The Doctor Who team have been chatting to the BBC about the Thirteenth Doctor’s epic feature length finale! Here’s what to expect from this Sunday’s episode!
The Master promises it’s the final end for the Doctor! And it’s certainly the finale for the Thirteenth Doctor. But showrunner Chris Chibnall, along with his TARDIS team of Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill are ready to tease what to expect in the movie length Doctor Who: The Power of the Doctor!
“An action thrill ride [with] jeopardy, laughter and tears!”
Outgoing showrunner Chris Chibnall has been working on Doctor Who for five years now. And he seems determined to end both his and Jodie Whittaker’s time on the show with a bang. So what we can we expect from Sunday’s epic ninety minute special?
“You can expect a massive all action thrill ride from start to finish,” says Chibnall. “There will be laughter, there will be huge jeopardy, and there will be tears at the departure of the Thirteenth Doctor. It’s the biggest threat the Doctor has ever faced – and that any Doctor has ever faced – to their life or lives.
“Every sequence is massive. So even the pre-credits – which is the longest pre-credits we’ve ever done – is like a mini movie in itself. And this episode has more visual effects shots than any episode in Doctor Who history. It was a huge demand on the visual effects team. There is a lot of action, there are a lot of locations, there are a lot of monsters, there’s a lot of things exploding! Really from the get go it had to feel constantly on the move, constantly exciting and I think it does. It was a lot of work and a lot of brilliant directing by Jamie Magnus Stone, who really is such an incredible talent and has such an ability to corral both of the emotions and the action and the scares and the humour. I think he’s done an extraordinary job.
“It’s [also] a big episode for Yaz and it’s the last chapter in her story, and there is a lot of things that she has to deal with do in this story. I really wanted it to feel big for Yaz as an episode, and I really think it does.”
“Whovians are in for an absolute treat”
Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and her best friend Yaz, as played by Yasmin Khan, are also coming to the end of the road in The Power of the Doctor. But they describe their final adventure together as one last rollercoaster of action and emotion.
For her part, Jodie Whittaker predicts the special will hit the right spot for long term fans of the show. “I would say that Whovians are in for an absolute treat,” she says. “We celebrate the old, the present and the new. It’s a wonderful homage to the legacy that Doctor Who has had. It encapsulates all the things the fans love about Doctor Who – whether it be old monsters, returning characters, new elements, everything that unites Whovians is in this episode. If you haven’t seen Doctor Who before this special will be sure to hook you in for your new Doctor.”
Gill agrees, saying viewers should “expect lots of jaw dropping moments and amazing character interactions. When I first watched the episode my mouth was wide open. It is fast paced and as expected Chris Chibnall has once again upped the stakes in this special.”
“It’s not as easy as it looks!”
The Power of the Doctor features bullet trains in outer space, planet sized death machines, volcanic eruptions and even that rarity – Doctor Who gun battles. With all this action, it pushed the cast to the next level of stunt work.
Jodie Whittaker explains her favourite action sequence from the special. “Stunt-wise, the opening sequences were really fun because they involved all of us at all different competence levels. You have got Dan falling out of the TARDIS but then smashing his landing. There are a lot of iconic costumes that even the fandom who haven’t even seen the episode are recreating. Someone at Comic Con turned up in my orange astronaut costume.
“We did loads of wire work for walking on the roof of the train. The suits were hot, and we had to have fans pumped in but they had to be turned off and then the screens would steam up. So, you had that critical moment where they’d scream ‘film’ and then the steam would come up. You go, ‘It’s not as easy as it looks!’
“There are so many brilliant moments for us, there’s a lot of playfulness.”
But Whittaker, who was pregnant during the shooting of The Power of the Doctor, wasn’t allowed do all of her own stunts. “There was a massive stunt that I wasn’t allowed to film where Sacha yanks the Doctor back,” she reveals. “That was Linda, my double. Sometimes I’m gutted I’m not allowed to do things, but I didn’t miss out on being dragged over a quarry. I was fine with that!”
“My look of sheer panic and distress is real!”
Meanwhile, co-star Mandip Gill was luckier, or should that be unluckier, when it came to the stunts. “Firstly I do all my own [stunts],” she points out, “so please remember that when you see me flying in the air holding on for my dear life! That was really hard and all me. Seriously it was really fun but taxing. The ropes are tight and it’s difficult to hear in the helmets. Oh and climbing up the ladder was also so difficult. It was wobbling everywhere so my look of sheer panic and distress is real. However it’s always fun to read a script where you see a stunt written, you know it’s going to be a fun few days on set.”