Catching up for a breathless chat in between signings and panel discussions The Independent managed to grab a few words with Ace herself Sophie Aldred while she busy at this years .
Firstly, there’s that question to answer and, of course, she’d love to see Ace return for the 50th anniversary celebrations (which just so happens to coincide with Ace’s 25th anniversary year too):
“It would be very nice to go back. Doctor Who is one of those things that stays with you throughout your career and I’m very happy with that. So, I’d love to do it again on TV but she’d have to be played by this strange middle-aged married woman with two children.”
Of more topical relevance was Sophie’s opinion on last year’s biggest debate: is the show too scary and/or too complicated for children? Where she gave the kind of measured, considered answer that you’d expect from someone who played the teen tearaway from Perivale:
“My oldest who’s nearly 12 absolutely loves it and he doesn’t mind the complication. I think it’s patronising to say to children: ‘oh, you won’t understand this, so let’s not make it complicated’. They get what they will out of it and they ask questions about it, that’s what’s always been so brilliant about Doctor Who , that it appeals to the brain and there’s not many shows on TV that are quite so cerebral and science fictiony.
I think it’s a really good thing if they are a bit complicated. As long as you don’t turn them away and within the series there’s always a few episodes which are deliberately aimed at the children or a classic storyline of Doctor Who and that’s very appealing to children.”
The fact that she doesn’t even acknowledge the ‘scary’ side of that debate is reassurance enough but if you were wondering what a former companion – who admits to not being an ardent Who follower until she got the role – thinks of the new lot Sophie wrote Russell T. Davies a letter on the eve of the shows return:
“It was on the last sheet of headed notepaper that I had from the old Doctor Who office many years ago and I wished him luck and hoped that it was going to be great.
But the thing is, Russell T. Davies is just such a genius that I think in his hands we could be quite confident that it was going to be a success. But no one realised just how much of a fantastically huge success it was going to be and it’s just so delightful now that there’s a whole new generation of kids growing up knowing what Daleks and Cybermen are.”
To bring things full circle Sophie’s next project is the CBeebies series Tree Fu Tom – which features voice over from Sophie as the ten year old Tom… whose sidekick is voiced by none other than David Tennant.
Who knows maybe they’ll be appearing together in the flesh pretty soon…