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Thursday 27 Nov 2014

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Doctor Who – A Christmas Carol: Matt Smith plays The Doctor

 Young Kazran (Laurence Belcher) and The Doctor (Matt Smith)

After his critically acclaimed and hugely successful debut performance as the Doctor earlier this year, Matt Smith hasn't had time to rest on his laurels because in July he found himself surrounded by snow, shooting the Christmas Special.

Here, Matt explains what festive fun lies in store for Doctor Who fans.

"I've always wanted to be part of the Christmas Doctor Who experience," reveals Matt, "And I think this is certainly one of the most Christmassy and inventive Doctor Who stories so far.

"Steven just keeps getting even more imaginative and the great thing about this episode is that when Doctor Who and Christmas are put together you combine the spirit of both those things; it's a fun old yarn and the Doctor simply loves Christmas."

At the end of last series, Rory Williams officially became Mr Pond and joined his new wife Amy and the Doctor for more time-travelling adventures in the TARDIS. So where does this episode pick up?

"Well, it starts off with Amy and Rory on honeymoon, but the spaceship they are travelling on gets into trouble and needs to make an emergency landing on a nearby planet," reveals Matt.

"However, they are blocked from entering the planet's atmosphere and with the ship nearing implosion, the Doctor has to try and work out what's going on and how to save them.

"Steven's fantastical and magical mind has been working overtime and he's been extremely clever with this story," continues Matt.

"It feels very Dickensian, set in a mad futuristic world and it evolves into something even more magical than your classic monster Doctor Who episode."

However, Matt's quick to point out the episode does still feature a creature that is bound to get both children and adults alike cowering behind the sofa.

"The episode features a wonderful shark which I was very excited about," reveals Matt. "I've always wanted to explore the aquatic; viewers can expect Jaws with a twist!"

Joining the cast regulars in the episode is acclaimed actor of stage and screen Michael Gambon, and superstar opera singer Katherine Jenkins, making her acting debut.

"It was a real privilege to work with Michael," explains Matt. "I had a great time with him and he was really naughty! He's so crafty and when I asked him about working with iconic actors such as Olivier and Bates he said the one thing they all had in common was they were naughty – and he's exactly the same. He was very mischievous, constantly telling jokes and getting into the spirit of play.

"With Katherine I was astounded by her professionalism. Considering it was her first acting experience I thought she handled it with real craft and diligence." continues Matt. "It's exactly the type of casting we want; someone fresh, exciting and new."

But can Matt reveal anything about who they play and how they fit into the overall story?

"Well," chuckles Matt, "I can reveal that Michael plays a scrooge-like miser but there's a time-travelling twist to it all. To play an old grump there is no one better than Gambon. However, Michael also really makes you feel for this man and he can somehow turn himself into a little boy at times; he's a very impressive actor.

"Katherine looks like a princess," continues Matt, "and boy can she sing; the way she controls her voice and the grace with which she sings is quite incredible."

But while the Doctor is off on a Christmassy adventure, what will Christmas day hold for Matt Smith?

"I'll be watching Doctor Who with my family of course!" laughs Matt. "I imagine we'll have a big lunch first and then we'll sit down to watch the episode; the Doctor even gets to come down the chimney!"

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