Doctor Who Christmas Special 2012, 706 - Richard E Grant
Doctor Who 7.06 "The Snowmen" - The villainous Doctor Simeon (Richard E Grant) ©2012 BBC/BBC Wordwide

The BBC has release over the weekend a press pack of interviews with those involved in making the Doctor Who Christmas Special. Here we have the quotes from guest stars Richard E Grant and Tom Ward.

Those from Steven Moffat, Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman can be found by clicking on the links at the bottom of the post.

The Doctor Who Christmas Special 2012 has a airdate of Tuesday, December 25. It is will be shown at 9:00pm ET/PT on BBC America and 5.15pm on BBC1 in the UK..

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2012
– Captain Latimer aka Tom Ward official release

Doctor Who 7.06 - Tom Ward
Doctor Who 7.06 “The Snowmen” – Captain Latimer (Tom Ward) ©2012 BBC/BBC Wordwide

Tom has been star of Silent Witness for over 10 years. So that Doctor Who presents a departure for him, from the modern day to the world of sci-fi. Here he explains what we can expect from his character and whether he will be watching on Christmas Day.

“He hasn’t been used to dealing with his children,” explains Tom, as he reveals a small insight into his character, Captain Latimer. “He wants to love them, but he is an old naval captain that has struggled to build a relationship.”

Tom plays an archetypal Victorian gent, complete with a rather good beard. “Yes it is,” laughs Tom, as he confirms the beard is real. “You often get the obligatory moustache in a Victorian drama, but I wanted to go further and the beard seemed appropriate.”

Children are very Excited

Having spent 10 years in a drama not necessarily accessible to his children, Tom reveals he is excited to have done something they can watch. “My children are very excited that I am in Doctor Who and I am glad they have something that they can finally watch! My oldest child is 10, so this will give him bragging rights at school and hopefully me a little bit of school gate currency.”

So what drew Tom to the role? “It was one of the best scripts I had read in a long time. [Also] the thought of doing a period sci-fi was really fun.”

With Tom admitting that his Doctor is Tom Baker, he expresses admiration for current Doctor, Matt Smith. “He is brilliant. Keeping the set feeling happy and is full of energy,” says Tom. “He has a great relationship with the crew.” As well as co-starring Tom, the Christmas episode will also feature Richard E Grant. “I had one scene with him,” explains Tom, “and he was a legend. An absolute delight.”

In this episode we also meet Clara, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman for the first time. “She is a brilliant actress,” says Tom, “full of life and energy, so funny and has a great rapport with Matt.”

With Tom confirming that his children are fans, will he be watching on Christmas day? “We have just moved into the country, so it will be the family round and the fire blazing. I don’t normally like to watch myself on TV, but this time I think I will make an exception…”

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2012
– Villain Richard E Grant official release

Doctor Who 7.06 - Richard E Grant
Doctor Who 7.06 “The Snowmen” – The villainous Doctor Simeon (Richard E Grant) ©2012 BBC/BBC Wordwide

He has previously played the Doctor in the 2003 online animated series Scream Of The Shalka and during a Comic Relief spoof some years ago. Richard E Grant now returns to Doctor Who, but this time as the villainous Doctor Simeon.

“I have been told that on pain of death I am not allowed to reveal anything about my role in the Christmas Special” explains Richard. However this is, “Other than that this character has never been in Doctor Who before…”

Returning to Doctor Who for the third time, Richard explains, “I have had two ‘brushes’ with the Who phenomenon before. Playing the Doctor in the cartoon digital version and the Comic Relief spoof some years ago. [That was] before the franchise was re-booted with Christopher Eccleston.”

This Year’s villain

Richard is tasked with playing this year’s villain, the mysterious Doctor Simeon, who, with a vendetta to settle from childhood, recruits an army of evil and hungry snowmen to bring together his plan.

So how did Richard enjoy playing the villain? “When you’re born with a 10-foot-long face, you don’t get hero roles, but I’m not complaining, as I have hugely enjoyed the wide variety of parts I’ve got to play.”

Growing up in Swaziland, Richard has had to devote time to catching up on the British institution, he explains: “Having grown up in a country without TV, I missed seeing Doctor Who through my childhood. [However] I have made up for lost time since with box sets.”

As the Doctor battles to defeat Doctor Simeon and his army, Richard shared many scenes with Matt Smith – so what did he make of working Matt? “I have really admired Matt from when I first saw him in a play called That Face at the Royal Court Theatre some years ago,” says Richard, “and have keenly followed his career progress. He is the perfect fit for Doctor Who. His interpretation is very kinetic and fast-talking.”

So will Richard be watching this Christmas? “I love Christmas and everything about it. I will be at home and watching TV after lunch, hoping I can stay awake after the feast!”

Colin Davies

The editor of Film Review Online

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