We mere mortals who eat beans and chips and work and sleep don’t have much idea about the intricacies of finding the right combination of actor and actress and driving them forward with a common aim to build a rapport that is as convincing on screen as it is in real life.
However there are those that do. With the help of Andy Prior, Doctor Who chief Steven Moffat and his production colleagues are able to cast the right people and appear to have done so once again with Jenna-Louise Coleman, the Doctor’s new companion later this year.
But how do they get to the point of knowing if a new actress will work with an established star? The answer, of course, is by watching them in action together.
To do this, a script is required. The actors – in this case Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman – must then work hard to create the impression of two people engaged in a fascinating conversation, tinged with danger.
The following comes from the latest Doctor Who Magazine (transcribed by Bleeding Cool) which at the very least reveals Jenna as playing a character called Jasmine (again). You might recognise some of it…
The Doctor and Jasmine are investigating a haunted house.
DOCTOR: So you saw it coming in here? What did it look like?
JASMINE: Grey. Sort of dusty. Like it was made of spider webs.
D: And it came through the wall.
J: Yeah, that wall there.
D: But you don’t think it was a ghost. Why not?
J: Because there’s no such thing as ghosts.
D: You know, a lot of people who saw what you saw wouldn’t still think that.
J: Obviously. Otherwise there wouldn’t be idiots who believe in ghosts.
D: What were you doing here?
J: I love this place. It’s… beautiful.
D: It’s falling apart.
J: It’s old. I love old things, they make me feel sad.
D: What’s good about sad?
J: It’s happy for deep people. You’d know.
D: I’m not sad.
J: Oh, you are though. Under all that talking and leaping about. Takes one to know one.
D: So you come here for… recreational sadness?
J: Yeah. In a way. Okay, why are you looking at me like that?
D: You remind me of an old friend of mine. Someone I lost a long time ago.
J: Down boy. I’m not her.
D: Oh, I know you’re not – I don’t believe in ghosts either.
J: Oh my God, what’s that?
D: Okay, just stay calm.
J: But that’s the thing I saw before.
D: Yep, and it’s coming towards us. I expect you noticed that. Say it with me – I don’t believe in ghosts!
J: I don’t believe in ghosts!
D: Louder! I don’t believe in ghosts!
J: I don’t believe in ghosts!! Will this work?
D: No idea, never met a ghost before
Whether any of this makes it into an episode or not remains to be seen…