In New York, shooting The Angels Take Manhattan [episode 5 last year], Marcus Wilson, Caroline Skinner and I were a bit worried. We had two foreign shoots for the first part of series seven, covering three episodes, and nothing lined up for this second run. “let’s go to outer space,” we thought. Not actual outer space, but a world created in our studios to make you really feel you’re out there. There’s a tendency for the doctor to promise unearthly wonders to his companions, and then get them trapped in an underground tunnel, attacked by mutant slugs.
Nothing wrong with that of course — it’s kind of what Doctor Who is all about. But for this show we wanted to make an imaginary location as much the star as the town in A Town Called Mercy [episode 3] and New York in the mid-season finale.
When Clara Oswald looks back on her time in the Tardis, this might be the place she remembers. Oh, and say hello to Neil Cross, a great new Doctor Who writer. Got a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot more of him. Actually, any minute now…
Written by Neil Cross
Directed by Farren Blackburn
Doctor Who: The Rings of Akhaten is on Saturday 6 April