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An Interview with Gareth Roberts

17th Sep 2011

How on earth would Gareth Roberts follow up his hugely popular adventure, The Lodger? Easy! Bring back Craig, add Cybermen and stir well with a little bit of magic... Unable to wait for the episode, entitled Closing Time, we found Gareth and made him tell us more!

Could you tell us a little bit about your episode?

Gareth Roberts: It's 200 years after The God Complex - for the Doctor, anyway. All the stuff you saw at the very beginning of The Impossible Astronaut, with him waving to Amy through all time and space, he's been doing that.

But time is closing in on him and he can't put off going to Lake Silencio and his doom. But before he does, he thinks he'll make one last social call - and he ends up working in a shop and fighting the Cybermen.

Craig is back! Hurray! Did you always intend to have him return... and how has he changed?

GR: I was thinking of returning to Craig when I knew James had been cast in The Lodger, and even more so when I saw his performance. He and Matt have an amazing on-screen chemistry, and it already felt like he was one of the Who family as it were.

I think it's funny how the Doctor has the two extremes of River Song and Craig in his life - River is so complex and mysterious and Craig is so straightforward and uncomplicated. He hasn't changed that much except that he and Sophie have now got a baby, and Craig is finding it hard being a dad.

You got to write for the Cyberman! You're a professional writer and you've written for Doctor Who many times... but is it still exciting to "work with" such iconic enemies?

GR: Yes! It was my idea to include them as there were no other returning monsters in this series, at least not as the main antagonists. I thought there should be a sense of history about the Doctor's final battle to save Earth before he heads off to meet his death.

The Cybermen are at their scariest, I think, when they're lurking in the shadows like they did back in the 60s, so I tried to bring some of that back to them.

What have you got lined up for the future that you can tell us about / tease us about?

GR: Well - I'm novelizing the 'lost' 1979 story Shada by Douglas Adams. It's been a heck of a job, much harder than I anticipated, but I wanted to do him and his story justice. As for future Doctor Who on tv - well, as far as I know, the Doctor dies in episode 13, so we'll have to wait and see.

Big, big thanks to Gareth Roberts for sparing the time to answer our questions. And don't forget you can find out more about Craig Owens and The Lodger here.

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