The all-new season of Doctor Who will premiere later this year on BBC America. In the meantime, the cast and creative team headed down to Comic-Con for a presentation and panel, and to debut footage for the show’s loyal and dedicated fans. This season will see the last days of the Ponds, with Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) returning for their final rollercoaster voyage with The Doctor (Matt Smith), and then see a dramatic turn of events when The Doctor meets a new companion, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman.
During this interview, actor Matt Smith talked to the press about what fans can expect from the new season, how exciting it was to get to have dinosaurs on the show, how hard it was to tell the story of Amy and Rory’s goodbye, what the new companion (Jenna-Louise Coleman) is adding to the show, what Doctors he would love to see return for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, and whether there could ever be a big screen movie. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
MATT SMITH: Yeah, it is! You know slightly what to expect a little more. It’s always overwhelming, it’s always very humbling, and it’s always very exciting. I think that, if the world was a bit more like Comic-Con, we’d all be a little happier. There’s a freedom of expression and a lack of cynicism that I think is extraordinary and wonderful and open. Everyone gets to meet their hero. I met Peter Jackson and Edgar Wright, and they’re people that I love. Whether you’re a fan or movie director, it doesn’t matter. If me and Steven Moffat had met Bryan Cranston, we’d have just fallen over ourselves, but we didn’t. Next year!
What can fans expect from the new season?
SMITH: Well, fans can expect a gut-wrenching, heart-wrenching time, saying goodbye to the Ponds. But, we’ve also got dinosaurs, we’ve got daleks, we’ve got weeping angels and we’ve got New York. It feel, in scale, as big and bold as ever it has. That’s the thing with Who. It’s got to get better, all the time. Hopefully, that’s what we’re doing. Steven Moffat’s in great form, Karen [Gillan] and Arthur [Darville] are in great form, and there are great directors and great monsters. That gives you a good chance.
You’ve long said that you wanted to see dinosaurs on the show. Was that something you were excited about?
SMITH: I really have. I’m pleased you remember! Yeah, I really was. I’ve just always thought dinosaurs and the science of Who would be funny, and I love dinosaurs. I’ve always loved dinosaurs. What I’ve seen of it looks great and has a great sense of adventure. As we near towards the end of Amy and Rory’s time, it becomes very sad, hopefully.
Do you have a favorite dinosaur?
SMITH: As a kid, I knew all of the dinosaurs. It’s one of those tragedies that I’ve forgotten what dinosaurs are cool. But, I love Pterodactyls just because they’re massive birds that can eat you. And yet, if I was to pick which dinosaur I’d want to be, there’s a bird that was even bigger. I figure that’s the best way to stay alive. Raptors look a bit mean. T-Rexes are just a bit big and cumbersome, but I love them. Or, I’d be some great big aquatic animal. But, the birds can fly.
SMITH: Rory has already died five times. We have Steven [Moffat], who’s a total genius. If you go back and revisit The 11th Hour and study it closely, that’s all I will say. It’s been three years, and we really had to stick together throughout it. Coming into the show, people were going, “Who’s this young kid? What’s Steven Moffat going to do with it? What are they all going to do together?” We had to really stick together and come through a period of people going, “This isn’t going to work.” Hopefully, we’ve reinvented it, in a way that has worked. For me, personally, they are my favorite companions. I just think they’ve been brilliant. And I think the stories and the way it’s interwoven has been so clever. Just the central idea of the Doctor visiting her, as a little girl, and screwing her up is just genius.
Personally, these are your first companions that you’re saying goodbye to. Did you get to spend time just hanging out together in New York?
SMITH: It was difficult because we were shooting the majority of the time. I love New York City, though, and me, Karen and Arthur have a great time, wherever we go. It’s very fortunate, and a bit of serendipity, that we got on really well. We’re great friends. That makes it all the more easy. Likewise with Steven. He’s a great pal of mine. It’s good to work with people that you love. And, New York always has something for you. It’s been three years, and we really had to stick together throughout it. Coming into the show,
SMITH: Well, she’s doing really well. As you can imagine, coming into a big juggernaut like this isn’t an easy thing to do. But, she works terribly hard and I think everyone is going to love her. She’s lovely. She’s a lovely girl. Obviously, I can’t say too much about her storylines, or I’d have to kill you.
Next season is the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, and people are speculating about past Doctors being brought back. If there was one living Doctor you could have on the show, who would it be?
SMITH: People are speculating. Well, that’s difficult. Just for the event of it, it would have to be David [Tennant] and Chris [Eccleston]. Could you imagine? It would be brilliant, wouldn’t it? But, I don’t know how easy it is to make that happen. People have other careers. You move on from the show. So, I don’t know. But, whatever we do for the 50th, we will make it as big an event, and as wide and far-reaching an event, as possible. No doubt, we will be back at Comic-Con again next year, promoting the ass out of it.
Will you ever do a big screen Doctor Who movie?
SMITH: I don’t know. There’s talk of it. I think David Yates was attached to do something. For my money, whoever is playing the Doctor should be in the movie. I don’t think there should be two Doctors. I think it would take four or five years to get something like that off the ground, and I don’t anticipate that I’ll be playing the Doctor then. My skin and the aging process couldn’t take it. But, I don’t see any reason why it couldn’t work. I think they should get Steven to write it because he’s the best.
To catch up on all of our Comic-Con 2012 coverage, click here.