Friday, June 11, 2010

Gareth Roberts Talks Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures

Gareth Roberts is a frequent contributor to the Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures world, having written quite a few episodes such as The Shakespeare Code, The Unicorn and the Wasp and most recently in The Planet of the Dead, which was co-written with Russel T. Davies. His newest Who contribution is The Lodger, will be air this saturday in the UK. Digital Spy has conducted a very interesting interview with the writer of which I have chosen a few interesting excerpts posted below.

Asked if he enjoyed writing solely for the Doctor in The Lodger, Roberts said:
"Yeah, although Amy is still quite a strong presence. It's satisfying writing for The Doctor having to deal with people that he can't tell who he really is, because he's got a slightly strange view of what normal people are like. He can't remember which year is which, he can't remember what people do at a certain time, but he's staggeringly good at other things, which I think in ordinary life can be a bit irritating sometimes. No-one likes multi-talented people, do they?"
Asked if he used a different approach to writing for the Eleventh Doctor than the one he used for the Tenth Doctor, Roberts replied that:
"When I started writing for the Eleventh Doctor, Matt hadn't actually been cast, so I was taking my cue from what Steven had written in 'The Eleventh Hour' and the Weeping Angels two-parter. The strange thing is, you can write quite general dialogue for The Doctor and it can be played by two different actors, and come over completely differently. Some of the speeches in any of these episodes could have been said by any of the ten actors before. There are certain things that are burned into the character. It's just the kind of jokes, the kind of ways of dealing with the problem that are different. David Tennant had a quality of incredible fastidiousness and perfection. Matt is more like Christopher Eccleston's Doctor - his brain is not quite so perfectly-organised. But he's perfect in other ways."
About Matt Smith's Doctor, Gareth Roberts was very enthusiastic:
"I love him. It's peculiar - we've got the youngest actor ever to play The Doctor but in some ways he feels like the oldest sometimes. If you look back, the older Doctors from way back - William Hartnell, Jon Pertwee - could be incredibly childish sometimes. With Matt's Doctor, you really do feel as if he's 900 years old, which is an incredible acting achievement."
The author also teased the readers about the upcoming Series 4 of The Sarah Jane Adventures:
"I can tease you a couple of things, yes. I've written one story which is quite unusual and that's got some amazing monsters in it. We don't have a very big budget on Sarah Jane and when I saw these creatures, I was amazed. Neil Gorton and his monster-making team have excelled themselves. The other one, which is the series finale, I've co-written with Clayton Hickman, former editor of Doctor Who Magazine. They're filming it now and it's a storming, emotionally-charged adventure. I wouldn't say "armageddon", but it's full-blooded and dramatic, to show that children's television can be like that. We asked to the director to pretend it was the last one ever! So it's got a sort of doom-y feel to it."
There's much, much more in that  great Gareth Roberts interview, including what he thought about Russel T. Davies and Steven Moffat, and whether he'd like to write something for Torchwood.

I invite you to go HERE to read more about it.

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