Doctor Who shook up its entire universe by revealing the truth about River Song — and then left us hanging all summer. How will River Song shape the Doctor's future? We asked Matt Smith.
We were lucky enough to have five minutes with the Doctor Who star, who told us what to expect from this fall's episodes — as well as how his Doctor is evolving. Plus you kind of have to see his face when we asked him if his Doctor's storyline is similar to Twilight.
Check out our exclusive five-minute interview with the Eleventh Doctor! And stay tuned for our exclusive interviews with Karen Gillan and Toby Whithouse, which we'll probably post closer to the start of season 6.5.
When we first meet River Song, back in the David Tennant era, she says to the Doctor, "This is the youngest I've ever seen you." Do you feel like your Doctor is when he becomes old for her?
Well, maybe. It's always hard to define the River-Doctor scenario, isn't it, becuase obviously they're meeting at different points in their timestreams, so it's like they're sort of romantic ships that pass in the night. Perhaps. She knows my Doctor both a huge amount and very little, depending on when we meet her.
But people have noticed that if you watch your first few episodes and then your most recent episodes, you're playing the Doctor very differently now. It's evolved.
I really hope so. I hope there's an evolution. I'm not sure what it is. And I think next year it will evolve to something else as well, because I think that's one of the great liberations of the part. That pleases me, actually. Because I hope he's developing, as I develop with the role.
Do you think the Doctor's been humbled by what happened at Demons Run, making such a terrible mistake?
I actually think one of the Doctor's great attributes is humility. It's also the one thing that he forgets to have sometimes, when [a mistake] really pops him over the head, it reminds him of it. So yeah, I definitely think he has been humbled. There's that scene where Pond sort of looks at him, and he comes back, and he wants to say that he's sorry. Just after the battle, when he comes back into Demons Run. And she just shakes her head at him. And he goes and sees Christina Chong's character [Lorna Bucket] and she dies on the floor.
The Doctor's been sort of a con artist. Telling people, "Oh, I've done all this stuff. You should run away from me now." And somebody finally kind of —
— pulls him up on it. That's what's really interesting, actually. Me and Karen have been talking about it. What's really interesting about this Doctor is he lies a lot. Rule one: the Doctor lies. River is always saying that.
He says, "I lie, but I do it for good reasons."
Yeah, yeah, and the greater good. But it's interesting, because we could all say that. It says something about him, I think. Something very interesting.
Twilight is all about a werewolf who meets a little baby and is like, "I'm going to marry it when I grow up."
I haven't seen Twilight.
So do you think it's weird that the Doctor's doing that? Meeting a baby and being like, "this is my future love interest"?
But he didn't know that. He didn't know that the baby was his future love interest. That's the bit. He found out in the future that the person he knew was the baby of someone else he knows. And then happened to realize that in future, they fall in love. And lest we forget, she could be in love with Doctor Number 25, married somewhere. That's probably how it is. Because you know, she's from his past. That's how it is. So [laughs] it's more complicated that Twilight, I gotta say.
So it's not creepy. It's not like getting engaged to the baby or whatever.
We don't know if he goes and marries River Song. But the fact is that Melody Pond, which is her baby, grew up to become River Song. The Doctor didn't know.
We know now that the Doctor knows that he's going to be killed in the future. How does that affect what the Doctor does, going forward?
It affects everything. But I can't tell you how, because I'd have to kill you. And I don't want to kill you.
What are you most excited about coming up? Without any spoilers...
Yeah, "Let's Kill Hitler"'s a belter. Alex Kingston, it's her episode. She's just phenomenal in it. She's really great, honestly. It's got some great scifi moments in it, and really funny moments, and Steven [Moffat] is on fire. Mark Gatiss has written a great episode about these really creepy dolls. Toby [Whithouse]'s episode about a minotaur is sort of like The Shining, it's really odd and peculiar. And Karen's remarkable in episode ten, I think it's the performance of the series. She's so good in it. And then [episode] 12, Craig Owens is back, "The Lodger" part two, and Cybermen and stuff. And then [episode] 13 is Steven on fine form, delivering the finale as only he can.