It has been an oddly busy day on the “Doctor Who” news front with several stories coming to light. Things start with the first official photo from this year’s Christmas special which sees Alex Kingston’s River Song re-uniting with The Doctor (Peter Capaldi).
Speaking with The Radio Times, Moffat says this version of River Song is from directly after the events of “The Angels Take Manhattan” but before those in “The Name of the Doctor”.
With the departure of Clara (Jenna Coleman), a new companion hasn’t yet been named for next season. With two episodes to go for the current ninth season, Capaldi is on his own for the next episode “Heaven Sent,” an extended and experimental episode featuring the Time Lord doing it solo with Jami Reid-Quarrell as the episode’s mysterious villain ‘The Veil’.
A promo for that episode can be seen below and the ep leads into next weekend’s season finale which sees the return of Ohila and the Sisterhood of Karn and what is said to be Jenna Coleman’s final on screen appearance in the series as Clara.
Moffat has also spoken at length about the 50th anniversary special two years ago and how that only just came together by the skin of its teeth. He admits that Christopher Eccleston was in the first version of the script, and it got to a point where the actor had to make a decision to return which he opted not to:
“I knew that Chris was almost certainly going to say no. I met him a couple of times and he was absolutely lovely. He met with me because he didn’t want to say no through his agent or a phone call or email. He wanted to do it personally. And I three-quarters talked him into it. So I started a version of it but I got to a point where I could go no further unless it was going to be him.
I went for another meeting with him and he decided no. His reasons are his business and he’s a very private man. But it’s reasonable to say he really cares about Doctor Who. He’s well versed in what’s happened since he left, and happily chatted away about Amy Pond by name.”
Check out The Radio Times for the full interview which talks about why other Doctors weren’t included, how John Hurt got involved, and how getting both David Tennant and Matt Smith onboard was far from certain even a few weeks before it went into production.
The final two episodes of “Doctor Who” for the season will air Saturdays on BBC1 in the UK and BBC America in the United States.