David Tennant’s brilliant podcast series kicked off with brand new episodes recently, two of which will surely be must-listens for fans of Doctor Who in particular as he chats with writer Neil Gaiman and Tennant’s former companion, Billie Piper (Rose Tyler)!
Piper was particularly candid about her life, including her pop career and the filming of her first series alongside Christopher Eccleston.
Of course Billie was a popstar before joining Doctor Who; in the interview, she reveals that she needed three years in between her singing and acting careers just to get herself back together again.
When Tennant asked about comparing her being in Doctor Who and being a pop star with three #1 hits, Piper had this to say:
“Sometimes I found that quite hard because, I had three years just living a life that wasn’t particularly normal, but it wasn’t 17 hours a day selling records and being very actively public. I really enjoyed those sort of sloppy years, and then going back and starting Doctor Who reminded me about that. The sort of pressure and responsibility was a big part of it because I was in my early 20s and quite wild. And then you’re the face of a family show. I found that really hard.”
She further explained how they were using ground-breaking technology that had previously only been used in Hollywood. But bringing the show back meant that everything had to be new and they were very well aware of that during filming. She said that it did spoil the enjoyment of making the programme in the early days and that it wasn’t until Series 2 rolled around that everyone felt a lot more safe and secure in what they were doing, allowing for a lot more enjoyment.
Expanding on her answer, Tennant adds that the show took off in Series 1 and by the time he took the role of the Tenth Doctor, they had to get used to crowds watching them film scenes and being bundled in and out of cars in covers so that people couldn’t photograph them and spoil upcoming episodes. He added that it was the closest he’d ever been to feeling like a pop star.
This new run of David Tennant Does A Podcast With… has also featured Neil Gaiman. He wrote one of the best Eleventh Doctor episodes, The Doctor’s Wife. But Gaiman is much more than just a one-time television writer, as he has penned many different projects, including working for DC Comics, as well as the Amazon Prime hit, Good Omens.
Gaiman is a very intelligent man, and this comes across in how he conducts himself. We get some nice insight into the life of a young Gaiman and how when he was at school, he had to see a career’s advisor who told him he would be better becoming an accountant. I had something similar at school, when they asked me what I wanted to do; I wanted to be a writer and actor, and I was told I should be a receptionist. It seems these advisors really like to quash any creativity students have!
There is a piece of writing advice that one should only write what you know, and Gaiman tells Tennant that to a certain extent he follows this and when it came to writing for Doctor Who, which he’s always been a fan off, he knew Doctor Who.
And his knowledge of American comics served him in good stead as he’s written for both Marvel and DC Comics, most notably, The Eternals, Miracle Man, creating the 1602 universe for Marvel, and working on Batman as well as creating The Sandman universe for DC. This universe includes characters like John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Sandman, and Lucifer. Not bad for a would-be accountant.
Also of interest is Gaimain’s upbringing around a number of different religions which he believes helped to fuel his creativeness. He certainly needed it with things like Good Omens and Sandman!
The second series of David Tennant’s brilliant podcast is currently streaming on all the different podcast platforms and his previous series includes interviews with famous personalities like Catherine Tate, Ian McKellen, and Jennifer Garner. It’s definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already.