Matt Smith has talked to Digital Spy about future DrWho plans and playing the part. Here it is:
You've only just finished shooting, haven't you?"We did some pickups because we needed a cornfield to grow - and then we went about trampling on it. It's going to be good though. Episode eight is really strong. It's one of my favourites I think, just because Alex Kingston is just gold. There's quite a lot of payoff in it story-wise and Steven Moffat's script is quite sort of rompy, so it's a cracker."4 days to go guys!
What can you tell us about 'Let's Kill Hitler'?"It starts with a young Amy and Rory, and eventually the Doctor arrives and they're older at that point. Then for some reason we're in Germany in the 40s and we stumble across Alex Kingston, River Song. I won't tell you how or why she appears, but it's great Doctor Who. And then of course this creature called the Tesselecta comes in and adds the dynamic of the monster, as it were. But underneath all that the Doctor's dying - again! But Steven manages to reinvent that notion all the time. I just think he was on top form when he wrote it, really."
What did you think when you saw the title of the story?"I literally went, 'Woah! Cool!' I think it's cool. I think it's just mad and brave and why not?"
What can you tell us about the Tesselecta?"Have you seen Terminator 2? The Tesselecta has that sort of wonderful ability, and it's a monster operated by tiny miniaturised people inside. It's a cracker. It's a real cracker. Again, that's Steven's mad and brilliant mind. Basically it's sort of like a universal policeman and goes round the universe catching criminals. Hitler is a criminal guilty of war crimes so the Tesselecta can come and it can impersonate his chief of staff or whatever and pop him off or take him in or imprison him. So you can imagine what happens when the Tesselecta meets River Song, and the Doctor for that matter. So it's trying to reprimand Hitler."
What can you tell us about what's coming up in future episodes?"The whole River story really gets explored in episode eight. Episode nine, we've got Danny Mays and some crazy really freaky dolls. We find ourselves trapped in a dollhouse, which is a really clever idea. Episode 10 is Amy Pond in a Tom McRae story, where I think Karen gives her finest performance of the episodes so far - she's spellbindingly good in it. Episode 11 is brilliant - David Walliams, there's a minotaur, and it's a mad Toby Whithouse story. It feels like The Shining or something.
In episode 12 we've got James Corden back on fine form again. I want to get him back again next year because I love working with him and I think Craig is a great character for the Doctor to play off - a less funny version of Laurel and Hardy! And then 13 is, to my mind, kind of Steven being totally brilliant and mad and telling the story like a feature film sprawling through time. I have to add that you ask me these questions and this is only my opinion - I could be completely wrong!"
So Tom McRae's episode - is the story about Amy?"Yeah, it is. I mean, I'm in it as well but it's partly about Amy. I won't give too much away - needless to say, Karen may be in a prosthetic."
How will the Doctor's relationship with River change now that he knows who she is?"I don't know! I guess that depends on Steven. I think fundamentally it's kind of always going to be the same because she's always going to just frighten and allure him at the same time. He's going to go back and meet the River he knows at some point. She's still going to be crazy old irreverent River, so I imagine it'll have the same flavour. Who knows - it could go in a million directions. I have no idea where Steven wants to take it, but I'd like to think she'll still be the one that makes him come unstuck."
What's your favourite monster from the new episodes?"Hmm... there's a great monster in episode 11. There's a minotaur in 11 which is a real cracker. There's this great minotaur that comes in. And who knows that we won't see The Silence again?"
Where will Amy and Rory be at the end of the year? Assuming that if they're reunited with their kid they can't really be time travellers, is this it for them?"No, I don't think it'll be the end. I don't think so. I mean, all good things come to an end but I don't know if now's the time. I think they'll be back."
What do you make of comments from some critics who have said the show is too hard to understand?"You can't dumb it down for the critics! There goes my good review... My response is that it's like The Simpsons. The Simpsons can be received on many levels - it's the same for Doctor Who. People say it's too scary for kids - no it's not. Kids should feel afraid of Doctor Who. All the adults I've talked to remember fondly being afraid when they were kids. That's part of the reason they remember it and love it. And if you're afraid in a controlled way, you sort of appreciate fear in some respect. Is it too complicated? I mean, it's only as complicated as you choose to invest, I think.
I think one of the reasons it's probably doing well in America as well is the fact that there's great detail and layers and I think in a sci-fi culture that is what is consumed. I personally kind of love that. And actually, logistically, if you unpick the story it makes sense. So it's there and Steven's giving it but some people get it more than others. So for me, no, I don't think it is too complicated. But for some people it may be and hey, that's what's great about Doctor Who, isn't it? It's always a matter of opinion."
Do you understand the episodes as soon as you read the script, or do you have to read them a couple of times?"I always have to read it a couple of times, yeah. Do you have to watch it a couple of times?! But if I didn't read it a couple of times I'd be a really bad actor, so I sort of make that my business. Also, people are saying it's too complicated without having seen the whole series. Actually if you give Steven the time to tell that, which he does, it makes sense. It just doesn't make sense immediately. But isn't that good? Isn't that good, to raise questions? Isn't it good that we've got a TV show at half past six that challenges audiences, that challenges children, that doesn't spoonfeed them, that doesn't spoonfeed us? I'm so tired of television that's patronising and simple. I think Doctor Who is brave and I think that Steven's writing is challenging. And for me, I can only speak personally, that's a good thing."
So do you think Steven respects the audience?"I think Steven respects the audience more than anything because he loves Doctor Who. I think he's pushing form and I think he's being inventive and rather that than someone just being repetitive or trying to borrow an old model of the show."
Is it frustrating when you hear those criticisms then? Do you want to say, 'You haven't seen the whole story yet'?"No, that's the first time I've responded that way - I should have responded like that the whole time! No, it's not frustrating because that's life and that's my job and this is what I do, so that's how it is. It's fair enough, I suppose. That's the thing with Doctor Who - I don't get precious about other people's opinions of the show because that's what the show's about. That's what makes it great, is that people have strong opinions about it. But I do think that over the course of the series the things that people have questions about will be answered."
What's the response from fans been like?"Fans seem very positive about it, but what they say to my face and what they say online are two different things! Who knows. I don't go on the websites and stuff but I think we're doing pretty well in the figures. The people I've met seem to be really into it. It's positive and people seem to have loved The Silence. I think people love that it's bold and all credibility to Steven for being the man that's been really bold with the storytelling."
Do you think the mid-series break was helpful in that it gave the audience time to digest what had happened before the new episodes?"Perhaps. I quite like it because I'm excited now about Doctor Who coming back and I think that feeling of anticipation, I think that was what it was for. So for me I think it was a good thing and it means you've got another seven weeks of Who. And you get to kick off again with a first episode in many ways. So I think it should be good. I mean, I don't know yet because it hasn't happened yet, but in theory for me I think it's quite an intriguing idea. Let's see how it works this year - maybe it'll happen next year. But I think cliffhangers are great, especially Steven's - I mean, a baby melted in his hands! Do you know what I mean?"
Have you seen the script for the Christmas special yet?"No! But I know what it's about. It's a bit crappy because I can't tell you anything, but I went for dinner with Steven and he told me the first two episodes of next season and I nearly fell off my chair. Honestly, it's so brilliant, it's such a clever idea that I was like, 'Well...' But we talked a lot about the special then. I love the Christmas special - it's one of my favourite ones to make. It's got a clever idea. I don't know where he gets it."
Do you know the number of episodes you've got next year?"I'll shoot 14. it'll be the whole thing - a Christmas special and yeah, a 13-episode series."
Does the fact that the Doctor does such different things each week help to keep you enthusiastic about the show?"Yeah, that's one of the great virtues of being involved in the show and the part. It's so funny - you read other scripts and I just go, 'Not as good as Doctor Who!' Because you're plonked right at the heart of an adventure and you have such great adventures and it's done with wit and humour and brilliance, so for me it's a privilege to work for Steven and a huge privilege to be able to be this man. I don't think these parts come along that often."
Is that why you said, 'Yes, I'm definitely going to stay for another year'?"That and the contract! No, I'm joking! Yeah - I've got Steven Moffat writing scripts. Not only that - Chris Chibnall, Toby Whithouse, Richard Curtis, great writers. And then, of course, the part. I love playing the Doctor. I've grown terribly fond of him. It's something I really enjoy. it's hard work but there was never any hesitation in my mind that I'd do the third year."
And you'll be in the TARDIS for the 50th Anniversary, is that right?"I think so, as I'm led to believe. Especially now being involved and being a fan of Doctor Who - I'll be a lifelong fan of it - to be involved in a show... You look at the celebrations for Coronation Street - it was huge, wasn't it? And I think Doctor Who has a similar place and is an institution in similar ways and all the rest of it, and to be a part of it is just a real privilege."