Khamis, 21 November 2013

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Doctor in the house


Matt Smith talks about his awesome adventures as the famous Time Lord.

Stepping into the role as The Doctor on BBC's most iconic television show, Doctor Who, was no easy task for British actor Matt Smith. Then a relative unknown and one of the youngest actors up for the part coupled with the fact that he was coming in after David Tennant, who is arguably one of the most popular actors of Doctor Who, Smith did have his fair share of critics.

However, the actor has proven he is as adept (or inept depending on who you ask) at flying the TARDIS and getting out of mortal danger as every other version of The Doctor before him.

"It's about a silly man who turns up, ready to save the world with a smile," Smith has said of playing the 11th Doctor, who, besides winning fans over, has made bow ties fashionable (sales reportedly sky rocketed in Britain following The Doctor's penchant for bow ties) and believes the fez is "cool" (though this hasn't, and thankfully, been reflected in pop culture).

Smith's incarnation of The Doctor has certainly become entrenched in the legacy of the series.

Smith's era as The Doctor comes to its inevitable end in the upcoming Christmas special and with Peter Capaldi primed for the role as the next Time Lord.

Until then, Smith expounds on the incredible adventures of battling aliens and travelling through time and space with his current companions Amelia Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) in Series Seven.

What can we expect from Doctor Who Series Seven?

Matt Smith: (The episode) Asylum Of The Daleks is going to be a cracker. Steven (Moffat) has written an absolute belter and we have made the Daleks scary again, something I am not sure we got right before.

With five big adventures for the Doctor and his companions, this series it is set to be epic.

We have five of the most exciting standalone episodes, with everything from Daleks to dinosaurs and of course, the fall of the Ponds.

The second episode sees viewers taken on an incredible prehistoric adventure with the unusually titled Dinosaurs On A Spaceship. What were your first thoughts when you first heard those four words?

Steven you are a genius! It's Doctor Who in a nutshell. I have always wanted to do a dinosaur episode, he continues, so I was very pleased to get the chance. And the Director Saul (Metzstein) has done a fantastic job, with David Bradley playing a cracking villain. I think it is such a fun episode with a wonderfully crafted script by Chris Chibnall.

During this series your role gets faced with a lot of new challenges. Not only did you get to live out many a childhood dream of becoming a cowboy for the day by riding a horse in the western themed episode, A Town Called Mercy, but you also got the once in a lifetime opportunity ... to ride a dinosaur.

More painful than you can imagine. I had to wear padded trousers! Dinosaurs are a lot lumpier than horses, so it was a painful couple of hours, a laugh though and definitely worth it as it's going to look great.

As the most ambitious series to date, locations play a key role in creating scale and meeting that ambition. You have travelled to the Spanish mountains for Episode 1, Almeria in Spain for Episode 3 and New York for Episode 5.

There is only so much CGI can do. We were in the middle of a western village, which was brilliant for Doctor Who, adding to the imagination of it all. And I am such a fan of New York, and we got to use some properly iconic locations, like Central Park. There is nothing quite like running through Times Square trying to shoot a scene.

As well as visiting new locations and facing new monsters, you got your first taste as The Doctor of what it is like to be on the receiving end of one of the show's most widely known formulas, a change in companion.

It was terribly sad and I do miss them as they are such great chums. We knew it was coming, but just didn't believe it. It is one of those things like when you are on holiday and you suddenly realise it is Friday and you are going home on Monday. But that is what the show is about, evolution and regeneration, and we now have Jenna who is lovely and great.

So, do you agree with Steven Moffat's choice to send them out in an episode with the Weeping Angel?

Oh absolutely, I think I can speak for all of us when I say that the Weeping Angels are one of our favourite monsters. The fact that they don't speak just makes them crueller. And with the last episode set in New York and to have River back, it all just made sense. I really think, Karen (Gillan) and Arthur (Darvill) go with a bang and tear!

What would you miss most about Karen and Arthur?

Stupid dancing, stupid faces and stupid everything! Being ridiculous, there were points when we wouldn't even have conversations, but just make noises at each other. We had a laugh and that really informed the energy and spirit of the show. The relationship between our characters on screen and off screen really blurred!

We've heard that you are renowned for your pranks on set.

I used to hide in [Karen's] trailer a lot and just jump out at her and she is a real screamer. Or I would dance really close to her face, which would also make her scream! It was very much like a brother and sister relationship with Arthur and I pranking her like older brothers!

What can you reveal about the finale?

With the 50th, this is going to be by far the biggest year in the history of the show. And the finale is just the start. It focuses on a pivotal moment in the Doctor's life and the life of his companion. It's a complete game changer and it all starts now.

> Series Seven of Doctor Who airs every Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC Entertainment (HyppTV Ch 614). Don't forget to watch the global simulcast premiere of Doctor Who: 50th Anniversary Special – The Day Of The Doctor on Nov 24 (Sunday) at 3.50am and same day encore at 7.30pm on the same channel.

Related story:

Fifty shades of Who

Jack Black and Diablo Cody team up for new Fox comedy


Wunderland is a workplace comedy set in a theme park.

Jack Black and Diablo Cody are among the producers of the future sitcom Wunderland, reports.

A workplace comedy, Wunderland will be set behind the scenes at a theme park. Cody will executive produce and supervise the writing process, working with actors and writers Amanda Lund and Matt Gourley.

Black is well acquainted with the duo, as he produced and appeared in their web series Ghost Girls. The comedic actor known for his roles in Tropic Thunder and Be Kind Rewind will work with Lund and Gourley once again as a producer on this latest project.

Black, who has recently made TV appearances on Community and The Office, will soon join Tim Robbins on the set of the HBO TV movie The Brink.

The writer behind the film Juno and the series United States of Tara, Cody is already working for Fox on the teen drama Prodigy and for ABC on the sitcom Alex+Amy. – AFP Relaxnews

Another Fitzgerald adaptation


HBO drawing inspiration from The Last Tycoon.

PREMIUM channel HBO has drawn inspiration from F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished novel The Last Tycoon for a new series set amongst Hollywood studio executives in the 1930s.

Published in 1941, one year after Fitzgerald's death, The Last Tycoon focuses on Monroe Stahr, an ambitious movie producer who rises to the top of the business and ultimately defies his mentor and boss, Pat Brady.

Loosely based on the lives of the true-life Hollywood producers Irving Thalberg and Louis B. Mayer, the story was first adapted for the screen in 1976. Elia Kazan directed Robert De Niro, Tony Curtis, Robert Mitchum, Jack Nicholson and Jeanne Moreau in the film based on a screenplay by Harold Pinter.

HBO has enlisted Billy Ray, a writer on The Hunger Games and Captain Phillips, to write and direct the series based on Fitzgerald's unfinished novel. Chris Keyser (Party of Five) will be the showrunner.

F. Scott Fitzgerald has inspired Hollywood for decades. In recent years, David Fincher adapted The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, while Baz Luhrmann directed a new adaptation of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. – AFP Relaxnews


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