Nowadays more than ever, Doctor Who’s production team goes out of its way to cultivate a safe and friendly atmosphere on set. And despite a few near-misses with death over the years, the show’s cast and crew have all lived to tell the tale.
But that’s not to say it’s always been easy, and in spite of the production team’s efforts – or sometimes because of them – the reality can end up being pretty gruelling.
Some things, like the weather, are beyond anyone’s control. Some things, like fallouts between cast and crew, can’t be foreseen. And some things, like uncomfortable costumes and difficult dialogue, are just par for the course on Doctor Who.
Basically, if you were wondering whether that scene really was as hot/cold/painful/emotional as it looked, the answer’s probably yes! Filming Doctor Who seems like a joy for the most part, but with certain moments over the years, that hasn't always been the case.
10. David Tennant Can't Master His Sadness
It’s tempting to assume that, in emotional scenes, actors are just acting. And of course, fundamentally, they are. But sometimes, these scenes can take just as much of a toll on the performer as their character.
Following his defeat in the Series 3 finale Last of the Time Lords, the Master is shot dead by his wife Lucy, and, out of spite, refuses to regenerate. We see the Doctor plead with him to change his mind, before cradling his lifeless body in his arms.
It's one of the best Doctor/Master moments ever, giving us a fascinating insight into their long and complex relationship. But according to David Tennant, it was a pretty taxing scene to shoot.
“It was tough, this scene,” he remarked on the episode’s DVD commentary, adding that he never felt he “quite got it”, and that the whole ordeal left him feeling “quite depressed”.
Despite this initial disappointment, Tennant was, on the whole, pleased with how the scene came out. So the heartache was worth it!