“I’ve heard Matt Smith called clumsy, but I prefer to think he’s enthusiastic. Matt likes to show his props off, especially his favourite: the sonic screwdriver. He’s developed it into something of an art form – flipping and tossing it up into the air – and at his request the prop-makers have tweaked and tailored it to his tastes. Which doesn’t stop him breaking it: I do tend to spend a lot of time hastily sticking it back together with tape, wire and superglue. In fact, we now have four sonic screwdrivers – one for every stunt and scenario – so there’s always a spare when it takes a battering in Matt’s hands.
I’ve been on Doctor Who since the very first episode of the new series [in 2005]. I think I have a reputation as being a bit of a taskmaster. I’m a little overprotective, but with good reason: one missing prop will bring the whole shoot to a grinding halt.
A couple of years ago, I had just half an hour to devise a replacement. Scouring the set for anything that bore any resemblance, my eye fell upon the vacuum cleaner, and I took a hacksaw and pot of glue to it. So we did the scene with the actor running around holding a souped-up vacuum cleaner. Nobody realised, hopefully, but I’m not going to reveal which episode it was, in case your readers zoom in too closely...”
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