The Doctor and Clara face their last Christmas. Trapped on an arctic base, under attack from terrifying creatures, who are you going to call? Santa Claus!
We’re now one week away from Christmas, which means we’re just seven days away from this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special. Here are a few snippets from interviews with executive producer and writer Steven Moffat, and stars Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Nick Frost.
Steven Moffat on …
The plot of this year’s Christmas special:
It’s the ultimate meeting of Christmas heroes; Santa Claus meets Doctor Who. The buddy movie you’ve always wanted.
Or, look at it this way:
I keep describing it as Miracle on 34th Street meets Alien.
What to expect from the Doctor’s reunion with Clara:
The stuff that separated [the Doctor and Clara], the lies they told each other – all of that will be addressed in this episode. It is properly addressed and forms the emotional core of the episode.
Will Santa be good or evil?:
Santa Claus will be real, and definitely not evil. Santa is presented, as he is in real life, as a great Christmas hero.
On Peter Capaldi being a different type of Doctor:
Peter is bracing – he’s a reminder that the Doctor isn’t your best mate or your big brother; he is in fact a quite scary man from outer space who nonetheless will save your life. He’s different and different is good.
Peter Capaldi on …
Nick frost’s casting as Santa:
I was delighted when Nick was cast, I’m a big fan of his. He’s actually quite a traditional Santa but with a comic undertone. He is the real Santa – he’s not a robot or an alien, but he is a little bit cantankerous. He’s a little bit like the Doctor and at first they don’t really get on together.
What viewers can expect from the episode:
It’s both really scary and really festive. It manages to be quite frightening and still have Santa Claus in it. It is extremely Christmassy but there is a plot line in it that is quite dark and I think Steven (Moffat) has done a brilliant job at balancing those two things. It’s scary but it leaves you feeling warm and cheerful.
His fondest memories of his first year as the Doctor:
So many things have been fantastic. The first time you go onto the set, the first time you meet a Dalek or even the first time the TARDIS wobbles when you shut the door. I know it won’t last forever so I’m just enjoying it all.
What he will be doing this Christmas and what he wants from Santa:
I’ll be watching the Christmas Special and I want a tangerine and a Doctor Who annual because that’s what I had as a kid.
Jenna Coleman on …
What it’s like for Clara to be reunited with the Doctor:
She’s just really glad to be back with him. She’s dealing with the death of Danny Pink but happy to be back in the arms of the TARDIS again, and meeting Santa. A lot of the episode is about telling that adventure, and it’s about the Doctor and Clara resolving what they’ve just been through.
On Nick Frost as Santa:
Nick really pitches Santa Claus so well between being the Santa as we know him and being very traditional, and then also cutting the act and giving quite a contemporary feel. So it works really well within the context of the episode and he has got the right tone. He’s really nice to have around on set, very funny in between takes and on camera.
What viewers can expect from the Christmas special:
It makes you question reality. You can’t quite figure it out. It makes you question what is real and what isn’t, but with a thriller and psychological element. It’s very Doctor Who – it’s got all of the traditional elements as well, and one sequence we have with the sleigh is so magical. It’s what you want to sit down and watch at Christmas.
Nick Frost on …
How much of a Doctor Who fan he is:
On a scale of one to ten I’m probably a seven, if I’m being honest. I suppose most actors would just say ten. I was a big Tom Baker fan and I liked Sylvester McCoy, and Peter Davison. Then I missed out on that Saturday evening TV for a long time. I lived abroad and I travelled and I worked most Saturdays, so it just drifted out of my consciousness.
Matt Smith reignited my love of the show and my love for that special feeling you get on Saturday when you can put your feet up and watch. There’s so little original sci-fi on British television, and to get something like Doctor Who that’s prime time Saturday night is something really special.
When Matt left and Peter came in I thought “he’s perfect”. I love what Peter’s doing with it – I think it’s great.
How he came to take on the role of Santa:
I was in the pub on a Friday afternoon. It was about five o’clock and I had about two percent battery left on my phone. My agent phoned me and all I heard was “they’re going to offer you a part as the guest lead in the Christmas special on Doctor…” I thought Doctor what? Doctor Kildare?! So then I had to wait until I got home to get the message and I was thrilled.
How he would describe his Santa:
There’s a percentage of “Ho Ho Ho” as every good Santa needs, but that’s all people ever see of Santa. They never see him day-to-day or when he’s a bit grumpy, or when he’s in a playful mood or if he’s a bit cross. I’ve tried to get all those sides to him. Hopefully he’s funny. I wanted him to be funny and I wanted him to be like what he is essentially – and that’s the spirit of Christmas.
What viewers can look forward to from this Christmas special:
There’s going to be a nice combination of comedy and terror, and cool creatures – and Christmas fun. There’s a sleigh ride and snow. It’s going to be beautiful!
The Doctor Who Christmas special, Last Christmas, is on Christmas Day at 6:15pm on BBC1.