INTERVIEW: David Tennant & Billie Piper's Press Launch Q&A - 2006

David, what's it like being the new guy?
David: Do you know... the worst bit of that was before we started, all the hoo-ha that comes with this show. The fact that everyone is so fascinated by it. Obviously that partly makes it the most wonderful job in the world but it also makes it the most terrifying job in the world. When I finished my first day of filming I remember going home to collapse because of the amount of nervous energy that had been building up in the months previous to getting going. I suppose it could have been awful but I've been so welcomed by this extraordinary crew.
Billie: It's been quite plain sailing for you!
David: It really has!

Were you tempted to keep your Scottish accent for the part?
David: Well I think because Christopher brilliantly used his Northern accent I think Russell didn't want to do a kind of touring the regions thing. So when Russell first approached me to about it he said this is how we're thinking of doing it and I'd kind of like you to do it like you did Casanova. It was sort of part of the brief. It was never really a question for me.
What was your parents initial reaction to you playing The Doctor in the Christmas special?
David: They're West of Scotland Presbyterian parents, they tell everyone else what they think, I don't hear! They came down and visited the set actually. We had a read-through for episode two, a couple of the actors couldn't make it.  Because it's set in Scotland they were delighted to be asked to read in. My Mum played Lady Isobel and my Dad played Captain Reynolds and they were in seventh heaven. And they were genuinely cheesed off when they didn't get asked to play the parts for real! I was like 'chill-out Mum and Dad, back in your box!'

Billie, do you think this year is scarier than the last?
Billie: Yeah I do actually. I think the scripts have moved on, it's a natural progression. The scripts were so brilliant last year and I didn't think we could top them. The last two episodes last year just blew my mind and I didn't see how we were going to do that again. But the genius that is Russell T Davies came up trumps as ever and has produced some amazing work. But yeah, they are scary and there's so much going on this year. Truly quite terrifying.

What's been the weirdest experience making the show this year?
Billie: It's constantly odd!
David: Playing Zoe Wanamaker was an interesting one.
Billie: That scared me actually because I've never done anything like that. It was also the first time I'd really tried the comedy, although I did a bit last year. Russell has given me some good gags in this series!

Do you still think there will still be ways to explore Rose’s character after this series?
Billie: Yes there's loads of places for Rose to go, she’s only 20! She’s got some time in her yet.
David: When was her birthday? We didn't mark that!
Billie: I quite like the idea of a little party!
D: That's for the next Children in Need special!

Did you visit any quarries this series?
Billie: You hit the nail on the head!
David: We did go to a quarry which is a Doctor Who cliché but it’s doubling for a cave actually so it's not strictly speaking, the usual Doctor Who quarry.  And it was through the night which apart from anything else made it just the coldest place on Earth.

How much has filming the series in Wales helped the series?
David: One of the great things about filming in Wales is you get used to filming in London where people are so hacked off with film crews closing off the roads so they have no time for you whatsoever. But everybody in Wales is so pleased to see us.
Billie: This woman we met on location in Cardiff brought us home-made Dalek cakes, it was so sweet!

Has it helped to tempt other actors down?
Billie: I think they come for the scripts and the experience and then they get here and they love it.
David: And people grew up with Doctor Who so people are quite keen to come on board or their kids are loving it now. They have all sorts of different reasons for coming to work on the show.

What was it like working with Peter Kay?
Billie: Hard because he's so funny, you just can't stop laughing. I actually have to pinch myself to stop myself from laughing. I actually can't look at him, which is terrible!
David: Which of course he loves and the more takes he can destroy - I think he sees it as a badge of honour really.
Billie: He's brilliant.
David: He's utterly brilliant and one of the funniest people I've ever met I think.
Billie: He's hysterical. I love his 'Dalek Bread' thing!

In this new series, Rose's boyfriend Mickey joins the TARDIS, does this upset the dynamic between The Doctor and Rose?
Billie: At first I think Rose isn't that keen on the idea as she likes to keep her life separate. She wants The Doctor to herself because she's selfish like that. But Mickey this year really kind of comes into his own.
David: He earns his spot on board the TARDIS doesn't he.
Billie: He saves the day.
David: He does but it's the Doctor who decides to let him on board as Rose is far from keen!

Tell us about 'The Satan Pit' which is the last of the stories to be filmed
Billie: It’s really, really dark. I find it terrifying. But in a good way.  We're on a different planet for a start.
David: Basically they find a 'darkness' which doesn't seem to have an explanation and even The Doctor is stumped by what is under the planet.
Billie: The Ood are in this one! And Shaun Parkes from Casanova is in it. It’s a great cast.

The final episode is called 'Doomsday', are either of you going to leave in this one?
Billie: We're not talking about that, it’s worth waiting for, so just be patient! It’s a real cliffhanger. These scripts are so special and unique.
David: And actually we haven't even done the end of it yet so can't for definite say if any of us are coming back!

Presumably you’ve signed contracts though?
Billie: For years!
David: For years and years, in blood!

The new 13-part series of Doctor Who starring David Tennant and Billie Piper starts on BBC1 on Saturday 15th April 2006 at 7.00pm.