Matt Smith interview: Doctor Who, Walking Dead & Breaking Bad

Interview Pete Dillon-Trenchard 29 Oct 2012 - 07:30

Matt Smith chats about Doctor Who, Paul McGann, Breaking Bad, Steven Moffat and The Walking Dead...

As part of the promotional push for the release of Doctor Who series 7 part 1 on DVD and Blu-ray, Matt Smith attended MCM Comic Con last weekend, and we got the chance to join in a round-table interview with the current Doctor. Here's what he had to say...

Next year is the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who; obviously the plans are all still top secret, but how would you feel about the idea of working with actors from the show’s past?

I think it’s a lovely idea. Whether or not it’s something that’s in any way achievable nowadays, I just don’t know, because actors have other commitments, and they move on from the show... But I’ve enjoyed, in the past, watching the multi-Doctor episodes. If you’re a fan of the show, it’s just a cool thing, isn’t it? Seeing them and going “Aah, they’re talking to each other! And they’re both the Doctor!”. Steven will come up with something brilliant, and of course I know what it is and I can’t say anything! But whether or not that’s achievable, I don’t know.

You mention watching past multi-Doctor episodes; have you pretty well immersed yourself in the show’s history now?

Yeah! As soon as I got the job, I went through tonnes and tonnes - I got them to send me pretty much every episode that I could get my hands on. So I went through Troughton, Pertwee, Baker, a bit of Hartnell... So I’ve dipped in. I hate to say, I’ve never watched really any Colin Baker episodes.

My first Doctor, and I told him this, was David [Tennant]. I did it the wrong way round! I watched all of David’s stuff and all of Chris’s stuff, and then I went backwards... I was always aware of Doctor Who, but I didn’t grow up with it.

Doctor Who series 7

Did you see the Paul McGann movie in 1996?

I have seen it, and it’s good, but I kind of think the Doctor isn’t a guy who goes and drinks cocktails at parties. If he did, then he’d go and he’d drop all the cocktails and he’d find that in the olive there was something that was about to explode and kill everyone! Paul is a great Doctor, actually; but I don’t think it was the most Doctor-y of stories.

Is there anything you’d still like to do with the character but haven’t yet had the chance?

Gosh, that’s a good question. It’s tricky, isn’t it? I’m paid to turn up and get the words in the right order, and when you have someone like Steven... Just reading episode one of next season, I was like, ‘Where does he get these ideas for villains?’ It’s so incredible. I’ve always thought going down to Atlantis would be kind of interesting, visiting the Lost City and seeing what the hell’s going on down there... But didn’t Troughton go down there? And Pertwee as well... So my idea’s not that original! Which Steven very acutely pointed out! But he’s so brilliant that I sort of let him get on with it really, and try and get my bit right.

And how about actors? Is there anyone you’re dying to have on the show?

Gosh, there are - there’s a lot, actually! I always get this wrong as well; I go home and think ‘Why didn’t I say that person?’ Eric Cantona, I always say that, but I’m going to think about this properly... I think Jennifer Saunders would be great in Doctor Who.

You’ve attended a few fan conventions this year; how do you find the whole convention experience?

I enjoy them. I don’t know what the stigma is about them; there’s a weird thing where people think that we all turn up and get naked and dance around a Dalek...!

If only!

Yeah! But I’ve only ever been struck by really nice, enthusiastic people having a good laugh, and there’s a lovely energy to the place. I think it’s a really good thing; you get to meet people in shows that you really like, and science-fiction fans are enthusiastic and loyal... I’m a big supporter of conventions, I think they’re good.

What things are you geeky about?

Football! And at the moment I love The Walking Dead. I love zombies and vampires, although I think vampires have been a bit abused of late, being used everywhere. What else am I geeky about? I’m geeky about quite a lot of things, actually.

Are there any shows you’d like to crossover with Doctor Who?

I want the Doctor to meet Heisenberg from Breaking Bad. It’s amazing, he’d just go “You’re a badass, man. I’m gonna make you good, I’m going to bring you back to my side; it’s going to be alright dude, don’t worry.” I just think Bryan Cranston’s incredible. I mean, there’s loads of shows... Imagine if the Doctor turned up with all the zombies in The Walking Dead! He’d be like “Guys! Don’t worry about it, we’ll figure this out, okay... Also, can’t show any blood, so can we just chill out on the eating?” He’d definitely strike up a conversation with one of the zombies, he wouldn’t just shoot them; and that’s the great thing about the Doctor - he’d get them talking.

Matt Smith, thank you very much!

Doctor Who series 7 part 1 is on DVD and Blu-ray now.

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A walking dead/ doctor who crossover..... That would be incredible! But also really stupid!

Great interview.

I reckon get some of the cast members of The Big Bang Theory on the show. Not sure whether they could be as their BBT characters or new ones written especially for them. Would be a nice wee nod in return for all their own references to DW.

The Big Bang Theory is everything I hate about television at the moment. Its an unfunny piece of trash which only has viewers because its 'quirky' and 'geeky'. I watched a couple of episodes the other day and I found it deeply disturbing. That Sheldon guy has some really deep issues that no-body seems to question!

Television is great these days. Breaking Bad, Dexter, Community, Doctor Who (Moffat, no RTD), Misfits, Being Human. Cripes when I think back to the 90's I can't believe how things have improved. And everyone questions Sheldon's deep issues... that's rather the point of the character.

...or at least as part of the 50th next year, the BEEB or even fans could strongly suggest to some TV shows - Big Bang/Family Guy/Futurama- or indeed any Brit shows, to do a Who special, or reference it in some way to make one big birthday card....

I've seen Colin Baker, I actually think he's good. (As an actor playing the Doctor. Occasionally the story went a bit bonkers, but you can't blame him.) Three stories, his first and second, missed Varo but saw Mark of the Rani (I think Mark might be the best one, but they are good.)

Varos is very good imo, probably Colin's best written story. Performancewise his high point was Trial of a Timelord.

You found it deeply disturbing? I can understand not liking it, but I think you care too much about things that don't matter.

Not seen any Colin Baker episodes? Thats a damn shame. He's missing out on Terror of the Vervoids, The Mysterious Planet and Attack of the Cybermen.
Although luckily for him that means he hasn't killed off a few dozen brain cells by watching Timelash and The Two Doctors

I love each of those programs to bits (and especially loved the part about RTD) but I just can not understand why people find a clearly insane man funny. I reckon it should end with him murdering everyone. Oh by the way you missed out Sherlock, Merlin and Supernatural. Now lets move onto the important matter of when the hell is Community bloody coming back! Its been ages for goodness sakes.

Watch it with out the laugh track and you will see what I mean. Also I know that in the long run it is not that important but something about the entire program makes me feel a tad sad and seeing as DW is over for a bit I can only watch good TV until it comes back and takes pride of place in my mind. I think I attacked it so harshly because a DW & BBT crossover would be... genre killing. Sorry if I am being melodramatic but that's pretty much how everyone is in England.

What about a Red Dwarf cross over, the Doctrine could "fix" Rimmer

Trial was actually an exceedingly well acted story by Baker despite the fact that it was a horrible mishmash of numerous dangling plotlines hung on the Trial framework and The Valeyard was a frighteningly realistic villain given later information about the Doctor. I am not terribly fond of the fact that the Trial just exited one companion and introduced another out of sequence however. I liked Mel Bush well enough but the removal of Peri was less then well handled.

I liked the Two Doctors mostly because I actually enjoyed Colin Baker, Frazer Hines, Bonnie Langford, and Patrick Troughton's interplay but as far as doctor stories in general go... yeah... it was beyond weak.

I hate to be this type of nerd but................Bonnie Langford wasn't in the Two Doctors. Nicola Bryant was the companion at the time.
My god, i can't imagine how much worse it'd have been if Bonnie Langford was in it as well. That's be one of the first signs of the apocalypse!

I would love it if the Tardis landed on the enterprise...those days are long gone, of course but still, I'd love Captain Jean Luc to show him a thing or two...

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