“ Tube Talk ”
Transcript: 'Doctor Who' press conference
How does this special compare to the others?
David: "It tells a different sort of story, I think, and it's a long time into the episode before The Doctor takes control. That's what's unnerving about it - it's not the standard structure. We expect The Doctor to take control earlier - we expect The Doctor to know how he's going to do it and how he's going to win through and he doesn't. Even though he wins in the end it's a bitter sweet victory. People die. That's part of the story we have to tell to go where we're going."
Do you think 'Waters of Mars' can still be viewed by children? It's very dark in places.
Russell: "Oh yes, absolutely. Have you read a Harry Potter book?"
David: "Or seen a Harry Potter film?"
And we start to see the end of The Tenth Doctor's journey here, don't we?
David: "Well I think this gives you a bit of a hint - the fact that The Ood have come to summon the Doctor and the fact that the Doctor now knows incontrovertibly that he's running from his own demise and at the very end he says: 'No, I'm not going - I'm going to rage against the dying of the light' which hints at the final story I suppose.!
Russell: "He's alone and lost again. All these things are coming to an end."
Do you feel like you've wrapped it up satisfactorily for yourself then?
Russell: "Oh, magnificently!"
David: "Yeah - I think we tell a big end-of-an-era story and at the same time handing it on, which is important. This show has been going a long time before we showed up and no doubt will carry on into the far distant future. We tell a big old farewell story and then hand it over in rude health."
Russell: "It's nice knowing that you're coming to an end so far in advance because we had a chance to do everything - there's nothing we forgot. We see the Ood summon the Doctor in Children in Need and you get the first scene of the Doctor arriving on the planet of the Ood. It's actually hilarious - I think that scene is so funny!"
Did either of you keep any souvenirs from the set?
David: "You're really not allowed! People think you just walk away with a pocket full of stuff but the licence fee is very well protected - as it should be. I did get a little gift box at the end of stuff they didn't need anymore."
Russell: "I've got an orb from 'The End of the World' - mind you I paid a thousand quid for it at auction! I was very drunk and thought I'd bought something else but the the next day I ended up with a little orb - that was good, I was very popular."
There are pictures leaking from the filming of the new Doctor Who series. How do you feel when you see them?
David: "It's weird. I remember before it happened thinking we would probably start seeing snaps of them on street corners and wearing anoraks or having cups of tea between takes. I was nervous about how I would feel about that - I'm thrilled that it's carrying on and I know that everyone who's there is a great choice - but of course you feel a little bit proprietorial. I'm cheered because I've just been really excited to see that it's going on and I'm teased by what I'm seeing. I just can't wait to see it. I remember what it felt like as well, to be where Matt is now. It's really exciting to see someone else starting out on that journey."
Russell: "It's funny because when you're inside the programme you see those things and go: 'Oh, it's spoiled, it's ruined', but outside you go 'How exciting!'"
Russell, are you considering writing or putting together a pitch for an American version of Doctor Who?
Russell: "Absolutely not. Upon my dead mother's life! But no, absolutely not. I bet you a hundred quid that I'm not."
So what are you up to?
Russell: "Developing things but new things. I'm not going to tell you what they are because they'll probably never exist. There's a recession out there [in America] as well. We'll see."
David: "I'll do it - I can do the acting. That was a joke - don't print it!"
Do you feel that you've explored every avenue and possibility that you wanted to in the series?
Russell: "I think when I started I never imagined it could go so far - like to do episodes with Peter Kay or statues of angels that can move - you never would have thought it would go that far. So I'm more than happy - vindicated actually - that all these things worked."
David: "I got to do so many more things than I ever imagined I would, just playing the part itself, let alone working with all the incredible actors. All the things I got to do - hanging off things and being blown up and wearing make-up of myself as a nine million year old man - all these things that I never dreamed of. I didn't have a checklist, thinking 'when am I going to get to ride a unicycle? It's just not fair!' It was just an incredible, continually surprising, trip and I wouldn't have had it any other way."
We know some of the companions are returning for your final episodes - are you able to confirm which ones?
David: "You saw Catherine Tate as Donna and Bernard Cribbins as well. John Simm as the Master - not really a companion but part of the gang..."
Russell: "Jacqueline King who plays Donna's mother, Sylvia Noble. The Master's wife you saw in that as well - Alexandra Moen - playing Lucy Saxon. The Ood. A new Ood too."
Recently Elisabeth Sladen said she was worried about how you were going to cope with not being the Doctor and that you might end up in rehab!
David: "If I end up in rehab I will phone The Daily Star immediately and make sure you're outside to watch. You'll be first on my list of calls! It's not looking that likely at the moment but never say never."
Russell: "She's still in that drunk tank, Lis!"
What was the last day like?
David: "My last day was actually on The Sarah Jane Adventures which is on this afternoon. The last line I said as the Doctor is halfway through the episode tonight: 'You two - with me. Spit spot!' They were the last words I uttered in the suit! I guess it was robbed of any epic quality really but that was probably best because it was very emotional saying cheerio. Filming the very final scenes was very sad. There are lots of scenes in the final story that are very sad and were very sad to play. If one of them had coincided with the actual final day I'dve been a puddle. I was a bit of a puddle as it was but I kept a stiff upper lip."
And what was in the souvenir box - perhaps a sonic screwdriver?
David: "I do have my own sonic screwdriver, yes! I've put it in a secure location because I suddenly got worried my house might get burgled and I'd lose it so I've locked it up somewhere!"
Which episodes or specials have you been most proud of?
David: "We always get asked this and it's hard to pick favourites - it feels so unfair!"
Russell: "There are really no episodes we don't like - also if you leave an episode out it's like you're insulting all the friends and colleagues you've worked with on that episode. It's really weird."
David: "And I haven't seen the last two yet so I can't comment."
Russell: "They will be up there, definitely."
Is the blue suit something you can't ever wear again now?
David: "The only thing, there's a certain brand of footwear - other versions of similar things are very much available - that I used to wear a lot and I don't any more! They were my shoes to start with - four years ago it was my own battered pair that we began with and I feel like that's a special thing now. Maybe I'll get over it but yeah."
Additional reporting by Philippa Warr
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