Behind the Scenes of The Runaway Bride (Part Seven)
Excerpt from Benjamin Cook’s interview with David Tennant in DWM 378
BC: Hello, David. Are you scared of spiders?
DT: I don’t mind spiders, actually. I don’t love a lot of things like that, but spiders, for some reason, I feel quite comfortable around. Moths are the ones that freak me out. It’s something to do with the way that, if they get squished, they turn to dust. There’s something very wrong about that. It all feels a bit Gothic.
BC: What about weddings?
DT: I’m scared of weddings, obviously, yeah. [Laughs] Actually, I’ve always had a good time at weddings. I’ve missed a few friends’ weddings over the years, which is always disappointing, ‘cos this job isn’t one where you can say, ‘Ooh, I need Saturday off to go to a wedding.’ But ones that I’ve been to - in recent years, anyway - I’ve had a great time at. They’re happening less frequently, though, aren’t they? People don’t really feel the need to get married so much.
BC: Now that you’re famous, do you get invited to celebrity weddings of people that you barely know?
DT: I’ve never had that. Why haven’t I had that? Now that you mention it, I’m a bit annoyed about that. What’s coming up? Somebody from Hollyoaks must be getting married or something…
BC: According to this week’s Heat magazine, Michelle Heaton and Andy Scott-Lee are tying the knot. It is - I quote - ‘the pop wedding of the week.’
DT: Why haven’t I been invited? I’m not happy
BC: Sod ‘em. Tom Cruise’s wedding to Katie Holmes is more up your street, isn’t it?
DT: But I wasn’t invited to that one either. They didn’t get in touch. My invitation probably just got lost in the post.
From: Russell T Davies To: Benjamin Cook, Sunday 21 June 2009
This is probably the last e-mail that I’ll ever send you from Cardiff Bay, so you’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve just watched Rose. The last piece of telly I watch in this flat before leaving for LA is Doctor Who, Series One, Episode 1. Where it all began. How appropriate.
And I loved it.
Did you want more?! Sometimes I think every fan in the world wants me to say, Actually, we got that very wrong. I’m so sorry.’ They will wait a long time. A long, long time. Of course, these episodes will age, though that’s a lovely process, and there are always things that I’d have done differently, because there are always ways to do something differently. But that, frankly, was a joy - sitting down to watch a first-class episode of high-octane, big-success, primetime drama from the year 2005. Beautiful. If anything, I’m amazed that we worried, that we were scared that the show would die a death. Look at it! How could you not watch Doctor Who when it’s that good?!
I hope you’re not expecting modesty here. This is too important.
Okay, little niggles did leap out, though they annoyed me at the time. The climax could do with a tighten, of course, but we were under-running. Rose’s bedroom is horribly pink, but we fixed that in later episodes. I wish we’d cut Mickey’s improvised dance in Trafalgar Square at the beginning, and I’m bemused to think how reticent I must have been back then, in the Edit, not to have demanded its excision. Plus, we’re in Trafalgar Square, and you can’t see Nelson’s Column! (Well, except in one establishing shot, without Mickey and Rose.) How mad is that? I was there on location that day, too. Nowadays, I’d just march up to the camera and turn it round. Oh, I’ve become a monster. And the tiniest, daftest niggle of all - the Henrik’s security guard hands Rose the lottery money in a see-through plastic bag. I don’t believe you’d ever do that. I’m sure the script said ‘envelope’. It’s simply not the sort of bag that you’d collect lottery money in. After that, we learnt to discuss every tiny prop in the Tone Meetings. And then, look, Chris whirrs the sonic against a lock — and there’s a visible ripple! We never did that in future episodes, because it would have eaten up our FX budget. That’s not a niggle, though. That’s rather sweet. I like it.
The strangest thing about watching it now is remembering the stuff I’d get hung up on at the time, because writing this sort of thing was still new to me. For example, I remember worrying for months - months! - about Jackie’s coffee table. Yes, Jackie’s coffee table. Because Jackie’s coffee table is smashed into smithereens when the Doctor and Rose are tussling with an Auton arm in her living room, and yet - here’s the killer - it’s never mentioned again! Now, be honest, that’s never worried you, has it? But that was months of worry for me. It really bothered me. I kept coming back to it – because in 99 per cent of dramas, that would have repercussions. Well, not hugely, okay, but it would at least get mentioned. If a woman like Jackie stepped out of her bedroom to find her coffee table in pieces, she would never stop banging on about it. I worried and worried. I went through all sorts of options (when Jackie is late-night-shopping later on, should she say that she’s after a new coffee table? No, really?!), before I learnt to simply let go. That’s when I realised that in fantasy/action-adventure stuff, certain things fly past and are best forgotten, because the action, the characters, the audience and the writer don’t want it to stop, or to obsess over details. Move on! Leave the wreckage behind you! And I never stopped doing that.
Most of all, it hit me, watching Rose, that this show is exactly what I wanted it to be - and it is, in its first 45 minutes, exactly what it is now. It has never fundamentally changed. There has been no mission creep since 2005, no timidity, no reversals. There has been development and exploration, but no wandering. I’m proud of that. It’s hard to keep a show as it is without letting external pressures, or simply the passing of time, bend it out of shape. I’ve always admired the very first episode of Coronation Street, because it sets out what the show is with absolute precision. You can see the exact same show at work 49 years later. Rose is the same. It’s a powerful template, still at work today. Just look, for example, at how open and visible the plots are in this fictional world, right from the start. When the Doctor blows up Henrik’s, the explosion is reported on TV - and being commented on by Jackie, while her daughter was actually a witness. That’s immediately, significantly, a new form of Doctor Who, because it’s saying: this is public now. No more secret invasions of the Home Counties. The whole world is in danger, and everyone is going to know it. That persisted, to become a spine of the entire series. Four years before the human race flies right across the universe in The Stolen Earth, there it is, in miniature. The agenda, laid out for all to see. You’d think that was first signalled by the destruction of Big Ben in Aliens of London, but actually the essence of it is right here, right now, about six minutes into Rose.
The sexuality is there, too. Straight away, the simple, natural inclusion of sexuality. Rose kisses Mickey. Jackie flirts with the Doctor. The whole thing ends with Rose choosing a new man. Plus, the word 'gay’ appears for the first time in Doctor Who, Oh, and look at Mickey saying to Rose, 'Don’t read my e-mails!’ (Some people think that Rose treated Mickey badly, like she was the selfish one, but will you look at that line?! What on Earth do you think that line means? Seriously? That boy deserved to lose his girlfriend, right from the start!) The whole thing exists in a world where sex exists, which isn’t always the case with science fiction. Sex and selfishness. There is a real, vivid, selfish streak running through these characters, and that’s very me. I love writing that into characters. Too many TV characters are just 'nice’. Make them selfish - naturally selfish, as we all are - and they sing. That leapt out at me, watching Rose again. Long before his mysterious e-mails, Mickey abandons Rose for the football down the pub. The next morning, Jackie delivers that killer line, 'There’s no point in getting up.’ That strand continues all the way through to Donna, who has to return to her small-town Pringles and Heat-magazine life, or the Sylvia who always said that Donna was no good at school — or Martha Jones, the only one who’s ever truly selfless… and suffers for it! All of that is built into the very first script. A stifling world, demanding a Doctor to rescue you.
And the comedy is there. It took me four years to build up the confidence to do a complete comedy episode, with The Unicorn and the Wasp, but it’s rattling out in Rose, and that’s quite brave, I think. As I’ve said before, tragedy is straightforward, but it takes far more nerve to be funny. I laughed out loud at Jackie’s Arianna line. Neat bit of writing, that. It dodges the expected template, because that’s an old joke, which would normally go like this…
Arianna got two thousand quid off the council, just cos
the old man behind the desk said she looked Greek.
But she is Greek.
I know, but that’s not the point.
Except, Rose’s line has been cut, leaving Jackie to leap straight to the punchline unaided - 'I know she is Greek, but that’s not the point’ - so the joke is earlier than you’d expect. Which is good! And it makes Jackie madder, too, because she’s practically talking to herself- a great character synopsis for her at the same time. Mmm, not bad. Nice.
Immediately, the Doctor is the Doctor, too. Right from the start. There’s the Time War, straight away. ('I couldn’t save any of them!’ he yells, and it takes until 4.18 to find out why.) He’s got that whole mythic side to him already. Dumbos think that I’m turning the Doctor into God, when clearly I’m saying that God doesn’t exist, that we mythologise real people, events or aspirations into deities, and pay the price for it. All of that is circling around the Doctor from the off, with his 'the turn of the Earth’ speech.
D'you know like we were saying? About the Earth revolving?
It’s like when you’re a kid, the first time they tell you that the world’s turning. And you just can’t quite believe it, cos everything looks like it’s standing still.
(right at her)
I can feel it.
He holds her hand. The two of them, joined together; a gradual
tilt to the image, the feeling of suppressed power.
THE DOCTOR (CONT’D)
The turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour, and the entire planet is’ hurtling round the sun at sixty-seven thousand miles an hour, and I can feel it. We’re falling through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny
little world, and if we let go –
He lets go. Back to normal. Rose shaken, steps back.
THE DOCTOR (CONT’D)
That’s who I am. Now forget me, Rose Tyler. Go home.
I think the saltiness of the episode leapt out. There’s a real vim and vigour about it. An edge. It’s hard, at times. It’s a tough world. Why does that surprise me? Maybe, with the passing of time, I’ve come to regard Rose as a safe opener - a thought that evolves into 'soft opener’, like maybe I took some easy options. Did I hell! Look at it! Mickey gets his head pulled off! I’d actually forgotten that. His. Head. Pulled. Off. Wow! Clive gets shot in the face in front of his wife and child. Blimey. And the Doctor is as hard as nails - we’re nothing but apes, and Mickey’s death isn’t given a second thought. And Rose’s ditching of Mickey at the end - with a smile! - becomes the ultimate commitment to the Doctor’s life.
Look how much of this show is defined by Mickey Smith. I’d never noticed that before. Rose is meant to be the everyman, the companion, the touchstone by which we measure everything - but the whole episode uses Mickey as an equal and opposite insight. I don’t remember doing that deliberately. But it works.
And do you know what is staggering? What really amazed me, watching Rose again? Chris and Billie. Oh. My. God. And they wonder why certain other shows don’t work! Christ, we were lucky. Well, lucky and clever. Those two are simply amazing together. They bristle on screen. They’re sparking. Sizzling. I could watch those two forever. I just found that dazzling, Ben. That’s the definition of star power right there, in those two actors.
So! I’m surprised by all of that, to be honest. I’m amazed to see that so much of what I wanted from Doctor Who was so present and so clear, from the opening titles onwards. I thought I’d watch something more timid, more unformed, more embryonic. I didn’t remember it being that confident, that certain, right from the start. We’ve got so used to doing interviews in which we talk about the horrors of production, being thrown in at the deep end, the amount that we had to learn, and the steepness of that learning curve, etc, that we’ve forgotten: this was good. This was great! Actually, it’s BRILLIANT! And the episode asserts itself again and again, even today, because those 45 minutes established an audience that grew, for five years. That’s important, and rare. This show has drawn more and more people to it as time has gone on, and it hasn’t increased its audience by changing; it’s done so by staying the same, by being consistent, by never flinching. We’ve had some nerve. That sort of success doesn’t happen often. In fact, it happens just about never.
But it happened to Doctor Who.
Russell T Davies, The Writer’s Tale: The Final Chapter
Heat magazine has the original print article that is now rehashed on CelebsNow online. I’ll put the main point first before the article itself which includes the quotes from Luke Poole. This is a 2 page with a whole page of Briana with Freddie - last pink cap pap trip.The main essence is her laying down the law with rules for Eleanor (and looks like a heads up to us on what we can expect)
BRIANA’S BABY RULES!
ELEANOR’S NOT ALLOWED TO:
FEATURE FREDDIE ON HER INSTA POSTS
ACT LIKE SHE’S FREDDIE’S MUM
BABYSIT FREDDIE WHEN LOUIS ISN’T AROUND
POSE FOR PHOTOSHOOTS WITH LOUIS AND FREDDIE
JOIN IN SOCIAL MEDIA PICS WITH LOUIS AND FREDDIE
“Briana wanted to get back with Louis”
But then the 1D star got back with another ex, says her mate
Is there anything more complicated than Louis Tomlinson’s love life? The One Direction star dumped long term girlfriend Eleanor Calder back in March 2015, announced he was having a baby with stylist Briana Jungwirth in July that year, started dating The Originals actress Danielle Campbell five months later, became a father in January 2016, split with Danielle in January this year and, just weeks later, hooked back up with original girlfriend Eleanor. All caught up now?
Well, it just got a whole lot more complicated, as Briana’s friend Luke Poole tells heat that Briana wanted Louis back earlier this year - and had no idea he was reuniting with fashion blogger Eleanor. When Danielle and Louis broke up, Luke says, “I think that maybe, for a second, she did [hope they’d get closer].” But Briana was blindsided when Louis got back with Eleanor - as revealed in heat last week - with Luke confirming, “I don’t think she knew about that at first.” When we asked if it’d be hard to compete with Eleanor, who Louis dated for three and a half years, Luke simply answered, “I don’t think it’s ever going to get to that level where they get back together now.”
When Louis was dating actress Danielle, there were a few issues - with Briana tweeting, “You can pretend all you want but you will NEVER be my baby son’s mother”, and insiders told heat that she’d banned Danielle from even holding baby Freddie. And Luke, who speaks to Briana regularly - says that to avoid any problems with the new relationship, there are definite ground rules around Eleanor’s contact with the baby. “Louis and Briana are getting along right now, and everything is going well,” he says, but adds that Eleanor’s off babysitting duty for now. “Freddie wouldn’t be allowed to stay with the new girlfriend unless Louis was there too.”
Luke goes on to say that photos of Eleanor acting like Freddie’s mum or putting baby pics on her Instagram wouldn’t be OK, and it would be an issue if “they [Louis, Eleanor and Freddie] posted a picture together.” Official photoshoots are out, too, but Luke adds, “I don’t think Louis would do that, I don’t think he is trying to step on anybody’s toes. At this point, everyone is just coping with the situation.” Of course, they all want to get along for Freddie’s sake. However, as Luke ominously says, “Anything can change; there’s always the possibility it could be more confrontational.”
Luke says that Briana hasn’t met Eleanor yet, but she wants to. “I definitely think so, because I’m sure if [Eleanor] is going to be around Louis, then the kid will be around her. Briana is protective, and she is definitely going to want to know her. They will definitely have to meet, for sure.” But it’s not going to be a comfortable meeting - after all, there wasn’t much of a break between the split with Eleanor and Louis meeting Briana. “It may be awkward,” Luke tells us. “It will be awkward for Eleanor, not Briana as much.”
We’re going to guess that it’ll be more awkward for Louis, to be honest. Good luck everyone.
I didn’t include the pics - big pic of pink cap Briana and Freddie plus a small pic from pap shoot, the infamous This one’s for the Sun pic, pic of Briana and Luke, and one old pic of Lousi and Eleanor (Louis in striped top and Eleanor in white blouse)