SFX, in which Toby Whithouse talks about his upcoming Doctor Who story, Vampires of Venice.
In it, the Being Human creator and writer reveals that:
“Basically, I was going to write a completely different episode. The Doctor was lost in some kind of labyrinth. And we developed that for a while and everybody was really pleased with it, but then executive producers Steven Moffat and Piers Wenger said, ‘You know what? This is kind of similar to another couple of episodes that we’re doing. Can we think about something else?’”
Thus, he was asked to write something a bit more romantic that would also be ''a good jumping on point. So that if you’d been in a cave for the last five years, and you hadn’t seen Doctor Who, that episode six would be a good place to start. It’s a sort of reboot episode.''
Whithouse further talks about why he chose Venice as the setting for his story, and about the city's historical past which plays an important part in Vampires of Venice:
“They said, ‘You can set it anywhere in the world that you want, but it should be romantic.’ So I thought of Venice, which is one of my favourite places in the world. And it’s obviously renowned as being a very romantic city. So that’s how we ended up there.
“Actually, it was one of the most straightforward script processes I have ever had. That said, I can’t remember who was the first person to mention vampires – I think, to be honest, it was probably me – but it was also the fact that Venice is a very dark, macabre place, full of shadows and secrets. There’s something very clandestine about the city. And something very elegant and very Gothic. And so the idea of at least kicking the episode off with vampires seemed very fitting.
“The episode is set in 1580 which is five years after the plague – the plague hit Venice three times, and this is about five years after the middle time, when tens of thousands of people died. And so consequently just the merest mention of the plague will the city with absolute horror, which made it easier for them to close themselves off from the world and seek refuge.
“The main villain in the episode, played by Helen McCrory – who is amazing – uses this fear to her advantage, to close the ports and the harbours, to suspend trade with the outside world, so she can go about her evil machinations."
To read more about this great interview please go here.