through time and space in search of thrills. So I think it’s great, it should be a fun watch for audiences at home.

Can you tell us about the opening episode?
The opening episode of the new series is fabulous - the story is going to take us across the Universe in to all types of dark, terrifying and funny places. It’s a particular epic one to start, with lots of old favourites, Missy and the Daleks are returning and particularly for those who are nostalgic with the Daleks of the 60s, there are some special surprises in store.

Has the TARDIS changed?
There’s been a few changed in the TARDIS. As we came to know my Doctor a little bit more, we needed to reflect that more in the environment that he lived in. I don’t think my Doctor fits in with the whole idea of Edwardian time traveller, there’s a kind of resurge of that in the look of the TARDIS as it was, so I wanted to make it a little sharper. There are a few more elegant, 60s, classic design things knocking around, as opposed to Edwardian or Victorian.

How has the dynamic changed between the Doctor and Clara since series 8?
I think the Doctor and Clara are really having a good time. They’ve had some conflicts and challenges, but generally if you can weather the storms, you often find that your relationship is much stronger. That’s certainly the case with the Doctor and Clara.

They’re very bonded, they’re like a little gang. The Doctor has realised that he’s 2,000 years old and life is short, he wants to enjoy himself and enjoy having Clara around. She’s very good at trying to help him. He’s still rather impatient with human beings, which some people take as being socially inept, but he just can’t be bothered with them, he has better things to do. But she helps him a lot more, she tries to improve his manners and social skills. But they are very deeply bonded. It’s a very curious relationship, it doesn’t really have an equivalent in television. It’s a non-romantic, but deeply bonded pairing which is strangely full of affection, more deeply felt than simple romantic relationships.

What is his relationship like with Missy in the opening episodes?
I wouldn’t say their relationship has changed since he saw her last. Missy’s role is slightly different, but you’ll have to wait and see!

With a wealth of different sets and filming days on locations, would you say they enhance the look and feel of the episodes?
I think the design of the show is always really, really important - it gives a great cinematic feel to the show. It expands it, makes it not simply domestic, but quite cosmic and big. It’s good to have spectacular sets and locations, because it adds more physical texture to the show and opens it up more, it’s all pretty cinematic.

Have you got any favourite moments from playing the Doctor?
For me, obviously to get to play the Doctor, the whole things is a delight. Some of my favourite moments are when we reveal something of the Doctor’s more alien nature. For instance, in Kill The Moon when he’s able to look into time and read it, and communicate that, I think that was fun to do.

What was it like to battle Daleks from the different decades in episode 2? Any favourites?
I don’t have a particular favourite, but I do like to see the little old ones, they’re very sweet as they’re quite small. But actually they’re still strangely brutal, nasty little pieces of work, but are rather handsome and classy. They were great fun and do what is expected of them, you get a whole group of them together in the opening episode. I think we had about 20 of them in the studio so that was very exciting. Once you had them all moving, it was very funny watching Hettie (Macdonald) directing them, because she was directing them like actors - ‘you’re getting upset at this moment, have a look at your friends’ - and they’d look at their friends and then she’d say - ‘you need to look nervous now’ - and they’d actually be able to convey nervousness - it was actually very, very clever. It was like being in a Dalek theme park, with a free ticket, so that was fun.
How are you feeling about this new series?
Really excited, a lot of the stories are self contained two-parters; it’s a lot more space-bound and it’s all about adventures and time travelling. The amazing benefit of doing them is not only do you get more time to explore the story, but also at the end of the first part you get to create a huge cliffhanger. Clara and the Doctor are united, they’re strong together and are just enjoying travelling and doing and seeing as much as possible. It’s very adrenaline-fuelled and full of reckless adventure, with them throwing themselves head first in to it.

Clara seems to be more determined and focused on time travelling, do you see that she’s moved on since the last series?
She’s cutting ties with earth more and more. Since losing Danny her perspective has changed on life and in a way she’s lost fear of her own mortality. When that happens there’s a sense of freedom - going into adventures there’s nothing holding her back. But as much fun as it is, it can be dangerous - I think there’s definitely something in that for Clara, in losing herself.

It seems like the Doctor and Clara are more alike than ever before, would you say that’s true?
There’s an ease between them, a shorthand, and she is becoming more and more like him. I think they’ve always been a lot more similar - perhaps other Doctors and companions have been. I think she quite wants to be like him, but the more time they spend together the more doctorly she’s getting, and more independent of him. There are quite a few stories in this series where you see us parting ways, where we’re covering different bases, and then you see us coming back together - they’re a proper team. I think they’ve been through so much together and they know each other so well that they’re entwined.

Working with guest cast in each block, how does the dynamic change on set for yourself and Peter?
The two of us are always behaving as stupidly as we do, and it’s been lovely having Michelle back, she’s always a laugh. Maisie is wonderful, I was a really big fan of hers before she came to Doctor Who, she fits right in so it’s been really great having her join us. One of the most wonderful things about the show is every episode feels so different, it feels like a whole new show in a way.

What has been your favourite episode from this series and why?
Episode 11 will be really unique and the Viking episode was so much fun to film. The scripts for episodes 7 and 8 are really strong, Peter Harness has done such a good job with those. They feel like quite different Doctor Who episodes - tense, very relevant, thought-provoking, and clever.

You have great looks this series - do you have any input in to what you wear?
My idea for Clara is very much a school teacher who rides a motor cycle, in a retro 60s style, but also sci-fi. The aim was to merge all those elements together for Clara’s look.

In episode 1 the Doctor is lost and you’re contacted by your greatest enemy Missy. How do Clara and Missy work together to save the Doctor without killing each other?
The peril that the Doctor’s in is so great that the only thing to do is to put differences aside and work together. I think in a way, Clara’s quite fascinated by Missy, but disgusted at the same time. That’s partly to do with how Michelle Gomez plays her, she’s so magnetic that you can’t help but like her, even though you’re supposed to hate her. It’s one of the really clever things she does. Clara and Missy actually end up getting on, but remembering they don’t like each other again.

Having two females that are very close to the Doctor is interesting for Clara to witness, because the Doctor and Missy are enemies, but they are also very ancient friends. They have a past and history that they cannot even touch upon, or even understand how you can like or be in love with somebody that has repeatedly tried to kill you throughout time and space.

I also think it’s interesting for Clara to operate under a female Time Lady, she’s so used to running with the Doctor that to be with a time lady is quite a new experience for her. Somebody who is so maniacal is quite fun. You think you’re safe and within 30 seconds you’re literally being pushed down a cliff.

You’ve done a few stunts in the series - can you tell us about them?
I’ve done a lot of hanging upside down this series! Upside down on a cliff in Tenerife was new, but surprising, it looks so easy but it’s not at all. It was tricky because we could only do it in minute spurts, filming the scenes. I also had a scene where I was hanging outside of the TARDIS too, so it seems to be one of my specialities this series.
You’ve re-joined the Doctor Who cast and reclaimed the role of Missy for series 9, what was it like being back on set?
It felt so good, especially as I thought it was all over for Missy at the end of series 8. But then of course she is The Master after all, so anything can happen, even dodging death. I'm still in a state of shock at actually being in a show I watched avidly as a child.

How did you feel when you were asked to return?
I was thrilled to be asked back, it's not every day one gets to travel through all of space and time. When they asked me I didn't have to think too hard about it, and I'd say yes again if it came to it. But nothing's a guarantee so I'm aware this year might be her last. But I sincerely hope not.

You appear in the opening episodes with Clara...

The dynamic between Missy and Clara takes on a whole new shape, and not one I had imagined. There is something not quite right about it that makes for slightly unnerving viewing. Missy gets bored very easily, you can imagine her and the Doctor in the classroom. She's using her intellect even then to cause mischief and disrupt.

Tell us about your relationship with Clara in these episodes
Our relationship shifts greatly from where we left off in the last series. Dare I say there might be a hint of respect there? Perhaps not quite respect. More a healthy dose of circumspect, from both I guess.

Shooting in a large cinematic location abroad in Tenerife, what did the location add to the scenes?
There’s a sense of opera about that strange volcanic landscape - grand and loud in its infinite vastness, which provided us with a perfect backdrop for our needs. It had a harsh but strange beauty, almost lunar. Which was kind of the point.

Tell us about your relationship with the Doctor in these episodes
They are still opposite magnets, mostly repelling, but at times they also attract. There is an undeniable shorthand that comes with a lifelong friendship. A friendship that at some point went very wrong. They are both from the same place eons ago, so the weight of that history they share is the bedrock of their relationship.

Can you describe your character ? Tell us how she’s developed since series 8.
Missy is a force of nature. She is a fearless, slightly psychotic killer whom you can't help but like just a little bit. She's very honest in her role as The Master. This is how she sees it - they both kill. The Doctor feels bad about it, she doesn’t. To her the Doctor hides behind his remorse while she thrives in the power to destroy. She has many tools to do this but so far we have seen but a few. Reading minds, hypnosis and moving obstacles just by thinking about it are to name but a few. She doesn't bake much. Well, not in the conventional sense.

Currently the Doctor Who team have a strong Scottish feel with Peter, Steven and yourself as part of the crew. What feedback have you received from your home town?
Go Scotland! When asked recently what does Gallifrey look like, I replied ‘Glasgow’, I'm sure that went down a storm. I think they are very proud. It's a Scottish take over with Peter, Steven and I all from Glasgow. The Weegies will take over the world.

You live in New York and there’s a big Doctor Who following in America - are you recognised when you’re in the US as much as the UK?
I’d say around the same amount. Which is not much at all. Missy and I have a very different dress sense so the fact I'm not wandering around in full Victorian garb means I get to walk around pretty freely.

What do you think Doctor Who means for British drama and its identity overseas?
It’s a product that reaches across the seas and touches people across the world. It ignites their imaginations with brilliant storytelling that all the family can enjoy. There aren’t too many of those shows around anymore, which makes it all the more special.




Five Bafta Cymru NominationsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who has been nominated in five categories in the 2015 BAFTA Cymru Awards, although missing out in the main Best Drama Category.

Peter Capaldi is nominated as Best Actor for his performance in Dark Water, while Jenna Coleman earns her nomination for Best Actress for her emotionally charged performance in Kill the Moon.

Nominated for Best Editing is Will Oswald, again for Dark Water. Oswald has been an editor on the series since 2007 and has won BAFTA Wales awards for editing in 2002 and 2009.

The production team have also been nominated for Best Special and Visual Effects for Last Christmas while the new title sequence earns a nomination for Best Titles and Graphic Identity.

The awards honour excellence in broadcasting and production within film and television in Wales. The winners will be announced on Sunday 27 September at the St David’s Hall, Cardiff.
ACTOR sponsored by Audi
  • RICHARD HARRINGTON as DCI Tom Mathias in Y Gwyll/Hinterland – Fiction Factory / S4C
  • PETER CAPALDI as the Doctor in Doctor Who: Dark Water – BBC Wales / BBC One
  • RHYS IFANS as Captain Cat in Dan y Wenallt – fFatti fFilms / S4C
ACTRESS
  • JENNA COLEMAN as Clara Oswald in Doctor Who: Kill the Moon – BBC Wales / BBC One
  • MALI HARRIES as DI Mared Rhys in Y Gwyll/Hinterland – Fiction Factory / S4C
  • RHIAN MORGAN as Gwen Lloyd in Gwaith/Cartref – Fiction Factory / S4C
EDITING sponsored by Gorilla
  • JOHN RICHARDS for Da Vinci’s Demons - Adjacent Productions/Phantom Four Films / FOX
  • WILL OSWALD for Doctor Who: Dark Water – BBC Wales / BBC One
  • JOHN RICHARDS for Jack to a King: The Swansea Story – YJB Films Ltd
SPECIAL AND VISUAL EFFECTS sponsored by University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • Bait Studios for A Poet in New York - BBC Cymru Wales/Modern Television / BBC Two
  • PRODUCTION TEAM for Da Vinci’s Demons - Adjacent Productions, Phantom Four Films / FOX
  • PRODUCTION TEAM for Doctor Who: Last Christmas – BBC Wales / BBC One
TITLES AND GRAPHIC IDENTITY sponsored by AGFX
  • PRODUCTION TEAM for Doctor Who: Deep Breath – BBC Wales / BBC One
  • BAIT STUDIO for Jack to a King: The Swansea Story – YJB Films Ltd
  • SARAH BREESE for Y Gwyll/Hinterland – Fiction Factory / S4C




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Monday, 17 August 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
A roundup of recent news relating to Doctor Who cast and crew:
  • Matt Smith has begun filming for a new drama for Netflix, The Crown, due to be broadcast in 2016. The ten-part series, based on the play The Audience, will follow the relationship between Queen Elizabeth (Claire Foy) and the prime ministers who have served during her monarchy, with Smith portraying her husband, Prince Philip. [Northampton Herald and Post, 11 Aug]

  • David Tennant will be portraying the character of 'baddy' Zebediah Killgrave in the television adaptation of the Marvel comic Jessica Jones. Jeff Loeb, Marvel's Head of Television, said: "In the same kind of way Vincent D’Onofrio owned his half of Daredevil, you’ll see David Tennant own his half of Jessica Jones… What you get out of Jessica is a sort of hold-your-breath tension as to what’s going to happen. When you see the dynamic between Krysten Ritter and David Tennant… that question of ‘What’s going to happen next?’ and ‘What could happen next?’ and how that’s driven by character is something that is so important to not just the scripts but also the way the show is shot, and the way that everyone reacts, and the way those two react with each other." [Science Fiction, 14 Aug]

  • Christopher Eccleston led this year's tribute in Manchester to mark the anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre, where 15 protesters were killed when troops charged a political meeting there in 1819. The actor read from a speech delivered by Henry ‘Orator’ Hunt from the day. [Manchester Evening News, 16 Aug]

  • Colin Baker will be on hand to officially unveil a display of copies of the Doctor Who scripts by the show's first writer Anthony Coburn at Spoon Web (The DVD Shop) in Whitstable, Kent on Sunday 23rd August. The event also coincides with a Kickstarter campaign aimed to provide funding for the ongoing maintenance, improvement and promotion of the police box replica for Herne Bay TARDIS for Children in Need. [Facebook]

  • Tom Baker may be about to take on a role in the Star Wars franchise. A guest at the recent Day of the Doctors convention, he is reported as saying: "I'm going to be in this new Star Wars thing, you know? I'm going down to record some voices for this new character they've created for me, very soon" [various, including Sci-Fi Fantasy Network, Inquistr, 15 Aug]

  • Frazer Hines has been appearing in Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, which this week reaches the Leeds Grand Theatre. Talking about portraying his character, Rogers, he said: "I suppose it’s my experience of being in the show business for over forty years that many could assume that Rogers, being just a butler, could be played just as a butler. But I worked out that he was in the First World War, in the army, so he has this straight-backed walk and respects the general in the play and respects the copper. So I’ve brought those little nuances into the character."

    He also mentioned that the most common question he gets asked is what was it like to work with second Doctor Patrick Troughton: "A lovely man. Some of the happiest years of my show business career were working with Patrick Troughton in Doctor Who. But they all ask me that and I wish I had a pound for every time I’m asked that question. He was a lovely, lovely man and we had great fun working together. If I had an idea he wouldn’t say, “I’m the Doctor, you just shut up and be the assistant.” He’d turn and say, “Frazer, what a marvellous idea. Let’s do it.” I’d worked with him before in 1964, before Doctor Who had started and I was the star of that show, Smuggler’s Bay, and he was playing the part of an old smuggler. But a year or so later he was the star of Doctor Who and I was just joining in as Jamie for four episodes so the role was reversed. It was great, we just gelled straight away." [(Entertainment Focus, 14 Aug]

  • Speaking of And Then There Were None, a new BBC One production of the play has been announced, whose cast will feature Burn Gorman as William Blore and Anna Maxwell Martin as Ethel Rogers. [BBC Media Centre, 10 Jul]

  • Jenna Coleman has revealed one of the tricks of the trade employed during filming scenes with her co-star Peter Capaldi: I have to stand on an apple box when we’re filming - it’s called ‘Jenna’s Box’ and it gets brought out when I need to fit into a particular shot." [Express, 15 Aug]

  • Sir John Hurt can be heard as the lead role in Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell, broadcast this weekend on BBC Radio 4; the play is described as "A dying Soho, seen through the eyes of the notorious columnist of The Spectator - plain-speaking drinker, gambler, wit and raconteur." It also features Nichola McAuliffe and Jeff Rawle. [BBC Radio 4, 15 Aug]

    Speaking of his recent diagnosis of having pancreatic cancer, the actor observed: I can’t say I worry about mortality, but it’s impossible to get to my age and not have a little contemplation of it. We’re all just passing time, and occupy our chair very briefly. But my treatment is going terrifically well, so I’m optimistic." [Radio Times, 15 Aug]

  • Talking about his role in new film Pleasure Island, Samuel Anderson said: "I've played a lot of love interests - those kind of romantic roles, 'sweet boy' kind of thing - so it was brilliant to come in and just play an idiot. From when I read the script, I was hooked. Just the way Mike (Doxford, writer/director) had laid his characters out. You could feel it - each character was grounded and had a bit of weight to them. It was like, 'If I don't get the part, I can't wait to see the film'." [Digital Spy, 15 Aug]

  • On a possible return to Doctor Who, Anderson commented: "Maybe in an alternate universe? I wouldn't mind approaching him in a different way. Or maybe just come back as Orson Pink because then it changes the dynamic between him and the Doctor. If it's Orson Pink I think the relationship would be totally different because instead of a soldier – which is the kind of person the Doctor can't bear – you've got another scientist who could be quite interesting with their relationship. And then instead of it being a love interest with Clara and Danny, it would be a family affair with grandmother and grandson but at the same age." [Radio Times, 13 Aug]

  • Amidst speculation that he may be a future successor to Steven Moffat as the lead writer on Doctor Who, Toby Whithouse responded: "No-one at the BBC has ever had this conversation with me! No-one has asked me, no-one has approached me about if Steven leaves, when Steven leaves. These are conversations that happen purely among fans, not on any official level."

    On writing for the show in general: "There’s a reason I go back to Doctor Who every year, and that’s because I absolutely love working on it! There is something so magical, so ludicrous about that show! ... The appeal never fades: I’m 45 now, and writing: ‘Interior: TARDIS’ at the top of a scene is still really, really exciting. You also get to tell these extraordinary stories that you couldn’t write for any other show." [The London Economic, 11th Aug]

  • Many media publications focussed on the casting of Bethany Black as being the first transgender actress to appear in the show. The comedian herself reflected on filming for the new series: "It is genuinely the greatest job I could ever have imagined getting. Everything about it is magical. I'm enjoying every day of filming and cherishing it, because you never know if you'll ever get to do anything like this again. I only hope that I do the role and the show justice, and that you all enjoy it. For me it's the gig of a lifetime." [Facebook]

  • A new series of Who Do You Think You Are? has started on BBC One, which this year will also include the exploration of the family history for Sir Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid and writer Mark Gatiss.

  • Arthur Darvill will be playing Rip Hunter in DC's Legends Of Tomorrow, with the character described as "a time-traveler tasked with assembling a group of villains and heroes together after he sees a future that could destroy everything. This unlikely squad must now stop these devastating future events from happening, but it won’t be easy." [Hollywire, 12 Aug]

  • Darvill can also be seen in the forthcoming fictional account of Lenny Henry's early life, Danny And The Human Zoo, which also features Richard Wilson and Mark Benton.

  • Colin Morgan will star in a new drama for BBC One, The Living And The Dead. [BBC Media Centre, 10th Aug]

  • A number of names previously associated with Doctor Who have been making appearances at Roath Lock Studios of late and getting their photos taken alongside the TARDIS's current 'owner' Peter Capaldi, including Waris Hussein, Georgia Moffett, David Tennant and Russell T Davies.






Meet the Cast-Event: Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman in BerlinBookmark and Share

Sunday, 19 July 2015 - Reported by Pascal Salzmann
Apple Event (Credit: Melanie Jäggle)Last Friday, Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi visited Berlin for a Q&A in the Apple Store. Fans could reserve a seat for free via the Apple Store App or the Apple Store website. Around 250 fans were lucky to get access to the event, as reservations were quickly gone.

Those who were there cheered and clapped excitedly when the two actors entered the stage. Hosted by US-born German TV presenter Steven Gätjen, the two stars of Doctor Who revealed that they are a bit jetlagged, as they just have been at Comic Con, then L.A. and now Berlin. This did not stop them from making jokes about Peter always looking for food, getting wet from disinfection liquid while filming at a power plant or more jokes about food.

It was also revealed that one of the upcoming stories in Series 9 will be "very much like a horror movie" with many "scares and thrills" and an "extraordinary direction". Peter praised the director, saying that it takes very special skills to film a horror movie.

When being asked about a possible return of Caecillius, the character Peter Capaldi portrayed in the Series 4 episode The Fires of Pompeii, he carefully told the audience that this might actually happen in Series 9. "Or not", Jenna added.

The complete Q&A will be available on iTunes for free at a later point.

Earlier that day, Doctor Who News had the chance to interview Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman. Read the complete interview here.

UPDATE: The Q&A is now up on iTunes. Download it here.





Peter Capaldi to appear at San Diego Comic-ConBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 27 May 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
San Diego Comic-Con International (Credit: SDCC)BBC Worldwide have announced that Peter Capaldi will be making his debut appearance at the San Diego Comic-Con. The actor will feature on a Doctor Who panel on the 9th July, alongside co-star Jenna Coleman, Missy/Master actress Michelle Gomez, lead writer Steven Moffat and fellow executive producer Brian Minchin.

Capaldi says of his appearance:
Tales of San Diego Comic-Con are told in awe on every set around the known fantasy/sci-fi production world. It's become a fabled kingdom. One I am thrilled to find myself heading for. And to appear in the legendary Hall H, is a further twist to the cosplay and comic madness I may never recover from.






Saturn Award Nominations 2015Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 4 March 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The 41st Annual Saturn Award nominations have been announced, and sees Doctor Who up for two awards for this year.

The show itself is listed in the Best Youth-Oriented Television Series category. Other nominations include The 100, Pretty Little Liars, Supernatural, Teen Wolf and The Vampire Diaries.

Jenna Coleman has also been nominated in the Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series category. Her competition is in the form of Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Caroline Dhavernas (Hannibal), Lexa Doig (Continuum), Emily Kinney (The Walking Dead) and Melissa McBride (also The Walking Dead).

The Saturn Awards are presented by the The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, and will take place this year on 25th June 2015.


Previously, Doctor Who won Best Television in 1997, and Best International Series in 2008; in 2010 the spin-off series Torchwood: Children of Earth won the Best Presentation on Television category.






Jenna Coleman's future confirmed - SpoilersBookmark and Share

Friday, 26 December 2014 - Reported by Marcus
This items contains spoilers from the Christmas Special

The BBC has confirmed that Jenna Coleman will be staying with Doctor Who for the foreseeable future, with the actress signed up for the entire run of Series Nine.

The confirmation follows speculation that Coleman would leave the series after the Christmas special, Last Christmas, or part way through the next series. Head writer Steven Moffat told an invited audience at the Press Screening for Last Christmas that he was delighted the actress was staying with the show, although he admitted it was touch and go for a while.
I always think I’m good at winding people up but Jenna completely outplayed me by saying, ‘I’m not telling you whether I’m staying or going because it’s more exciting.’ And it occurred to us all that we don’t start shooting until January so, for once, we could actually keep it a secret.
Coleman said she was delighted to be staying
It's wonderful to have a whole other series with the Doctor. For me, I couldn't walk away with the story being unresolved. There's so much more to do, I think. They've finally reached a point where they understand each other.
Doctor Who Season 35 begins shooting in January.




Last Christmas - InterviewsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 10 December 2014 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC has released a set of interviews with showrunner Steven Moffat and the stars of the 2014 Christmas special Last Christmas.

The Doctor and Clara face their last Christmas.

Trapped on an arctic base, under attack from terrifying creatures, who are you going to call?

Santa Claus!
Steven Moffat - Q&A

What can you tell us about the plot of this year’s Christmas special?
Well obviously as everyone knows from the end of Death In Heaven, it’s the ultimate meeting of Christmas heroes - Santa Claus meets Doctor Who. The buddy movie you’ve always wanted. In addition to that, it’s quite surprising - it won’t be what some people expect because it’s a thriller of an episode. The Christmas element is covered in the fairly notable form of Santa Claus and the elves and their sleigh. But the rest of it is very much Doctor Who – scary, in a polar ice cap base, scientists under threat. I keep describing it as Miracle On 34th Street meets Alien.

Viewers will be thrilled to see the Doctor and Clara brought together again - what can we expect from this and what can you say about what brings them together?
They’re brought together by a crisis that returns the Doctor to Earth to help Clara. The stuff that separated them, the lies they told each other – all of that will be addressed in this episode. We don’t just ignore it for the sake of Christmas. It is properly addressed and forms the emotional core of the episode.

Nick Frost seems an inspired choice for Santa Claus – how did that casting come about?
As ever with Doctor Who we’re very lucky to have Andy Pryor casting for us and he suggested Nick Frost. The moment you think of Nick Frost as Santa Claus you just know he’s exactly right – he has the right style, has the right attitude and more than that he seems like a slightly 'funky' Santa Claus – the sort of Santa Claus that OUGHT to turn up in Doctor Who. Simultaneously he subverts the role of Santa Claus and affirms it very definitively. He’s a truly great Santa. It’s hard to think of anyone else for the role once you’ve seen him.

Will we see the traditional Santa we know and love, or should we expect a different side to him?
Santa Claus will be real, and definitely not evil. Parents shouldn't worry, Santa is presented, as he is in real life, as a great Christmas hero.

How do the Doctor and Clara become involved with Santa Claus?
As was shown in the Children In Need clip, Clara encounters Santa Claus on a rooftop with a crashed sleigh and a couple of grumpy elves. Then the Doctor turns up too.

Did you also have Dan (Starkey) in mind as one of the elves?
Obviously we know Dan really well because he plays Strax, and we’ve been thinking that he should play a part without all the prosthetics on. We needed elves with attitude and real comic timing and Dan is a brilliantly funny actor. So if Dan will forgive me, it’s fair to say he’s the right height, genuinely funny and we just thought he’d be perfect for that role.

How does writing and filming the Christmas special differ from the series?
The Christmas special is an oddity because it’s on its own. As a matter of production, we don’t have episodes either side of it. We just have a few weeks where we shoot that one episode so certain pressures are removed from us – we’re not prepping another show. You should also be slightly aware that there will be more people than usual who don’t usually watch it by virtue of the fact it’s on at Christmas time. It’s become a bit of a Christmas tradition to watch Doctor Who so there will be a number of people who maybe haven’t seen it since the last Christmas special.

What is it about Peter’s Doctor that you think fans are enjoying the most?
What Peter triumphs in is that he is bracing. We’ve been used to a particular kind of Doctor across three very different actors – Chris (Eccleston), David (Tennant) and Matt (Smith). The Doctor has been younger, blokier, slightly more modern, you might say more approachable. We’ve now thrown that into reverse. There are moments with the other three actors where you can see a spiky, scary older man inside him and now we’re seeing more of that man. Peter is bracing – he’s a reminder that the Doctor isn’t your best mate or your big brother; he is in fact a quite scary man from outer space who nonetheless will save your life. He makes you look for the heroism more which I think is exciting - it throws you off balance. It’s almost like going from Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig as James Bond. Making the Doctor older has inadvertently made the show feel new again. He’s different and different is good.

The show is now a global phenomenon. How was it this year to see the reactions of fans in different countries?
We’re quite used to seeing Doctor Who launched in the UK and it’s always fun, but essentially people here are used to it. Seeing the extraordinary reactions when we arrived at various airports on the world tour when people were chanting our names and shouting like we mattered was very exciting. We had no idea that it would happen and that people who lived in other parts of the world were so invested in it. The increasing world significance of the show is something that we don’t really see most of the time. We just go to Wales and make our show, we’re not thinking about the people in Rio or America who seem to be hanging on our every word. It’s been great to see how it plays out on the world stage.
Peter Capaldi - Q&A

Everyone will be pleased to see the Doctor and Clara brought together again for this Christmas special. What does bring them together?
A terrifying festive dilemma forces the Doctor back to Earth to help Clara. Then a story unfolds which is quite unexpected – I can’t really say more than that.

How does filming the Christmas special differ from the series?
It’s all very festive and even though you’re shooting in October it does lull you into the festive spirit, because there are lots of Christmassy things around. There are snow machines all the time which is lovely but they’re noisy like lawnmowers or concrete mixers. We have Christmas lights, polystyrene icebergs - which is classic piece of set dressing on Doctor Who. There’s a roast dinner going on in Clara’s house and a big Christmas tree. There were also lots of tangerines!

What was your reaction to Nick Frost being cast as Santa? What sort of Santa does he play?
I was delighted when Nick was cast, I’m a big fan of his. I love Hot Fuzz and Shaun Of The Dead. He’s actually quite a traditional Santa but with a comic undertone. He is the real Santa – he’s not a robot or an alien, but he is a little bit cantankerous. He’s a little bit like the Doctor and at first they don’t really get on together.

How do the Doctor and Clara become involved with Santa?
Santa appears on the roof of Clara’s house and only the Doctor knows the danger of it.

What can viewers expect from this episode?
It’s both really scary and really festive. It manages to be quite frightening and still have Santa Claus in it. It is extremely Christmassy but there is a plot line in it that is quite dark and I think Steven (Moffat) has done a brilliant job at balancing those two things. It’s perfect for Christmas viewing – it supplies everything that Doctor Who should supply at Christmas. It’s scary but it leaves you feeling warm and cheerful.

What have been your fondest memories of your first year as the Doctor?
It’s difficult to say what specific moments were significant to me because the whole thing has just been amazing. So many things have been fantastic. The first time you go onto the set, the first time you meet a Dalek or even the first time the TARDIS wobbles when you shut the door. I know it won’t last forever so I’m just enjoying it all.

The show is now a global phenomenon – how was it to see the reactions of fans in different countries earlier this year? What is it about your Doctor that you think they’re enjoying?
It was extraordinary to see how popular the show is all over the world. I’ve had the great benefit of riding the wave of success that Matt (Smith), David (Tennant) and Chris (Eccleston) had started. I myself was fascinated by what made the show so popular abroad. To me it seems a particularly British thing. However, it seems that the themes of escapism and adventure are universal. Fans of Doctor Who are usually so warm-hearted and creative. It’s quite moving to see how much they love it. You don’t realise when you’re making the programme that it’s reaching out to so many people in Latin America or Asia or Australia. Obviously the character is so popular now and the concept is so clever, so I think that is what they’re responding to rather than me.

What will you be doing this Christmas and is there anything you want from Santa?
I’ll be watching the Christmas Special and I want a tangerine and a Doctor Who annual because that’s what I had as a kid.
Jenna Coleman - Q&A

What’s it like for Clara to be reunited with the Doctor in the Christmas Special?
She’s just really glad to be back with him. She’s dealing with the death of Danny Pink but happy to be back in the arms of the TARDIS again, and meeting Santa. A lot of the episode is about telling that adventure, and it’s about the Doctor and Clara resolving what they’ve just been through.

What was it like coming back to film the Christmas Special?
It was good because we’d had the build up to filming the finale, and then Peter and I went off on the World Tour, so we were obviously tired but we were rejuvenated having had a break. We had such a big reaction from around the world and then you get back to filming and back to what feels like your home really. It’s always like that when you’re filming the Christmas Special, and you’re surrounded by tinsel and mince pies and all of that on set every day. Even though it’s October you get a bit of Christmas spirit.

It’s a very Christmassy theme this year. What did you think when you heard there was going to be a real Santa Claus, and played by Nick Frost no less?
Genius. And it’s like Steven (Moffat) said in the read-through - his name is actually ‘Frost’ so it couldn’t be more perfect. Nick really pitches Santa Claus so well between being the Santa as we know him and being very traditional, and then also cutting the act and giving quite a contemporary feel. So it works really well within the context of the episode and he has got the right tone. He’s really nice to have around on set, very funny in between takes and on camera.

You must have had a lot of fun filming the Christmas episode with Nick?
I keep using the word funny to describe Nick but what I mean is he can take anything and make it hilarious. You can give him any line and he’ll just do something with it and I don’t even know how he does it. I’ve never seen Peter (Capaldi) corpse as much as when we were working with Nick. Even in make-up every morning before you get ready to go on set he would have you cracking up.

What does Clara make of Santa Claus?
When she meets him she can’t quite believe he’s there, because bumping into Santa Claus on your roof is quite a weird way to wake up. Deep down she has always wanted to see him, and so when he materialises it’s really a nice thing.

And working with the fabulous elves played by Dan Starkey and Nathan McMullen?
It was like they’d been working together for years. I thought they must have been rehearsing in their trailers because the timing and the double act between the two of them is like they’ve grown up together almost. But they’d only just met!

What can viewers expect from the Christmas special
It makes you question reality. You can’t quite figure it out. It makes you question what is real and what isn’t, but with a thriller and psychological element. It’s very Doctor Who - it’s got all of the traditional elements as well, and the one sequence we have with the sleigh is so magical. It’s what you want to sit down and watch at Christmas.

How do you like to spend Christmas?
With my family eating lots of food, surrounded by grandparents and nieces and lots of good TV, and going for nice big country walks. I really embrace Christmas. I love it.
Nick Frost - Q&A

How much of a Doctor Who fan are you?
On a scale of one to ten I’m probably a seven, if I’m being honest. I suppose most actors would just say ten. I was a big Tom Baker fan and I liked Sylvester McCoy, and Peter Davison. Then I missed out on that Saturday evening TV for a long time. I lived abroad and I travelled and I worked most Saturdays, so it just drifted out of my consciousness. Matt Smith reignited my love of the show and my love for that special feeling you get on Saturday when you can put your feet up and watch. There’s so little original sci-fi on British television, and to get something like Doctor Who that’s prime time Saturday night is something really special I think, as a science fiction fan. When Matt left and Peter came in I thought ‘he’s perfect’. It’s like James Bond. If you love Connery more than Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan more than Timothy Dalton – they’re still James Bond. They just bring different things to it. I love what Peter’s doing with it – I think it’s great.

How did the part come about?
It was just offered to me which was fantastic. I was in the pub on a Friday afternoon. It was about 5 o’clock and I had about two percent battery left on my phone. My agent phoned me and all I heard was ‘they’re going to offer you a part as the guest lead in the Christmas special on Doctor…’ I thought Doctor what? Doctor Kildare?! So then I had to wait until I got home to get the message and I was thrilled. It’s a big deal to be a guest lead in Doctor Who for the Christmas special. It’s the most popular show in the world right now essentially, and with this one feature in this one episode, more people will probably see that than all things I’ve done combined.

Was it fun playing Santa and being part of the production?
I’ve loved it. I felt quite bereft that I wouldn’t get to put on my beard once we’d wrapped. I think the real secret of Doctor Who is the fact that people presume and assume that they have essentially a bottomless budget – but they don’t. It’s just that the people who work on the show make it seem like they have because of their inventiveness and ingenuity. It’s great to watch, and everyone made me feel welcome. It’s a place where you can do some good work because you trust everyone and like everyone.

How would you describe your Santa?
There’s a percentage of ‘Ho Ho Ho’ as every good Santa needs, but that’s all people ever see of Santa. They never see him day to day or when he’s a bit grumpy, or when he’s in a playful mood or if he’s a bit cross. I’ve tried to get all those sides to him. Hopefully he’s funny. I wanted him to be funny and I wanted him to be like what he is essentially – and that’s the spirit of Christmas.

How does he get on with his two elves (played by Dan Starkey and Nathan McMullen)?
It’s fairly fractious. They take any chance they can to undermine him in front of people, and it makes Santa very cross but at the same time he’s very protective. I’m not sure if they’re his sons or not? What’s the relationship between the elves and Santa Claus? Are they just friends or are they just employees? Is there some kind of blood line? I’m not sure…

What would you say viewers can look forward to from this Christmas special?
There’s going to be a nice combination of comedy and terror, and cool creatures – and Christmas fun. There’s a sleigh ride and snow. It’s going to be beautiful!