At the recent San Diego Comic-Con, American entertainment site Hypable spoke to the crew from Doctor Who. Writer Mark Gatiss, who also directed the upcoming documentary ‘An Adventure In Space and Time’, talked about the challenge of taking on the iconic story of how Doctor Who first started out.
“As a kid I was very aware of the story. It was a very small show that became a gigantic hit with the BBC. The first episode was broadcast the day after Kennedy was shot so they had to broadcast it again because nobody was looking. And then the Daleks came and nobody thought they were going to be anything and they became a worldwide phenomenon. I know these things well, I always thought it would be fascinating. The biggest challenge was to focus the story down because there are fifty different stories. The Daleks alone is kind of like their own film.”
Gatiss also explained about the input from Warris Hussein, the original director for the 1963 series debut.
“I met Warris a long time ago to start discussing it. Warris was really incredibly helpful…The only day he could come to set was the first day, and we were shooting we were with Sacha Dhawan and Jessica Raine and he was sitting next to me behind the monitor and he was crying, as you would expect. It’s suddenly his own life being portrayed, which must be very curious.”
Afterwards, Steven Moffat offered some further clarification as to the storyline of the 50th Anniversary special. When asked if it would be a continuation of the storyline begun in ‘The Name of the Doctor’, he was explicit in stating that the special was always intended to be a standalone story.
“It would be awful if our big anniversary was the second half of something. At the end of ‘The Name of the Doctor’ you learn something about the Doctor you've never known before. The anniversary special will be freestanding, that was just a cliffhanger. [It] was just too big an ending to resist!”
Moffat was also asked how the team approached the casting process of the new Doctor, and whether they went into it without knowing which gender they intended the Twelfth Doctor to be. He explained that the decision was made before any actors or actresses were approached, meaning that though they have given little away as to the identity of the new Doctor, they at least know if they will be male or female, though it seems the rest of the process was led far more by intuition.
“Generally speaking the way Doctor Who works is you’re led by the actor, you have to be. Cause it’s a sort of star vehicle. Each time a person takes it on it becomes their vehicle.”
Though the identity of the new Doctor is still a closely guarded secret, there can be no doubt that fans worldwide will be fascinated to find out just where that process led the Doctor Who team.