Doctor Who's Matt Smith 'punched pillow' over nerves

Sarah Roker
Digital Spy
Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

From Digital Spy

Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat has revealed that Matt Smith used to "punch his pillow" in frustration when he first played the Doctor.

Moffat has served as showrunner on the BBC sci-fi series since 2010, and will be departing following the upcoming Christmas special 'Twice Upon a Time'.

He opened up to the Radio Times about his happiest moments, biggest nightmares and what it was like for Smith to replace David Tennant as the iconic Time Lord.

Photo credit: Tabatha Fireman / Getty Images
Photo credit: Tabatha Fireman / Getty Images

Recalling that people thought Smith was "too young, too pretty, his chin is ridiculous", Moffat added: "Matt went through a year of being hated, before the show went out. He still talks about it. He used to go to bed and punch his pillow in his frustration."

"He couldn't believe in himself or that it was going to work. But then it did – everybody realised what we'd known for a year, that he's not just a young pretty actor, he's an awesome actor."

Moffat also spoke about the problems he faced as a writer, pinpointing the most recent series and the 50th anniversary episode as his greatest challenges for very different reasons.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

"Around the middle of the last series when my mum was dying and then died – that was awful," he explained. "I was writing [episode six] 'Extremis' and still had the two-part finale and this Christmas special to go.

"And I was thinking that the only thing that's keeping me going at all is that I can see the finish line. I'm just crawling towards that."

He went on to add: "['The Day of the Doctor'] was an impossible commission – to meet the expectations of the audience and the BBC, given that they wanted it to be that year's Olympics without the money," he noted.

"Yet it did achieve all that. It wasn't fun to do, but it was a rare occasion where I bigged something up and it lived up to it. Everybody everywhere was happy."

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Current lead Peter Capaldi will be leaving Doctor Who alongside Moffat this Christmas, where Jodie Whittaker will be taking control of the TARDIS as the 13th Doctor.

Series 11 is rumoured to be airing in autumn 2018.

Watch the Doctor Who Christmas special 2017 trailer below:

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