Friday, 27 March 2009

DW Fans Asks the Production team

Fans of Doctor Who, armed with questions ranging from hair length to toy spin-offs, have gone face to face with the hit TV show's production team.
A few behind-the-scenes tricks were revealed at the packed event on the opening night of the three-day Celtic Media Festival in Caernarfon.
The 30th festival brings together film and TV from the Celtic nations.
The Doctor Who panel included executive producer Julie Gardner and designer Edward Thomas.
Outgoing executive producer and lead writer Russell T Davies was forced to cancel because of his workload, as filming starts on Monday for another of the four specials he is working on before he leaves.

The two-part show will see the present Doctor, David Tenant, regenerate into Matt Smith.
After a short introduction questions were invited from the audience.

Those ranged from why Doctor Who was not available in Lego - the series needs to be bigger in America apparently - to whether the new Doctor would cut his fringe before taking over from David Tennant (the diplomatic answer to this one was "your comment will be passed on").
Casting Matt Smith as the new doctor was the "easiest" decision because of his "other worldly" qualities according to the team.

His assistant looks set to remain firmly from the 21st Century however, as Julie Gardner explained why the Doctor never had an assistant from another place in time.

She explained the team had decided the assistant needed to "root"' the doctor and be a credible link between him and the audience.
There were snippets of trivia too - such as the story behind why the Tardis was a police box.
According to designer Edward Thomas when the original Dr Who series was being put together in the 1960s the designer was told to "go into the props department and look for something commonplace in which to disguise the Tardis".
He returned with a police box, which was a common sight on the streets of Britain at the time, and as they say... the rest is history.
Modern advances in technology now allow viewers a glimpse into the Tardis when the Doctor opens the door.

This is achieved by printing various images from the Tardis set and lighting them from behind giving the impression of 'depth' when the door is opened, Mr Thomas explained.
There was also an insight into the challenges facing a production designer.

Mr Thomas recalled an incident when the script demanded a plethora of aliens and props, "by page five I'd spent the budget, and then I turned over and I saw it needed a space ship in a field... there was no way it could be done".

A worried Mr Thomas then had to tell Russell T Davies about the problem, only to be told: "Don't worry, the spaceship can be invisible!"

The Easter special is already completed and the audience was treated to a brief montage of scenes which definitely whetted the appetite, but yet gave nothing away.
Suffice to say it involved a bus, sand, and lots of running

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