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Secrets of final Dr Who episode

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2011-09-25 Sunday Express.jpg


Matt Smith tells David Stephenson he was just as excited as anybody else to find out what happens as his series closes

DEPENDING on what you think about sci-fi, the current series of Doctor Who has been either impossibly complicated or wonderfully intriguing.

Either way, it concludes next Saturday, after its first split season under the eye of chief writer Steven Moffatt. Without doubt, this is a more "grown-up" teatime series which sets out to challenge its younger viewers and befuddle the older ones. Let's face it, none of us wished to return to wobbly sets, so the current Doctor Who should be something to applaud.

Matt Smith, the incumbent and arguably most successful modern Doctor, is upbeat about how his character has developed. He says: "As a journey for me it's always going to be interesting and similarly for Steven [Moffat], who is tailoring his writing more and more for me, but also the characters around me have just got married. That changes him immediately.

"Their stories affect and change him, so I think this season has seen the Doctor on the back foot in many ways being sort of like the odd part. Of this universe that he is at the centre of, he is the oddity. He doesn't quite know where he is. Where is his home, for instance?"

Is he lonely? "I think he fills his time really well! He's proactive. I think he risks being lonely and it's interesting to glimpse him when he's like that. He's a bit more existential; why am I here and how do I fit into all of this?

"If you look at the context of his life, all the choices he's made where he's lost people along the way, they have to have an impact on him at some point, and he's lost countless people. Every week there's a cleric who falls off the bandwagon! There's a bigger picture to think about. So what then happens is that all this stuff happens to resonate in his head."

However, isn't the Doctor always the Doctor, as suggested by former Time Lord actor Tom Baker? Is it possible to really fundamentally change the way he thinks?

Matt agrees the Doctor is largely the same: "The Doctor is the Doctor. The Doctor is never cruel for instance. He always gives people a chance, bad or good. He always finds the fun, the humour, the light in any dastardly situation but to be able to do that you have to have felt the opposite."

However, he adds: "Tom Baker's Doctor is different to mine, or Christopher Eccleston's. I disagree, in a way, that he can't change. The essence of the man is the same but, by the same token, he lives his life in a different way, so therefore he's different in a way.

"He can go into new territory. We can glimpse him being all those things he isn't. He's mad and fun and humorous but he's also crafty and he lies and is naughty. I hope I have developed him as a character." Smith, the youngest of the Doctors, brings great energy to the role, day in, day out. "Because it's good fun! And it's my job. If I don't do it, someone else will do it, so I've got to do it well. I better turn up, have learnt my lines and have good energy. It's my responsibility."

He talks about the last episode. "There are lots of revelations to come about River Song in the final episode. I'm just kind of excited to find out about this stuff because it is held back by Steven. I think the end is a good pay-off from where he started. In story terms, I went: Whoah! That's mental'." And next year? "I'm back. I know I'm going to shoot 14 episodes with a Christmas special. I'm in Doctor Who and I'm kind of rolling with it. How they schedule it I don't know. All I know is that we start in February. I also think the break in the series worked. With that cliffhanger at the end, it was great. A baby melted in her arms.

"It was never in doubt that I would return next year. I love making Doctor Who and I'd also like to be part of the 50th anniversary next year. I'm quite interested in the 3D stuff. A 3D version of Doctor Who would be fun, wouldn't it?"

Finally, if he had a super power what would it be? "I would want to fly and I would use it for evil! No, I'd use it for good! Let's not rewrite the whole thing. That's what's nice about meeting children. They always treat you as the character, Doctor Who."

•Doctor Who, Saturday, BBC1, 7.05pm

Caption: MAD OR BAD?: Matt Smith has tried to develop his Dr Who character

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  • APA 6th ed.: Stephenson, David (2011-09-25). Secrets of final Dr Who episode. Sunday Express p. 62.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Stephenson, David. "Secrets of final Dr Who episode." Sunday Express [add city] 2011-09-25, 62. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Stephenson, David. "Secrets of final Dr Who episode." Sunday Express, edition, sec., 2011-09-25
  • Turabian: Stephenson, David. "Secrets of final Dr Who episode." Sunday Express, 2011-09-25, section, 62 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Secrets of final Dr Who episode | url= | work=Sunday Express | pages=62 | date=2011-09-25 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 September 2021 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Secrets of final Dr Who episode | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 September 2021}}</ref>