The Christmas Invasion - Behind the Scenes [Part 16]
Excerpt from Benjamin Cook’s articles in Doctor Who Magazine #365
“Kids are going to be terrified,” says James [Hawes, director], as everyone at the tone meeting wonders how to turn trombones into flamethrowers. “Poor bloody kids. Happy Christmas, kids of England!”
“Can we do that to a trombone?” asks Russell [T. Davis, writer/showrunner]
“I think,” concedes Phil [Collinson, producer], “we’ll have to buy our own instruments.”
“No, let’s go and mug some buskers,” suggests James.
“Edwardo, you’re providing the instruments?” asks Phil.
“No,” replies Edward.
“I think you misheard the question. You ARE providing the instruments.”
“Knives?” Edward suggests. “Scalpels?”
“And then,” continues Phil, turning the page of his script, “we have my favorite four words of the episode: ‘tree begins to topple’…”
“Let’s kill Santa!” chuckles Julie [Gardner, exec producer]. “Death by tree!”
“His black boots sticking out from underneath,” laughs Phil.
The murderous Christmas tree in the Tylers’ flat is a greater challenge. Real trees are difficult to recreate in CGI (”lots of fiddly bits,” points out Dave Houghton [visual effects supervisor]). Thankfully, Russell was thinking of an artificial tree. He just forgot to mention that in the script.
“When it activates, all the needles fall off,” he explains, “so it’s just a metal structure. It literally becomes a blur, like the Tasmanian Devil. And then it trashes Jackie’s flat.”
Edward grins. “Can it break her coffee table… again!”
“She’s always sweeping up glass,” sighs Phil.
So what weapons does the tree have?
Russell: “Tinselly Nunchucks?”
Phil: “What are nunchucks?”
Russell: “Nunchucks. Things that nuns throw.”
Other parts of this photoset: [one] [two] [three] [four] [five] [six] [seven] [eight] [nine] [ten] [eleven] [twelve] [thirteen] [fourteen] [fifteen]
[ List of all Doctor Who Behind the Scenes photosets ]