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“The rest of us spend hours on set speculating,” says Darvill, “as to who River is, what’s going to happen, what secrets everyone has. If you know what’s coming, it affects your performance.” Back on set, Kingston is firing a gun at an Apollo astronaut, who has just emerged from the lake. I wonder what the American audiences will make of that.” The BBC is hoping that these episodes will break Doctor Who in America. The show’s lead writer, Steven Moffat, promises we’ll find out who River really is before the mid-series break in June… At the time of filming, Kingston is the only cast member who knows. The Doctor, of course, wouldn’t be seen dead with a gun. “This eccentric man in a bow tie, who abhors violence and brandishes a screwdriver instead of a firearm…The Doctor’s second trip to Thirties New York in recent years was one of the most noirish episodes there has been in the series’ history, and was a compelling end to Amy and Rory’s time in the Tardis.Steven Moffat pulled out the stops for Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill’s departure from Doctor Who, bringing back the Weeping Angels in probably their most sinister form yet – the striking sight of the Statue of Liberty changed into a malevolent Angel was one of those great Cybermen outside St Paul’s Cathedral moments (see 1968 Patrick Troughton adventure The Invasion). I love that it’s a family show, and I would love it to appeal to families in America – so that’s the plan.” He must have thought about how success in America would affect his life. “I’d hope it would be positive,” he says, “and I’d get offered really interesting filmic roles.” Is that where his ambitions lie? ” For the uninitiated – River may be the Doctor’s wife. (This sort of thing happens a lot on Doctor Who.) “Nicely done, Kingston,” Smith cheers. “We made significant inroads last year,” says Moffat, “but I would hope that we could make it much bigger this time around.” What does Smith reckon? “I’m fully behind trying to make that happen,” he says. In Britain, Doctor Who is the closest thing we have to The Simpsons, really, because you can watch it with a six year-old and they’ll laugh at the Doctor falling over, and you can watch it with a 40 year-old and they’ll laugh at the Doctor getting it all wrong with River. When episode one went out last year [Smith’s first episode as the Doctor], there was trepidation that people were going to just loathe it – but they didn’t, so we’re very grateful, very relieved, and now it’s about pushing on. His “wife,” of course, is Kingston’s River, making his “girlfriend” Coleman’s Clara.
Do you get mobbed when you go out in public in London?
The three leads and Alex Kingston (as River) rose to the occasion, Matt Smith again showing that, when the situation demands, his Doctor can be as compellingly authoritative as any.
But Karen Gillan, looking very fetching in reading glasses (and shooting Dorothy Parker’s theory about bespectacled women down in style), was the star here, really pulling out the emotional stops in the last half of the episode.
After a very impressive and shocking first half of the season, that left viewers waiting on the edge of their seats to find out how one of the most exciting cliff-hangers and plot twists ever would resolve, .
Although they were very tight-lipped about any plot points, co-stars Matt Smith (who plays the Doctor himself) and Karen Gillan (who plays the Doctor’s companion, Amy) talked at the BBC America portion of the TCA Press Tour about how their lives have changed since becoming a part of the show, how they both enjoy taking unexpected risks with their characters, what they were most nervous about and what they have the most fun with when it comes to taking on such iconic roles, who their favorite actors are in Question: Matt, how has life changed since you’ve become Doctor Who? I get to come to America a lot more than I used to.