Last month, Blogtor had the pleasure of sitting with actor Peter Capaldi (The Doctor) and Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat to chat about this year’s Christmas Special, The Husbands of River Song.
First up, Capaldi and Moffat discussed the long-awaited return of the much-loved River Song, as played by Alex Kingston. This is what they had to say.
PC: “She doesn’t know it’s me. I keep trying to convince her, so that’s fun. I get to see her behave, flirt with all kinds of people in an inappropriate way. I’m rather shocked by it!
Finally, I convince her that it’s me, she’s slightly disappointed – ‘What’s happened to my husband!? He’s aged terribly. [Laughs]”
SM: “Every year I have to contemplate this might be the last one I write. The last one – I thought let’s get River and that would sort of bring me full circle.
But also, and much more importantly, I was very, very tired and Brian [Minchin, executive producer] was asking what we going to do for Christmas and it just cheered me up, the idea that River could be in it because I hadn’t written for years and I love writing River.
Also, Russell’s [T Davies, former Doctor Who showrunner] been at me for a while. [Adopts RTD impression] ‘You can’t write her out yet! Capaldi and Kingston – it’s a sex storm!’ It’s not called ‘Sex Storm.’ [Laughs]
Both Peter and Steven moved on to discuss the tone of this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special, which has already been described as a “romp.”
PC: “It’s more kind of festive fare [than Last Christmas]. Though I like a good scare – the ghost story at Christmas. It’s much more fun, it isn’t as frightening. It’s Doctor Who in a more comic sort of vein, with lots of snow and Dickensian streets and monsters and flying saucers.”
SM: “I think this is quite a funny Christmas special. Last year, although Father Christmas was in it, it was actually quite dark. This series itself goes quite dark at the end so we bring back up at the end. It’s mainly about them [The Doctor and River], it’s mainly one huge long domestic in space with a big robot.
The Beeb, quite rightly, are insistent that it’s Christmassy, properly Christmassy. You have to be aware that some bastards are dragged screaming into the living room to watch Doctor Who when normally they’re excused that duty. [Laughs] So you want to be accessible to them.”
Greg Davies (C) BBC
I asked Steven if comedians Greg Davies (The Inbetweeners) and Matt Lucas (Little Britain) figured in the writing process from the beginning.
“I didn’t have them in mind particularly, no. Those were our first outlandish ideas and, on that occasion, it happened! It’s not even a very big part for Matt but he was available, he had a gap in his schedule, he fancied showing off on Christmas Day.”