Doctor Who fans lost one of the most reliable sources for behind-the-scenes access to the show when budget woes led the BBC to cancel Doctor Who Confidential. The series had been a companion (ahem) to Doctor Who throughout its modern reboot, and the Confidential eps were always a lot of fun to dig into on the Who DVD sets. Well, now there’s some great news for Who fans still missing their regular dose of Confidential. The BBC has resurrected the idea as Doctor Who Extra, and while the Extra eps are quite a bit shorter than the Confidential ones were, they’re still pretty great. Check out the first Extra installment, covering the season premiere, “Deep Breath,” up top.
The first Extra unsurprisingly keeps most of its focus on Peter Capaldi, a long-time Whovian himself who now has the surreal privilege to be playing the character he’s been a fan of for decades. I love Capaldi’s reaction after he delivers the line, “I’m the Doctor” for the first time during the table read. And that “attack eyebrows” bit still cracks me up.
The vid also gives us an up-close look at the “rubbish droid from the dawn of time,” featuring all that gorgeous steampunk-y clockwork machinery inside his half-revealed noggin. It’s still an impressive and creepy effect, even knowing how they accomplished it. Other subjects crammed into the too-short featurette are a look at the costume designer’s stressful job of coming up with an iconic new look for the new Doctor, Capaldi’s earlier appearance on the show, and the emotional weight of filming his very first scene as the Doctor.
Thankfully the second episode of Doctor Who Extra is already online as well, digging into last night’s “Into the Dalek.”
It turns out that the core idea for “Into the Dalek” — having the Doctor and company shrunk to minuscule size and actually sent, well, into a Dalek, actually originated in a discussion about potential Doctor Who video game concepts. Moffat came up with the idea to steal a page from Fantastic Voyage/Innerspace, but then decided he liked the idea so much he was going to use it on the show instead.
The “Into the Dalek” featurette also digs into the new character of Danny Pink, a would-be love interest for Clara who will no doubt find himself aboard the TARDIS in the not-too-distant future (or the distant future, or the distant past, or an alternate reality…). And in true romcom form, his early interactions with Clara are as awkward as hell. Which means they’re destined for true love, but only after a series of painful comedic misunderstandings.
Doctor Who will next find the Doctor crossing paths with a legendary character he insists isn’t real. “Robot of Sherwood” premieres next Saturday at 9/8c on BBC America.