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Doctor Who: “Tougher than Ashes”

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine features interviews with the new Executive Producers, Steven Moffats’s colleagues Beth Willis and Piers Wenger.

It’s a great interview, but one that does spend a lot of time on some of the complexities of producing Doctor Who, even at one point comparing it to the quite different Ashes to Ashes.

Piers Wenger in particular notes that deadlines are a problem for the new team – who in many ways are learning almost everything from scratch as their precessors did in 2004 and 2005.

“From the point of commissioning the script for an episode of Doctor Who, it is more complex than it is on any other kind of show.”

“It’s a bigger, more brilliant challenge. Just the stories, by nature, have to be slightly baffling, but have a really rigorous logic behind why they’re baffling – and they should be baffling in a good way.”

Wenger also spoke of the timescale issues of getting the final two scripts of the 2010 finalised.

Meanwhile Willis – who has also Executive Produced one of the BBC’s other big hits, Ashes to Ashes – remarked that Doctor Who was a much more complicated show to produce.

“[Ashes] was eight episodes compared to 13, which I think, just in terms of stamina, is quite a different kettle of fish.”

She added: “And the post-production process on Doctor Who is just so much more complex.”


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