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Doctor Who Magazine is a remarkable publication. A fan’s-eye view of one of the most hotly-adored television shows ever, but one that also manages to get some incredible insider information.
Here’s a perfect example: the latest issue has three of the scripts that actors auditioning for the coveted role of the Twelfth Doctor will have (or have had) to perform. They’ve been written specially for the auditions by Steven Moffat, so that there is no possibility of secret information leaking out, and as you’ll see from the example below, they’re a chance for potential new Doctors to imprint their own personalities onto a fresh Time Lord template.
Speaking of the need for secrecy, Steven told readers:
“I had to make up some scenes for the auditions, cos I haven’t written the real script yet. So here, in an exclusive, as a big old tease, is one of the imaginary scenes I wrote. Couple of things. Nothing to glean about what’s coming in the stories – this scene will never appear in the show itself.
“Also, you’ll learn very little about Number 12 – naturally, this was written before the casting began. And anyway, the scenes we use for the auditions are designed more as obstacle courses than ‘proper’ scenes. Fairly generic Doctor stuff, for someone to spin into a new version of the Time Lord.
“So, with the proviso that there’s nothing to learn here (won’t stop you trying, I know) here is – sort of, kind of, not really – the first scene for Number 12…”
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!
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.
THE DOCTOR: 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.
The other two scripts are featured in the current issue of Doctor Who Magazine, which is on sale now.
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic