Behind the Scenes of Planet of the Dead - Part Two
Excerpts from Tom Spilsbury and Benjamin Cook’s article for DWM (#407)
Of course, it may have seemed like a long wait for a new episode since The Next Doctor last Christmas, but it was even longer for the production team - with David Tennant returning as the Doctor for Planet of the Dead after eight months away, starring in the RSC’s Hamlet. “There was a proper, genuine excitement when David returned to Cardiff,” says Russell [T. Davies]. “I’m not kidding, we were all buzzing! When I got to the readthrough, I realised, powerfully, how much I’d missed it.”
“David was in fine form at that readthrough,” says Gareth [Roberts, co-writer of Planet of the Dead], “and obviously glad to be back. The cast in any TV production always looks to the leading actor to set the tone, and he was straight back in there as the Doctor, no problem, sparking. I was sat right opposite him, and it was rather like being caught in an electric storm.”
“We’re not Doctor Who fans by accident,” smiles Russell. “There really is something unique and special about that Time Lord and the life that he leads. Both the character and David himself fill the production with energy, and we’re all aware that we haven’t got many of these good times with David left.