Simon Fisher-Becker (‘Doctor Who’: ‘The Wedding of River Song’) interview

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Last seen losing his head to the Headless Monks in ‘A Good Man Goes To War’, Simon Fisher-Becker returns to Doctor Who as Dorium Maldavar in the upcoming Series 6 finale, in which the Doctor makes his final journey to the shores of Lake Silencio in Utah.

Titled ‘The Wedding of River Song’, the episode will air at 7.05pm on Saturday 1st October on BBC One.

CultBox caught up with Simon to find out more…

How are you doing and what have you been up to since we spoke earlier this year?

“I’m tickedyboo! I’ve been mostly teaching. One of the benefits of being in Doctor Who is that people now know what I’m talking about! I’ve been invited to various places to give little talks about getting on in the industry.”

Have you been to any conventions over the summer and what sort of reaction do you get from fans?

“I’ve been to two or three actually. I have to say, I’m constantly amazed at the response to Dorium, I’m very pleased that he fans love him. Long may he survive!”

Did you enjoy watching the finished cut of ‘A Good Man Goes To War’ when it was shown on TV?

“The episode as a whole I thought was superb. I was as surprised as everybody else about the revelation at the end. I had no idea, because when we did the read-through we had a different ending. The revelation at the read-through was that the cot tells you the Doctor’s real name.”

Without giving too much away, can you tell us a bit about ‘The Wedding of River Song’?

“Does the Doctor meet his doom and gloom, as we’re led to believe? It looks as if he will! I can say, because it’s in the Radio Times, that Dorium does come back.

“Of course the question I keep being asked is how do I come back, because I lost my head in Episode 7. The various ideas that fans have had has been fascinating! What I can say is that my entire dialogue is with the Doctor.”

The episode looks completely insane from the trailer. What was your reaction when you read the script?

“Originally, after I’d lost my head, I thought that was it for Dorium, unless they go backwards in time. I certainly didn’t expect to come back so soon. When I saw the script I was bouncing around like Tigger! If they keep even just a fraction of what they filmed, Dorium is a good feature throughout.”

Did you wonder how they were going to bring the script to life on screen?

“Having worked on the show and seen what they did with the effects on Episode 7, it was completely different to how I’d visualised it. So that’s one of the things I’m looking forward to seeing actually!”

Do you like how ambiguous Dorium’s motives are?

“It’s wonderful, he’s like an onion. You pull away one piece and there’s about 27 layers underneath, so yes, it’s brilliant to play Dorium. Like every human being, he is multilayered and I think at the core he is quite a decent chap. He just doesn’t like to show it!”

Do you have any sort of back-story in your head to fill in the gaps about his character?

“Yes, I’ve created a back-story in a sense. In previous scripts, there were references to Dorium’s mother, which in the final cut didn’t appear.

“So because of that, I wondered if he had other relations. I’ve created a rather batty aunt called Delirium and his brother’s called Dorcas and his sister’s called Domestos, but it’s all in my head!”

Mark Gatiss’s character in the episode looks like he also had a long make-up job – whose took longest?

“To be honest, my make-up is very simple. With Mark Gatiss, the first conversation I had with him he was in full make-up. It was very early in the morning and I said to him ‘you must have been up at the crack of dawn’ and he replied ‘yes, shit o’clock as I like to call it!’.”

What was Mark Gatiss like?

“He came to my trailer and we had a nice chat, he’s a very nice chap. Working with the entire team is marvellous. It’s really not a job at all; I just go off and play! My part of the jigsaw is just to turn up on time and know my lines.

“What’s great about working with Matt Smith as an actor is that he does look you right in the eye which really helps. It’s such good fun!”

You mentioned last time that you’d love to come back again in future. If Dorium does return, what sort of thing would you like to see him do?

“It would be lovely to do another story with Dorium and perhaps see a bit more of Dorium and how he relates to the Doctor. But you need to see the finale to see how he really relates to the Doctor!”

Are there any classic Doctor Who monsters that you’d like to have scenes with?

“Well, I must admit that as a child I did like the Sea Devils. I think it’d be quite interesting to bring them back.”

Did you end up going to Italy for horror film The Wrath of the Crows?

“We filmed some of it in Birmingham – totally out of sequence, I have no idea how it relates to the whole plot – but then I don’t know what happened. Going to Italy has been postponed twice now, so whether or not that’ll happen, who knows? That’s showbiz luvvie!”

What else have you got coming up?

“I’ve got a murder-mystery coming up in Stevenage on the 18th November, then I’m doing a little project in Iceland, then a couple more conventions. And I’m doing a couple of episodes of Game of Thrones soon, it’s all very exciting. I’m a High Priest. Exciting times!”

> Read our previous interview with Simon.

> Order the Series 6 DVD boxset on Amazon.

> Order the Series 6 Blu-ray boxset on Amazon.

Watch the trailer…