Doctor Who News Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor

Published on November 18th, 2013 | by Rebecca Crockett

Hurt: The War Doctor Was One Of My Toughest Roles

For a man with a vast and storied career, having played everyone from an old, crazy wand maker to someone with serious physical deformities to the victim of a viscous alien, one might think playing the part of the Doctor would be easy. Decide on your Doctor’s characteristic traits and play on them.

But John Hurt has said this new role, for him, was far from easy.

In speaking with The Daily Mail, Hurt spoke of his experience as part of Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary as one of the ‘toughtest’ of his career.

It was one of the toughest parts I have had to learn, as difficult as anything I have done. There is a lot of quasi-scientific nonsense which doesn’t stay in your head that easily and that meant entire weekends spent on solid learning. I remember Matt said I’d have to give my life over to it because there is a lot of learning and very little time to shoot.

When asked specifically about what happens in the episode, Hurt gave nothing away, but spoke of what it was like to be the third version of a character meeting with two other versions of himself.

You have three people playing one person. It’s the holy trinity. The War Doctor is not as quicksilver as the Matt and Davids of this world because he comes from a very different place. He is a little stiller and more reflective – a little more world-weary.

Hurt also revealed that when approached for the role, his agents were not very keen at first on him accepting the part.

One of my agents didn’t reckon Doctor Who, but I said, ‘wait a minute, it sounds intriguing. It sounds like an event’…

An event indeed! One made only greater with the addition of such a superb talent as John Hurt.

The Day Of The Doctor will air in a worldwide simulcast on 23rd November.

(via Mail Online)


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About the Author


Rebecca is new to the Who world, having only recently watched the entire new series in a span of 8 days. She is no stranger to sci-fi though, being a life long Trekkie and has vague memories of seeing the 4th Doctor on US television as a child. When not watching, reading, blogging, or talking about Doctor Who, she is a fan of pop culture and loves movies and books so much she has to keep a list of both so she doesn't forget any of them. She also likes to make attempts at various forms of art including photography and painting. Rebecca is currently working her way through as many classic serials and as many books related to the show that she can find and wishes she could have been with the Doctor and Amy when they met Van Gogh.

6 Responses to Hurt: The War Doctor Was One Of My Toughest Roles

  1. Looking forward to Saturday when I’m sat in the cinema watching it

  2. avatar Geoff says:

    The man is a legend. Charisma to burn and I’ve never seen him less than excellent in anything he’d ever done. Can’t wait.

  3. avatar STLShawn says:

    thanks for the great article.

    I too am looking forward to this, to see a grizzled old warrior doctor. I think Mr. Hurt just ran a wonderful trifecta of sorts,,,,, Alien, Harry Potter, and Doctor Who.

  4. avatar simon magellan says:

    I love the fact that he is so big that he doesn’t just have an Agent, he has “agents”…

    • avatar Geoff says:

      He probably presses a button in his officer and a wood panelled wall slides back and they’re all standing there, like Mr Burns and his lawyers!

  5. avatar dr jon says:

    John hurt is a great choice to play a darker doctor,and i think it will be hard for him not to steal the show on the night.A great choice for a great actor.

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