Behind the Scenes of The Runaway Bride (Part Eight)
Excerpt from Benjamin Cook’s “Bad Reception” article in DWM #378
This, ladies and gentlemen, is Donna Noble’s reception. The room is adorned with decorations, party balloons, and a banner that says, somewhat prematurely, ‘Congratulations Donna & Lance’, but wedding presents, streamers, and sausage rolls lie strewn across the dancefloor, tables and chairs are overturned, the air is thick with smoke, and four artificial Christmas trees (watch out - they’re swines) are standing about, all menacing-like. Over there in the corner, chatting to a pageboy, is Donna herself, actress, comedienne, and famous lady Catherine Tate. In a wedding dress.
“How do you manage to run in that dress?” asks the pageboy.
“I know, it’s a bit tricky,” she answers. “Do you want to know a secret?” She hoists up her dress, but lowers her voice, “See, I’m wearing trainers!”
“Nice trainers,” nods David Tennant, the Doctor. “You should wear ‘em in wide shots!”
“Here we go, then,” calls out Peter Bennett, the first assistant director, “for a take. Nice and quiet, please. And turn over…”
Donna and Lance, her would-have-been fiance, climb out of hiding from behind a table. “You all right, sweetheart?” she asks, stepping over the wreckage of her wedding reception. “Michael? Connie? Sunita, do something useful -”
“Who’s Sunita?” asks Euros [Lyn, director].
“I’m making it this lady here,” replies Catherine, stroking the arm of a supporting artiste wearing an absurdly large hat.
“I thought Sunita sounded more like a bridesmaid’s name,” says the lady in the hat. […]
“I want this to happen at my wedding,” jokes Don Gilet, who plays Lance.
“That can be arranged,” says Any Effects’ Mike Crowley, the special effects supervisor.
The latest Doctor Who Magazine has an interview with Steven Moffat, who talks about Peter Harness’ upcoming episode The Pyramid at the End of the World (the second story in the upcoming three-parter).
The episode stands out because it’s the only one this year where Moff is credited as a co-writer. The reason for this, which he talks very movingly about, is because his mother passed away during the writing process of that episode and he wasn’t able to give Harness all the meetings and notes that he is generally able to give other writers for redrafts.
He was literally working at his mother’s bedside in hospital to redraft the episode.
He turns it on himself to say that Harness deserved better and he feels that he let him down to meet the production schedule, the whole situation sounds incredibly sad, but that is some incredible commitment…
I also like the fact that we are, in some of the episodes, exploring her independence. I think that’s great, because River’s not someone whose whole purpose is to be the companion of the Doctor, or whose sole purpose is to be reliant on the Doctor
Behind the Scenes of Planet of the Dead - Part Six
Excerpts from Benjamin Cook’s set report in DWM 408:
[on trying to film during a sandstorm] “Not only was what we were shooting looking horrible,” James tells DWM, “because we had no light… and this massive desert landscape, you couldn’t see it… I mean, we could have been in a car park at Upper Boat… but also sand was being blown in our faces constantly. The actors couldn’t open their eyes.”
“Problem is,” says make-up designer Barbara Southcott, “it’s on high-def, so you’ll see every bit of sand on their skin.”
“You’ll have to paint it out,” make-up artist Steve Smith teases The Mill’s Dave Houghton.
“Frame by frame,” nods Dave, “grain by grain.”
“I know it’s not easy, guys,” calls out John [Bennett, First Assistant Director]. “Let’s just do what we can.” But David’s hair has turned blonde. (Daniel [Kaluuya, who plays Barclay] dubs him “Barry Manilow”.)
The sand is sticking to everything. Worst hit is Tracie Simpson, whose lips are actually yellow. This is her first episode as Doctor Who’s producer. It’s a baptism of fire - no, of wind! Of wind and sand and lipstick.
Forgetting that Dubai is four hours ahead of the UK, DWM decides to text a message of support to Russell T Davies in Cardiff - you know, something encouraging and inspiring. But somehow we manage to send one that says: “SANDSTORM! CODE RED! ABORT! ABORT!” Surprisingly, Russell messages back: “I’ve got you texting with ‘SANDSTORM!’ and Julie [Gardner, executive producer] phoning with ‘SANDSTORM!’ I’m hooting. Save yourself, Ben.” Perhaps we should hide in a Portaloo until it’s all over? (We don’t last long. It stinks in here. Besides, a queue was forming.)
Back outside, the majestic crane shots intended for this morning are abandoned. The crane is dismantled and taken away. “I thought, let’s shoot everything that we can against the bus,” James explains later. “…but the actors all looked like they’d been tarred in sand and dragged through a hedge.”
“…he was reminded on Trenzalore that he wasn’t Human; that he wasn’t one of them, and that they live for a very short time. And that’s what made him draw back a bit, and think ‘I’m getting too bound up in them.’ Of course, he doesn’t succeed in that at all! In his very repressed, restrained way, he’s clearly as besotted with Clara as he ever was! That line in 'Dark Water’, Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference’, that’s about as close to “I love you” as the Doctor can get”
Details on the first drafts of Chris Chibnall’s scripts for series 7 before editing, which are potentially the best looks we can get into what his version of Doctor Who will be like. I already quite enjoyed Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and The Power of Three (and Pond Life!), but these versions sound way better in many ways. NuWho novelizations when?!?
Can you tell me the difference between the Eighth Doctor in the books, and the Big Finish audios, and the comics?
Eight in the books: Cute. Romantic. Adventurous. A bit broken. Mentally disturbed, occasionally slipping into full-on psychosis, develops PTSD and intense claustrophobia on top of that, also gets physically damaged with alarming frequency. Acts tall and dashes about and cooks and cuddles with people and saves kittens. Carries a teddy bear around for comfort. Has pretty eyes that change colour to reflect his mood. Addicted to massages. Loses his clothes all the damn time. Snogs his companions regardless of their gender. Wears that fancy outfit and variations thereupon for all eternity — as well as question mark underpants. Also commits genocide like once a book at least. Gets his first taste of the Time Wars early on, and becomes entirely tangled up in them.
Eight in the audios: Kind. Intense. Pragmatic. Lapses into deadpan sarcasm when he’s in danger. Loves everyone, but not that way, and would rather not talk about it because talking about feelings is difficult. Copes with emotional trauma by running far, far away. Gets distracted in the middle of sentences and forgets he’s talking to people even when they’re standing right next to him. Talks to himself a lot — considers it the first sign of madness. Wants to help out, no matter what, and to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Even if it takes years, even if it takes centuries. Loses his memory entirely too often. Grows out of that Victorian outfit and starts rocking leather jackets and beard scruff. Absolutely terrified of the Time War, which he knows is coming, and of what it will do to him someday.
Eight in the comics: Cool. Happy. Dangerous. Values his friends, always tries to give them better lives and second chances. Frequently on the verge of physical godhood, merging (or almost merging) with all sorts of cosmic powers before they slip away from him again. Downright chaste compared to the other two versions — he has another big snog with Grace, but that’s about it. Shows off an impressive pair of sideburns when first introduced. Wears pink waistcoats and (after a while) a blue jacket on top, and has an extensive collection of silly hats.
Behind the Scenes of The Unicorn and the Wasp (Part Four)
Excerpts from Jason Arnopp’s article in DWM 396:
DWM: Flashback time: what’s your favorite Doctor Who memory?
David Tennant: Hmmm, gonna say… the trailers for Terror of the Zygons. Because I was just old enough, for the first time, to kind of know what that meant. I could only have been five or something, but I knew that the trailers meant this show that I was becoming very passionate about, was coming back on TV. I couldn’t tell you what was in the actual trailers, but I think there were a few point-of-view slots thought the eyes of the deer’s head on the wall.
DWM: Flashback time: what’s your favorite Doctor Who memory?
Sandy McDonald (David’s Dad): I suppose The Christmas Invasion. As David has said many times in Doctor Who Magazine, he’s been a Doctor Who fan from the moment he was old enough to watch and take part: even before he went to primary school. As he grew up, of course he wanted to be an actor and he fulfilled that. But the Doctor Who thing was always there: he’s had all the books and the early tapes, and still has a massive collection of that. So when Christopher Eccleston chose to move on and David got the opportunity, it seemed like a dream come true. When the Christmas episode came on, we were all together as a family and there he was, as Doctor Who. That was a very special time, which David even filmed for his video-diary on Series Two.
The good peeps over at Doctor Who Magazine have released the cover for this month’s new issue. #512 is out Thursday.
And a very cool one it is!
It features The Doctor Peter Capaldi complete with uber cool shades and red velvet jacket. But lurking over his shoulder is one of series 10 new monsters – only known for now as the Monks. These new bad guys will appear in episode 6 ‘Extremis’ and DWM will take a closer look in their feature – ‘Truth or Dare’
Also inside this new issue is an exclusive interview with David Suchet. Guest star of this Saturday’s episode – ‘Knock Knock’ along with chats with writers Sarah Dollard (Thin Lice), Frank Cottrell-Boyce (Smile) and director Lawrence Gough.
Issue #512 also has previews of Knock Knock (ep4), Oxygen (ep5), Extremis (ep6) and The Pyramid at the End of the World (ep7). [x]
The Christmas Invasion - Behind the Scenes [Part 14]
Excerpt from Benjamin Cook’s articles in Doctor Who Magazine #365
Sean [Sycorax leader] is now ready for his big confrontation with the Doctor. “Under all this latex,” he reminds David, “I’m an extremely sexy, gorgeous, attractive, blue-eyed blonde.”
Yeah, right, that’s what all the Sycorax say.
“It seems like ages since I’ve said any lines,” David laughs. “It’s been like a week! And some people say actors have an easy life…”
——- And how does he like spending virtually the whole episode in pyjamas?
“It’s fantastic on a day like this,” he laughs. “The caves were quite cold, but I had my dressing gown, which is very warm. I mean, if it had been bucketing with rain today, I would have been fantastically miserable, obviously, cos these are fairly sheer pyjamas, but it’s worked out all right. It’s boiling. Next to poor old Sean, who’s wrapped under a latex duvet from dawn till dusk, with horrible contact lenses irritating the heck out of him, I’ve got away quite lightly, I think.”
LUKE DAVIS asks: What was Vastra and Jenny’s wedding like?
Victorian society reeled. Arthur Conan Doyle declined to attend but sent a hamper, George Bernard Shaw contemplated a new play, and a horse fainted. The Doctor enjoyed himself so much, he came four times, so wreaking havoc with the seating plan. A stern young woman from The Temperance League, attempted to disrupt the happy occasion, declaring it to be immoral, and got put in a headlock by Jenny. Surprisingly, Vastra was much more diplomatic about the interruption and just invited the young lady to dinner.
Fortunately, a video exists of the wedding, although the happy couple’s kiss has been edited from some copies, without the permission of the video makers. Vastra has made a list of the people responsible along with some suitable condiments.