Doctor Who 50th anniversary: Jemma Redgrave talks about the episodes “most extraordinary script”

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Jemma Redgrave has spoken to Graham Norton about her role in the upcoming 50th anniversary special episode of Doctor Who. She said the episode is philosophical, deep, funny, adventurous and heart-breaking.

Appearing on Graham Norton’s BBC Radio Two show over the weekend, the topic quickly turned to Doctor Who and if she could dish the dirt on the upcoming episode. Unfortunately, she didn’t let anything slip, but she did talk about how “extraordinary” Steven Moffat is and what a brilliant script he has written for the episode.


Speaking about her role, and whether she had finished all her filming, she said: “I have, yes. I can’t tell you anything about it. If I tell you anything about it, this studio will spontaneously combust and we’ll both go up in smoke.

“I wasn’t even allowed to tell anyone I was doing it. It was very difficult to tell my children I was going off filming and not tell them what I was doing, but then we filmed in Trafalgar Square a few weeks ago and it was on Twitter within three seconds flat.”

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Confirming that she is actually in the episode and that it is indeed going ahead, she added: “So I’m allowed to say I’m in it and it’s brilliant”.

Jemma played the role of Kate Stewart in the seventh series of Doctor Who back in 2012.

However, what she couldn’t confirm is the length of the episode. Rumours have suggested that the special anniversary episode could be of movie-length – approximately 90-minutes. She did confirm however that the Beeb want to fit it in between one show and Strictly Come Dancing, which tells us it will air in its usual Saturday night slot.

“Well I don’t know, that’s slightly tricky as the BBC want it between something and Strictly Come Dancing, so I don’t know how long it’s going to be.” She said

As we all know, the special anniversary will also air in spectacular 3D. When asked what it was like filming in 3D, she likened it to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, saying people were wearing dark glasses, like in a lab.

Doctor Who - 50th Anniversary Special

Redgrave tried to explain: “It’s slower, because there are two cameras filming on you at the same time and it’s the distance between the two lenses that creates the 3D effect. There were people with dark glasses – it was like Willy Wonka [and the Chocolate Factory]”.

Rounding off the Doctor Who section of the interview, she couldn’t speak more highly of Moffat, stating he is “so brilliant” to work with and that he has “written the most extraordinary script”.

“It was fantastic fun and Steven Moffat has written the most extraordinary script. He is so brilliant, but it is everything – it has the adventure the children will want to get caught up in. It’s philosophical, it’s deep, it’s funny, it’s heart-breaking, it’s just great and it has an extraordinary cast.”

Doctor Who - 50th Anniversary Special

Speaking about whether she got to see all the script, or just part of it, she joked that she got to see all the script and that it is locked up in a safe at home. When Graham warned her what the fans can be like, she quipped: “Don’t think about burgling me, they’re not there. I don’t know why I said that.”

Meanwhile, Billie Piper who plays Rose Tyler has said of the episode: “It’s like going home – it’s a real gift, you know, that is a gift, the show and obviously it’s a special one because it’s the 50 years celebration. You feel it’s very much for the fans, and you really feel that on this particular episode”.

Billie Piper, Matt Smith, David Tennant, Jenna-Louise Coleman, John Hurt, Joanna Page and Ingrid Oliver will all be returning for the celebrations.

The Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode is set to air later this year on BBC One.

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