River Runs Deep Doctor Who Confidential


River Runs Deep

Behind-the-scenes look at the making of Doctor Who. Alex Kingston talks about her role as archaeologist River Song and there's a feature on the mysterious Dr Moon.


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Transcript


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This week on Confidential -

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Professor Song, in the library, with the Doctor.

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River knows his future.

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She knows where he's going.

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You're squabbling like a married couple!

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Whether they are in fact husband and wife is there to be seen.

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Still want more spoilers?

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Well, join us as we also go exclusively backstage to give you the Doctor Moon on a memory stick.

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I'm very good!

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Saved her!

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As we reach the concluding chapter in the library,

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the future is already written

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for both the Doctor and his adventurous companion to come.

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My character, her name's River Song.

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She's a time-travelling archaeologist

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and she has had...

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a very close relationship

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with the Doctor of the future.

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What's interesting

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is that the Doctor is encountering someone, for the first time,

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who has an intimate knowledge of him.

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-Hello, sweetie.

-Get out.

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How intimate, we're not entirely sure,

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but they've obviously got a lot of shared history still to have.

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If I just bring you round so you're shining a torch over there.

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And then, when turn your back to the Doctor...

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The Doctor is full of doubt about who Song is.

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I mean, she's kind of come up to him,

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she's got a screwdriver like his.

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She's got information about him.

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River Song is one of the most important characters we've seen in the series.

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Professor River Song. Archaeologist.

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Lovely. As you're leaving now, you need to set up a quarantine...

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It's not your ordinary guest star cropping up saying, "Hello, Doctor."

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It's not just an archaeologist he bumps into.

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It's someone who's vital to his life.

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I always wanted to be Sigourney Weaver in Aliens.

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And I guess maybe this is the closest I'll ever get to that,

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so I might as well go for it!

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Hey, who turned out the lights?

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Hey, who turned out the lights?

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This way, quickly! Move!

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Hey, who turned out the lights?

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-Who turned out the lights?

-Run!

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Hey, who turned out the lights?

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The Doctor is always seen as the authority,

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and yet here is a figure who sort of throws in curve balls,

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because she's one up on him, she knows things.

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Her sonic screwdriver is actually, although it might look tattier than his, it's more advanced.

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What's wrong with it?

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-A signal coming from somewhere, interfering with it.

-Use the red settings.

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It doesn't have a red setting.

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-Well, use the dampers.

-It doesn't have dampers.

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It will do one day.

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And he's completely freaked by this because he's not in control.

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She's wearing the trousers.

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And also I think he understands that she could be the love of his life.

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He understands that even if he doesn't feel it,

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and that must be a terrifying thing.

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Who are you?

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-Professor River Song, University...

-To me? Who are you to me?

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Again, spoilers.

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What unsettles him is the level of intimacy they seem to have shared.

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The level of intimacy with which she treats him is peculiar for anyone

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in the Doctor's life, let alone someone he hasn't even met yet.

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Pretty-boy, with me, I said.

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-Oh,

-I'm

-pretty boy?

-Yes!

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Oh, that came out a bit quick.

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-Pretty?

-Meh...

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I just notice, as women do notice, something's going on.

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And she wants to flush that out.

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Not romantically, but...

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She likes travelling with the Doctor and this is too important for her

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to let someone swan in with their old, battered sonic screwdriver

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and lay claim to him.

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-And action.

-What are you talking about?

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You're just talking rubbish.

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Do you know him or don't you?

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-Donna? Quiet. I'm working.

-Sorry.

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-Donna. You're Donna. Donna Noble.

-Yeah?

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'She is the keeper of secrets.'

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She knows an awful lot about the Doctor that she doesn't let on.

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And action.

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I do know the Doctor, but in the future.

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His personal future.

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So why don't you know me?

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Where am I in the future?

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I think it's a big shiver, that moment,

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and a sort of a point towards what's to come

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in the rest of this series.

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The Doctor.

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In the TARDIS.

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-Next stop, everywhere.

-Spoilers.

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'That's a tempting thing, isn't it?

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'There it is, your future -

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'what's gonna happen to you - there's who she is.'

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There's a handy guide

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to how to win against various other monsters, you know?

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Of course you'd want to have a little look.

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Shall we peek at the end?

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'I wouldn't look into the future.'

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No, I think you'd be mad.

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The future's gonna come, do you know what I mean?

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Whether we like it or not, and if you know it's not gonna be good,

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what a miserable time waiting for it!

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I'd rather just stay in the ignorance that it's all gonna be fine.

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Take two.

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Nostalgia about the future - only Doctor Who can do that,

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and that's great, it's wonderful,

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it's one of my favourite things,

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but the subliminal message is,

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"Oh, you've missed the glory days. Remember when it was good?"

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You know when you see a photograph of someone you know,

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but it's from years before you knew them?

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It's like they're not quite...

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finished, they're not done yet.

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So, with a stake in the future of Doctor Who,

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I thought it would be really good to have a character

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who's doing the opposite, coming along saying,

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-"Oh, the Doctor

-I

-knew, he was really great."

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So instead of saying, "The show WAS fantastic,"

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you're saying, "Wait till the next guy."

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Back on location, the production team are preparing to film a first for Donna Noble...

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As the Doctor languishes in the library,

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his companion has her own troubles in time and cyber space.

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This episode is perhaps the first time

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we've seen Donna go off on a little adventure of her own,

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but I think that's really only in story terms,

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because she doesn't know she's having one on her own.

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She doesn't remember the Doctor.

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Thank you, for a take, please, turning over.

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And action!

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No more dreams, then? The Doctor?

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The blue box, time and space...?

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How did we get here?

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We came down the stairs.

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There's this really clever device that Steven Moffatt's written,

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where time, in Donna's world, jumps...

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Shall we go down to the river?

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..exactly the way it jumps on TV.

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You said "river", and suddenly we're feeding ducks.

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-When a scene cuts...

-Hello, Lee.

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-Hello...

-..time has moved on.

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How did we leave it? Him and me?

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I got the impression he was inviting you fishing.

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She finds herself thinking...

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So...fishing...

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.."I was there a second ago."

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What am I gonna do with you?

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Steven was very keen on us, to use normal, televisual "grammar", to make that jump.

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I play a character called Dr Moon,

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who is the keeper of the mainframe, he looks after the computer,

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he makes things happen, he heals...

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It's a very existential role, he sort of fills in the gaps.

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-Hello, Donna...

-Who are you?

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I'm Dr Moon. I've been treating you since you came here two years ago.

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Oh, God!

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Dr Moon, I'm so sorry.

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He's a very enigmatic character.

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I didn't know you for a moment.

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And then you remembered.

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He plays a certain tone of voice.

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You've done so much in seven years, Donna.

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Sometimes it feels more like 70.

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Mind you, sometimes it feels like no time at all.

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Obviously, in Dr Who, in the first five minutes of any given story,

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loads of sinister people turn up and smirk unconvincingly at the camera.

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That's how Dr Who operates, everyone does that in Dr Who.

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So obviously, Dr Moon seems mysterious and sinister.

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-Donna!

-Oops, sorry.

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Mrs Angelo's rhubarb surprise. Will I never learn?

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The Doctor...

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I saw the Doctor!

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Yes, you did, Donna, and then...you forgot.

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He looks after people, makes sure they don't realise where they are,

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because that would be painful,

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makes sure they don't escape, cos that would be dangerous.

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So he's actually entirely for the good.

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I would like to think Dr Moon is a, you know, is trying to protect CAL,

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rather than being a malevolent presence.

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Partly because Colin Salmon was so nice!

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The doctor's swansong successfully saves River,

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but filming the finale was one hard drive for the cast.

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-This is the mansion where they're going to live happily ever after.

-161, take one.

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It's OK.

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You're safe.

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You'll always be safe here.

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The Doctor fixed the data core.

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And pause. Astronauts in, please.

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We definitely wanted to suggest that this is a kind of heaven,

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maybe not in that specifically Christian way or any other faith way,

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but a kind of, as a metaphor for heaven

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where River Song and the rest of the astronauts and the little girl end up

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is this beautiful calm, serene, green place

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where they can live happily ever after.

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Given the straight choice between oblivion

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and the run of all human history and all human literature,

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I'll take the run of all human history and all human literature.

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I think that's quite a good retirement plan.

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Pretty much as close to heaven as you're going to get.

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That's what the Doctor gives River at the end -

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an eternal retirement - which is nice of him.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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E-mail [email protected]

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Behind-the-scenes look at the making of Doctor Who. Alex Kingston talks about her role as time-travelling archaeologist River Song, the sinister world of the library is explored and there's a feature on the mysterious Dr Moon and Donna's adventures away from the Doctor. Writer Russell T Davies discusses the programme's mythology and renewed success.


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