Moffat & Smith on Christmas Special
Steven Moffat and Matt Smith reveal some plot details on The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe in these latest interviews from the BBC.
The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe is Matt Smith’s second Christmas outing as the Doctor and this time he doesn’t have his trusted companions, ‘The Ponds’, by his side. However, it hasn’t stopped him relishing in another Christmassy adventure and here he reveals what Doctor Who has in store for festive viewers.
“Doctor Who and Christmas go hand in hand don’t they?” laughs Matt Smith as he sits down to discuss the special episode of Who, penned by Steven Moffat. “It’s a brilliant and touching story about a family who have experienced a tragic event and in many ways they’ve had Christmas stolen from them.”
Matt reveals that Madge Arwell and her two young children, Lily and Cyril, have been evacuated during the Blitz to a ramshackled old house in the country where the Doctor has taken up residence as caretaker. “The Doctor, in a very ‘Doctory’ way, tries to bring Christmas spirit and cheer back into their lives,” explains Matt. “He has ‘Doctorified’ the house so to speak and there’s a magical present under the Christmas tree which is a portal to another world. Cyril enters it and discovers an enchanting landscape that encapsulates the beauty, danger and madness that is Doctor Who at Christmas.”
So will viewers be cowering behind their turkey and stuffing sandwiches on Christmas Day? “Well there are two scary characters that live in a huge tower and move in a very strange and menacing way,” confides Matt with a conspiratorial grin. “I also really enjoyed making this episode because the characters unfold in a subtle way and you never quite know what’s waiting around the corner. I also loved working with the guest cast who all seemed to have a whale of a time.”
The Doctor has had many festive adventures over the years but what are Matt’s favourite Christmas memories? “The best present I’ve ever had was a snooker table when I was a kid,” he reveals, “although my SEGA Mega Drive came close! I also used to love getting pyjamas and wearing them all day. Plus my granddad absolutely hates dressing gowns so it’s become a family tradition for us to buy him one every year and it always makes me laugh.”
And Matt’s recipe for the perfect Christmas?
“Family; everyone happy, healthy and together with lots of food, presents and good TV. Oh and football on Boxing Day! I’m really hoping for a white Christmas but if I couldn’t have a traditional Christmas I’d spend it somewhere really warm like South America or Australia and have a barbecue on the beach.”
“The Doctor at Christmas – it always just feels so right. When I was a kid, Santa and the Doctor somehow lived in the same place in my head – two generous madmen that I loved so much. So now that the Doctor is a regular feature of Christmas the world is just that bit more right.
“This time we’re in England in the 1940s, and recently widowed Madge Arwell hasn’t told her children, Lily and Cyril, that their father has died flying his bomber home over the channel, because she doesn’t want Christmas to become the day that broke their hearts.
“But when they’re evacuated to a draughty old house in Dorset for the holidays, and meet a mysterious young caretaker in a bow tie, events take an unexpected turn. What could be inside that big blue parcel under the tree?
“Soon the Arwells find themselves in a battle for survival in a magical new land. As ever, at this time of year, the Doctor is trying to make things right, and as always it doesn’t go according to plan. But maybe he’s reckoned without the power of a determined mother.
“This Christmas, it might just be the lonely Time Lord who’s shown the way home.”