Doctor Who is back this weekend, with the episode "Asylum of the Daleks" — whose trailer showcased hundreds of screaming Daleks. It's been so long since we've been genuinely afraid of a Dalek, so why should we be afraid of thousands of these killer cyborgs?
We talked to stars Matt Smith and Karen Gillan at the Doctor Who premiere event in New York, and they explained why the deadly pepperpots will actually give you chills.
This show changes so much, what is something that could never change? What is a change that you don't think will ever happen?
Matt Smith: The show is about change, I don't want to discount anything. I think I would be a little weirded out if the TARDIS was a different color. I think I would be a little weirded out if the Doctor wasn't called the Doctor — if he was called Boris or something. I think if you look at the history and the heritage of the show. 12 generations of 13 Doctors, I'll be old news by then. It's a show that isn't afraid of change, and I embrace that.
Your character always seems to be a big uneasy with domestic relationships. How is the current status of the Pond relationship affecting your character and how does it affect his own marriage?
Matt Smith: I think that's something we're going to witness with "Pond Life" that's coming out on the internet. Also, there is an episode called "The Power of Three" that has a very interesting take on the Pond's relationship and what it means to them to be a couple, and be traveling round the Universe, and true and have a normal live. There's a bit in the trailer where [the Doctor] says to them, "You're thinking of stopping, aren't you." [And Amy responds] "The traveling is starting to feel like running away." I think for someone normal, for a human being, it must feel like that. But he can't understand, I don't think, why would you get with one person and live in a house? What's the point? There's a whole Universe out there, it's so expansive and so huge. If you look at the history of the man, he sort of picks up hot chicks, over and over. Travels round the Universe for two years then says, "ah see you later, Rose."
What can't you wait for fans to see from this season?
Karen Gillan: Well in the first episode you're going to see more Daleks than you've ever seen, ever. We had Daleks from the 60s, and those are the most attractive Daleks. I've actually never found the Daleks that frightening, I loved them because they are so iconic and so Doctor Who. But I never found them really scary. In this episode, they are genuinely really scary, really freaky. And then we've got a Western, dinosaurs on a spaceship... but through all of those episodes, it's kind of building up to the eventual departure of the Ponds. Which I can't wait for people to see.
How do you make Daleks scary again?
Karen Gillan: You're going to see! They are really scary, we learn more about them then I think we've ever learned before. And that's maybe what makes them scary. When we get to see what goes on, a little more.
I know Amy addressed it a little last season, but how is Amy's emotional state since she was never allowed to physically raise Melody from a baby? Even though she and Rory grew up with Melody she never actually raised her as a baby. How are you going to deal with that this season?
Karen Gillan: Well actually, what's really interesting is there's a pretty huge revelation along those lines. I can't tell you anything about it. But yea, we are going to learn something very, very vital to that story line. And it's going to be dealt with through that. We're going to see a whole new side of Amy and Rory and their relationship, in the first episode.