Planet Gallifrey: April 2010

Friday, April 30

Interview with Adam Smith, director

Spoiler Level: 2
Digital Spy recently did an interview with the director of episodes 4 and 5, Adam Smith:

How did you react when you found out you were directing Matt's first episode?
"It was very exciting because I think he's a brilliant actor. I'd seen him on stage a couple of times before and thought he was fantastic."

How did you get the job?
"I was asked to come in for a meeting with the BBC. It was a meetiing with Steven Moffat and Piers [Wenger], who is the head of drama at BBC Wales, and Beth [Willis], who is one of the executive producers. Beth asked questions like 'How are you going to make the dog-man and the dog bark at the same time?' and I said 'Speak to someone who's done this sort of thing before.' In fact we actually got away with doing it in-camera because we cast someone who was so amazing - Marcello Magni - who did it without the use of computer effects."

What other questions did they ask you at interview?
"Kind of 'What would you do with it?' and I just said that for me, the story has to dictate every decision you make. Trying to inflict a style on something that doesn't relate to the story detracts from it. I was just trying to be true to the story in every decision made, whether it was production design or where the camera was, or how we were moving the camera, and it was all just telling the story and getting to know the characters. Getting inside their heads a bit. One of the things I talked about was trying to make it as cinematic as possible, which is a crass sort of comment really, but what I meant was to make it different and use prime lenses, 35mm lenses to give it more of a film look, so you have a more shallow depth of field. Somehow you engage with characters more because it drops off the focus behind [them], whereas digibeta sometimes feels a bit like news footage and you don't engage with it on a personal level. That sounds such nonsense but you know what I mean, I hope!"

In terms of tone, the first episode was a little different to the following episodes. Did you approach it differently?
"We actually shot episodes four and five first so it was a different approach because it was a different story. In episode one, we really had to introduce the Doctor and Amy, whereas with episodes four and five you knew who they were."

Your first day of filming was on location with Alex Kingston...
"It was - we almost lost the new TARDIS because the tide came in and we were running out of time. The tide comes in really fast there and we had a limited window to shoot so the poor art department were running to dismantle the TARDIS as the water splashed at their feet!"

Do you remember much about the atmosphere on the first day?
"It was pretty terrifying, actually! I think Matt was understandably quite nervous but you do your best to remain calm and just get on with it, which we did. It was exciting and terrifying at the same time, which is what it should be really - a creative endeavour."

Were you a fan of the show before this?
"I hadn't watched a lot actually so it was new to me. My nephews and my aunt are big fans but no, I hadn't really watched it except for a bit of Tom Baker in the seventies. I remember when I was about five or six, my brother told me that the title sequence was actually a camera passing through the inside of a shark and I believed him!"

What sort of timescale was it, from you first getting the script to post-production?
"I was on it from June last year, more or less until January or February this year. It's a long time but those scripts are hugely ambitious so everything was a rush. Everything had to be done pretty quickly and the schedules were pretty tough. The time you have to shoot was pretty tough and the schedules for the CG were pretty tough, as were the edits."

In episode five there's a spaceship, caves and a forest. Where did you film all those scenes?
"The caves were Clearwell Caves and the forest was an amazing forest called Puzzlewood. Someone told us it was where Tolkien was inspired to write The Hobbit. There are these amazing old trees that have been there for hundreds of years. It's very beautiful but we were shooting nights in Puzzlewood, because it needed to be lit, and we were shooting nights in the caves because they had to keep the public coming in during the day so it was two or three weeks of nights. It was quite tough and then it started raining. There were a few broken legs with people getting caught in the mud carrying huge things. It wasn't quite Apocalypse Now or Lost in La Mancha but it was a challenge!"

The Crack features heavily towards the end of this episode. Did that present any challenges to filming or post?
"Yes. We needed a lot of lights to try and create the appearance of this crack in time. We were trying to do it as much in-camera as possible but we ended up doing a lot of it in post. It took a lot of time."

Will you be coming back to do more Doctor Who? Maybe the Christmas special?
"No - originally I was just down for doing episode one but I did four and five as well. It's just those three, really."

Thursday, April 29

Baby Baby

Spoiler Level: 5 (VERY SPOILERY!)


Amy Pond gets pregnant in an upcoming episode of Doctor Who, photographs have revealed.

In images from the show, Amy (Karen Gillan) can be seen sitting on a swing with a baby bump.

The Mirror reports that the episode is partly set five years into Amy and the Doctor's future.

Amy's fiancé Rory (Arthur Darvill), who appeared in 'The Eleventh Hour', is also part of the episode but it is unclear whether the baby is his or the Doctor's.

A source said: "Viewers will have to wait and see how the pregnancy came about, but as always with Doctor Who, things are not always as they appear."

'Amy's Choice' will be screened on May 15.

Wednesday, April 28

The SJA Factor!

Former The X Factor contestant, Lucie Jones, has announced that she’ll be making a brief appearance in the forthcoming series of The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Speaking to Metro recently, she revealed: “It’s a tiny cameo but apparently it’s quite funny.”

The series is currently filming.

DWA launches website

Doctor Who Adventures magazine launched its new website this week, giving young Doctor Who fans another opportunity to keep up to date with the very latest news from the Time Lord.

The website will be aimed at the magazine’s 6 – 12 year old fans and will include: a blog from Doctor Who Adventures magazine team; Doctor Who wallpapers and ‘buddy’ icons to download; a competition page; an online poll asking for readers’ opinions; details of current issue of Doctor Who Adventures magazine; and reader letters.

Moray Laing, Editor of Doctor Who Adventures says: “The launch of is fantastic for the magazine. Readers can now have constant interaction with us and keep up to date with all the latest monster news!”

The launch of the website follows the re-launch of the magazine on 1 April 2010.

Meanwhile, the Silurian episode titles have been revealed as The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood!

Monday, April 26

Tennant, Tate and Barrowman come against Tories

Television stars, including David Tennant, Catherine Tate and John Barrowman, have united against the Conservative party's actions, it has been reported.

Over 50 famous faces have signed an open letter which expresses their concerns about the Conservative policies, which could lead to disastrous changes to the BBC.

Other signatories to the letter included comedians Eddie Izzard, Harry Enfield and Jo Brand.

More here.

10 teasers for Flesh and Stone

1. Eureka! Galileo!

2. Amy: "Basically we've *** up the inside of a *******."

3. The Byzantium contains a forest. Yes, a forest.

4. Amy: "Seven."

5. There's a scene reminiscent of a scene from 'Doomsday'.

6. Amy: "Six."

7. What's the opposite of the moral from 'Blink'?

8. River has done something very, very naughty.

9. There's a very important date you'll want to mark in your diaries/iPhones/Google calendars come the end of this episode.

10. The crack. We finally learn what it is and what it wants.

And, just for fun, a bonus teaser:

11. Amy does something to The Doctor that prompts an epiphany. And a collection.

Sunday, April 25

BBC apologises over trailer furore

The BBC has issued an apology regarding a trailer for the reality show 'Over the Rainbow', which appeared during the final scenes of yesterday's episode of Doctor Who.  

The trailer, which showed an animated Graham Norton gyrating his hips, angered a huge number of Doctor Who fans who deemed it "unnecessary" and "disgusting."

"It resulted in destroying the tension for many of us, and we just don't want this in Doctor Who!" said one fan, from the popular Doctor Who forum, Gallifrey Base. "Why is the BBC treating its audience like idiots?" said another on Twitter.

A BBC spokesperson officially replied to the outrage, saying that they "apologise for the timing of Saturday night's trail."

The Time of Angels, which saw the return of the Weeping Angels, gained an average of 6.6 million viewers.

6.6 million for River's Return

Alex Kingston's return to Doctor Who was seen by 6.6m (35.3%) last night, according to early ratings figures, says Digital Spy.

As well as Alex Kingston's reprisal of her role as River Song, the Weeping Angels made a frightening return.

'The Time of Angels' was watched by 200k more than last week's 'Victory of the Daleks.'

This episode was said to have caused controversy when an animation of Graham Norton appeared in the final moments of the episode. Fans have started a campaign to complain against it. If you wish to complain, you may do so here.

Saturday, April 24

Three Previews from The Time of Angels

Digital Spy has posted three epic previews for the episode airing today at 6:20pm! Personally, I love the line where River Song learns she is going to - oh, shhh! Spoilers! ;)

Friday, April 23

Doctor Whoops!

Executive producer Steven Moffat has revealed that Matt Smith breaks things on set!

"There's a really nice accidental moment where the Doctor hangs from the strap on the ceiling and it breaks," he said on his official BBC blog. "The very first time Matt did it, it was an accident - he wasn't supposed to do that, it's just typical Matt, breaking everything - but the director liked it, so he kept it in. The version we see on screen isn't the real accident, it's him doing it on purpose, but I do think it is very funny."

It seems like Matt Smith has got a lot to learn, especially about the paparazzi, as he was photographed coming out of a "Turdis" in America a few days ago. Oops.

Doctor Who is to continue tomorrow with its fourth episode, Time of the Angels, at 6.20pm on BBC One.

Tuesday, April 20

Hark The Angels

Here is the 'Next Time' trailer for The Time of Angels -

We also have an exclusive shown on BBC America - one which will change the history of the TARDIS as we know it!

The new Doctor Who thing (I call it a thing because it has no name for it... I think.) is called 'The Adventure Games', check out the trailer below if you don't believe me =D

Monday, April 19

Don't Blink!

Digital Spy have kindly posted 10 teasers about the next episode - The Time of Angels, starring Alex Kingston as River Song.

1. When we meet Doctor Song, she's on the run - but she has an escape plan involving The Doctor.

2. The episode includes the caption "10,000 years later." 

3. There's a Weeping Angel trapped inside the Byzantium.

4. First mention of "spoilers"? 9 minutes 27 seconds.

5. Amy: "Is River Song
your wife? ... "She's the ****** from the ******, isn't she?"

6. There's a device that harks back to 'Silence In The Library'. Think "hey, who turned out the lights?"
(Squareness Gun?)

7. Amy should really learn that too much TV is bad for her eyes.

8. The Doctor. Bites. Amy.

9. River: "I have pictures of *** **** *****."

10. The cliffhanger isn't the usual sort of two-parter cliffhanger we've grown accustomed to with new Who. Despite being very familiar.

Interesting stuff!

Guess WHO's on SJA?!


Digital Spy have reported that the "special two part story" will see "The Doctor reunited with Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) and fellow former companion Jo Grant (Katy Manning)." The episode is being penned by Russell T Davies, which marks the first time he will have written for the Eleventh Doctor!

"Viewers are in for a real treat, with an action-packed story, full of Russell's usual wit and warmth," says Nikki Wilson, co-executive producer, "which takes the gang inside a secret base beneath Snowdon and introduces brand new vulture aliens, the mysterious Shansheeth. All this, plus a trip to an alien planet - a first for The Sarah Jane Adventures."

Other guest stars include Primeval's Laila Rouass and Harry Potter's David Bradley as the voice of the Shansheeth.

Saturday, April 10

Next on Who - Victory of the Daleks

Hello everybody!

I must apologize in advance for any mistake I make or I will do in english. Since it's not my mother tongue, I promise to double my efforts to make it as best as I can, but anyone can correct me at any time.

First Saturday with you all, second episode of the Smith-Moffat Era, Series 5 taking a good shape, getting stronger, isn't it? Still a long journey in front of us, and the next day promises an exciting new adventure with an old foe of the Doctor (but it seems with a bit of "selective" amnesia).

Victory of the Daleks
Saturday 17th April, 6:30pm on BBC ONE.

Did you liked The Beast Below?

Friday, April 9


I have not posted anything in ages because I have been so swamped with my GCSE revision, and I have a strict revision schedule which I am trying to stick to, thus my time on reporting on Doctor Who news has been severely restricted and limited.

I have employed the help of the brilliant and wonderful Guillermo from Planet Gallifrey Spanish! I will endeavour to post something but unfortunately, until the end of the June, that will be really difficult.

Thanks :)