Piers Wenger, an executive producer on “Doctor Who,” talks about the upcoming Christmas special and Season Six on Crave Online. Not much is revealed, which is good, but he does state how the sixth season will be different from the past.
On the Christmas Special:
“It’s called ‘A Christmas Carol’ and you know Steven [Moffat's] obsession with timelines to drive a story is very well documented. It’s based on the iconic Christmas story that does that. It’s very much a ‘Doctor Who Christmas Carol.’ He meets a character named Kazran Sardick, played by Michael Gambon, who is similar to Scrooge. The Doctor appears to him as the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes him back to his childhood and tries to show him the error of his ways while trying to save Amy and Rory who are trapped on a [space] train.”
On Season Six:
“Well, Season Six… you know we’ve got the pressure up after the success of the last season. We really have to raise the bar. Steven has written a two-parter, which will be the first season opening two-parter since the series came back in 2005 and it’s all set in the [United States]. The [production] went to the States to film the American locations for that two-parter. I’m particularly dying to see that one. I think it’s going to be the most ambitious season opener that ‘Doctor Who’ has seen for the last five or six years.”
If the mystery of River Song, the Doctor’s future wife, will be revealed:
“No. We’re probably not finding that out quite yet, but stay tuned. I think you’ll get really great clues in the coming season.”
Will they shoot on more locations?
“Not currently. Although, we are nothing if not opportunistic. If an opportunity to do so would arrive, we would probably take it. Or if it would bring something new to an episode and give it a completely new landscape. We’re open to that because we’re always pushing it.”
Why was Season Six separated into two parts?
“I think it was basically driven by the story that Steven had in his head. It had a big [story] in the middle of it and I think [Steven] spoke to the drama commissioner of the BBC about that where he figured ‘Why not build a [structure] that really built to it?’ It was an excellent opportunity to really get the audience hooked by making it an end of season cliffhanger. We get a three month hiatus between the first part and the second part in the U.K.”
Who will guest star:
“Well, we tend to do it on a rolling basis when the scripts are ready. But we’ve got some really exciting negotiations going on at the moment. We’ve got Alex Kingston returning for several episodes this year. But at the moment, there’s no one I can actually reveal other than Alex.”
On writers of the show, Neil Gaiman being one of them:
“That’s right, Neil Gaiman, Mark Gatiss and Toby Whithouse, who did the vampire episode last year, is back. Matthew Graham who has created ‘Life on Mars’ is writing a very exciting two-parter which plays a pretty big part in the whole season arc.”
On how will the season affect the marriage of Rory and Amy:
“That’s all part and parcel of the [storyarc] of season six. I don’t want to say too much about that other than Steven’s got more dastardly complications to throw at them than anyone else on the planet.”
“I think we’ve covered most of it. Of course, we’re constantly trying to raise the bar on what’s been there before. And I think we’ll probably be scarier, especially as the relationships between the characters become darker and more complex. I think that will be the big difference between the two seasons. Season Five was all about getting to know Amy and Rory and getting to understand their relationship and getting to know a little more about River.
I think Season Six will be more about testing those relationships, making them more complicated as the Doctor faces a particularly sadistic challenge.”
Hearing about the upcoming season and special is a treat and I cannot wait for them. And if BBCAmerica does air the Christmas special this season as opposed to it being the season premiere like in the past than even more fun and not having to wait. Season Five was fun, very different but fun, and I look forward to the new season when it airs.