With Doctor Who 50th anniversary coming up in November we continue our chat with stars Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman.
How much of an affect has this had on you personally? Do you see yourself one day showing your kids Doctor Who?
Matt: Crikey. Well, I need to find a woman first before I have any kids. (he laughs) But when I do, if and when I have kids, I will be far too vain not to show them, I’m sure. It’s a cool kids’ show. So yeah, I would. That’s the most bizarre question I’ve been asked in a few days. Which is good.
Have you pondered what life is going to feel like once you’re out of this and what it has done for your career?
Matt: I have pondered it on several occasions, and think, ‘I’ve made a huge mistake. What am I doing? Don’t leave.’ I mean, it’s transformed my career. It sort of is my career to a certain extent.
It’s been wonderful for my life and my family’s life. And I guess the thing you take most from it is, without sounding too earnest about it, the friendships. I’ve made some very dear friends.
I think Steven Moffat is one of the best writers on the planet. And one hopes that it sets you up to get other work. But [we’re] just actors, we go, we audition. I’m the same as anyone else. You know what I mean? Just because I’ve done Doctor Who doesn’t give me any divine right to walk into other jobs.
For Jenna. Coming into this as a new companion, were they very up front with how integral your character was going to be and how you were actually possibly going to be a tent peg in moving forward with a new Doctor?
Jenna: There was discussions as soon as I started, so I knew it was likely that Matt would be leaving us at the end of this season. But in terms of the story arc, I knew I was playing three different characters, but as Steven is writing we’re filming.
So we actually didn’t find out until later in the season the reveal of that. So I was just playing three characters, self contained, without having to know the answers why.
For Matt. I’m just looking at this article here that you just did. It says you’re planning on taking the sonic screwdriver when you leave the show, and that Ryan Gosling discovered you. Can you explain that?
Matt: Very interesting pair of questions. Yeah. Well, the first comment is in relation to a question which said, ‘What will you take from the set?’ ‘The sonic screwdriver.’
I don’t know if Ryan Gosling discovered me, but I just made a film with him, and he got in touch, because he’d seen a bit of Doctor Who, so maybe it’s related to that.
Matt, when you first got into the role, did you develop a bucket list of things you wanted your Doctor to be able to do, and did you get to do them all? Is there still one thing that your Doctor never got to do that you want him to do?
Matt: To be honest with you, I sort of leave that to the people that are cleverer than me and write the episodes: Steven, Mark Gatiss, Richard Curtis. There’s so many fabulous writers that come onto the show, and they give you all this great stuff. I just try and turn up and get the lines in the right order.
Jenna, how about you? Are there characters that have been in past Doctor Who that you want to experience? Are there places you want your character to go?
Jenna: I’ve always said Ancient Egypt, just from a selfish point of view, because I like it. But what’s interesting is actually something [Matt] said the other day, was Atlantis.
Matt: That would be fun, I think, an underwater episode. But it would be so expensive.
Does anyone there know who the new Doctor will be?
Matt: Yes! No, of course we don’t. (he laughs)
Matt, you are getting ready to film your last episode. Are you and Jenna emotionally ready for all the pressure, hype and fandom that’s surrounding it?
Matt: Well, to be honest with you, it’s kind of business as usual really. I mean, we just make the show, and that’s our kind of business end really. We’re locked away in Cardiff. We do our thing. And then we jump into the hype and all the fandom when we come to Comic Con and to here to things like that. So we just crack on with it.
But it is going to be emotional for me, because it’s been four years. And it’s quite a transformative experience as an actor. It really dominates your life in and out of work, and you become very attached to people. But we just make the show, don’t we?
The thing with Doctor Who is that every episode tends to escalate somehow. If it’s not the 50th anniversary, then you’re going into the regeneration. And then after the regeneration, you’re going into the first Doctor’s episode, and then you’ve got to plan a new season anyway. So it’s always got to go up.
Jenna: Yeah. I think, as well, seeing the reaction we get at Comic Con and seeing trailers like that, it kind of makes us more excited to get back rather than nervous about putting out a great episode. I’m also slightly in denial about the fact that Matt is leaving. But we’ve got quite a lot to do yet.