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Published on July 28th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

What Do You Think of the Twelfth Doctor Audition Scripts?

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine features – as ever – a Production Notes column by Steven Moffat, in which the man in charge of our favourite show teases us with some “Twelfth Doctor audition scripts”.

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All very well, you might think – but why did we call them “Twelfth Doctor audition scripts” as opposed to Twelfth Doctor audition scripts?

Well, have a read of this sample…

THE DOCTOR: Right then, eyesight. Not bad, bit blue. Ears – not pointy, right way up, more or less level. Face – well I’ve got one. Oh, no – French!
CLARA: French.
THE DOCTOR: I’ve deleted French! Plus all cookery skills, and the breast stroke. And hopping. Never mind hopping, who needs to hop. Ohh, the kidneys are interesting. Never had that before – interesting kidneys.
CLARA: Are you all right?
THE DOCTOR: I don’t know, do I look all right?
CLARA: I don’t know.
THE DOCTOR: How’s the face? Seems all right from the inside. Nice action, responsive. Bit less heft on the chin. How is it?
CLARA: It’s… okay.
THE DOCTOR: Okay?
CLARA: It’s a bit… you know.
THE DOCTOR: No I don’t, I haven’t seen it yet.
CLARA: Maybe it’s just new.
THE DOCTOR: Have you changed height?
CLARA: No.
THE DOCTOR: You sure?
CLARA: It’s you, your height, you’re the one who’s changed.
THE DOCTOR: And look at your nose.
CLARA: What about my nose?
THE DOCTOR: It was really cute, I loved your nose, you should’ve kept it.
CLARA: I did, it’s the same nose, it’s the same all of me. You’re the one who’s… regenerated, whatever you call it.
THE DOCTOR: Are you wearing a smell?
CLARA: Do you mean perfume?
THE DOCTOR: Yes, I suppose it could be perfume.
CLARA: You’ve always liked that perfume, you said so.
THE DOCTOR: No I didn’t, that was the Doctor.
CLARA: You’re the Doctor.
THE DOCTOR: Yes, I suppose I am. That’s going to take a bit of getting used to.
CLARA: Yeah, it really is.

Now, I don’t know about you, but that extract from Doctor Who Magazine 463 tells me very little about the Twelfth Doctor…

…and a lot about the Eleventh Doctor. Whether or not you might be able to envisage an older man or even a woman outputting that dialogue is neither here nor there; it’s not even suitable for David Tennant’s Doctor.

It is Matt Smith’s dialogue. Dialogue that should really be quite different coming from the hand of one Steven Moffat and being intended to characterise a brand new Doctor. A different person to the last – not the same.

So what is going on? What is this above? Would the Moff go to the lengths of not sharing a genuine audition script? I doubt it, as Production Notes itself is probably quite a chore for the man who is famously short of time when producing and writing Doctor Who.

The worse-case scenario, of course, is that Moffat hasn’t got a clue who the Twelfth Doctor is. Not the actor, of course, but the character. This alone makes you wonder whether the show is going to take a new direction or carry on as it has since 2010…

What do you think?

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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+.




39 Responses to What Do You Think of the Twelfth Doctor Audition Scripts?

  1. TonyS says:

    In the past when they have auditioned for the Doctor they have played out two scenes. (Maybe this was just for the Seventh Doctor). They are going to want to know the range possessed by the actor. It does not necessarily mean that the Doctor will be played the same way. The extract above can be read the way Matt Smith plays the Doctor. But I could also be played like the Fifth Doctor without too much effort. There is rarely only one way to read a set of dialogue.

    • Lewis Seymour says:

      I would disagree, Tony – I know what you mean, and often you can approach dialogue from many different angles, but this (and the other two extracts not given here) seem to much a part of 11′s characterisation that I can’t see in my mind any other Doctor – apart from the equally hyper Tennant – really making much of them. I certainly have trouble envisaging, say, David Bradley or John Hurt – a much older, more sedate, Doctor doing much with this. (Though Hurt is brilliant, so maybe he could!). It’s as if, as Christian suggests, Moffat has no idea for a Doctor beyond the one he has created, and that could be a problem…

      • TonyS says:

        If they are audition pieces then the Moff should NOT have any idea how the Doctor will be played. I haven’t read the tow other pieces, so cannot comment on them. The piece given can be read a la Eleventh Doctor. But they can also be read much quieter and calmer.

  2. TonyS says:

    “but why did we call them “Twelfth Doctor audition scripts” as opposed to Twelfth Doctor audition scripts?” Erm?

    • Lewis Seymour says:

      I think that may have been intended to read “why did we call them 12th Dr audition scripts instead of 11th Dr audition scripts”…


      • no :)

    • Ben says:

      The difference is that one is surrounded by quotes, suggesting that while these claim to be Twelfth Doctor audition scripts, they don’t read that way,

      • TonyS says:

        It is possible that they are called “Twelfth Doctor audtion scripts” because that is their title. We tend to leave the apostrophes off the titles of episodes (and even the programme) when we refer to them. It might be like if Terrance Dicks had insisted that his heavily reworked Frankenstein pastiche be named “A Load of Crap Hacked to Pieces by the Script Editor”.

  3. levi3o4 says:

    It’s not about the dialogue, it’s about what the actor brings to the table. Moffat has even said – his first ever script for David was basically a Chris script, and his first script for Matt was basically a David script; that’s why The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone feels so Tenth-Doctor-y.

    In other words: this is is standard, and Moffat realizes he won’t really know what Twelve sounds like until quite a ways into series 8.

  4. Lewis Seymour says:

    I have expressed my opinion of the three extracts elsewhere on K, so won’t go into this again too much suffice to say that IMHO I don’t believe the three extracts presented offer much to work with for a prospective Doc – they do indeed sound just like 11, and I think that, if this is all the actor has to work with, then either they are deliberately looking for another 11th Doctor type – young and hyperactive – or they are hoping that an actor could show their range and ability by acting against what’s on the page. They’d have to be bloody good though. As I have also previously mentioned, I would have thought it a good idea to give an prospective Drs scenes from previous, classic, eps – such as T Baker’s famous speech about humanity in Ark, to see how they could use that.

    Must admit to being a bit worried about who they are aiming for if these are anything to go by.

  5. drvwho says:

    it does ot matter what we think mr moffatt is keeping things twisting and turning so lets stop speculating and just see what he comes up with becuase scripts for dr who and sherlock are so tight mr moffat must be smiling at you exspence……………………………

  6. John Smith says:

    This is ridiculous! There is so much hype going on that whatever happens to Doctor Who is going to end up anticlimatic and a let down! And does a consumate actor, who is capable of becoming the next Doctor really have to cow-tow to Moffat? Yes, come in for a sit down and an audition interview, but now you’re making this in a circus, and no one wants to be made into a clown or a fool!

  7. Esterath13 says:

    If you read the article, you’ve had seen Moffat said these scenes will never appear in the show and they are purely made up just for the auditions. He says there’s nothing to glean here about the 12th Doctor or upcoming stories.


    • I read the article. Your comment is beside the point. The scripts are poor.

      • David says:

        Agreed Esterath13. The scripts are not going to appear in the show. How can Steven Moffat decide what the new Doctor will be/sound/act like, when they do not know who they are going to cast!

        Christian: Esterath13 makes EXACTLY the point, quoting what Moffat has said. Your article is speculation, ignores Moffat’s points, is full of conjecture, provocation and is just your opinion. IF you say the scripts are poor, what are you suggesting? That Moffat writes the most brilliant scripts of his career for a performance that will never be shown on TV? I really sometimes wonder why these articles need to be written, other than to get hits on a website…


        • David: “your article… is just your opinion”. Yes. This is a blog. If you want opinion-free news and commentary, please go to DWO, DWNP, etc. where their excellent coverage will no doubt create a calm, inner peace.

          “I really sometimes wonder why these articles need to be written, other than to get hits on a website…”

          That’s how blogs work. We write the posts, our community discusses them. This is blogging 101, really. I’m quite puzzled by your comments.

          • Lewis Seymour says:

            I have noticed a tendency by some on websites (not just here) to say things like “your opinion doesn’t matter – Moffat doesn’t care, you should express your opinion”. This is a strange attitude. Firstly, in a democracy I have a right to hold and express an opinion. I know Moffat is unlikely to ever hear that opinion, and if he did, would probably ignore it – that does not, in itself, invalidate the opinion or my right to express it. It is like saying you should not express a political opinion because it makes no difference. I have quite strong political opinions, and often express them (including to my MP and Assembly Member). I don’t presume that they will have much affect but I will continue to hold them and express them! That’s what opinions are for!

        • Lewis Seymour says:

          “How can Steven Moffat decide what the new Doctor will be/sound/act like, when they do not know who they are going to cast!”

          It’s his job to have a vision of what the next Doctor will be like – I agree that, once he has cast the actor, things can change – he may cast an actor younger than he originally thought about (as he did with Smith) and so the part will alter to suit the personality and acting strengths of the actor – but he must go into this process with an idea of some kind of what he is looking for – otherwise is he just going to audition every passing actor in the hope that it will give him some idea of what he is going to do next! Apart from anything else, the scripts are being written now – the writers would probably appreciate some guidance on the new Doctor’s basic personality, even if it is embroidered upon during rewrites.

  8. Geoff says:

    I read them and also thought they were very like 11th lines, but Steven Moffatt does write in that quirky way anyway. E.g the dialogue about Belguim he gave to 5 which on the face of it is very nu who but 5 delivered it just fine. I think rather than being an indicator of character he’s just written a few scenes with an eccentric leaning to see what the actors do with them. We are saying it all sounds very Matt Smith but that’s because he’s a good actor and as a result we can hear his voice through the scripts. Another good actor will do the same but in his (yes, HIS!) own way. Steven Moffatt found Matt Smith so I have confidence in his ability to spot talent. I wouldn’t worry too much.

    • David says:

      Exactly, Geoff. A reasoned voice at last.

  9. Bryan says:

    Every Script editor who had to handle a regeneration story and every writer who wrote one has said the same thing.

    One write the DOCTOR rather than for any percived character, as we dont know how X will play the role.

    Doctor who fans always seem to be up in arms about something of late, and thats thier right, but how a percieved text is READ by one actor from another is not something one can commnet on, as non of us knows who that person reading these is going to be.

    Most basic media studies corses even teach that. The New Doctor will be whoever they choose, and will say, read, and do things, non of the others have done, and will also do many many things all the doctors have done.

    from a few scraps of text no one can tell who the voice is. its all in the mind of who ever is reading it. Try reading the above while listening ian MCkellen and Derk jacobi from Vicious, adn it reads perfectly well. which proves my point

  10. TonyS says:

    At some convention or other, Sylvester McCoy read the Eleventh Doctor’s Pandorica speech. It sounded totally different from how the Eleventh Doctor said it. I could imagine any actor reading the same thing and each bringing their own take to it. Indeed, they wouldn’t be much of an actor if they didn’t. I really think we are reading a lot into these few lines. This does not have to be an indication of the type of Doctor they are looking for. While I don’t like everything Steven Moffat has done with the programme, I do trust him to get this piece of casting right. Even if he hasn’t contacted me yet!


    • Well here’s a thing.

      In response to the assertion that all Doctors are written the same I cracked open my copy of The Scripts Tom Baker 1974/5 and read the “indomitable!” monologue from Ark in Space. Couldn’t get Tom’s voice out of my head, though.

      So, convinced that I was right and you lot were wrong, I re-read the above – in Tom’s voice. And it sounded marvellous (although I think imagining Jon Pertwee with the same dialogue is stretching credibility somewhat).

      Hey, I was wrong!

      • Lewis Seymour says:

        You must have a better ear for dialogue than I do as, try as I might, all I can hear is Smith or, at best, Tennant, in these extracts. I can’t even imagine Eccles doing them let alone any classic Doctors. I have even tried envisaging some of the candidates for the Doctor – ones I like anyway! – doing them and am struggling to hear a voice come through.

        Still maybe, as someone says above, it is just because we are now so used to Smith saying these kind of lines – so maybe I am wrong too…

        • TonyS says:

          I wasn’t going to play this card. I have done some acting. I don’t claim to be good or versatile. I do claim to be an actor. These lines can be played manic and quirky. So yes we can hear Matt Smith saying them. They can be played calm and quiet. I could hear any good actor deliver them in a variety of ways. I could imagine a vague and other-worldy Fifth Doctor say them. I can hear the Fourth Doctor say them. Any actor worthy of being called an actor could deliver these lines and not sound like the Eleventh Doctor

          • Lewis Seymour says:

            Funnily enough…

            I was watching “Death in Paradise” last night with Kasterborous favourite Ben Miller. And I could actually hear him speaking some – if not all – of these lines. So maybe it is just a case of being too used to hearing Smith’s voice?

            (Still, think these are poorly written though)

    • Philip Bates says:

      Ah yeah! I saw a video of that! McCoy really had fun there, I thought, really reacting to the cheers he got throughout. Seek that vid out, folks!

      • Bob James says:

        There’s a clip on YouTube of Paul McGann reading part of the First Doctor’s speech saying farewell to Susan, from a convention somewhere. And in my opinion, he sounds like the Eighth Doctor and not like the First.

        • Philip Bates says:

          Ooh, I’ll have to search for that. Thanks. :)

  11. Jan Bos says:

    “CLARA: It’s you, your height, you’re the one who’s changed.”

    There’s no talk about shorter or taller, so he doesn’t know the new Doctor, yet.

  12. Philip Bates says:

    I think if there were any clues as to the 12th Doctor in there, we wouldn’t be allowed to read it. DWM wouldn’t print it.

    What I got from the scripts is awe. Really well-written things that aren’t supposed to be looked at by the general public or be consumed in any way aside from by those in the audition room. The three summed up the Doctor well, I thought, almost as the ‘Nth’ Doctor: characteristics all Doctors should be. Funny, heroic, confrontational, eccentric. Yep, that’s him. Once they cast the new Doctor, his personality will be ingrained into the scripts, I’m sure.

  13. Neu 75 says:

    Here’s a stab a something a bit less 11. All of Clara’s lines are a scripted though…

    DOCTOR: Well everything seems to be in some order. At least I’m not French.
    CLARA: French.
    DOCTOR: Yeah, French. It’s been known among time lords to be French sometimes. Causes all sorts of confusion, that.
    CLARA: Are you all right?
    DOCTOR: I suppose so, I’ve felt worse. What do you think?
    CLARA: I don’t know.
    DOCTOR: What about the whole general face thing?
    CLARA: It’s… okay.
    THE DOCTOR: Good.
    CLARA: It’s a bit… you know.
    THE DOCTOR: You know…
    CLARA: Maybe it’s just new.
    THE DOCTOR: Not too fat, too thin?
    CLARA: No.
    THE DOCTOR: You seem smaller.
    CLARA: It’s you, your height, you’re the one who’s changed.
    THE DOCTOR: That’s true. A bit like your nose.
    CLARA: What about my nose?
    THE DOCTOR: No, nothing, it just seems, er, different. Keep the nose any way.
    CLARA: I did, it’s the same nose, it’s the same all of me. You’re the one who’s… regenerated, whatever you call it.
    THE DOCTOR: What’s that stuff you put on to attract people?
    CLARA: Do you mean perfume?
    THE DOCTOR: That’s it. Why do people have it?
    CLARA: You’ve always liked that perfume, you said so.
    THE DOCTOR: Did I? How come I can’t stand it now? Makes one wonder who the devil they are…
    CLARA: You’re the Doctor.
    THE DOCTOR: Well that’s a comfort. Be odd if I regenerated into somebody else. One is never entirely sure about such things. Regeneration’s weird, thinking about it.
    CLARA: Yeah, it really is.

  14. TimeChaser says:

    Isn’t there just a bit of overreacting going on here? Like when we saw Matt’s first press photo and everyone jumped to conclusions about what he was wearing. I would certainly like the next Doctor to be different, hopefully less manic, although still eccentric is fine. But I don’t think these few lines we’ve had revealed mean anything is set down in stone.

  15. Mugen Pharoah says:

    I think you can imagine any previous Doctor performing this…it’s quite a fun exercise….for me, it works quite well with a Colin Baker version (you can channel all that post-regen instability…..and the perfume stuff could flip from aggressive to affectionate without the need for any strangling of companion)…..and even Eccleston in chirpy, gurning mode. When Pertwee started they were expecting more comedy from him based on his Navy Lark/ Carry On performances and could totally pull this off.

    It’s not a brilliant script though – too deliberately eccentric in its characterisation and not enough on the wonder and mystery of the whole process of regeneration…..Troughton’s lines/performance are the benchmark in Power of the Daleks for me and this is nowhere near…..and I am pro-Moff……

    We should all be thankful this scene has been explicitly stated as not being used as it is utter bobbins.

  16. rickjlundeen says:

    Yeah, it all comes down to square 1 or the starting base. Those are just generic lines to give the new actor something to work with, somewhere to start from. The Moff wants to see how the new guy approaches those lines and what he does with them. If the line is mediocre—what can he do with it? It’s an actors’ obstacle course and he wants to plunge the new guy through it as he did with Matt. Now I wish they’d just announce who’s taking over already!

  17. Geoff says:

    Ps off topic but funny. I watched Remembrance of the daleks last night with my just turned 5 year old son. Towards the end he turned to me and said that Doctor Who would have found it easy to beat the daleks if he’d put his umbrella in “that big box” (the hand of omega casket) like he did with “his friends silver hitting stick”. I can’t help thinking he has a point!

  18. Adam says:

    I think that we have no clue really what this is and only the explanation of possibly the single most secretive and cagey person to live on this planet. I think we just need to wait and see.

    Good chance that they want to see who well the new actor can handle previous versions of the Doctor as this has had to happen several times. Or they are looking for acting range, or who knows really. This could even be completely fake and not used at all. This could have taken less than 3 minutes for a script writer or intern to throw together.

    In the end, this is a non-entity. It tells us nothing, nor is it really intended to.

    • Lewis Seymour says:

      You may have a point here. Given the process is ongoing, just how likely is it that Moffat, a man who plays his cards close to his chest, would actually make available the audition scripts? Didn’t really consider this – this could just be a bone for the masses and actually have little to do with whats going on.

      (And it isn’t so much what they reveal or don’t reveal as the fact that they are not very well written. No writer worth their salt would show the world work they didn’t consider to be good – even if it is just a few pieces of audition script).

      The real audition scripts probably contain Clara saying “But Doctor, you’ve aged so”…

  19. Hyncharas says:

    I think a lot of people forget that scripts go through several iterations before they are finished. When it comes to casting auditions, a lot of it is improvisational – i.e., you simply spend time talking to your co-star in a manner you would if the world of the show was real, while the crew film it for writers to review later on. Particularly for DW, this allows the lead character to get used to the companion and experiment with dialogue.

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