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Feature: Doctor Who (2000s)

Directorial Vision

The Runaway bride still running

Director Euros Lyn tells us about trying to keep a guest star secret while shooting above the office of a celebrity gossip magazine…

The Runaway Bride is in the hands of one of the new series’ most prolific talents, Euros Lyn, who’s previously handled two episodes for the 2005 run, and four in the second, all but one of them period pieces. So tackling a more or less contemporary tale makes an interesting change…

“It is, yes, it is a little bit strange,” he comments, “because with the period episodes getting something really special in the design of it will get it a look or feel in itself, whereas in a contemporary piece you’re looking for a special location to do that for you, so you’re trying to generate something special for the real world in a way that the period episode does automatically for you.”

Of course, one aspect of the setting is the Christmassy feel pioneered by last year’s special, which is something Lyn wanted to echo this time round. “I think one of the things about this series of Doctor Who is that the Doctor is taking his experiences with him, and so his experiences last year; we don’t just play them out and then forget about them. There’s always either inferred references, or specific references to his experiences as he’s lived them. So the robot Santas do come back and the Doctor obviously recognizes them because he’s met them before, and Rose’s absence, he can’t not experience pain and loss for Rose, so that hang-over’s is very real and very present to him.”

Instead of Rose, there’s now Donna for the Doctor to deal with, at least for now. “It’s incredibly different,” Lyn comments, “for the main reason that the central relationship in this film is a new one and it’s profoundly different to the Doctor and Rose. The Doctor and Donna is a new relationship that I haven’t seen before, and I haven’t directed before on Doctor Who, and that’s the biggest change, and when the audience watch it they will see something, a new Doctor Who that they’ve not experienced.

“Donna’s a real handful, and I think it’s really clever what Russell’s done, because it’s almost like an ex-girlfriend in that when a relationship fails, one breaks one’s heart, and then you go on the rebound, get another girlfriend and then that is inevitably not going to work because it’s too soon and then that sets you up to be able to have a more grown up relationship after that. Donna’s a rebound! She’s a handful, that’s for sure. A feisty, red-headed handful.”

by Anthony Brown

Read the full interview, plus more on The Runaway Bride and other Doctor Who-related programmes in
TV Zone #210

Photo © BBCtv
Feature © Visual Imagination 2006. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #210, see below for ordering options
TV Zone #210
January 2007
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