Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Who's a clever boy, then?

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coverage of series 7, 2012-2013

  1. Bring on the Daleks! (1 September)
  2. Doctor on 'Tops (8 September)
  3. The Magnificent Three | letters (15 September)
  4. (no article) (22 September)
  5. Life after Amy (29 September) | letters (29 September) | Why I killed the Ponds (6 October) | letters (13 October) | letters (20 October)
  6. My presents ... past & future (22 December)
  7. Who's coming home (23 March) | Who's a clever boy, then? (30 March)
  8. (no article) (6 April)
  9. Why I wanted to bring back the Ice Warriors | letters (13 April)
  10. (no article) (20 April)
  11. Trashing the Tardis (27 April)
  12. The Avenger Fights Back (4 May)
  13. They're Back! (11 May)
  14. Who is the Real Clara? (18 May)
  15. He's my Doctor (21 December)

coverage of other series
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[edit]

Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman reveal their sparky new partnership. Plus Steven Moffat's episode guide


OBSERVING MATT SMITH as he throws shapes for the RT photographer, it's clear there's something different about the Doctor. It's not just the wind machine rearranging his floppy locks nor comely new co-star Jenna-Louise Coleman at his side, but rather that he appears to have bulked up and broadened out. Once the photos are finished, he concedes, "Since I've been back in London, I've been going to the gym three times a week. It makes me feel much better about my life, I have to say. It's just good for my mind."

Could it also be on his mind that he'll soon be starring in the US movie How to Catch a Monster, directed by Ryan Gosling, renowned for his chiselled physique? Has he seen Gosling's celebrated six-pack? "No, I haven't seen his abs yet," he laughs, "but as soon as I do, Radio Times will be first to know." Surely, they're both in competition for the hearts of teens around the world? "Oh, he wins, he totally wins, mate."

Smith completed filming series seven of Who last year, but soon he'll be back in Cardiff to shoot the 50th anniversary special, about which he is customarily tight-lipped. He's spent the hiatus directing a Sky Arts drama, Cargese, which suggests he's keeping at least one eye on a future beyond the Tardis. The question, as always, is how long can he go on as the Doctor? "For ever! I came back and put the costume on for the photo-shoot today. At the risk of sounding self-indulgent and cheesy, it really does make you want to go back and start shooting. I'm attached to the show for the next year and I take it year by year. I think that's the only way you can take it."

Amid signs of spring outside, renewal is in the air with newcomer Coleman. In a bid to understand the dynamic between the pair, I ask Smith who would drive if they were to take a hypothetical car journey together. "I'd definitely drive," he laughs. "Can she even drive? She can ride shotgun. Happy days! Plus the fact is, I get to choose what's on the radio. The music this one listens to... No, no, no, no, no. She doesn't share my musical tastes. She'll hate me for saying that. That will really annoy her." In the past he's dismissed her tastes as "low-level pop" while his iPod features Alt-J and Jessie Ware.

Smith and Coleman were head boy and girl in their schooldays. Jenna got better A-levels than Matt - straight As. "Exams just tell you how good you are at passing exams," says Smith. But does this disparity extend to their characters? Could Clara, a bona fide genius, be more intelligent than the Doctor. "No. I mean, no," he laughs. "There'd be no show. He's cleverer. He allows her to think she's really clever all the time. But this is a man of over a thousand years with a complex neurostructure, two hearts and the mind of a robot dog."

Confronted with recent criticism that the Whoniverse is dishing out short rations in this golden anniversary year, he replies, as if personally wounded, "But I think there's only so much you can shoot. There's a Christmas special and eight episodes, there's the 50th anniversary, and on top of that you've got Mark Gatiss writing a script [An Adventure in Space and Time about Who's origins], plus you've got live events, things taking place around the world simultaneously. There's only so many you can make each year without compromising the quality. It will be everything that it needs to be, the anniversary. And in November there will be a right old party."

He's similarly engaged when confronted with another recent criticism that the show has become too complex for children. "No, I think we have to give children more credit. Children are always going to engage with the story in a slightly different way to adults, but I tell you this, I bet you they pay more attention. What are we meant to do? Just dumb everything down? The science is mad and complicated and brilliant. It's Doctor Who! If it's too easy, what's the point?"

Having said that, Smith's summary of the new episodes is admirably straightforward: A load of new places to explode things, new places to visit and people we may or may not have seen before' Simple enough for any adult.

One of the many unexpected talents required of the new companion was baking a soufflé (in last September's Asylum of the Daleks). "It's all in the whipping action," giggles Jenna-Louise Coleman, who seems to have come to terms with the particular demands of the show. "I'd been doing period dramas for two years [Titanic, Dancing on the Edge] where you're very still, so working with CGI, working with cameras when you're constantly running, that's a new experience.

"Mine and Matt's dynamic is challenging," she says. "Matt describes it as a dance, but to me it's such a ping-pongy kind of dynamic." The 26-year-old, who's dating Game of Thrones star Richard Madden (Robb Stark), believes that Smith is a bigger diva than herself: "He demands sweets at certain times of the day and Diet Coke in his trailer."

She's confirmed she'll be in next year's Doctor Who, but of the latest episodes, The Rings Z of Akhaten (next week) is her favourite. "It's Clara's first experience of an alien world, realising what life will be like to travel with the Doctor. It's big and heartfelt, but really funny. An epic episode wonderfully written by Neil Cross [Luther]." As for scary monsters, wait for the finale. "It's a huge surprise, a monster with style'


STEVEN MOFFAT'S EPISODE GUIDE


THE DOCTOR Is a man of secrets. He's been with us for nearly 50 years, but how little we know about him! Why did he set sail to see the universe in the first place? What happened to his family that sent him on his way? Even the show's title is a reminder that he hasn't got round to introducing himself yet...

Eight new episodes are coming your way right now. But before you even start, just remember this - the Doctor doesn't tell you everything, and you might be in for a shock. When last seen at Christmas, the Doctor faced a mystery. Clara, the beautiful barmaidturned-governess who died helping him defeat the Great Intelligence in The Snowmen, turned out to be one and the same as Oswin Oswald, who'd saved his life at the cost of her own in Asylum of the Daleks. Somehow, he has encountered the same person in two very different times and places. He doesn't know how; he doesn't understand who she is, but one thing he's sure of - he isn't done with the impossible girl just yet.


COLD WAR

SATURDAY 13 APRIL

Written by Mark Gatiss Directed by Douglas Mackinnon Guest stars Liam Cunningham (Captain Zhukov), David Warner (Professor Grisenko)

Mark Gatiss does go on. He's been on at me about the Ice Warriors [below] since I took over the show, And, frankly, I've been disappointing him. I just wasn't that thrilled about unearthing yet another old monster. I slightly felt we'd done all the good ones. But then, as I was sitting in my garden on the phone to Mark about Sherlock, he started pitching this story. An Ice Warrior! On a nuclear submarine! Under the polar ice cap. That would have been enough for me to say, "Yes, please!" but then he had one more idea that made my hair stand on end.

It's not for me to tell you what your favourite episodes will be, but this is one of mine.


THE BELLS OF SAINT JOHN

SATURDAY 30 MARCH

Executive producers Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner Series producer Marcus Wilson Written by Steven Moffat

Directed by Colm McCarthy

Guest star Celia Imrie (Miss Kizlet)

Ever sat on a train, with a laptop, and watched all those wireless base stations appear and disappear on your screen? We live in a teeming ocean of wi-fi. The air is a soup of data, and don't you ever worry that something else might be swimming along inside it? Well, if you haven't worried so far, you might be about to start. Because here's a gentle warning — sometimes you might see some strange alien symbols appear in your wi-fi menu. Don't click on them. Just don't click. Because that means there's a Spoonhead really close.

The Doctor returns to contemporary London and finds himself meeting Clara Oswald for the third time — he's been searching the universe for her, but will she even know who he is? There's hardly time to worry about it, though, because all humanity is in terrible danger...

THE RINGS OF ANHATEN

SATURDAY 6 APRIL

Written by Neil Cross Directed by Farren Blackburn

In New York, shooting The Angels Take Manhattan [episode 5 last year], Marcus Wilson, Caroline Skinner and I were a bit worried. We had two foreign shoots for the first part of series seven, covering three episodes, and nothing lined up for this second run. "Let's go to outer space," we thought. Not actual outer space, but a world created in our studios to make you really feel you're out there. There's a tendency for the Doctor to promise unearthly wonders to his companions, and then get them trapped in an underground tunnel, attacked by mutant slugs.

Nothing wrong with that of course — it's kind of what Doctor Who is all about. But for this show we wanted to make an imaginary location as much the star as the town in A Town Called Mercy [episode 3] and New York in the mid-season finale.

When Clara Oswald looks back on her time in the Tardis, this might be the place she remembers. Oh, and say hello to Neil Cross, a great new Doctor Who writer. Got a feeling you'll be hearing a lot more of him. Actually, any minute now...


HIDE

SATURDAY 20 APRIL Written by Neil Cross Directed by Jamie Payne

Guest stars Jessica Raine (Emma Grayling), Jougray Scott (Alec Palmer)

Oops, it's that Neil Cross again. I said he'd be back. In truth, fans of dull facts will be fascinated to know, his was Neil's first script for the show and the reason we got him back so fast. He wanted to do a spooky ghost story and nailed it on his first draft. This is proper, scary Doctor Who, full of surprises and twists, and — unexpectedly — a rather gorgeous love story. Or two, maybe...

The fact is you can't beat a haunted house, and in this show we're delivering one of the very best.


JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE TARDIS

SATURDAY 27 APRIL

Written by Stephen Thompson

Directed by Mat King

Guest star Ashley Walters (Gregor Van Baalen)

Well, I would bother telling you what this one is all about, but it's right there in the title. As a little boy, I'd watch the Doctor running about the Tardis control room, and every time he headed into the depths of his time machine, through that tantalising interior door, I'd be craning to see more. What was in there? What wonders? If you've ever done the same, the wait is over! After gripping the nation with the Sherlock cliffhanger, Steve Thompson returns to Doctor Who, and takes us to the very heart of the most powerful ship in the universe...

THE CRIMSON HORROR SATURDAY 4 MAY

Written by Mark Gatiss

Directed by Saul Metzstein

Guest stars Diana Rigg (Mrs Gillyflower), Rachael Stirling (Ada), Neve McIntosh (Vastra), Dan Starkey (Strax), Catrin Stewart (Jenny)

Ever since we introduced Vastra, Jenny and Strax in A Good Man Goes to War [2011], people have been asking to see them again. And, of course, they've already been in The Snowmen at Christmas, but I thought it was time to start a story from their point of view — to see them tackle a case of their own, and stumble across the Doctor's path, quite accidentally. Didn't quite know what to do with that idea, but I knew I wanted something insane, terrifying and Victorian — I have no idea why Mark Gatiss sprang to mind.

Mark, of course, is never content with just writing a show; he has to cast it, too. For the first time ever, at Mark's suggestion, mother and daughter Diana Rigg and Rachael Stirling, appear together!

NIGHTMARE IN SILVER SATURDAY 11 MAY

Written by Neil Gaiman

Directed by Stephen Woolfenden

Guest stars Jason Watkins (Mr Webley), Warwick Davis (Porridge), Tamzin Outhwaite (Captain)

In 2011, Neil Gaiman wowed everyone with his first Doctor Who episode, The Doctor's Wife, one of the most popular shows we've ever made. It was a long old battle, that one, and I slightly worried the great man might not be up for another go. I should have known better. I only had to whisper "Cybermen" and he was falling back through the door. As ever, he doesn't give you quite what you're expecting — or quite what he's expecting. But then, wouldn't you be disappointed if he did?

As I type, I'm watching one of the effects shots for this show — a realisation of one of Neil's creepiest ideas ever. It's good to know what you'll all be having nightmares about very, very soon!

THE FINALE

Written by Steven Moffat Directed by Saul Metzstein

Guest star Alex Kingston (River Song)

Oh, I think I'll hold on to the title of this one just a little longer. There's going to be a revelation. I'm not teasing. I'm not wrong-footing you — you're about to learn something about the Doctor that you never knew before. And I think you're in for a shock...


Caption: TIME TEAM The Doctor (Matt Smith) has already seen two versions of Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) die. He's determined to keep this one safe

Caption: SHATTERING The Mummy awakes on Akhaten

Caption: TIME TO HIDE Dougray Scott with Jenna-Louise Coleman

Caption: CHILLING A classic foe, the Ice Warrior, returns in Cold War

Caption: NEW AVENGERS Diana Rigg guest-stars in The Crimson Horror

Caption: TOOTHSOME FINALE The menacing Whispermen

Caption: NEW DIMENSION Clara goes deep inside the Tardis

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to whovian@cuttingsarchive.org

  • APA 6th ed.: Naughton, James (2013-03-30). Who's a clever boy, then?. Radio Times p. 10.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Naughton, James. "Who's a clever boy, then?." Radio Times [add city] 2013-03-30, 10. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Naughton, James. "Who's a clever boy, then?." Radio Times, edition, sec., 2013-03-30
  • Turabian: Naughton, James. "Who's a clever boy, then?." Radio Times, 2013-03-30, section, 10 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Who's a clever boy, then? | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Who%27s_a_clever_boy,_then%3F | work=Radio Times | pages=10 | date=2013-03-30 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 May 2021 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Who's a clever boy, then? | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Who%27s_a_clever_boy,_then%3F | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 May 2021}}</ref>