It may have been a few months since it aired, but the consequences of the revelations in the mid-series finale of Doctor Who, A Good Man Goes To War, are prominent throughout the rest of the season. Join us as we speak to the Director, Peter Hoar about the episode and the show in general.
Earlier this year Peter Hoar, who is no stranger to directing televison, with big shows like Spooks, Hollyoaks and Grange Hill under his belt, took the reigns of Doctor Who – but what did he make of his time on the show and would he return to direct another? We caught up with the young Director, to talk about the hit episode, which saw the revelation that River Song was in fact Amy and Rory’s daughter.
You can read the full interview below.
Nicholas Myers (NM) - Now that Doctor Who has been renewed for another series, would you like to return as to direct another episode? Have you been asked already?
Peter Hoar (PH) – I haven’t been asked as yet but wouldn’t turn down a great offer!
NM – How much did you know about River in order to gauge a feel for how best to deliver the ending? Did Steven inform you of anything prior to filming that we don’t know?
PH – Steven tells us only what’s in the script. I had no idea for example of the recent developments in ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’. And that’s the truth!
NM – This episode featured quite a cliff-hanger. What is your all-time favourite Doctor Who cliff-hanger?
PH – Sarah Jane being left behind at the end of Hand of Fear or Tegan being left behind at the end of Time Flight.. Maybe there’s a pattern here…
NM – Given that the Doctor was calling on allies for help, were you surprised to not see Captain Jack and co?
PH – Not really. The allies in question all owed the doctor something from a time when he had stepped in to save them. This isn’t strictly true of Captain Jack etc
NM – In your post episode commentary you talk about the relationship between Matt and Lorna. Do you think we’ll see her in the show again, maybe in a period before her death?
PH – Who knows?! Lorna is a great character as the assistant who never was but that is the cleverness of it. If she returns to be an assistant for however short a period then the tragedy of her story is lost.
NM – We saw a lot of different emotions in that final 5 minutes – is the darker more vulnerable Doctor something you feel will be more prominent in future episodes?
PH – Almost certainly. I think this is the territory of season 6. I was told by the producer that Steven saw the series as The Ghost Train at the funfair and that last season was the rollercoaster!
NM – In the post episode commentary you mentioned that you were considering not having river show up until the end but that you loved the Stormcage scene too much. Was there anything you did cut & why?
PH – Nothing major. Just little bits here and there as often happens when you sharpen up the story. In fact this story had things added!
NM – In the opening episode of this season the Doctor is shot dead. Do you have a theory on who is behind it? Do you have any ideas on how it might play out?
PH - My theory – it was River Song. Why? – no idea…
NM – Doctor Who relies quite heavily on sets, costumes & locations. Do you prefer to work with real objects/things or do you like the green-screen CGI approach?
PH – I prefer the more organic approach of reality and ‘things’. If I can create it for real, to be seen and touched by the cast, then I believe the performances are stronger. CGI definitely has a place but as a tool to improve reality and create fantasy but not out of proportion.
NM – Are there any Doctor Who villains you would like to direct?
PH – It was the Cybermen so big result there. Not interested in the Daleks – too lumbering. Maybe the Zygons?? The world of prosthetics is ready for that!
NM – Do you have a favourite Doctor Who episode? What is it and why?
PH – Quite a few really. All classic series. Talons of Weng Chiang (the Victorian street scene in Good Man was an homage to it) or Seeds of Doom
NM – Is there anything else you would like to add about the episode? A weird fact, a funny story?
PH – The actor playing the young boy Arthur is my godson Henry. He’s been acting for a few years and appeared in Breaking the Mould that I also directed. Eleanor is his Mum.
Many thanks to Peter for taking to the time to speak with us. Be sure to keep checking back for more Doctor Who news and exclusive interviews.