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Festive Tardis right on time

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  • Publication: The Age
  • Date: 2010-12-23
  • Author: Frances Atkinson
  • Page: Green Guide, p. 3
  • Language: English

ABC1 is rushing the Doctor Who special to air.

THEY make strange bedfellows, Christmas and Doctor Who, but for millions of British viewers watching the festive one-hour episode on Christmas Eve is a sacred tradition. And now, for the first time, Australian audiences can join in - albeit a little later - when it screens on Boxing Day evening.

The 11th Doctor Who, Matt Smith, is also the youngest Time Lord in the show's history; a mere 907 years. His companion Amy Pond is played by the even younger Karen Gillan, a 23-year-old Scot born in Inverness. Speaking from a "swanky London hotel", Gillan has been doing the rounds, talking to media around the world about her role as Doctor Who's sidekick. If she's tired of talking about the gig you can't hear it in her voice; in fact, her enthusiasm for the role is obvious. "My mum is a huge Whovian, so for me to tell her that I'm actually in it was a lot of fun," she says. "She was doing the dishes when I told her and she started crying. It really is her favourite show. It was surreal." Surreal is the perfect word to describe a show that opens with a flaming screensaver set to a daggy score that's all about characters either running from intergalactic creatures or to a 1960s police box. Gillan, who joined the show in 2009, found shooting her first scenes inside the Tardis (Time And Relative Dimensions in Space), not only thrilling but unexpectedly funny. Shot in the middle of summer on a beach in Cardiff, she says: "I think that was the weirdest day of my life. The Tardis is so iconic. I think you could show a baby a picture of it and they would know what it was. We all just piled in and then the door shuts and we're standing there in the dark. I think someone started making funny noises. It feels quite natural now." Gillan, whose other roles have been small, says she felt the weight of past companions on her shoulders. "My favourite companion is Billy Piper [Rose] but I really hope I've made the role my own. I hope people like Amy but you can't think about that too much, you can't base your work on that alone." Though the doctor is the focus of each episode, the role of the companion has always been an integral one. "They're the eyes of the show, the audiences; the entire episode is their story because they're the ones whose lives are being impacted by this strange person from another dimension," she says. Gillan has her own theories as to why Doctor Who is so popular during the holiday season. "Doctor Who is the ultimate family show - everyone can watch it. Adults feel a bit of ownership about it because they know the history of the show and so do children. Christmas is about spending time with people you love and this episode is so Christmassy." While the details of the show are under wraps, two popular British identities are known to have leading roles - Michael Gambon (Harry Potter and the Half- Blood Prince, The Singing Detective) and opera diva Katherine Jenkins. Executive producer Steven Moffat said recently: "It's all your favourite Christmas movies at once, in an hour, with monsters and the Doctor and a honeymoon and - oh, you'll see. I've honestly never been so excited about writing anything. I was laughing madly as I typed along to Christmas songs in April. My neighbours loved it so much they all moved away and set up a website demanding my execution. But I'm fairly sure they did it ironically." On Christmas Eve, on what one can only assume will be a freezing, snowy night, Gillan knows exactly where she'll be. "I'm going home to Scotland and I'm going to watch myself in Doctor Who with my family. How funny is that?" Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol, ABC1, Sunday, December 26, 7.30pm.

GRAPHIC: PHOTO: Karen Gillan, who plays Doctor Who's latest companion Amy, will be watching the Yuletide offering at home with her "Whovian" mother.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Atkinson, Frances (2010-12-23). Festive Tardis right on time. The Age p. Green Guide, p. 3.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Atkinson, Frances. "Festive Tardis right on time." The Age [add city] 2010-12-23, Green Guide, p. 3. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Atkinson, Frances. "Festive Tardis right on time." The Age, edition, sec., 2010-12-23
  • Turabian: Atkinson, Frances. "Festive Tardis right on time." The Age, 2010-12-23, section, Green Guide, p. 3 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Festive Tardis right on time | url= | work=The Age | pages=Green Guide, p. 3 | date=2010-12-23 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Festive Tardis right on time | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024}}</ref>