Doctor Who on Location in London

Posted on April 09, 2013

Nerd-kittens, here are pictures of Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman on location shooting Doctor Who. We’re offering them to you as a way of saying we’re sorry for not getting to a review of the last episode and also because they’re kind of cute and charming.


Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman are pictured during filming for ‘Doctor Who’ 50th anniversary at at Trafalgar Square in London.


We are so digging the Doctor’s new tweed coat.

With our book on deadline this past weekend (but now completed and turned in! Yay!) and the premiere of Mad Men, we kinda let a review of “The Rings of Akhaten” slip by us. Here’s some bullet points to make up for it.


  • All those aliens were fun to see. In fact, we’d rather see cheesy latex alien masks than all the dicey CGI we’ve been looking at lately.
  • This was so close in structure to Amy Pond’s first adventure with the Doctor , “The Beast Below,” that we’re not sure anymore whether Moffat has run out of ideas (we’re in a little girl’s bedroom – AGAIN?) or he’s trying to make some sort of point about repeating motifs. We’re still inclined to lean toward the former.
  • This episode felt like something from the Russell T Davies days of the show. Lots of goofy aliens, lots of (too many) choral pieces, big speeches.
  • Similarly, the Doctor’s “Woe to be me, for I have seen so much” speech felt slightly off-model to us; more like something Ten would say than Eleven.
  • The TARDIS doesn’t like Clara! Of all the mysteries being laid down (including some seriously foreshadowy stuff about her mother) that one may just be the most intriguing.


[Photo Credit:]

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  • His hair is so fabulous.

    • alyce1213

      The best hair in all of show business.

      • TropiCarla

        I almost agree with you except – Stephen Colbert.

        • alyce1213

          Ah, yes. Very very nice, but I have to give an edge to Matt for sheer audacity.

  • Digging the frames and nail polish on the woman behind him in the last photo.

    • Therese Bohn

      Me too! Hope she’s in the episode and not a crew member

  • Jessi03

    The Tardis has problems with things that shouldn’t be, no matter how adorable they are (see: Captain Jack), so while that is fascinating, it’s not necessarily negative. This episode seemed like a combination of “The Beast Below,” “The Satan Pit,” and “A Christmas Carol.” I miss RTD.

    • ScarlettHarlot

      Exactly! I am a huge Captain Jack fan, so as soon as she said “It doesn’t like me!” I grabbed my husband’s arm and screamed “JUST LIKE CAPTAIN JACK OMG AAAH!” Then he said, “Or, maybe it’s just jealous,” and I calmed down.

      • Candy Kane

        I hope you guys know your posts just launched a zillion Captain Jack/Clara fanfics.

      • Jessi03

        Ha! Glad I’m not the only one! Altho, change the word “husband” to “cat” and…..realize that my life is sad.

        • ScarlettHarlot

          See, grass is always greener, because I feel sad that my life lacks a pet.

          • Jessi03

            Then you must get one!

    • Alanna Wisteria

      One thing that really stood out to me was the cinematography. All the bright reds and greens were very reminiscent of early RTD, especially Nine and “The End of the World”. The plot also felt very much like a throwback to those days. Probably not an intentional callback, but it does make me wonder with the 50th coming up.

  • Julie

    I mean, she keeps calling it the ‘Snog Box’ so maybe the TARDIS needs a bit of love before opening up to her.

  • It actually felt to me a bit like a late Fourth-early Fifth Doctor episode. It may have actually been better padded out to 4 30 minute segments, with additional running around, getting captured and escaping stretching things out.

  • Denise Plank

    Is that Smith’s ginger stand in?

    • alyce1213

      Same outfit, so probably. Cute.

      • Denise Plank

        I’d take it.

  • Snailstsichr

    I seriously adore and covet the boots both of them are wearing.

  • I am appalled by the thing where Moffat builds up a plot with some internal logic to it, and then throws out the whole thing and just has everything be sorted out by LOVE and TEARS and MEMORY. You can literally defeat every monster by crying at it or telling it how much you miss your dead mom. It’s such bad storytelling — like saying “blah blah blah monsters whatever MY EMOTIONAL SUBTEXT, LET ME SHOW YOU IT”.

    Davies did it too sometimes, but it wasn’t so constant, and when he did he was criticized for it. Like in the season 3 finale, where the Doctor is revived by everyone on earth calling his name — the scene got rightly criticized for being weak and cheesy, but there was at least an ATTEMPT to make it tie into the plot (with the Archangel network linking the people of earth psychically), and the cheese didn’t repeat itself in every single episode of the season.

    Had to get this off my chest!

    I love Coleman. It’s too early to tell about the character, but I just love her face. And I loved that the child actress that played her as a little girl had that same smirk!

    • It wasn’t solved by love tho. I mean the monster was defeated with an abstract concept [potential] but it wasn’t love.

      • sherrietee

        Yes It was solved by indigestion. Caused by a leaf that didn’t match the leaf from the previous episode. I mean really? Continuity, please. For the love of mike.

        • I thought it was pretty obvious by now that continuity gaffs in this series aren’t always continuity gaffs [people complained about the Doctor wearing two different jackets in one episode, for example, turned out it was two different Doctors.]

        • If the leaf in the last episode hadn’t been a red maple leaf (i.e. “OMG they’re going to CANADA!”) I would not have minded the gaffe so much…

      • Yes… I guess I didn’t buy that. Maybe if they had set it up more convincingly (the whole souls = stories thing was just mentioned in passing, we don’t really know how it works).

  • Jangle57

    i was just happy it wasn’t an episode where they went back in the past and visited some historic figure in Earth’s history. I don’t mind when they go back in history – Fires of Pompeii or The Empty Child, to name a few – just when they have to throw in the famous person, like Churchill or Agatha Christie or Van Gogh.

    • Qitkat

      Really? Some of those are my favorite episodes, particularly the one with van Gogh. Sometimes it helps to remember that this is a children’s show which an awful lot of adults are watching. Imagining viewing as a child might, without the burden of an adult’s insistence on historical accuracy. Just a thought.

      • I loved the Van Gogh episode, too. Made me cry a little bit. I also loved The Girl In The Fireplace and the one with Shakespeare. I guess I’m a sucker for historical stuff, or maybe I just like the alien explanations that Doctor Who throws at historical events. Now if he’d just meet Henry VIII or Richard III, then my nerdy, history-lovin’, geeky heart would probably explode from the happy.

        • Dorothy Damage

          Didn’t 11 and the Ponds meet Henry VIII in the episode with the cubes? It was mostly a throwaway gag, but it was in there.

    • Jessica Stone

      Van Gogh is one of my favourite episodes!

      • MilaXX

        Mine too! Although I think it’s Bill Nighy’s performance that seals it for me. When the Doctor brings Van Gogh to the museum and he hears what people think of him in modern times, I swear I cry every time.

        • WRECKED.

          I’ve actually avoided it in reruns or rewatching it on Netflix sometimes just because I wasn’t in the mood to start weeping. -T.

          • MilaXX

            Yep that and the end of Donna Noble being Donna!Doctor send me straight to the ugly cry.

          • I cry more at her wedding when the Doctor gives her mother and grandfather the winning lottery ticket he bought with the pound he borrowed from her dead father. Ten’s exit from the role really sucked in a lot of ways, but that was one perfect grace note.

          • Oh, God.

            And when he salutes?

            If there’s something past ugly cry, that.

        • capybara_cafe

          I bawl my fool head off every time. That one kills me.

    • Candy Kane

      Although I love the Van Gogh episode, I actually agree with you Jangle. It just seems like the figures typically have little to do with the plot and are there just to be there, e.g. any episode with Winston Churchill.

    • ScarlettHarlot

      Van Gogh is my favorite! I can’t even THINK about the episode without become a wreck. I’m an art historian (B.A & M.A) who only started studying art history because of Vincent, and the episode was emotionally staggering. It was beautiful, I felt like it was a gift – he was so, so, so desperately unhappy and unappreciated, selling only a few works in his entire life when half of his family members were art dealers. Just the way he looks when he sees an entire show dedicated to him after a lifetime of suffering, and then Bill Nighy’s speech…excuse me I have to go sob now.

  • editrixie

    I’m sure they’ll be finished filming for the season when I get there in mid-May, but I’m going to keep hoping so that I might be able to see something like this in Cardiff. I would be ded of cute!

  • I’m glad it wasn’t just me getting The Beast Below vibes off this episode. I need to re-watch it because I always miss something on my initial go-thru. Also, I can recommend the book Summer Falls by Amelia Williams. It’s a tie-in, available as an e-book, which you can read on your computer if you download the Kindle app. It’s cheap and it was quite entertaining and I think it’s going to play into the whole Clara story as it unfolds.

    I liked The Rings of Akhaten, although that last scene was way over the top. It did feel more like an RTD episode and I miss him being at the helm of this show. A lot. Moffatt seems to just screw with plot lines until they’re so confusing, you give up and just say “Eh, it’s the Doctor, these things happen,” which I find frustrating. I had to watch the whole River Song story arc about four times before I finally figured it out and I STILL have some questions about it.

    Also? Yes to the cute. More of this, please, Doctor Who publicity people.

  • i don’t know, i wasn’t into this episode. felt very much like it was grasping for straws for a storyline. in regards to the same beginning as amy pond (ie – meeting her as a kid), the difference is that the doctor went back in time to search for clara, whereas with amy, he stumbled upon her in his present and her present time, which i thought was interesting – kind of.

    the end speech with the doctor talking about all he lost was ‘nice’ (as in, matt smith’s acting was nice) but seemed to recall almost nearly his speech to the about-to-attack aliens during the pandorica opens.

    so far, i’m not all that impressed with the newest episodes. i am interested in seeing what clara’s deal is and i agree with @Jessi03:disqus in saying, the TARDIS doesn’t like things that shouldn’t be, like captain jack.

    i DO like the doctor hanging onto amy pond’s glasses and i DO like all of clara’s outfits. can i get some of those in my closet?

    • MilaXX

      Very interesting thought, but considering the many times a version of Clara has died and come back I can see why the TARDIS would view her as an impossible thing.

      • maybe i was misconstrued, i completely AGREE with that. the TARDIS definitely thinks she’s an impossible thing.

  • quitasarah

    Jury is out for me on the new companion. Heard an interview with her before the premiere and she said they liked her because she talked fast. That’s the new litmus test for a good companion? Harumph. But I am very intrigued by the impossible girl story line so I will keep watching like a good little nerd girl.

    For this episode, I can’t help but think that the scene where the Doctor is running around naming the aliens in the bazaar would have been so much better with Tennant. I could almost see the glee on his face. But then again, I’m a Tennant fan girl, so I may be slightly biased.

    My hubs is loving the Doctor’s new purple outfit this season. His favorite color. 🙂

  • It was also Beast Below-ish in that it was coherent on a meta level [all that stuff about memories, stories, etc] but not as an adventure. One fault with the Moffat era I’ll [begrudgingly] admit to is that episodes can get so meta-heavy the actual plot suffers.

    Next weeks looks like a solid adventure tho.

  • Jasmaree

    Moffat didn’t write this episode, so he isn’t entirely to blame for the repetitiveness.

  • MilaXX

    The little girl who played the Queen reminded me of a young Elle Fanning. Despite the repetitive feel of this ep, I liked it a bit more than the first.

  • Kenisha Hill Phillips

    The DW fan page I follow on FB raved on and on about the speech.

    Four words: 10 did it better.

    • Celandine1

      10 did everything better *sigh*

  • Ash

    The Tardis does’t like Clara? Interesting. She didn’t like Captain Jack either. I really wish they’d find a way to bring him for at least one episode with Eleven.

  • subwaycars

    Her outfit is so cute, I am almost annoyed.

  • capybara_cafe

    I love his new clothes so much. Except that his pants are still too short.

    • Alanna Wisteria

      Has he been wearing black jeans all along? I assumed they were regular wool trousers, but there were a few shots last season that made me wonder if they were denim.

      • capybara_cafe

        I think when it looks like jeans, they’re actually twill slacks, like black Dockers. But I DO think he has had wool trousers as well.

      • Dorothy Damage

        I think they’re Topman jeans.


  • Actually, I think the big speeches thing is much more Moffat & Eleven than RTD & Ten. It started in “The Eleventh Hour” with the big speech to the Atraxi and has continued on and on ever since. Tennant and Ten got a lot of long monologues — and yes, the occasional Big Speech (though, REALLY: How *vastly superior* is the speech at the end of “The Satan Pit” to any of Moffat’s? It is SO MUCH BETTER it kinda blows my mind) — and was definitely known for his verbosity but in terms of Big Staring Down The Big Bad/Episode Of The Week Big Speeches Of Doom And Also “Plot” Resolution, Moffat & Eleven are the leaders BY FAR.

    For me, it’s caused the big speeches to totally lose effect. I rolled my eyes at this one. The singing too — which is also WAY more of a Moffat thing than a RTD thing. During RTD’s run, Murray Gold (who does the music for the show, still too) definitely utilized a lot of choral music so I get why you make the association, but in terms of big songs and big songs becoming plot devices, that’s a Moffat-era thing.

    If this is a recurring motif thing, it’s the most anvilicious execution I’ve seen in a long time. I think, when it comes down to it, that Moffat doesn’t have the skill for long-term plotting and fresh iteration of a limited set of tropes (which is really what all television, especially genre television, writing is) that is required to run a show like Doctor Who. After almost three seasons the repetition is unbearable. And boring.

  • sherrietee

    Either that or she just doesn’t have a key. Of course, that brings up the question – why doesn’t she have a key? She’s a companion. Does the TARDIS not trust her, or does the Doctor not trust her? Which one is it? Or both?

    • I figured she didn’t have a key.

      The thing that I intrigued me was why the TARDIS wasn’t translating the aliens’ speech for her? I didn’t consider it was because of the TARDIS’ dislike.

    • fursa_saida

      The Doctor doesn’t usually give companions keys right away–he didn’t give Rose one until a few episodes in, and then largely as a gambit to convince her he wasn’t going to run off and investigate something without her when he really was. Martha didn’t get one right away either. I don’t remember what the deal was with Donna or Amy, tbh.

  • hellomissmadeline

    I just feel the need to say how much I love the fact that the doctor has been wearing Amy’s glasses. I know companions leaving is the nature of the show, but I’ve been having a hard time letting go of Amy, so I found that simple gesture very, very sweet.

    • agreed! (i wrote about it below) i think it’s such a nice sentiment.

  • JauntyJohn

    I had a very hard time caring about what happened in this episode. I suppose I didn’t mind harkening back to “Beast Below” so much, but that one seemed fun and scary and well paced while this one was a lot of very arresting visuals, a new age choir (pretty enough sound though) and everyone having really good hair and kicky boots (both his and her’s).
    And I understand there’s an accent involved and all, but Jenna, dear, please don’t swallow your lines. If we’re aiming for “His Girl Friday” pacing (someone please school me. what would the Brit equivalent of that reference be?) then one must speak the words with a bit more care. (yes! I know! accents! Still… !)
    And… you give your memories and stories to the Big Fire Jack-o-Lantern of Death in the sky to appease and feed it but… you still have them?
    And… the leaf was… all the possibilities? (And I get there was a set up for that with what Clara’s dad said when he gave it to her Mum) but… they lived a life. She passed away. So how was the leaf about… ? (I usually go with it, but that really truly didn’t make any sense to me).

    • silaria

      Clara’s mom died young, leaving behind a grieving family. The leaf represented the life she could have had, had she lived on. The futures for the family and the mother that never came to be. It sounds good, but it’s not really that well thought out. At what point is a life sufficiently long and full to no longer have any possibilities left?

      • JauntyJohn

        Ah. Thank you!

  • Bow ties are cool!

  • d3chem

    So, Why didn’t the Tardis translate the things that the cat person was saying? This was the hardest thing for me to swallow.

  • Cathy S

    Hey Matt, how’s it hangin’?

  • fursa_saida

    I haven’t watched it yet, but Moffat’s trend toward “Doctor shows up in little girl’s bedroom, little girl has her life defined by Doctor, falls in love with him at some point” storylines is seriously starting to creep me out. Rennet from the Girl in the Fireplace, Amy, and now Clara? STOP.