Amy sees her fu­ture

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - DEBBIE SCHIPP

KAREN Gil­lan’s big ‘‘ pinch me’’ Dr Who mo­ment – and there have been plenty in her two sea­sons play­ing his feisty side­kick Amy Pond – came at San Diego’s 2011 Comic-Con fes­ti­val in July.

When Gil­lan and Dr Who lead Matt Smith fronted a Comic-Con panel at­tended by 6500 Dr Who devo­tees, many of them wav­ing Dr Who’s trade­mark sonic screw­driver, Gil­lan ( pic­tured) re­alised the mag­ni­tude of the cult sci-fi show.

‘‘ We didn’t know what to ex­pect go­ing into San Diego,’’ she says with a laugh.

‘‘ We cer­tainly didn’t ex­pect what ac­tu­ally hap­pened. It was the most crazy ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘ It’s a weird mo­ment when you run into your­self in the street – me and Matt were just wan­der­ing through San Diego and we ran into the Doc­tor and Amy – and ev­ery­one just went ‘ like, what?’

‘‘ But when we did this panel with all these peo­ple wav­ing sonic screw­drivers. That was just an in­sane and a mag­i­cal and elec­tric mo­ment where we all went ‘ Whoa, this show is big­ger than any of us can com­pre­hend’.’’ Be­com­ing Amy has been a ca­reer tri­umph for Gil­lan, a Scot­tish model-turned-ac­tress who, in sea­son six of Dr Who, is deal­ing with the im­pend­ing death of the Doc­tor and find­ing out she has a daugh­ter who is older then her ( which ap­par­ently works in this world). But this week’s episode, The Girl Who Waited, sees Gil­lan score a per­sonal tri­umph against co-star Smith, who has ribbed her in the press for be­ing unco-or­di­nated, when she pulls off a sin­gleshot chore­ographed fight scene and takes out six en­emy Hand­bots.

‘‘ I was quite proud of my­self,’’ Gil­lan says. ‘‘ Every­thing is done fairly rapidly in the world of Dr Who, so I had a 20-minute re­hearsal the night be­fore and then went and did it the next day.

‘‘ It had to be well-re­hearsed be­cause the di­rec­tor wanted a long con­tin­u­ous shot where the cam­era didn’t cut away. It took a few takes, but I got there in the end.

‘‘ Hav­ing pulled that off, I don’t need to say any­thing to Matt. But I will chal­lenge him to a chore­ographed fight.’’

The episode is Gil­lan’s favourite in the lat­est se­ries, which was fast-tracked to Aus­tralia within a week of air­ing in the UK.

Amy is front and cen­tre, trapped in a quar­an­tine fa­cil­ity for vic­tims of an alien plague – a plague that will kill the Doc­tor in a day.

Thanks to the time-trav­el­ling na­ture of Dr Who, Gil­lan plays a young Amy and an old Amy as she waits for res­cue. This in­volved spend­ing hours in a make-up chair.

Gil­lan, 23, says she had no qualms about the ac­cel­er­ated age­ing process.

‘‘ It was a chal­lenge for me as an ac­tress. I kind of begged ev­ery­one to let me do it,’’ she says. ‘‘ I was so cu­ri­ous about how I’d look old.’’

She gives a laugh. ‘‘ I’ve dis­cov­ered I don’t age well. I know it’s all down­hill from here for me.’’

Gil­lan says the role has been the op­por­tu­nity of a life­time. ‘‘ I love the fact she’s quite em­pow­ered and she is a re­ally strong fe­male,’’ she says.

‘‘ She’s a lot more fiery than I am as a per­son. She’s kind of per­son that I would quite like to be. I get to pre­tend, which is the next best thing.’’

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