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

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?

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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.

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.

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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.

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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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