Matt Smith makes a guest appearance as the Eleventh Doctor in two special episodes of the fourth series of Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures this autumn. The episodes also unite Sarah Jane with another of the Doctor’s former companions, Jo Grant (Katy Manning).
How did your role in The Sarah-Jane Adventures come about?
“The opportunity arose towards the end of filming my first series as Doctor Who and I jumped at the chance. I knew Russell [T Davies] was going to write the episodes, I’m very fond of Lis [Sladen], she’s just lovely, and it’s a privilege to be working with two former companions. I felt such a bond working with the actresses and loved picking their brains about working with their Doctors in the past.”
Who provides the main threat to the Doctor in these episodes?
“The Shansheeth are prominent in these episodes, they are Galactic coffin bearers of the Cosmos and very impressive! They are brilliant, the best. I definitely think we should get them into an episode of Doctor Who.”
Tell us about working with Katy Manning, who was the Doctor’s companion Jo Grant in the ’70s?
“Working with Katy Manning has been wonderful. She’s a lovely person, mad as a box of fish, but totally dynamite! And she is so forthcoming about her time on Doctor Who. She has made me aware of what a privilege it is [to be playing the Doctor]. I’m constantly aware of Doctor Who‘s rich history. There’s a line in my Sarah Jane episodes that refers to a ventilation shaft – when Lis was Tom Baker’s assistant her character got stuck in a lift shaft so my line is: ‘ventilation shaft… that takes me back – or maybe it’s forward.’ So I am aware of the heritage and aware too that I am just another stage in this very brilliant and wonderful show.”