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Published on June 14th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

Matt Smith: The Doctor an “open book”

Speaking to Kasterborous’ Phil Bates, departing Doctor Who star Matt Smith told us that he doesn’t feel that the Time Lord can be defined.


This interview and more can be found in Kasterborous Magazine #1, in which we interview Matt Smith not once, but twice!

Phil caught up with Matt at the Doctor Who Exhibition, and discovered his thoughts about how he approaches playing a 1000 year old time traveller.

“The thing to remember about him is, you can’t define him. You can’t pin him down. It’d be foolish to think you can. It’s an open book still, really.”

The Eleventh Doctor has been lucky enough to have many different companions, but only a handful of them have travelled in the TARDIS. We’ve all noticed the change in the Doctor when he appears with his latest companion Clara – but has Matt?

“You have to treat them differently and I think it changes the way [the Doctor] is, hopefully. I keep saying that and I don’t know what I’ve done! But y’know, isn’t that what’s exciting about the show? You sort of get a first episode again. And I think all the stories come together… The Ponds had a wonderful time and they’re part of a wonderful era, but now it’s time for Jenna to have her adventures.”

Matt also tells us about Steven Moffat’s rigorous standards for writing Doctor Who.

“[Steven’s] very adamant that to be a writer on Who, you’ve got to have done a lot before. You know, because you’ve got 47 minutes and you’ve got to pack in a huge amount of narrative. And it’s not an easy thing to do and get right – and to get the Doctor’s voice bang on is difficult as well!”

There’s a good chance we can all name a respected Doctor Who writer who hasn’t done a lot before, but we’ll save that for now.

Instead, I’ll remind you that more from this interview can be found in the first issue of Kasterborous Magazine, out now in PDF format priced £2.99 from the Kasterborous Store!


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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+.

5 Responses to Matt Smith: The Doctor an “open book”

  1. avatar Jon Roberts says:

    I can see the reasons to turn to established writers for Who, but to ignore talented up and coming writers, which may give Doctor Who a fresh outlook, would be a sad thing.

  2. avatar Lewis Seymour says:

    I still remember fondly the 80s when you could send your work into the Production office and live in hope that your story would be accepted (as Andrew Smith’s was) – I got a lot of positive feedback from the show’s script editors at the time, which I am thankful for. It’s sad that now the show – supposedly run by fans brought up in the 80s – won’t even think about looking at the work of aspiring and new writers. Especially given how poor some of the work of these established writers has been lately. If I had to choose between a writer new to TV and another Neil Cross episode, I know which I’d go for…

    • avatar STLShawn says:

      I agree with both comments so far. There are many good writers out here (one of the best scripts i have ever read was written by a friend of mine). The problem is, there is a LOT of writing going on nowadays with fan fiction blogs and whatnot (and there is a lot of bad writing along with a few gems).

      Maybe the Big K could take a few submissions and do a “bracket” sort of competition,, or some other way to have scripts submitted by fans and voted up or down. Then submit the winners to Big Finish or some publisher that may be more open than the BBC. Remember, today’s “professional” writers were yesterdays amateurs.

      • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

        The BBC Wales Drama Award, launched last year, was supposed to help find new writing talent – RTD was involved in it. All the winners were already professional writers. Rather annoying and the not the remit it claimed.

        Perhaps, as you suggest, we could have a DW competition with winners getting at least being considered for a Big Finish production, help get some new blood into not just the show but TV writing in general (God, does it need it!).

  3. avatar STLShawn says:

    did matt smith know he was giving an interview that would be behind a paywall, or did he think his interview would be published for all to see?

    (that should wind up Cawley).

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