Well, that was exciting wasn't it? On New Year's Day our first, brief glimpse of the Eleventh Doctor, Matt
Smith, in action. Look, he has legs! And arms! Hands! Fingers! But he's definatly not a girl. Oh, and he's about to crash
Some time later, on Earth, DWM is spending an afternoon in 'The Vicarage', a spooky-looking,
semi-derelict property in Rhymney, a small town in South-East Wales. It's 14 October 2009 (wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey, okay?)
and the Doctor Who production team, three months into filming Matt's debut series, is tackling Episode 1 (albeit
the fifth episode to be shot), written by the show's new head producer, Steven Moffat. Matt is still in the Tenth Doctor's
brown pinstriped suit, sans jacket now. Karen Gillan, who plays his companion, Amy Pond, is wearing a police officer's
uniform (interesting!), with a skirt so short that DWM doesn't know where to look.
In a few month's time,
none of us is going to understand how we ever lived without the Eleventh Doctor and Amy in our lives. The chemistry between
them is red-hot and jump-off-the-screen electric. It must help that Matt and Karen get on so well off camera. Yes, they finish
each other's sentences, and often say the same thing at the same time, but above all, its the laughing- the constant cracking
up-that reminds us that these two are having the time of their lives. All hail the new TARDIS team! That evening, DWM
returns home head over heels in love with the both of them.
Here, then, in an exclusive interview to DWM,
is Matt and Karen's first ever interview together, conducted on the hoof, in the kitchen of 'The Vicarage.' As you will see,
2010 is shaping up to be the year of Tim Burton-esque fairytales and broken TARDIS consoles...
and Karen. What can you tell us about the scenes that you're recording today?
Matt:" Karen? Ladies, first."
"Today we have been filming scenes involving....I don't know how much we can say?"
Matt: "It's Doctor Who Magazine.
We can say anything. They're onside. They're part of the furniture. Older than us, actually. Aren't you?"
true. We were first published in 1979.
Karen: "Oh right! Wow! Well, in that case.... we're recording a scene with
the Face Tendril. It's a very scary scene-"
Matt: "- which is going to be brilliant. The Face Tendril is going to
be really special. It's going to be a really cool Doctor Who monster."
Karen: "Yeah, very scary."
you feel the fear onset?
Matt: "Well, that's the thing we've got to sell. I mean, I hope so- when your watching
Karen: "So do I"
Matt: "What's mad about this show is, actually, when your looking at a Face Tendril, it's
actually a ball hanging on the end of a rod-"
Karen: "Yeah, a tennis ball."
Matt: "-or a white piece of tape on the
edge on a camera, so you've got to use your imagination."
How much do you know, at this stage, about what's
coming up later in the series?
Matt: "You know that Richard [Curtis] is writing one, don't you? Isn't that
exciting? It's a good one as well. It's going to be great fun. And Toby Whithouse's is a belter. And Steven is truly a genius.
He's lives in a fairytale land, and it comes through. That's what i think is magic about this particular series. It taps into
Some of the 2010 series seems a bit Tim Burton-esque.
Matt: "It is. At night and stuff....I mean, the way that Adam [Smith, the director of Episode 1] is shooting
it, it's like Pan's Labyrinth-y."
Have either of you offered up suggestions about the directions that
you'd like to see the show go in?
Matt: "They're very open to our creative impulses. That's why were here,
to be as creative as we can...I think. Do you think?"
Karen:" I think so."
Matt: "It's a process of discovery for everyone,
because there have been a lot of changes."
Karen: "Yeah, it's a brand new team, so we're all-"
Matt: "-we're all
discovering at the same time."
If we asked you to describe the relationship between your two characters....
"Do you know how they're introduced in Episode 1?"
Well, yes. But that's probably a spoiler. So, what sort
of hints can you give us about the dynamic between the Doctor and Amy?
Matt: "There's a real bond, isn't
Karen: "Yeah. A connection."
Matt: "That's wonderful, I think. But also, with that, he's sort of less tolerant
than a lot of Doctor's, and she's got fire in her soul, in her belly, and so they combust, together...but there's great affection
and love there, and we're developing that love all the time."
What were your impressions of each other, when
you first met? Before, the initial readthrough, you had a rehearsal period, right?
Matt: "Yeah. That was
hell, that first readthrough."
Karen: "I first met Matt when i did my recall [audition], and I had to read with him,
and he was very friendly, i have to say."
Matt: "Yeah. [Grins] It's all gone downhill, hasn't it?"
God! No, but i was actually quite intimidated about reading with Matt, because, you know, he's Doctor Who. It was all very
Matt: "It didn't show."
Karen: "Aw, well, thanks, but I was feeling it inside. But he was very friendly,
and he made me feel at ease."
Matt: "I do the reverse of that now. I'm a complete git, and i make her feel uncomfortable.
[Laughs] No. I don't."
You haven't driven each other mad yet, then?
Matt: "No! We'd just sort
of scream at each other and then walk off, I guess, if we ever got a rift."
Karen: "Yeah, but I think we've got a
good thing going where-"
Karen: [Laughing] Let me elaborate....we're not in each other's faces
all the time."
Matt: "No. No."
Karen: "I don't think it's overbearing yet."
You seem to make
each other laugh. Is it difficult to keep a straight face on set?
Karen: "I find that quite difficult sometimes.
[Start's laughijng again] Like, yesterday there was this owl-"
Matt: "An actual owl. Quote unquote: 'I can't believe
theres' an actual owl in the tree!' What's it going to Karen, a prosthetic owl!?! The Doctor Who world has infiltrated
her mind, body and soul.
Karen: "I couldn't stop laughing. Every time i looked at Matt, it was even funnier. It was.....er,
what are you doing?"
Matt has leant forward and pulled out Karen's truncheon.
Matt: "It's a truncheon!
Let's talk about your respective costumes. Matt, in Episode 1, you're still wearing David
Tennant's suit, in which you filmed the regeneration-
Matt: "Yes, well, no. I was in a newer version than
this, because this is the raggady Doctor."
How's it been altered? You're a bit better built than David...
No, no, not fatter at all!
Matt: "My God!"
David is a very, very slim man.
i'm rolling down the aisles! [Grins] Yes, um, well, no, it's...um, I don't know how it's been accommodated. [Pauses] Ooh,
I'm just checking my flies are done up."
Right. Have you finished?
Matt: "I don't know if
they have lenghtened the waistline. One would hope, at the tender age of 26, that im not spilling out of it! It's been made
raggedy, and there are lots of little oil marks and it's gone through fire, water, rain and everything else. That's whats
happened to it aesthetically."
Karen, what was your first reaction to the police officer
uniform? That skirt is quite...short.
Karen: [Laughing] Yes, it is. We kind of, went through
a long process trying to find me this uniform. Initially, they wanted me in trousers, just because of the practicallity of
running around in things, but I did want her in a short skirt, because I think it's really suitable as to how we meet
her and who her character is."
Matt: "Oh, and let's say it out loud: it's SEXIER, isn't it? COME ON!!!"
It is sexy Karen.
Karen: [Feigning modesty] Oh guys, stop."
feel sexy in it?
Karen: "I do feel more sassy in it than perhaps other costumes-which is good, because I
think she's a sassy lady."
Matt: [Whisper's to DWM] Mmmm...political."
How have you found the fan reaction to you guys?
Matt: "It's remarkable, isn't it?"
considering you haven't even been on telly together yet.
Karen: "That's the weird thing."
only this show that sort of covets that, though. It's nothing to do with us; it's the show. It's the force and the power of
Luke the PR man shows us a photo on his mobile phone of a child who turned up to watch yesterday's
Matt: "I like that kid. He came down on set dressed as a Dalek. I went up to him, but i had my warm-coat
on-it was so cold- and he had no idea who i was. I was going to go and wave, but-"
Karen: "Aw, he cried. Doctor Boo-Hoo."
"I know, i know, poor little guy."
A lot of kids are going to identify with your character, Karen. They'll
identify with The Doctor too, but from what iv'e seen of the way you're playing him, Matt, there's a real edge to him. You
think you can trust him but...
Matt: [Nods] Mmm."
Karen: "Yeah, he's a bit reckless."
constantly say, 'When this comes on TV...' But then you see a little boy dressed as a Dalek, and you go, 'God it's real.'
It's a privilege, isn't it."
Karen: "Yeah, it's insane."
Matt: "When this goes on TV, it's going to be just
even more present in our lives."
So, how much of your brain is thinking about the Spring, when these episodes
Karen: "Im just looking at the task's that lie ahead right now, but it does sort of come into
your awareness every so often, particulary when doing interviews like this. That's when you're like 'Oh God, yeah-
like, 'It is real. It will go on the telly."
Karen: "Its actually going to happen, which is quite scary."
opposite the icons of the series- like the TARDIS, the Daleks, even the sonic screwdriver- must be a real pinch-yourself moments?
When i first met the Dalek's, i couldn't believe it, because its such an iconic image, and it was just sitting there...and
then you get to meet the guys who control them on the inside."
Matt: "They're sweet, aren't they? And the first time i
saw the TARDIS-! Even now, i look at it every day, and marvel.
Karen: "It's quite breathtaking."
is just the most attractive thing in the world."
Karen: "The colour and everything!"
Matt: "Wherever you put it,
it doesn't matter what landscape you put it in, it looks like, i don't know, someone brilliant has gone...kind of, Picasso's
gone 'Right.' and placed it perfectly on a beach or...even when it's in a room, it really dominates. You go 'Wow!'
a long tradition, dating back to the 60s of actor's breaking bits of the TARDIS console. Have you managed to keep it in one
piece so far?
Karen: [Guffaws] Um...Matt?"
Matt: "I think im the clumsiest Doctor in history."
absoultely, Matt breaks everything."
Matt: "I break it daily. Daily" They give me things with trepidation.