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Published on August 7th, 2011 | by Meredith Burdett

The Chemistry of Karen

Karen Gillan has recently stated that the reason that the current incarnation of Doctor Who works so well is because of the chemistry between her and Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith.

Chatting to Metro, the actress went on to state that the dynamic between the two of them was “the heart of the show” and very important to giving it the success that keeps audiences tuning in.

In many ways, Karen is completely correct, it is very important for the lead actors in any show and especially Doctor Who to create an enjoyable back and forth for viewers to get drawn into. There have certainly been some TARDIS crew members that have not bonded entirely well with the Doctor, leading to viewers having a difficult time enjoying the Doctor Who experience. Of note (and this has nothing to do with the actors at all) the Sixth Doctor and Peri had a patchy relationship filled with arguments and cynical comments thrown back and forth at each other leading to a fall in ratings.

But chemistry is not everything, after all the show is so much more than just the actors who bring it to life so amazingly well. The writers, producers and remaining members of the cast and crew put so much effort every year to make sure that audiences get the best that Doctor Who can offer.

However, Matt and Karen have a wonderful friendship that does indeed sparkle both in front and behind the camera.

Long may it continue!


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About the Author


What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!

2 Responses to The Chemistry of Karen

  1. avatar Rick Lundeen says:

    The more I think about it, aside from The eleventh hour, there really hasn’t *been* much chemistry between the Doctor and Amy. I would argue that the Smith era works best as a larger ensemble. Some of the very best episodes of series 5 Weeping Angels, Pandorica/Big Bang) features The Doctor, River and Amy where as the Silurian two parter and victory of the Daleks featured only the two of them and were so so. This year, the opening two parter and A good man goes to war had all four of the team and was fantastic. I’d even rank the episodes with Doctor, Amy and Rory higher than those with just the two of them. Maybe it’s the Troughton factor where he usually had a three person team as well. Even in the Lodger, the Doctor worked better with Craig and Daisy. I think the threesome and the foursome is the best dynamic for this Doctor, just my two cents.

  2. avatar Andypants says:

    I agree with Rick. I think the companion relationship was much more at the heart of the rtd era than it has been during the moffatt run. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The companion should be engaging, an audience cypher and may well have an ep or two devoted just to their story but with all of time and space to explore, it would be a shame to get too caught up in soap opera. I would also submit that “chemistry” seems to have lost all meaning to me. Last I checked, it was meant to mean that when you put two people together, another force seems to come into play. This could occur whether the two characters are on friendly terms or mortal enemies. An actor friend of mine used to say it meant that both actors listened to each other as opposed to waiting for the other to stop speaking. Food for thought

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