By Jorge Solis
In his latest adventure, the Doctor (Matt Smith)faces a new nemesis, who is hiding inside the Internet. Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer of “Doctor Who,” spoke at a roundtable interview about Saturday’s season premiere, Jenna-Louise Coleman as the latest companion, and what fans should expect from the upcoming season.
About the the inspiration for the episode “The Bells of St. John,” in which a sinister virus is lurking in the Wi-Fi signals and threatens to trap the entire human race:
Moffat: I was trying to come up with a really good adventure with the Doctor. I grab hold of whatever has a omnipresence in your life and turn into a monster. That’s the idea! There’s no grand plan. It’s not that we’re too tied to technology. I love it all!
About Jenna-Louise Coleman as the new companion, Clara Oswald.
Moffat: Jenna’s a terribly, terribly good actress. I know that’s a dull thing to say, but it’s true. You can be beautiful and charming, but if you’re not terrific at acting, you can have nothing on screen. She’s a terrific actress. She’s looks great. She has great comedic timing. Jenna looks like she belongs next to Matt Smith. They [Coleman and Smith] have enough in common and yet have enough sharp contrast. It’s an instant team when you stand them together.
What should audiences expect in the relationship between the Doctor and Clara:
Moffat: The Doctor’s lore is the story of the companion. She’s very taken by the Doctor, by the adventure she goes on. It’s a story to tell. The companion, the other character, changes more than the Doctor ever does.
What Jenna particularly brings is the speed and wit, sort of unimpressed quality that makes the Doctor dance a bit harder. With Clara, she’s always a little bit out of reach. She’s obviously secretly devoted to him. She’s a little bit harder to impress. She’s tough, fast, and hard to impress. That’s exactly the type of person the Doctor generally doesn’t like. But of course, he’s completely devoted to Clara.
About the mystery behind Clara Oswin Oswald and her reincarnations.
Moffat: Well, I would know the answer to that question, but I certainly wouldn’t give it to you! [Laughs] You will uncover the mystery behind Clara in the next eight episodes. All will be known about Clara. You’ll get your answer that way.
About the guest writers this season — which includes Neil Cross (“Luther”), Mark Gatiss (“Sherlock”), and Neil Gaiman (“Sandman”):
Moffat: What I’m looking for all the time, I’m looking for the showrunner-level writers who’d give their right arm to write a “Doctor Who” story. This sounds terribly snobbish and awful, but that’s what I like. It’s surprising how often we get that. It’s surprising how many of our writing staff, if I can call them that, are showrunners themselves. It’s a gift to us.
About the 50th anniversary of “Doctor Who”:
Moffat: We’ll deliver a good show. More on that later. Right now, I just want to concentrate on what we’re going to do on Saturday. We still have other episodes before we’ll worry about that. We’ll deliver; I’m pretty confident.
What can he tease about the upcoming season:
Moffat: I would say, my favorite is next Saturday’s episode, “The Rings of Akhaten.” The next episode is the one I’m most focused on and am most excited about. I think “Bells of Saint John” is a great episode. I think “Cold War” is a terrific traditional episode. We’ve got a great finale. We’ve got some new Cybermen.
The season premiere of “Doctor Who” airs Saturday, March 30th, on BBC America at 8pm.