In the hotly anticipated first episode of BBC America’s newly regenerated ‘Doctor Who‘ (April 17, 9/8c) the Tardis crash-lands in a garden occupied by a younger version of the new Doc’s newest Companion: Amy Pond (Karen Gillan). Amidst a sequence of hit-or-miss encounters with Pond at various stages of her life (give or take fourteen years), the Doctor (an effervescent Matt Smith) finds himself with a wrecked time machine, a sonic screwdriver on the fritz, and only twenty minutes to save Earth. With that, episode one is off to the races, and, if the first installment is any indication, the rebooted franchise will more than live up to the hype.
Karen Gillan landed the role of a lifetime once she found herself preparing to traipse through the time-space continuum via Tardis. Gillan took time from her busy promotional schedule to talk to Fancast about what’s coming, and why there’s a lot more going on in this season than meets the eye. She also reveals which TV shows molded her own sci-fi-saturated upbringing.
It’s a firecracker of a first episode. It really raises the bar, especially with dialogue and all the brilliant one-liners.
Steven Moffat’s written a really fantastic opening episode, and he’s a really funny writer. He has a background in comedy, so I think that really helps!
What’s the most shocking or surprising thing you can hint at that’s coming up in the new season?
What’s interesting about this series, and unique to it, is that there is this enemy of the Doctor that you do meet in the first episode, but you might not notice it. So you have to keep your eyes peeled. And it builds up and up and up throughout the whole series, and it ends with an explosive climax in the finale. It’s pretty mind-blowing. Notice everything.
It seems that even ever popular vampires make their way into the new season. How do “alien vampires” differ from the regular sort – if there is a regular sort?
They’re very, very different from the regular kind of vampires, but you’re going to have to watch it and see why. There’s a twist in there.
Which of the Doctor’s enemies do you consider to be the biggest threat in this new season?
The one I was telling you about is probably the biggest threat so far. It if were victorious, it would be devastating. But also, my favorite monsters are the Weeping Angels. They were in the episode “Blink” and are back in a crazy two-parter this season.
Are there any TV shows, either past or present, that you have personally been a fan of?
When I was growing up, what really influenced me was things with a slightly darker side. My mother is a massive sci fi fan, so I always used to watch shows like ‘The Outer Limits’ and ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ and ‘The X-Files’ and things like that. And movies like Little Shop of Horrors – things that are really fun, but have a dark side – which is similar to ‘Doctor Who,’ I guess! Those were my influences growing up. Now I love shows like ‘Summer Heights High,’ and I like shows like ‘The Office‘ (in Britain). And I do love ‘Gossip Girl’!
Sci fi fans: are you ready for the regeneration?? The brand spanking new Doctor Who premieres Saturday, April 17 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on BBC America. A must-see!!