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Published on March 7th, 2013 | by Andrew Reynolds

Jenna: “Doctor Who is like a Dance.”

Chemistry: it’s a matter of mixing the right elements together, letting them slowly simmer and then, settling back and letting the sparks fly.

It takes the right people to concoct the perfect reaction; take Spencer Tracey and Katherine Hepburn – real life lovers who turned their complimentary personalities into pure cinema with several livewire performances in the likes of Adam’s Rib, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Pat and Mike.

Clara, the Doctor and some candles in Doctor Who Series 7b

So when Jenna-Louise Coleman told SFX that Clara and the Doctor’s role models were the Oscar-winning pair, then you know you’re going to get something special.

It was Matt Smith who made the comparison when the pair were first hammering out their dynamic together:

When I started on Doctor Who, Matt said to me, ‘Watch Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy films!’ – We were talking about our dynamic and trying to figure it out, realising we were a double act.

It’s trying to find each other’s rhythm… so watching things like Spencer Tracy films really fed into that.

Matt and Jenna-Louise in Doctor Who Series 7b Gallery

But it wasn’t just verbal sparring; there was Matt’s exuberant physicality to contend with:

Matt always said it’s about physically finding our rhythm… In a way the whole thing is like a dance, and the moment we started dancing together and finding that rhythm is when it worked.

Call it pretentious musing but Hepburn and Tracy’s onscreen legacy is a difficult act to emulate.

Not every performer has the same level of confidence in their partner to bury some bittersweet barbs within the witty back and forth; the lifeblood of any good partnership is a willingness to test the boundaries of what makes them work so well together.

Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman in The Snowmen

Perhaps Clara will just be too ‘impossible’ for the Doctor to handle?

Doctor Who returns to BBC One and BBC America on Saturday, March 30 with The Bells of St John. But you knew that, right?!

(via Digital Spy.)


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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.

3 Responses to Jenna: “Doctor Who is like a Dance.”

  1. avatar Drew says:

    Who is Clara? Who IS Clara! She’s the 12th Doctor! Has to be! (I hope.) BTW, I don’t know if anyone has done this yet, but I was messing around with scrambling names the other night–and if you scramble DR. WALTER SIMEON, it becomes I NEW LORD MASTER. Is he The Master? Or is he just controlled totally by the GI, who sees itself as the master of the world?

    • Interesting anagram. Worth mentioning that REG was at pains to point out in interview that:

      “I have been told that on pain of death I am not allowed to reveal anything about my role in the Christmas Special,” explains Richard, “other than that this character has never been in Doctor Who before…”

  2. avatar TimeChaser says:

    There’s a lot of truth in this. Doctor Who has always worked best when the Doctor/Companion dynamic is something really special, when the characters really compliment each other, like Four and Sarah Jane, Seven and Ace, or Ten and Donna.

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