Q&A, Caroline Skinner, Executive Producer of Doctor Who
The New York Times Artsbeat, August 29, 2012
Prior to the preview screening of the Doctor Who season premiere, "Asylum of the Daleks," at the Ziegfeld Theater last Saturday night, described in the previous post, I had an opportunity to sit down for a quick chat with Caroline Skinner (@CaroSkinner on Twitter), who became an executive producer on the show in the middle of last season. We talked about the the broadened appeal chief writer and show runner Steven Moffat and lead actor Matt Smith (The Doctor) have brought to the series; the bold ambitions of the season about to commence this Saturday night; the impending departure of Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) and Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams) and arrival of Jenna-Louise Coleman, who will play the Doctor's mystery-shrouded new companion; and the pressure already mounting to make next year's 50th-anniversary celebrations an even bigger deal.
As a Night After Night bonus-track postlude, here's one last volley that didn't make the final cut for Artsbeat:
Q. With the spring portion of the current season still underway, how do you maintain your focus when everybody wants to know what you’re going to do for next year’s milestone anniversary?
A. Ah, well, I multi-task a lot, and I never sleep. [laughs] We’re filming those at the moment – it’s August right now, so what better time to lay snow down in Wales? We’re shooting the Christmas episode right now, and we’ve already filmed three out of the eight episodes for the spring run. Next year is such an exciting year for Doctor Who; it should be the biggest year ever for the show, and it has to be, because it culminates in the 50th anniversary. And those plans – which I’m not going to tell you anything about – are just enormous, and really exciting.
I think the show will reinvent itself with Christmas and Jenna’s arrival, and those stories, again, they’re very epic and ambitious stories every week. My aspiration would be that you’ve got this enormous stand-alone, really wonderful Christmas episode, which is a beautiful script that Steven’s written. Then we’ll come back, and every week you want to get to the end of each of those episodes and think, “How are they going to top that?” Then you’ll see the next one and go, “Oh, that’s how they’re going to top it.” We’ll be looking at making the series grow and grow over those eight episodes in the spring run, which will feel very fresh and very different, and it should be a brilliant springboard into all of the other darkly mysterious things that we’re going to do for the 50th.