JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS
Have yourself a merry little TARDIS this Boxing Day with Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol. Guy Davis’s present this year was learning more about the Doctor’s companion, played by Karen Gillan.
will be happy to be kept in the dark, there are always going to be one or two who can’t help trying to find out what they’re getting for Christmas. So it’s for those people that we offer the following titbits of information.
Screenwriter Steven Moffat has supposedly based this episode on the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, with speculation that a past Doctor will pop in as the Ghost of Christmas Past. And one of the major guest stars in the episode is veteran actor Michael Gambon, perhaps best known as Dumbledore from the last few Harry Potter movies.
However, the character Gambon will be playing and the impact that character will have on the story has not been disclosed, so devotees of the Doctor will simply have to tune in on Boxing Day to discover what happens next.
The 2010 Christmas episode is the first for the latest Doctor, played by Matt Smith, the youngest actor to take on the role in the history of the show. And it’s also the first for the Doctor’s “ companion”, Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillan.
The feisty and outspoken Amy has emerged as a popular part of the Doctor Who universe, her relationship with Matt Smith’s Doctor coming across as quite different to that seen in previous incarnations.
“ I do think Amy is different from previous companions because she’s very equal to the Doctor,” Gillan said. “ I’m not saying that she’s completely equal to the Doctor, because I think they’re kind of worlds apart in terms of character, but she’s definitely up there in importance.
“ She doesn’t take his word as gospel and she’s always happy to challenge him. If he tells her to do something then she won’t necessarily do it; she might go off and do her own thing, which can sometimes create a rift between the two of them. They are best pals, though, and it’s a very up-anddown relationship because they are both very passionate people.”
While keen to honour the traditions of the show, the one thing Gillan wanted to avoid in her portrayal was toeing the line walked by her predecessors.
“ The one thing I never wanted to do with Amy was to base her on any kind of formula, to conform to what works – or what has worked – in a companion,” she said.
“ You know, the whole, likeable, girl-next-door business. Amy is likeable, I hope, but she’s not ordinary. She’s quite complicated and there are layers to explore. So I was taking a few risks with her and I think it works.”
The whole process of auditioning for the role of Amy was a top-secret affair, recalls Gillan. While she knew that she’d be reading for the part of the Doctor’s companion, she wasn’t informed about the character’s name or given any information about her. On top of that, she wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about the project.
“ They even had a code name for the role – Panic Moon,” she laughed. “ It’s an anagram of companion, which I thought was really clever.”
Her second audition was alongside Smith, and the two actors found that they clicked almost immediately.
“ We just kind of bounce off each other,” she said. “ The banter that you see onscreen – that’s what we’re like all day on set. And I think we might have been like that if we’d met in any other situation.”
So this is Christmas: From left, Michael Gambon, Matt Smith and Katherine Jenkins join Karen Gillan in