The BBC have released a series of interviews as part of their press pack for "The Day of the Doctor". Steven Moffat, Matt Smith, David Tennant, Jenna Coleman and Joanna Page are interviewed on the BBC Doctor Who Blog. There are some highlights below:
Question: What is it like being the writer for the Doctor Who 50th special?
Steven Moffat: Since I was a little boy, the idea of writing a Doctor Who story at all was remarkable enough to me. But writing the 50th special was exciting and terrifying - everything that showbiz should be.
Q. So where did the story for ‘The Day of the Doctor’ come from?
SM: I didn’t want this to just be a celebration of 50 years of the past. I wanted it to be a celebration of the mythology of the legend of the Doctor and all that entailed. This should be the first step on the next journey, guaranteeing the 100th anniversary. The story focuses on the most important thing that ever happened to the Doctor. We very rarely do that in Doctor Who as it’s usually about the people the Doctor meets or the companion that travel with him. This time it’s different.
Q. ‘The Day of the Doctor’ welcomes back the shape-shifting Zygons, a monster we haven’t seen since the 1970s. Why did you decide they were the ones to bring back?
SM: The Zygons without question are a design classic. They are superb; brilliant from the voice, to the appearance. Essentially we’ve resurrected exactly the same Zygon as Tom Baker fought back in the 70s. They are beautiful, and it’ll show that the special looks forward to the future of Doctor Who and also celebrates the legend.
Question: What is it like starring in the 50th anniversary special, one of the biggest years for the show?
Matt Smith: It’s a thrill to be in the 50th anniversary. I feel very proud to be part of it and it’s a credit to everyone who started the show back in the 60s that it’s come this far. It’s a great format and a great idea.
Q: ‘The Day of the Doctor’ marks the return of David Tennant and Billie Piper, and we get the revelation of John Hurt’s Doctor. What was it like working alongside them all?
MS: It was a joy to work with David, Billie and John Hurt. I’ve worked with Billie before and I’d obviously seen all of David’s work, especially as the Doctor. He’s a brilliant actor and a brilliant Doctor. It’s quite strange, I always sort of get that surreal thing of looking and David and thinking, ‘Oh my God, there’s Doctor Who’. And John is acting royalty. Another wonderful Doctor and again, a good bloke. I think looking back over my tenure on this show one of the great privileges has been the quality of actors that you get to work with.
Q: Was there any kind of competitiveness between the different Doctors and companions?
MS: No we’re not competitive, I mean there’s a funny bit in the script between the 10th and 11th Doctors comparing Sonics, so there’s competitiveness in the story, but not off screen. We just had a laugh and it was exciting to see David back in the pin striped suit and the Converse. John only has to move his eyes and he flaws you and Billie’s, Billie. I adore Billie, so we had a great time.
Q: Moving on to stunts, some pictures have been published of you hanging from a TARDIS in front of crowds in Trafalgar Square. What was that like and did you need to be convinced to go up there?
MS: I was hoisted up over 90 feet, double Nelson’s Column, hanging on a wire under the TARDIS. They used the biggest crane I think they had ever brought to Trafalgar Square. I really had to persuade them to let me go up, but I had the most wonderful view of London. It was raining and really windy, but I loved it and would do it again. It was one of the rare brilliant opportunities that you only get with Who.
Question: What is it like being part of the 50th in one of the biggest years for the show?
David Tennant: It’s very exciting to be around for the big celebration episode. I think since I left the expectation had been that I’d end up in this special, because there is a precedent for old Doctors coming back for a visit around the anniversary time. I was thrilled because it’s a huge thing for Doctor Who and it’s a huge thing for television in general. So few shows run beyond a few series and 50 years’ worth is quite a legacy, so I’m very honoured to be part of that.
Q: What is it like working with Matt and Jenna, was there any rivalry or competitiveness between the two sets of Doctors and companions?
DT: It’s funny, I think people almost expected Matt and me to be at loggerheads, but we’ve really enjoyed it. I guess when you‘ve played a character for a long time you kind of feel like you know how they’ll react in most situations. It’s delicious to be handed a situation that’s completely new and a character meeting a version of himself is not something that you come across in a lot of drama. So to get to play that with someone as talented and as quick and brilliant as Matt is nothing short of jolly good fun.
Q: You’ve probably seen some of the previous anniversary specials, but how do you think this one compares to them?
DT: It’s very hard to be objective about something you’re in, especially when you set it up against things that you experienced as a child. But I certainly remember when ‘The Five Doctors’ was on, it was electrically exciting. That was of course in the day when we didn’t even have a video player. You couldn’t revisit things, so the chance to see old Doctors that I had never seen on the telly at all, acting with the current was fantastic. I hope that this will have some of that buzz for today’s generation.
Question: What is it like starring in the 50th special, one of the biggest year’s for the show?
Jenna Coleman: It’s fantastic. I feel really spoilt to be honest and lucky to be in the show in the first place, but also to have come in at this time. Whilst we were filming it felt very celebratory and special. Working with David, Billie and John, I feel really pleased to be part of the whole thing.
Q: What was it like working with David and Billie, was there any competiveness between the different Doctors and companions?
JC: I think there’s a competitiveness in them that kind of brings out the best in the Doctor. You see it on set that they are so totally different Doctors, but they just complement each other. They make fun of each other mercilessly.
Q: What were your thoughts when you first heard about John’s character?
JC: So not only do we have David back, we also have John Hurt starring as the Doctor, which is massively exciting. And again the three of them complement each other totally, and it utterly works. It’s great to see all of them together.
You can read the full interviews at the BBC Doctor Who Blog