Doctor Who News cast-jemmaredgrave

Published on May 24th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

Redgrave: 50th is “bloody brilliant!”

Kate Stewart actress Jemma Redgrave has featured in a recent chat with the What’s on TV website, where she gets excited about the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode.


Although Redgrave has been appearing with Torchwood‘s Eve Myles in the new district nurse drama Frankie, she still had time to chat about the Doctor Who 50th anniversary…

I wasn’t even allowed to tell my children I was actually in it for about four or five weeks! Once we filmed in Trafalgar Square I knew it would be impossible to keep that under wraps! But what do you do? I was going to work and not being able to tell anyone what I was doing! It was like joining bloody MI6!

What I can tell you is that it’s absolutely bloody brilliant! I think it’s an astonishing script. Stephen Moffat is an outrageously good writer and as always with Doctor Who, it’s philosophical, it’s deep, it’s an adventure story and if you’re a kid, you’re going to be taken on an extraordinary ride. It raises all sorts of interesting questions for anyone who wants to go deeper with it. It’s funny and then on a sixpence it breaks your heart. It’s just wonderful!

It might seem a long way off now, but just you watch – November will be here in a jiffy…

(Via What’s on TV)


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

34 Responses to Redgrave: 50th is “bloody brilliant!”

  1. avatar TonyS says:

    I’m not doubting what Ms Redgrave says. But when was the last time a guest artist said “Meh! It’s alright I suppose”?

    • avatar Al says:

      Those types of folks usually then decline to give interviews.

      • avatar TonyS says:

        Yeah fair comment :)

  2. avatar Gareth says:

    More misleading hype.

    • Gareth: if you’re going to make comments of this kind on Kasterborous you have to back them up with evidence, an argument, that sort of thing.

      Please temper your future comments.

      • avatar Gareth says:

        Alot of the Moffat era has been littered with mis leading statements either from the production team themselves or artists giving interviews. Examples- “every Dalek ever” for Asylum of the Dakeks, the reasoning behind splitting series 6 up is so that we got new Who with shorter breaks inbetween which was followed by its longest break to date between 2011 Xmas special and Series 7. Gaimin’s statement about making the Cybermen “more scary and less stompy stompy” – well that’s was subjectively delivered wasn’t it?

        Other comments on news articles on this site reflect despondency about the way Who is run at the moment. And with good reason. There does appear to be a reduction of output in the 50th year and no classic Doctors. So makes me wonder if she was told to say to build up some pre build up hype.

        So there you have it. I think my comments are tempered enough with no swearing. And it’s an opinion.

        • Much appreciated Gareth. Seriously, thus makes for a much more interesting discussion and improves the quality if the responses.

        • avatar blakeavon says:

          Moffat just loves to play the hype machine and delivers misleading spoilers or hints for amusement sake and to keep fans on the edge of their seats. Personal I love that. Most times he delivers what he promises but sadly (for some) it is never what their own imagination wants to happen. Gaiman’s Cybermen were far superior to the betrayal of RTD’s era. The decision to have less Doctor Who was essential out of Moffats hands and mainly to do with the Olympics last year and now the how many hours can they physically work in a year.

          Of course we all want more Who, but then we already have those fans who complain that the stuff we get is too rushed, or scripts arent good enough, or CG is poor, etc, all those things take time. They really cant win!

          • I think you need to include evidence of your Olympics assertion as there has been nothing from the BBC to confirm this.

            I also think you’re making needless excuses for the production team. USA tv shows run to twice the season length of DW. US sci-fi and fantasy shows do not have a significantly larger budget than DW either.

          • avatar blakeavon says:

            naturally I cant prove the Olympics thing, but i am not the only one who thinks that. A quick google search can give you many other examples. Given the time of year when Doctor Who normal airs was basically when they were on (as far as i know when they normal film the last parts of the season?), and its makes sense the BBC had to shuffle things and trim budgets where it can to pay for the transmission of the games. I find that a way more plausible theory than fans who think either its Moffats fault personally or somehow BBC was trying to cancel the show. (other popular ideas from the naysayers). But i am one of those who have faith in the Producers.

            You cant compare the television quality of US and UK. We all know thats a dangerous conversation to start. Most US shows with long 20-24 seasons are sub-par, the scripts are like watered down and largely forgettable IE Things like Revolution, Only shows that come close are the Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, True Blood, which are on the a similar level of quality. Hehe hell most Americans science fiction shows barely make it passed a season or two :)

          • avatar Bob James says:

            I would respond to a portion of blakeavon’s comments and note that the examples of successful genre shows he cites are all produced by cable television. Networks like HBO, A&E, and others don’t have the pressure to yield to the slavish need to generate advertising revenue, as they are subscription services. They tend to allow the creative forces an autonomy, and a more reasonable commitment to allowing any given show time to be developed and find its audience. The major US networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, etc.) are all thinking demographics and how to create shows that will be watched by people who eat a certain snack, drink a certain beer, or use a certain body scent, because there revenue depends on the people who sell these things purchasing advertisement time. Outside of a handful of shows that have gained traction with viewers (and talk about viewing figures, NCIS can has pulled up to 20 million views per episode, although granted across a much larger expanse than the UK), there’s an awful amount of flailing about and rapid cancellations.

          • avatar Mark Lenton says:

            Can I just butt in here and completely blow the Olympics argument out of the water. I sent a complaint form into the BBC and asked for an answer to the question about the episode reduction and if we would return to 13 episodes a year – principally asking if the reasons were budgetary due to cuts or artistic due to the production team.

            I recieved a standard statement initially but after a bit of pushing I got a reply that confirmed that the reduction in episodes and the split seasons were decisions made by the production team for ‘artistic reasons’.

            They could not confirm if production would ever return to 13/14 eps per year.

            So there we are. Coupled with what we already know from Danny Cohen it seems unequivocal that it’s Wales that have reduced the number of episodes and that BBC 1 would gladly take 13 / 14 eps again if they would make them.

  3. avatar Bob James says:

    More pissing, moaning, whining negativity. We haven’t even seen it yet, but perhaps those so inclined can spare themselves and just not watch?

    • avatar Mark Lenton says:

      Sorry Bob but those of us who, like Gareth above, have spotted problems with the way current Who is promoted are as entitled to our opinions as the blindly optinistic ‘isn’t everything wonderful’ brigade.

      I’m sorry but your comments should have been moderated for no substantiating their argument as much as Gareth’s initial one liner was.

      • Mark – thanks for your comment. However I will be the one to decide who is moderated, and when.

        I personally consider Gareth to have been encouraged, not moderated. I want to see arguments that further the conversation, and found Gareth’s expanded post (thanks, Gareth) to be particularly interesting.

        • avatar Mark Lenton says:

          As did I, which is why I thought the following comment about ‘pissing, moaning, whining negativity’ to be not at all in the spirit of an interesting discussion.

          Sorry if it seemed I was criticising the moderation. And I see that Bob’s unhelpful comment was actually a response to the initial unhelpful one liner – not the substantiated fuller explanation that followed – in that context I can understand the jibe better – if not excuse it.

          The situation is that many of us are justifiably annoyed by the way DW is being promoted and run these days (I saw another recent quote about ‘this being DW’s biggest year’ this week!). We have a right to express this, as we still love the show as it was and could be again, without being told to not watch anymore if we don’t like it, and that our opinions are just pointlessly negative.

          But it is true that we should make efforts to ensure our points are NOT pointlessly negative.

          • Agreed, thanks Mark.

          • avatar Bob James says:

            And that was my the reason for my Initial response Mark. When one presents an opinion, one should be able to explain it respectfully, positive or negative. There is often (especially lately it seems) just too much of an atmosphere here of people weighing in with comments that don’t come across as thoughtful criticism. Others have called something “rubbish”, or called someone’s work “incompetent”, or in this case, the accusation that someone is intentionally misleading the show’s audience, and these are harsh statements. These sort of strong statements should be reasonably and articulately explained. Otherwise it is just pissing, moaning, and whining negativity. I personally, am always at a loss as to why there seems to be a contingent here that seems to so vehemently dislike the show currently, and yet continues to watch week after week, as if they are expecting to see some kind of massive sea change in the way Moffat is running the show. It’s his ship right now, and he’s steering it, and if I didn’t like where he was taking the show currently, I wouldn’t stay aboard just to have something more to be critical of each week. Lets just wait until we see the anniversary special, can we? And then the fans can line up to tear it down.

          • avatar Mark Lenton says:

            Well Bob, we have a show that is 50 years old and Moffat is only the current Showrunner of the last three seasons. I’m certainly not going to stop watching or commenting just because I rate his general showrunning to be very poor. And the argument that we should just pipe down until we have seen the special sort of misses the point and the fun of all the speculation – something which we are all here for.

            And the special COULD be excellent. I had no idea when watching the dire Curse of the Black Spot that I would get the sublime The Doctor’s Wife a week later. Likewise the abysmal season 5 episodes that preceded the wonderful Vincent and The Doctor should not have put me off watching. We all love and hate different things and we should all be able to express our fears and our optimism without being told we shouldn’t be here or we shouldn’t continue to watch.

            If anything it’s a sign of our continued optimism that we are going to watch the special, despite the reservations about the way things have been promoted (and delivered) recently.

            But Bob, I’m genuinely glad that you are enjoying the series as much as I was 5 years ago, but the RTD moaners then didn’t detract me from my enjoyment, so don’t let us with very valid criticisms now get you annoyed. Tolerance for all opinions – weather they be sensible one’s like mine or rather nonsensical ones like yours. :-)

            Thanks for the discussion

  4. avatar Joe Siegler says:

    Eh, It’s a long way off.

    • avatar Bob James says:

      To which I nonsensically reply, “You’re welcome, Mark”.

  5. avatar Christopher Martin says:

    Jemma Redgrave played the role with quiet intelligence and dignity. I really look forward to seeing her again as she is as big an asset to the show as Alex Kingston (though totally different).

    I haven’t particularly enjoyed the last series as I felt it was just lacking (I can’t articulate how though despite thinking about it a lot) but The Name of the Doctor was excellent TV and I’m looking forward to the resoution in the special.

    I just hope I’m not disappointed.

  6. avatar Spacephantom says:

    Yes Jemma Redgrave is a great actress from a great acting dynasty, and obviously a woman of considerable intelligence. Not the kind of person to make such a statement if she doesn’t wholeheartedly believe it to be true.

    I doubt whether the 50th anniversary episode is going to be anything other than a truly classic piece of television history, and I really hope a lot of the doubters will be pleasantly surprised.

    Having some doubt is no bad thing though, of course. It means expectations will be low, and a good (or great as I suspect) episode will seem all the better as a result. The people that worry me, are those who set their expectations far too high, then criticise too strongly because an episode doesn’t turn out exactly as they imagined.

  7. avatar Bob James says:

    It’s always helped me, in my enjoyment of anything, to not set my expectations too high or too low. Hype is for the easily led, and the reason I continue to watch Doctor Who is that I have been consistently entertained by it. Each episode stands or doesn’t on its own merits, and I draw my conclusive opinions after I have actually seen it. And for someone like myself, who is fairly pro-Moffat, I really don’t pay much attention to all the “carnival barking” that he often throws out there to hype up an episode. I’ve seen what he delivers, not how he hypes it, and I have been consistently impressed enough to keep watching. He doesn’t need to work the pre-sell approach as much as he often does, in my opinion, because his work and the work of the writers he brings aboard speaks well enough for itself. But that’s just me. I try to “walk in” so to speak with as open a mind as possible, take each episode on its own merits, and so I seldom feel the let down that a good number of others seem to experience. Some of the folks here seem to go in just waiting for the episode to fail, or waiting for it to end so they can hit the forum and start tearing it, its writer, and the actors in it up. The only Doctor Who episode that ever stopped me in my tracks was “Time And The Rani”. I was already on edge because of the BBC’s rough treatment of Colin Baker, but I still tuned in. It was sufficient for me to stop watching, and I didn’t resume watching until “The Curse Of Fenric”, which restored my faith. The Internet wasn’t the force then that it is now, but I don’t recall the need to go out and start telling anybody, let alone other Doctor Who fans (and what a bunch some were back then), that Doctor Who now sucks, that JNT should be sacked, and Sylvester McCoy along with him. I do remember a conversation I had with a few other fans at the time in which I expressed that I didn’t care for it. They related that they both liked it. In retrospect, should I have dismissed them as a couple of “everything is wonderful” types? Perhaps wrote them off as a couple of pro-JNT cheerleaders? We disagreed agreeably and no one called for anyone’s head, termination, or disparaged the talent of any writer (writers, in that case), or actors. They liked it, and I didn’t. How nonsensical that was………..

  8. avatar vortexter says:

    I find it very interesting that she was in it for more than a month before telling people. That gives me hope that there will be other classic characters returning who also have been sworn to silence.

    • avatar David F says:

      Exactly. The only people confirmed as returning are those who appeared in location shoots. They knew those secrets would be blown, so they announced them, but the really good surprises would almost certainly be scripted to appear in exclusively studio-based scenes. There’ll almost certainly be at least someone, or something.

      I’m telling myself that one of the reasons much of the last season was slightly out of tune was that Moffat was distracted by the need to create a great anniversary special. That the weakness some of us perceived in that run of stories is merely evidence that he was busy developing ideas for November.

      What can I say? I’m an optimist. The Name of the Doctor was brilliant. And he has a history of scripting great Doctor Who episodes when he really focuses (in particular, before he was the show runner and had only one story to write each season). I have a feeling this is going to be genuinely good.

  9. avatar dr jon says:

    Jnt had his high’s and indeed his lows,he did get a lot of things wrong at the time,but what he did very well was promote the series through the media, and in some way hype up the not so good storys of that era. But he did love the series,and moffat in some ways doe’s the same thing to promote dr who and he tends to over hype his storys which don’t always measure up which is a shame as when he doe’s produce a great script some fans tend to disregard his comments. A shame really as he doe’s love the show.

    • avatar Bob James says:

      JNT certainly did not err where his love for the show was concerned. He did love Doctor Who and tried mightily to please the fans, who gave him, for the most part, only grief and abuse for his efforts. One need only read the comments of his partner, the also late Gary Downie, made in a substantive interview in DWM some years back. I’m sure there’s a fair bit of recount in his own memoirs as well. I’m sure this, as well as the massive overcalculation on the part of the creative team behind the TV Movie, can be seen to stand as an objective lesson to those who came after. RTD and Steven Moffat, for better or worse, have avoided the trap of overly coddling and overly attempting to cater to the fanbase. Theirs was a heightened challenge: Keeping Doctor Who true to itself and its mythology, while creating pathways for new viewers to climb aboard. And it’s apparent that they have been loved all the less for it, by some, as well.

  10. avatar Bob James says:

    And not to lose the plot in all this back and forth, I think Jemma Redgrave was fantastic as Kate Stewart, and I trust she will be again in the special.

  11. avatar TonyS says:

    Bob, I agree with you. Jemma Redgrave was one of the best things in “The Power of Three”. I am looking forward to the 50th special and seeing what part she plays in it.

    • avatar zarbisupremo says:

      I think she’s playing the part of the Brig’s daughter. ;-)

  12. avatar Ian Gettings says:

    I must admit, my own enthusiasm has been tempered by Jenna Coleman talking about how Rings of Akhaten was her favourite story and Neil Gainman praising the Nightmare story before it went out. I tend not to take reviews or previews seriously any more (unless I agree with then ;) ) . Does anyone remember all the hype about Oasis’s Be Here Now all those years ago – it was reviewed like ti was the best album ever. There was a lot of quiet after it was released. Be wary of actors praising scripts before we see the shows, is what I am trying to say, I guess as it can make you feel a bit disappointed if you get your hopes up too much.

  13. avatar TonyS says:

    I tend to view comments from regulars with more caution than those of guest stars. Jenna Louise Coleman’s comments were part of the publicity for the episode at the time it was transmitted. That said, I will make up my mind when the special has been seen. Given my initial reaction to “The Name of the Doctor” I might bite my tongue until Ihave seen it a few times…

    • avatar blakeavon says:

      Yet in the case of RINGS, its one of those polarizing episodes. The first time i watch it I enjoy sort of, the second time i watch i had tears in my eyes. One section of the fan base thinks its really beautiful while others think its lame with a capital L. For me the secret of the Moffat era is written to be watched over and over, and i find each viewing way better than the one before. Once you get over that “thats not what i wanted” first viewing. Id rather Doctor Who continue to takes risk in episodes like “Rings”, some think its God awful but at least it tried something different.

      The fault of the hype lies not with the creatives or actors voicing their personal opinion but lies with us the fans. We all expect so much that no writer could ever deliver something that matches what our imagination and heart has already come to expect. (We see the same in all such tv shows and films lately). If i was to believe everything i read on the net I would think there is not a single fan of Doctor Who anywhere.

      When i sat down to watch Journey to the Centre of Tardis, I know what I wanted/expected to happen after the months of lead up. When i first watch i was disappointed because it wasnt what i thought it would be. I cant blame the writers for that. It is my imagination that created that flaw. Likewise x100 with Nightmare in Silver, everyone spent so long hyping it to epic proportions… not a single thing Neil could have delivered could match what WE made of it. I found all his praise was actually spot on.

      Then again i personal focus on the things of each episode I like and what they achieve not what they fail at. Its got me through the last 40 years :)

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