SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who and Torchwood– News And Interviews On Their Upcoming Seasons

Matt Smith and Karen Gillan discuss the upcoming season of Doctor Who in the above video. More from Matt Smith here and Karen Gillan here. Here are some of Karen’s comments:

“There were clues planted in the last series that are going to become major storylines in this one,” divulges a conspiratorial Karen Gillan; a revelation which is bound to have all Whovians avidly watching Series 5 to spot what the Inverness born actress is referring to.

“There’s a really interesting arc in this series that involves all of the major characters and it’s evident from the first episode that everyone on the TARDIS is withholding secrets from one another,” continues Karen.“It makes for a fascinating dynamic between the characters and it’s incredibly important to the overall series.”

Karen also believes that Amy has more respect for her new husband Rory after his recent adventures.“I think Rory has perhaps developed the most out of all the characters,” explains Karen.“By the end of last series he became a Roman Centurion hero and he had changed a lot; it felt like he had earned his place in the TARDIS. In fact, it’s hard for me to imagine the TARDIS without him now!”

But has married life changed Amy Pond? Karen quickly sweeps that concern out of the way exclaiming “if anything she is even more Amy Pondish! I don’t think it would work for Amy to completely change now that she’s a married woman and I certainly don’t think she should become a subdued version of herself. However, I do think being married has helped to define the Doctor and Amy’s relationship and I can reveal thatsomething takes place this series which makes Amy see Rory in a new light…,” teases the actress.

More from Matt Smith and Karen Gillan here. Karen Gillan will also be a guest on Craig Ferguson’s show on April 13. Perhaps she will show him how to operate the TARDIS on his desk. The picture above is from the third episode.

Steven Moffat had these comments on the upcoming season:

How has this series evolved from last year?

Steven Moffat: Well we’ve moved through the funfair a bit – we’ve done the rollercoaster, now we’re on the ghost train. Last year, in a way, was all about saying, don’t worry, it’s still him, it’s still the same show, nothing’s really been lost. Losing a leading man like David Tennant is seismic – unless you gain a leading man like Matt Smith. It’s been the biggest joy to see him stride in and just claim that TARDIS for his own. But now he’s really here, and the part is his, and the bow tie is cool, he’s ready to lead us places we didn’t know existed. Last year we reassured you – this year, to hell with that, we’re going to worry the hell out of you. How well do we really know that man, or what he’s capable of? We’re putting the Who? back in the Doctor.

Is there a major story arc to look out for?

Oh, there’s a big story being told this year, and major mysteries from the very off. As ever, in this show, the stories all stand alone, and every episode is a perfect jumping-on point for a new viewer. But at the same time the over-arching plot will be a bigger player this year. More than hints and whispers – we’re barely ten minutes into episode one before our heroes face a dilemma that they’ll be staring at months from now. And there will be no easy answers.

Will there be new monsters?

They’re … scary. Very scary. And, ohh, I don’t want to say more – there’s the Silence in 1 & 2, the Siren, in episode 3, the Gangers in 5 & 6, all these are more than just freaky costumes and masks; there are SCARY ideas here. And just wait till you meet Idris in episode 4.

Is this series scarier than the last one?

See above. Yes, I think so. But it’s not JUST scary – it’s funny and moving and revelling in its own insanity too.

How have the characters evolved?

The big difference, I suppose, is how long the Doctor is hanging around in the lives of his Companions. His normal MO is get them while they’re young, and leave them while they’re young too. He’s careful to put them back where he found them, before he screws up their lives. But here he is, married couple on board – and much as he loves them both, he does wonder if it isn’t time he got out of the way. Before something really BAD happens.

What can you tell us about the cliff-hanger at the end of episode 7?

Normally our cliff-hangers are lives being threatened. With this one, three live are changed FOREVER.

The poster for The Impossible Astronaut (above) is available for pre-order. Here’s  the synopses of the first two episodes:

Episode 1: The Impossible Astronaut

Four envelopes, numbered 2, 3 and 4, each containing a date, time and map reference, unsigned, but TARDIS blue. Who sent them? And who received the missing number one? This strange summons reunites the Doctor, Amy, Rory and River Song in the middle of the Utah desert and unveils a terrible secret the Doctor’s friends must never reveal to him.

Placing his life entirely in their hands, the Doctor agrees to search for the recipient of the fourth envelope – just who is Canton Everett Delaware the Third? And what is the relevance of their only other clue: ‘Space 1969′? Their quest lands them – quite literally – in the Oval Office, where they are enlisted by President Nixon himself to assist enigmatic former-FBI agent Canton, in saving a terrified little girl from a mysterious spaceman.

Episode 2: Day of the Moon

The Doctor is locked in the perfect prison. Amy, Rory and River Song are being hunted down across America by the FBI. With the help of new friend and FBI-insider, Canton Everett Delaware the Third, our heroes are reunited to share their discoveries, if not their memories. For the world is occupied by an alien force who control humanity through post-hypnotic suggestion and no one can be trusted. Aided by President Nixon and Neil Armstrong’s foot, the Doctor must mount a revolution to drive out the enemy and rescue the missing little girl. No-one knows why they took her. Or why they have kidnapped Amy Pond..

Beyond the two-part story opening the season in the United States, an episode written by Neil Gaiman entitled The Doctor’s Wife is attracting considerable attention. Newsarama interviewed Gaiman:

“Getting to write a Doctor Who episode, for me anyway, was probably the nearest to being God that I have ever been or will ever get,” Gaiman told Newsarama. “I remember a similar feeling of megalomaniac power for about fifteen minutes in 1988 when I got to write my first Batman line. I got to bring on Batman and write dialogue for Batman and, I’m making Batman talk.  But making Batman talk does not actually compare to the feeling of glorious power you get the moment you type, ‘Interior TARDIS.’”

…Gaiman isn’t exactly sure why Doctor Who is making such a big splash in the U.S. finally, but he did venture a guess. “I think partly, it’s probably broken at the States because there isn’t anything like it and I think it probably took it five years to break in because nobody was really promoting it. It was something that has been driven by fans,” he said. “If I can say this without being taken outside and beaten up by the BBC, it was probably in many ways, driven by people downloading it and torrenting it. It was being driven by people falling in love with it one person at a time and then telling somebody else, ‘Look, you have to watch this. Here’s ‘Blink,’ watch this. Here’s ‘The Girl In The Fireplace,’ watch this. Here’s ‘Dalek,’ watch this,’ and I think that’s what drove it.”

“But I also think the lovely thing about having a new Doctor is, it gave everybody a nice place to jump on. You didn’t have to feel that you were in this five episode…you know, Russel’s [T. Davies] arc was this five year run and now we’re into the new one,” continued Gaiman. “But also, I think the worst thing about Doctor Who is also the best thing about Doctor Who, which is you’ve got 47 years of mythos and it’s unfortunate, but people think that they need to know or understand that 47 years of mythos rather than the simplicity of Doctor Who which is, there’s this wonderful man, in this blue box, that can travel through space and time and it can turn up anywhere and it will turn up somewhere where there’s a problem and he will sort it out.”

Gaiman didn’t reveal too much about the episode, providing this summary:

Although he was reluctant to give too many details, Gaiman also mentioned a few actors he was excited to write for in his episode, “The Doctor’s Wife,” and what we can expect. “It stars Suranne Jones playing a character named Idris who may turn out to be an old acquaintance of the Doctor’s with a new face. It co-stars Michael Sheen as a mysterious baddie called The House,” he revealed to Newsarama. “It begins on a junkyard planet out on the very edge of the universe and I thought it would be fun to start in a junkyard just because Doctor Who started in a junkyard, so this does.”

Thirteen minutes were cut from the final version (which hopefully will be included on the DVD) and Gaiman had to settle with less CGI than he initially wrote into the story:

The other thing Gaiman had to get used to, was writing for a show that doesn’t necessarily have the biggest budget in television. “There’s a lot of CGI. I remember handing in the first draft to them and having a dinner afterwards at Steven Moffat’s place where they said, ‘Look Neil, we love the first draft. It’s brilliant, it’s funny, it’s clever, it’s wonderful. Just so you know, each episode of Doctor Who has,’ I forget what the exact numbers were, I think they basically said 100 man-hours of CGI, ‘You have 640.’  So there was a level on which lots of things went away,” he said, “They still wound up essentially taking other episodes out around the back of the bike sheds, beating them up and taking their lunch money and giving it to me. All I know is the finished episode looks beautiful and it has, like I say, it has everything I would have wanted and it takes you places you’ve never been before.”

Interview with John Borrowman and Bill Pullman on Torchwood: Miracle Day at Cannes in the video above.

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