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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

Doctor Who thing: audition scripts for would-be 12th Doctors


How will actors auditioning for the role of the 12th Doctor do it? With this script (via the print-only Doctor Who Magazine via DoctorWho.tv):

INT. TARDIS [The new Doctor is checking out the new body. Clara, watching. It’s been a few minutes, they’re both still adjusting.]

THE DOCTOR: Right then, eyesight. Not bad, bit blue. Ears – not pointy, right way up, more or less level. Face – well I’ve got one. Oh, no – French!

CLARA: French.

THE DOCTOR: I’ve deleted French! Plus all cookery skills, and the breast stroke. And hopping. Never mind hopping, who needs to hop. Ohh, the kidneys are interesting. Never had that before – interesting kidneys.

CLARA: Are you all right?

THE DOCTOR: I don’t know, do I look all right?

CLARA: I don’t know.

THE DOCTOR: How’s the face? Seems all right from the inside. Nice action, responsive. Bit less heft on the chin. How is it?

CLARA: It’s… okay.


CLARA: It’s a bit… you know.

THE DOCTOR: No I don’t, I haven’t seen it yet.

CLARA: Maybe it’s just new.

THE DOCTOR: Have you changed height?


THE DOCTOR: You sure?

CLARA: It’s you, your height, you’re the one who’s changed.

THE DOCTOR: And look at your nose.

CLARA: What about my nose?

THE DOCTOR: It was really cute, I loved your nose, you should’ve kept it.

CLARA: I did, it’s the same nose, it’s the same all of me. You’re the one who’s… regenerated, whatever you call it.

THE DOCTOR: Are you wearing a smell?

CLARA: Do you mean perfume?

THE DOCTOR: Yes, I suppose it could be perfume.

CLARA: You’ve always liked that perfume, you said so.

THE DOCTOR: No I didn’t, that was the Doctor.

CLARA: You’re the Doctor.

THE DOCTOR: Yes, I suppose I am. That’s going to take a bit of getting used to.

CLARA: Yeah, it really is.

Note Moffat’s trademarked “girls are weird and strange and mysterious” attitude. Nine hundred years of time and space travel, and the Doctor doesn’t know what perfume is?

You know what would be really nice in the new Doctor? If he — and c’mon, there’s no doubt it’ll be a he — were the sort of actor who could exude, even while having to say Moffat’s words, a sense of a man-about-the-universe. I know Doctor Who is supposedly a kids’ show, and that it cannot have actual adult content (except “sexy” women — that’s always appropriate for all ages, apparently). But it can have a central character who evinces sophistication and experience… all sorts of experience. It would be great if we felt like the Doctor knows more than we do about how the universe and all the people in it operate, instead of less.

io9 has another audition scene, with Cybermen. And there’s a third in Doctor Who Magazine, if you can find it in print somewhere.

(If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)

posted in:
daily doctor | tv buzz
  • LaSargenta

    Argh. I started watching the Doctor because of Eccleston. I put up with the Tennant incarnation (not him, just the way it was written). Despite the manic crap, he still seemed, mostly, old and interesting. I couldn’t get on board with Smith and this seems like more of the same.

  • RogerBW

    I’m with LaSargenta: this seems terribly samey. Perfume is a Girl Thing, and Girl Things are bad! And the only other thing that matters about a companion is her appearance. Meanwhile, the Cybermen script is yet another tired old riff on “I am the most terrifying thing in the universe”. Time for Moffat to get some writers who aren’t burned out.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I think it would be a mistake (and certainly a lot are making it) to read these scripts as indicators as to what the writers intend to do with the 12th Doctor. Personally, I’m not even assuming that these scripts are actually being used in the auditions. This is just marketing. The fact that it reads like an 11th Doctor script is probably a decoy.

  • bronxbee

    i wish i shared your optimism. but… this:

    “I’ve deleted French! Plus all cookery skills, and the breast stroke. And hopping. Never mind hopping, who needs to hop. Ohh, the kidneys are interesting. Never had that before – interesting kidneys”
    i remember the “hopping” thing from the DT regeneration scene with Rose. shouldn’t the Doctor be *adding* on experience and knowledge? not deleting? he’s not a computer; he’s supposed to be the most interesting man in the universe. it isn’t a good start, scriptwise. i suspect this scene is from the actual “regeneration’ episode. a good — or even, charming — actor may be able to overcome the “i’ve regenerated and suddenly i’m an idiot” sort of routine here…
    time to go re-watch some old Who. this may drive me back to writing fanfic.

  • Well, to be fair, these are not episodes that will be produced, just short generic scenes to see what an actor does with them.

  • Even the writers can’t know what they’ll do with the Doctor until the actor has been cast.

    It’s just how depressingly… Moffat-y these scenes are that annoy me.

  • RogerBW

    Fair point. But I suspect that they are at least representative of the sort of thing this Doctor will be expected to do — i.e. much like the current one. They don’t appear to be planning to pull a Colin Baker on us.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I don’t think I’m being optimistic as much as pragmatic.

    i suspect this scene is from the actual “regeneration’ episode.

    I’ll put odds on that right up there with “There are no auditions because John Hurt is taking over the role permanently”. In fact, I take that back: the odds on the latter are much better.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    That’s probably because the “scene” is just snippets of lines from the past 7 years tossed together into some Doctor-like dialog. If this is the script being used (a long shot in my estimation, or at least, it represents a fraction of what is actually being used), it gives the producers a sense of how these actors’ deliveries would compare to Smith or Tennant or even Eccleston. Before you say it, that’s something that will matter to a significant portion of the audience, so it’s something they have to consider.

  • singlestick

    I’ve read that the Bond movies use the seduction scene from “From Russia, With Love,” as an audition piece. But this has little to nothing to do with how the producers or any new director will portray Bond himself. I don’t know that the working materials here necessarily will inform a portrayal of the Doctor.

    I’m a relatively new Who watcher, but I lean toward the idea that the program should be a kid’s show that also appeals to adults. But even here, there is lots of room for all manner of Doctors.

  • bronxbee

    there have been episodes intended for one Doctor that wound up being done by the next one… so…

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