BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Friday April 10 2009 08:59 GMT

Dr Who stars reveal Easter special secrets

David Tennant and Michelle Ryan as the Doctor and Lady Christina in the Easter special

The latest pictures from the Doctor Who Easter special Planet of the Dead show The Doctor getting up close and personal with his latest companion, Lady Christina, but what leads up to this magic moment?

Find out as David Tennant reveals what happens in the episode , talks about filming in the Dubai desert and the difference between filming a special and a whole series.

And if that's not enough, his co-star Michelle Ryan has also been revealing more about her character , how sheheard about the part , what it was like working with David Tennant and the Tritovores , and the romantic spark between Lady Christina and The Doctor.

Here's what they had to say...

David Tennant and Michelle Ryan as the Doctor and Lady Christina in the Easter special


Well, it's about a bus that ends up on an alien planet. It's about an international jewel thief who meets the Doctor and is quite intrigued by him. And it's about two alien races, one of which is just doing what comes naturally and one of which is trying to get home.

And all of those elements kind of combine into a story that is a bit bonkers, very fast moving, very exciting, and sort of on a scope. It's bigger than we've managed before, which is very exciting.

It's very exciting having done the show for four years and still finding new stories to tell and ways of telling those stories. It's great, and it's what makes it such a great show to work on.

The Swarm


I think we get slightly more time to film the specials. I don't know if that's even true - we get four weeks to film an hour-long special whereas we get about two and a half weeks to film a normal 45 minute episode. So we've got a little bit more time to play with but then they tend to be a bit more ambitious.

Certainly this one was, and you know the fact that we wanted to film in an actual desert and there aren't a lot of them in south Wales. So we had to find somewhere in the world that we could get to that had an infrastructure that we could use to film in and that would have us, you know.

Some of these deserts exist in some less than friendly regimes. Some might argue that Dubai's not the friendliest but they were quite nice to us.

David Tennant as The Doctor


We went to the desert and we got some incredible shots, I mean I think you'll notice it on screen that we went a long way, and that the director and the camera particularly made it count.

I think it'll look like an alien planet in a way that nothing we've ever done before has ever quite managed, just because it is an extraordinary... it is an extraordinary sight, just miles of sand and the blue skies, the sun beating down, it is like being in another world really. So quite useful for us!

Michelle chats about her character


Christina is a mysterious, adventure-seeking aristocrat and she is very much a loner, she's off in her own little world.

And she's very daring and exciting and smart and sassy.

She's a cool character.

Michelle: I first heard about the part just before Christmas and it appealed to me.

I was reading lots of different scripts at the time and then I read this one and I was so engaged with the character, with her journey, and it was just a really interesting, dynamic script and few of those come along for young actresses, so I was kind of like... "yeah, I'd like to be a part of this".

Michelle: It's amazing, he is genuinely one of the most professional, lovely, brilliant actors I've ever worked with. And he has such a good vibe, and he gives a great energy to everyone, he's really cool.

It's quite family-like and fun, it's been such a laugh to work on.

A Tritovore


That was a bit of a shock but they're very good, the two guys who played the Tritovores with their voices, and it was cool doing all the special effects stuff where you've got the big creatures coming at you.

It's been interesting, and I love doing all the harness and wire work. I've been hung upside down all day, and been dropped and bounced up and down, so it's all fun!

Michelle: Filming with Lee Evans is great. He's actually really quiet then he'll start being really funny. He's just naturally funny and lovely.

David Tennant and Michelle Ryan as the Doctor and Lady Christina in the Easter special


There is a little bit of a romantic spark between The Doctor and Christina. I think Christina feels like she's met her equal, and The Doctor feels like he's met his match with Christina.

Christina doesn't come across many men that intrigue and inspire her the way The Doctor does. He manages to show her that actually she can use her skills to help other people, and that actually it's more fun when you're part of a team rather than being a loner.

She goes on a journey with him and I think she'd like it to be more, and he's quite closed off to that because he's been hurt in the past - he's off doing his thing and she's like, "Well, OK" and off on her next adventure!

Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead is on Saturday 11 April at 6.45pm on BBC One.

Doctor Who
Matt Smith as The Doctor




Watch clips
Dr Who The 10th Doctor regenerates