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Secrets of the new Doctor Who

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Get ready to leap behind the sofa once again: Doctor Who returns this weekend with an opening episode that’s clever, funny and as good as anything we’ve seen from the resurrected show.

But in a new move, the series is to be split into two parts of seven and six episodes respectively — that’s right, we’ll have to deal with a mid-season cliffhanger. ShortList asked producer Marcus Wilson to lift the show’s veil of secrecy…

THE NEW VILLAINS ARE AMAZING

“The Silence [which we’ve heard about since last series] have a special power to make people forget them. They’re scary. And Lily Cole plays a Siren, a type of demon who lures soldiers to their death. Then, in episodes five and six, we’ve got something called The Flesh. It’s a technology that lets humans create duplicates of themselves — but this being Doctor Who, things don’t run smoothly.”

WE GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO KEEP THINGS A SURPRISE

“For the final scene of the last episode before the mid-series break, we only gave the actors their final lines. Everyone else had a script that just said ‘interior of a spaceship hanger’ and that was it. We get papped every day and there are Facebook groups dedicated to where they think we’re going to be filming next. They’re right a freakish amount of the time, so on location we have to black out car windows so that they can’t see the guest stars and monsters. It’s unfair to spoil it for the fans.”

JAMES CORDEN WANTS TO BE A REGULAR

“What’s lovely about Doctor Who is that people want to guest star in it. We set out the story commissions for this series and we knew that we wanted to do a sequel to [episode] ‘The Lodger’. James said, ‘Tell me when, I’ll be there.’ We thought that his episode would be a one-off, but it did so well that everyone was keen to do another. Now he’s pitching to us for a trilogy.”

MATT SMITH’S ROLE AS THE DOCTOR SET TO GO ON AND ON…

“Matt Smith makes the show a great environment to work in. He turns up with a lot of energy, welcomes the guest cast and is ready to work. Matt and Karen [Gillan, Amy Pond] have a sweet brother/sister relationship. You cut the camera and immediately they’re dancing to some tune that they’re singing. They both love it. Matt especially is very keen to continue in the role.”

Doctor Who starts on BBC One on 30 April

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