BBC America is the new home for Doctor Who. As we sit and wait for the next new episode here in the United States, we finally have the dates to mark our calendars (and set our DVRs).
This summer, we will celebrate Christmas in June with "The Next Doctor." Set in Victorian London, this episode originally aired in the UK back in December 2008.
It’s Christmas Eve in 1851 and Cybermen stalk the snow of Victorian London. When the Doctor (David Tennant, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) arrives to investigate a spate of mysterious deaths, he’s surprised to meet another Doctor (David Morrissey, State of Play, Viva Blackpool), with his own sonic screw driver. How could this be possible? Could this Doctor be a future regeneration? But if so where are his memories? The two must combine forces to defeat the ruthless Miss Hartigan (Dervla Kirwan, Law & Order UK, Ballykissangel), who is the Cybermen’s human ally. But are two Doctors enough to stop the rise of the CyberKing?
"The Next Doctor" airs Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
On July 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, we will get to see the first of four Doctor Who specials shot in HD with Doctor Who: Planet Of The Dead."
The Doctor is trapped on a desert alien planet with a red double-decker bus but no Tardis. He soon discovers the mysterious planet holds terrifying secrets hidden in the sand and is forced to team up with a mysterious, aristocratic thief Lady Christina (Michelle Ryan, Bionic Woman, Merlin) to get back to Earth. But time is running out, as the deadly Swarm gets closer.
As an added treat, here are some interviews for Planet Of The Dead:
Has filming the specials been different from filming the regular series?
“I think we get slightly more time to film the specials. I don't know if that's even true – we get four weeks to film an hour-long special whereas we get about two-and-a-half weeks to film a normal 45-minute episode. So we've got a little bit more time to play with but then they tend to be a bit more ambitious.”
“Certainly this one was, and you know the fact that we wanted to film in an actual desert and there aren’t a lot of them in south Wales.”
“So we had to find somewhere in the world that we could get to that, had an infrastructure that we could use to film in and that would have us, you know. Some of these deserts exist in some less than friendly regimes.”
Tell us about the desert vistas.
“We went to the desert and we got some incredible shots, I mean I think you'll notice it on screen that we went a long way, and that the director and the camera particularly made it count. I think it’ll look like an alien planet in a way that nothing we've ever done before has ever quite managed, just because it is an extraordinary...it is an extraordinary sight, just miles of sand and the blue skies, the sun beating down, it is like being in another world really, so quite useful for us!”
What is this episode about?
“Well it’s about a bus that ends up on an alien planet, it’s about an international jewel thief who meets the Doctor and is quite intrigued by him. And it’s about two alien races, one of which is just doing what comes naturally and one of which is trying to get home. And all of those elements kind of combine into a story that is a bit bonkers, very fast moving, very exciting, and sort of on a scope. Bigger than we've managed before, which is very exciting. It’s very exciting having done the show for four years and still finding new stories to tell and ways of telling those stories, it’s great, and it’s what makes it such a great show to work on.”
Tell us about your character Lady Christina de Souza.
“Christina is a mysterious, adventure-seeking aristocrat and she is very much a loner, she’s off in her own little world. And she’s very daring and exciting and smart and sassy. She’s a cool character.”
When did you first hear about the part, and why did it appeal to you?
“I first heard about the part just before Christmas and it appealed to me. I was reading lots of different scripts at the time and then I read this one and I was so engaged with the character, with her journey, and it was just a really interesting, dynamic script and few of those come along for young actresses, so I was kind of like, ‘yeah, I’d like to be a part of this’.”
What's it like working with David Tennant?
“It’s amazing, he is genuinely one of the most professional, lovely, brilliant actors I’ve ever worked with. And he has such a good vibe, and he gives a great energy to everyone, he’s really cool. It’s quite family-like and fun – it’s been such a laugh to work on. The rest of the cast, the supporting cast as well, have been brilliant, Daniel, David, Vicky and Reggie and everyone, it’s been brilliant.”
How did you find working with the Tritovores?
“That was a bit of a shock but they're very good, the two guys who played the Tritovores with their voices, and it was cool doing all the special effects stuff where you've got the big creatures coming at you. It’s been interesting, and I love doing all the harness and wire work – I’ve been hung upside down today, all day – and being dropped and bounced up and down, so it’s all fun!”
What’s it like on set working with Lee Evans?
“Filming with Lee Evans is great. He’s actually really quiet then he’ll start being really funny. He’s just naturally funny and lovely.”
Is there a romantic spark between your character Christina and The Doctor?
“There is a little bit of a romantic spark between The Doctor and Christina. I think Christina feels like she’s met her equal, and The Doctor feels like he’s met his match with Christina. Christina doesn’t come across many men that intrigue and inspire her the way The Doctor does. He manages to show her that actually she can use her skills to help other people, and that actually it’s more fun when you’re part of a team rather than being a loner. She goes on a journey with him and I think she’d like it to be more, and he’s quite closed off to that because he’s been hurt in the past – he’s off doing his thing and she’s like, ‘well, okay’ and off on her next adventure!”