Here are some tasty snippets from the press conference held yesterday at the BBC’s Official Doctor Who Convention. In attendance: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and new executive producer Caroline Skinner. There's a surprise or two...
Q: What are you your thoughts on this convention?
Matt: It’s been wonderful. I’m really impressed with the way it’s been organised and run. It’s just nice to touch base with the fans. I’d do it again!
Arthur: We’re in the middle of filming at the moment so you’re concentrating on trying to make it really good and you forget that what you do is being seen by so many people. It’s really nice to meet people, and quite humbling.
Karen: I LOVE meeting all the fans!
Have you been given any unusual gifts?
Arthur: I had to sign a pair of pants!
Karen: I met a guy who had actually changed his name to River Song by Deed Poll. I was like, “No, you haven’t!” Then he got the ID out and yeah – it’s real…
How sad are you to be leaving?
Karen: I am so sad to be leaving. It’s weird, because we’ve been doing this for some time. But it’s cool because we’ve had a long run at it. I am really sad but it kind of feels like the right time.
Arthur: It’s happy and sad in equal measures – we’ve had such a good time doing it, we get to work with our friends all the time and the scripts are incredible. But there’s nothing worse than outstaying your welcome on something. It’s going to be very emotional when we leave.
Karen: I couldn’t get through the readthrough!
Arthur: But the show’s bigger than us and it’s all about change. We go out on such an amazing storyline and we’re so privileged to have that.
Do you two think you might come back for the fiftieth anniversary?
Arthur: We don’t know anything about the anniversary…
Karen: We probably wouldn’t be told even if we were involved.
Matt: Even I don’t know what’s going on!
Caroline Skinner: I might know what’s going on… That’s all I’m going to say.
What are your favourite monsters?
Matt: The Weeping Angels are my favourite.
Karen: Yep, same.
Matt: Or the Silence, I think.
Arthur: The Moffat monsters…
Caroline: We’ve just seen the trailer for the next series and I think the line “Give me a Dalek any day” is now my new favourite Matt Smith line. It had a whoop or two.
Karen, will there be a tinge of jealousy when Jenna joins?
Karen: No I’m not going to be jealous. I actually am really sad to be leaving – I’ve really had the best years of my life on this show. It’s going to be weird seeing Matt with another companion but I’m open to it. I’m looking forward to it as I really want to watch it as a viewer and also I really want to see him interact with a different companion - I think it’d be really interesting for the show.
Matt, when you’re skidding round the TARDIS how much of that is a conscious character decision and how much of it is it you being a nutter?
(Laughter throughout press room)
Matt: It’s funny but a lot of the skidding is because it’s a glass floor – so it’s quite slidey. It’s quite a slidey TARDIS. If you took it really slowly we probably wouldn’t have a show!
What did it feel like when you first saw your toy figures?
Matt: We were excited.
Karen: It’s so cool to have a doll of yourself!
Arthur: Mine still isn’t out yet!
Caroline: I’ve seen yours – it’s pretty cool.
Arthur: I haven’t seen it!
Karen: Yours is quite hot.
Arthur: Thanks, babe!
Arthur, are we going to see the return of the Roman Centurion outfit?
Arthur: I can’t say if it’s coming back or not… But it’s a lot of fun doing that hero stuff because I never would have expected all that when I got the part. You get looked at differently when you walk around dressed as a Roman Centurion. You get that kind of respect - that I think I deserve (laughs).
What are you going to miss most about the show?
Karen and Arthur: Um…
(Laughter throughout press room)
Arthur: I dunno, the food… No the people, it’s as simple as that.
Karen: Yeah, I think just working with my really cool friends - which sounds really cheesy but I feel really emotionally involved with this show. I think I’m just going to miss everything, it’ll be weird.
Arthur: The readthrough for our last episode was really emotional – I think people looking in would have thought “what’s going on?!” What I'll miss most is the people and getting a Moffat script…
Matt: It’s weird cos we’ll be on set and there’ll be a Cyberman or Dalek and you kind of get used to it but you think this isn’t going to be every day of the rest of our lives – there won’t always be a giant monster coming up behind you.
Q Do you watch the show when it goes out on Saturday night?
Arthur: I didn’t used to, I couldn’t, it made me really nervous, I used to watch it on iPlayer the day after.
Karen: I time everything in my day around it!
Matt: We tune in to keep the figures high!
Could you see yourself coming back to conventions in say ten or 20 years’ time?
Karen: I’ve really enjoyed the whole convention thing so, why not? You get to meet people who like what you’re doing!
Matt: Never say never.
Which previous Doctors would you want to work with?
Arthur: I’m a big Jon Pertwee fan, from this and Worzel Gummidge…
Matt: He wasn’t Worzel Gummidge!
Arthur: He was.
Matt: WAS HE? I did not know that! I used to love Worzel Gummidge.
Arthur: That’s Jon Pertwee, mate. That’s genuine news to you?
Matt: Yeah. Everyone’s thinking… you pillock.
Karen: William Hartnell would be quite good. Amy’s quite grumpy and he was quite grumpy…
What do you enjoy doing most?
Matt: I got to ride a horse which was amazing.
Karen: You galloped that horse.
Arthur: Filming in Spain was good… amazing set, incredible actors...
Caroline, much is made of Steven Moffat not telling the cast what’s going on. As executive producer yourself, do you feel you know all the bits going on or just fractionally more than they do?
Caroline: Everything! Steven and I talk all the time, every day. And it’s incredibly exciting because the ideas are just amazing.
Arthur: I want to watch it as a viewer without knowing what’s going to happen
Karen: Although I sort of wanna know what’s going to happen…
Be sure to come back to SFX.co.uk later for a full report on the weekend's Doctor Who convention.
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