doc­tor who

Doc­tor Who ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Brian Minchin gives Nick Setch­field a glimpse of what’s in store when the TARDIS re­ma­te­ri­alises this year

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - News -

Ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Brian Minchin tells us what to ex­pect in Peter Ca­paldi’s sec­ond se­ries.

You launched Peter Ca­paldi very suc­cess­fully last year. How do you build on that suc­cess now?

This se­ries we’re telling the next stage of the adventure. It’s the glory years of Peter Ca­paldi’s Doc­tor and Clara. As you saw in the fi­nale and the Christ­mas episode he’s kind of an­swered his ques­tion of “Am I a good man?” and this year he’s hav­ing the time of his life, hav­ing danger­ous and ex­cit­ing ad­ven­tures in time and space. Th­ese are the glory days of the Doc­tor and Clara. They’re hav­ing the big­gest, most danger­ous ad­ven­tures they’ve ever had and they’re hav­ing great fun do­ing it.

What’s your am­bi­tion for this se­ries?

Ev­ery­thing is based on the char­ac­ter of the Doc­tor. In­ter­est­ing, in­tel­li­gent TV char­ac­ters evolve, and you see dif­fer­ent sides to them. I sup­pose the mission state­ment we had was big­ger ad­ven­tures, and to go fur­ther in space and time. We’ve got a very con­fi­dent Doc­tor, we’ve got a very con­fi­dent com­pan­ion and they’re both ex­perts at do­ing this now so we can tell slightly big­ger sto­ries. We’re do­ing more two- parters – and not just con­ven­tional two- parters. We’re do­ing linked sto­ries where you might not be sure how they’re go­ing to be con­nected un­til you see them. We’re push­ing the sto­ry­telling that way, to give us more scale of adventure.

So will some episodes end with a sur­prise cliffhanger?

You’ll need to see the episodes to see how we’re do­ing it. We love cliffhang­ers, and we love them be­ing in there, but we also like it when sto­ries de­velop into some­thing un­ex­pected, and connect in un­usual ways.

Does that change the rhythm of your sto­ry­telling?

A lit­tle bit. We’re still fast- paced, we’re still funny, we’ve still got dan­ger. Each episode works on its own. Steven [ Mof­fat] al­ways likes to push him­self and this is a slightly new thing for him. I think Steven re­ally en­joyed writ­ing the two- part fi­nale last se­ries and he could see what that could do – it al­lows you to have guest char­ac­ters in for a bit longer, it al­lows you to do dif­fer­ent things on a pro­duc­tion scale, it al­lows you to do dif­fer­ent things with mon­sters.

Is Peter look­ing to ex­plore new sides to the Doc­tor this year?

It’s some­thing that isn’t good to an­a­lyse too much, be­cause we want to let things hap­pen in the sto­ries, but Peter’s a very in­tel­li­gent ac­tor who al­ways wants to be do­ing some­thing new with the char­ac­ter. If you asked any lead­ing man or lady they wouldn’t want to just be do­ing the same thing. Peter has a huge un­der­stand­ing of the Doc­tor and there are as­pects that he wanted to play this year, in th­ese sto­ries. But he’s very re­ac­tive. We have th­ese big con­ver­sa­tions but it al­ways comes down to what’s in the story, what’s in the script.

Steven said that he’s writ­ing a fun­nier Doc­tor this year. Are you look­ing to give Peter more com­edy?

It comes back to what I said – he’s an­swered that ques­tion of “Am I a good man?” He’s still the same Doc­tor. It’s Peter Ca­paldi be­ing the Doc­tor, and he’s bril­liant. He came out as the Doc­tor ques­tion­ing him­self, but he’s now hav­ing the time of his life. That’s how we talk about it. It’s got to come from an artis­tic place of where the Doc­tor’s at now.

He was quite a for­mi­da­ble fig­ure last year, which was a gam­ble that Steven took, mak­ing him slightly fierce and slightly prickly. Will we see more of that side or have you soft­ened him?

I’d say that one of the great strengths of Peter Ca­paldi as the Doc­tor is that he’s un­pre­dictable, and you’re never sure which way he’s go­ing to turn – which is a thing a lot of the clas­sic Doc­tors have had, and that isn’t go­ing away.

Jenna Cole­man re­ally came into her own as Clara last se­ries. How happy are you that she’s stay­ing on?

Ab­so­lutely de­lighted. It’s bril­liant. It’s a se­ries that we al­ways wanted to tell, of Peter’s Doc­tor with Clara, so we’re de­lighted that it’s hap­pen­ing.

You have Michelle Gomez back as Missy in the open­ing two-parter. Why is she back so soon?

Missy is bril­liant, and hav­ing seen her in the fi­nale we just couldn’t wait to work with Michelle again. Steven had the per­fect story. It’s not go­ing to be Missy as you ex­pect her to be. Steven likes to sur­prise ev­ery­one and he’s go­ing to do that with this open­ing. Missy has an aw­ful lot of sides to her and we’re go­ing to see some new ones in this se­ries. We also learn a bit more about her re­la­tion­ship with the Doc­tor…

Doc­tor Who re­turns to BBC One later this year.

Missy re­turns in “The Ma­gi­cian’s Ap­pren­tice” and “The Witch’s Familiar”.

Once The Im­pos­si­ble Girl, now The Girl Who Waited Around.

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