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Published on May 3rd, 2011 | by Andrew Reynolds

Gillan of the Seven Seas

In case you haven’t noticed Pirates are “in” this year. With Johnny Depp about to drag the corpse of Captain Jack Sparrow through another adventure on the high seas with the Fourth installment of the yo-ho-ho-a-thon Pirates of the Caribbean saga, Doctor Who has plotted a course for uncharted territory (Well if you don’t count the BF musical: Doctor Who and the Pirates) and boarded the Pirate genre, cutlass a’swinging.

And swinging that sword will be Karen Gillan who sat down with SFX to chat all about The Curse of the Black Spot and all things piratical.

It seems life on the seven seas can be a health and safety nightmare if you’re in charge of Miss Gillans well being- it seems Miss Pond took to swinging from the rigging so much that it was difficult to get her to stop:

“I just loved it and rehearsed it loads, when we didn’t need to, because I enjoyed it that much. Then Arthur [Darvil] and I collided during a scene and the back of his head really hit my nose, so everyone was freaking out, but it wasn’t that bad! So I was trying to calm everyone down, saying ‘I’m fine!’ ‘No, we shouldn’t have put you on the ropes!’ We continued to do it for ages after that – I loved it!”

As Johnny Depp proved with his academic thesis Pirates of the Carribbean pirates are in fact rock ‘n’ roll stars and like Mr Sparrow, Ms Gillan had to deal with the crowds of gathering Who fans who flocked to Cornwall to watch the stars in action:

“Well, quite often we have a crowd if we’re filming in a public place, but we’ve never had a crowd that big, I think, who’d specifically come down just to see the filming. And they were just screaming constantly! So it was quite difficult to act when they’re in your eyeline, but it was really nice that they came down because they weren’t shouting horrible things, they were really excited..‘Matt! Matt! I love you! Amy! Rory!’”

Anyone worried that this episode will be nothing more than peg legs, parrots and tri-cornered pirate hats (surely the Doctor will at some point be wearing one?) have nothing to fear as Gillan promises that the episode won’t just be a romp through the pirate cliches of yore:

“I mean it is kind of big, swashbuckling adventure, but then they go into the story of the stowaway, a little boy, and there’s some sadness as well. So that’s good. I remember, actually, that they made the decision to not do cheesy pirate voices, so they’re kind of keeping it a bit more real.”

For more from Miss Gillan pick up SFX 209 on Thursday

The Curse of the Black Spot airs this Saturday at 18:15 on BBC One

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About the Author

Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.




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