Mark Sheppard says he’s been a fan of Doctor Who for a long time, and he is very happy to be part of the season premiere. He can’t say too much about who his character is, but he’ll say he plays an American. Richard Nixon is also involved somehow. “It’s obviously the dream of a lifetime to be on Doctor Who,” he said to reporters Sunday. He’s also impressed by how popular the show has become in America, especially after it returned to the airwaves just a few years ago. “The fact that we shot in America”, he said, “was an extraordinary think at all, which I think increases the scope of the show a lot.”
The new season also promises to be a lot darker with scarier villains. “Stephen (Moffatt) is going to be responsible for an awful lot of sleepless nights,” Sheppard said.
The other big news is that Neil Gaiman, who has written dozens of comic book titles, novels, TV shows and movies now has a Doctor Who episode coming in May called “The Doctor’s Wife”. He’ll only say Matt Smith, aka the Doctor is in it, although he also showed a clip from the episode that includes one of the Ood. He’s also been a long-time fan of the show, even way back i the 1960s when William Hartnell had the role. Gaiman admits Hartnell kind of scared him, and warmed more to Patrick Troughton’s portrayal. “Before I ever discovered the Egyptians or the Greek or the Norse or the Aztec mythology,” he said, “(I knew) what the initials of the TARDIS stood for.” He also said that even though the show has been going since 1963, it’s not that difficult for people who have never seen the show to understand it. It’s about a big blue box that can go anywhere, and a guy called the Doctor who pilots it. Easy.
Sheppard, Gaiman and director Toby Haynes talked a lot abut the show, and their favorite Doctors. They also talked about how different it was filming in America because it’s so big.
Doctor Who returns to BBC America on April 23rd at 9PM Eastern, 6 PM Pacific.