Be careful what you wish for. “Something awesome,” is Clara’s request for her first trip in the Tardis, so the Time Lord obliges by showing her the Rings of Akhaten, seven worlds orbiting a sacred star with a freakily diverse range of inhabitants.
Neill Gorton of Millennium FX has created the masks and costumes of Doctor Who’s monsters since 2005. “I’ve always wanted to do a scene like the Star Wars cantina,” he says. “We can’t afford to make 30-odd brand-new aliens all at once, so over the past few years I’ve collected various moulds and casts. In my spare time I’d quietly sculpt another alien then bash out another one, so that when the opportunity came around, we could go, ‘Aha! Look, we’ve got all this stuff that we can utilise.'”
For Matt Smith’s new co-star, Jenna-Louise Coleman, it’s turned out to be one of her favourite episodes. “It’s so weird and wonderful,” she says. “It shows Clara for the first time what life with the Doctor will be like as we explore all these strange new worlds together.”