Will new Doctor Who actor film in NZ?

21:11, Aug 19 2013
Neil Cross
DR WHO AUTHOR: Wellington writer Neil Cross

Will Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi end up filming in New Zealand with Peter Jackson instead of Matt Smith? "Never say never," said Wellington based Doctor Who writer Neil Cross when asked if such a thing could happen.

Cross, who wrote the seventh season Doctor Who stories, The Rings of Akhaten and Hide featuring 11th Doctor Smith, has been invited by Doctor Who show runner Steven Moffat to write for the show's eighth season starring Capaldi.

He backed Smiths' campaign, which started last September, to film here. But Smith leaves the role in the yet to be filmed Christmas special in which he will regenerate into Capaldi.

Jackson, who egged Smith on with a challenge for the actor to name a time and a place, is curiously quiet on the idea as he works on his second and third Hobbit films.

He has not responded to a Waikato Times request for an interview.

The production team, however, said they were keen to come here after the 50th anniversary episode had aired in November.

Details of the extent of Cross' involvement in the eighth season since Doctor Who was bought back in 2005 are yet to be confirmed.

"I am going back," Cross said. "I have got story ideas tucked away, but if I told you about them I would have to kill you. There's a whole bunch of stuff I want to do. Steven is clearly very busy with the 50th anniversary special and Christmas special, but I have to find out from Steven what his intentions for the Doctor are and what sort of stories he wants me to write."

If the opportunity arose he was still keen to write an episode with a distinct New Zealand flavour that could only be filmed here, Cross said.

"I am really excited about writing for Peter Capaldi, and equally sad not to have the opportunity to write for Matt Smith again. I think Matt Smith has been the most outstanding Doctor to date."

Smith, who was 26 when he joined the show as a relatively unknown actor, was the youngest actor to play the Doctor.

Capaldi, 55, is the same age as William Hartnell who played the first incarnation of the Doctor.

Capaldi, best known for his portrayal as Malcolm Tucker in the BBC comedy series The Thick of It, appeared as a Roman whose home was threatened by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in the fourth season Doctor Who story The Fires of Pompeii.

"I am familiar with Peter Capaldi's work and I am looking forward to it. Peter has presence on the screen. I think he's an outstanding choice.

"There's something about his physicality, his image, his wit, that evokes the Doctor. There's something about him that evokes classic Doctor Who."

Seven actors played the role between 1963 and 1989 when the BBC cancelled the show. Since then four actors have played the role on television.

Meanwhile Crossbones, the action adventure pirate series Cross has created for NBC, begins filming in five weeks with John Malkovich playing Blackbeard. Cross' third season of his BBC crime drama, Luther, aired on the BBC to critical acclaim and will soon be screened in New Zealand.