The "When Neil Gaiman Met Doctor Who" Rushes Special

The “When Neil Gaiman Met Doctor Who” Rushes Special

Posted by September 27, 2010 Comment

Filming is underway on Neil Gaiman’s episode of Doctor Who, and I propose this merits a special round up of what we know. The post ends with three pictures of monster-creatures that you might consider spoilers – but before then, there’s three non-spoilery pics and a lot of news tidbits.

The BBC have confirmed that Suranne Jones, formerly of Coronation Street, Strictly Confidential and The Sarah Jane Adventures has been cast in Gaiman’s episode of Who. She’s playing “a young woman named Idris”.

Take it away, Neil:

Suranne is marvellous. She’s beautiful, funny and strange. It’s the kind of role that people will remember forever, so we needed someone who was able to pull that off, and to keep up with Matt Smith. And bite him. Suranne does all three.

Strange, eh? Wonder what that means. I don’t think biting The Doctor quite covers it.

In Sarah Jane, Ms. Jones played none other than The Mona Lisa. All of this Who-verse recasting of actors makes it seem like England Britain only has a very small reservoir of actors, but I don’t think that’s fair.

There’s not much we know about the character of Idris, but Steven Moffat does drop a hint in the new issue of Dr. Who Magazine:

What can I tell you about next series? The startling truth about Idris’ new soul – even the Doctor doesn’t believe her!

Judging from the twitter feed of director Richard Clarke, Gaiman’s episode has required a striking new set (“Wow. It is seriously something else”) and Ms. Jones’ role is a meaty one (“guest lead”).

In a rather definitively Whovian move, some of the episode is being filmed in a quarry. Love it. It’s the Cemex quarry at Taff’s Wells near Cardiff, which has been used in Who a few times recently – perhaps most notably as Mars in The Waters of Mars.

Young video-blogger Charlie McDonnell is spending some time on the Who set shooting some behind-the-scenes for the web. As a result he ended up in this Twitpic with Mr. Gaiman:

But not this one:

And definitely not this one:

But there is a chap in glasses hiding in the corner.

This picture might lead one to speculate that Gaiman’s episode could possibly feature the weeping angels. That’s more likely than not complete bunkum but, hey, doesn’t mean there’s no fun to be had in imagining.

As flimsy as the IMDB often is, it can other times prove to be a good early source. Agents often plug info straight into it with no concern for a production’s veil of secrecy. At time of writing there’s no mention of Suranne Jones, but the following three actors and roles are given:

Adam Rickitt as Ben

Leila Hoffman as Mrs. Rossiter

Sophie Cosson as Julie

CVs for Rickitt and Cosson have allegedly shown their role listed with specific reference to the episode in question, but to the best of my knowledge, Hoffman only went as far as naming the director of her installment. As such, it’s possible she’s in the 4th episode, written by Mark Gatiss and again directed by Richard Clark.

Now… talking of that Gatiss episode, let’s finish with some spy pictures. These are the ones you might just consider to be spoilers, so stop reading now if you want to keep your freshness sealed in.

A user of the Trek BBS forum (via Doctor Who Spoilers) has posted these and claimed that they are leaks from the set of Who. We already knew that Gatiss’ story, What Are Little Boys Made Of? is to feature doll creatures, and maybe even take place in a giant dolls’ house, so his story checks out at least that far.

(Last Updated September 27, 2010 2:44 pm )

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