Giving the cast their own cameras for the duration of filming for series 7 probably hadn’t been the wisest of choices, but everyone had been so heartbroken about the end of Confidential that it seemed like a good idea at the time. It was the next best thing. At least this way, the fans could still see Matt, Karen, Arthur and Alex goofing about and torturing each other like children. It isn’t quite the same as Confidential, but it still has what most people watched it for – the cast. As much as the crew grumbled and refused to admit it, no one really cared about their segments in Confidential anyway.
Now, however, sitting down and going through all the videos in order to find all the best bits from each episode and put them together for online viewing, the editing department is starting to have doubts. It starts out innocently enough when they begin with Arthur’s footage.
The picture shakes as Arthur adjusts his hold on the camera, and then they’re looking at Karen’s pale face in the middle of a night shoot. She beams and waves. “And here…” Arthur begins, his voice deep and dramatic, “We have one of the rarest sights in the universe. Only seen at night and by those who know what they’re looking for, we have…Moonhead.”
Karen covers her face immediately, laughing. “Shut up! I do not have a Moonhead.”
“Tell that to the earth you’re orbiting with around the sun,” he says, zooming in on her forehead. “Move your hands. I want to see if you have craters.”
“Stop!” She says, giggling and turning away. “Where’s Alex? She’ll protect me.”
“She’s busy shooting. And being stalked. You’re stuck with me Gillan.” He finally zooms out and sighs. “Alright. Just let me look at the side of your face and see if Neil Armstrong’s footprint is there. And then I’ll leave you alone.”
“Sod off,” she says, putting her hands down and waving away the camera.
Arthur tsks his disapproval. “You can’t say ‘sod,’ Karen. Children are watching this.”
“No they’re not,” she says. “The editing department is and they’ll just take it out. Maybe they can blur out your face too. That’s probably pretty offensive to children.”
“You started it!”
“Did not! Moonhead.”
Karen sticks out her tongue. “Ratface.”
He sighs. “We’re rubbish entertainment. I miss Confidential.”
“Me too. They were much nicer than you.”
“Oh shove off, Gillan.”
Pausing the video with a snort, the head of the editing department looks to his coworkers. “Take out Karen’s ‘sod’ and we can use this.”
Someone makes a note, nodding.
They continue to watch the footage, laughing at Karen and Matt frolicking in Central Park, rolling their eyes when Arthur turns his camera on himself frequently just to make ridiculous faces. At the end of the video, they have a list of things to use and a list of things to take out. Then, they turn to Karen’s film.
“Okay,” she whispers, obviously peering around the corner of a building and getting a sneaky shot of something. “We have to be very quiet. But I’m going to perform the role of Confidential and get you all a nice shot of Darvill jumping off things and looking ridiculous for the sake of television. Don’t you just love me?”
Just as her camera zooms in on Arthur about to jump from a box and pretend to be confused in the middle of the street, there’s a scuffling next to her and suddenly Matt is right in front of the camera, his grinning face filling up the whole screen.
Karen shrieks and jumps away, jostling the camera, while Matt laughs and a shot of his feet can be seen as Karen points the camera at the ground. “Oh my god, you scared me to death!” She raises her camera to Matt’s smug expression and reaches out a hand, smacking him. “And you ruined my shot with your face!”
“Oi, you were filming Darvill,” he says, pointing at the camera and tapping his finger against the lens. “If anything, I improved your shot.”
She sighs, zooming out and filming the sky overhead as a plane flies over. “Are you done pestering your woman, then?”
“She is not my woman,” Matt grumbles. “And yes. She threw my lens cap at me and went home.”
Karen snorts. “You’re lucky she didn’t stick it where the sun don’t shine, the way you’ve been following her about.”
“Sorry!” She sing-songs, not sounding sorry at all as she turns the camera back to his face. “Anyway, are you actually going to say anything or just film her every move?”
“I dunno,” he says, toeing at the ground with his shoe. “Do you think she’d mind if I just followed her with a camera everywhere? Seems safer.”
“Safer than the eventual restraining order she’d end up serving you with?”
Matt huffs. “Shut up, Gillan. I know what I’m doing.”
“Famous last words,” she intones solemnly. “Now go away and stop uglying up my shots.”
The head editor pauses the video again, frowning at the screen. “Okay, use the beginning. I don’t have a bloody clue what the rest was about.”
They watch the rest of Karen’s footage – various instances of Karen pestering the boys and spying on them, Matt jumping out at Karen every chance he gets and startling her into dropping her camera (it’s a miracle it still works), and Alex waltzing with Arthur around the TARDIS set because they never got a father-daughter dance at River’s wedding.
When the video ends, they move on to Alex’s footage. She hadn’t even used half of her video space, claiming she didn’t have time to film. But she does have a rather good clip of Steven imitating Matt’s attempts to run, which is definitely a keeper.
And the only other footage she has is void of any interaction, just a short clip of Matt:
The camera turns on and for a brief moment, they see nothing but a spot of grass and hear Alex humming the last bars of a Beatles song, and then she’s quiet, pointing her video camera across the field they’re filming in.
On the other side of the field, Matt sits on the ground, long legs stretched out in front of him and his script in his lap. He takes no notice of Alex as she zooms in on his face, intent and concentrate. Brow furrowed and fringe falling into his eyes, he doesn’t look like he’s aware of anything else but the words in front of him.
After a minute, Alex still hasn’t turned her camera to more interesting or entertaining sights and there is only the sound of the wind through the camera’s microphone and Alex’s soft humming starts up once again.
Then, as if finally sensing that he’s being watched, Matt looks up and catches Alex filming him. His grin is bright as he shoves his hair from his face and waves. He mouths from across the field, ‘Hello, Kingston.’
Alex laughs quietly, breathes out a little sigh, and then turns off the camera. There isn’t anything else after that.
Someone makes a note to use the clip of Steven mocking Matt and they change the video to Matt’s in silence, confused by what they’ve just seen. It turns out, Matt’s video isn’t any better – it’s full of nothing but Alex.
“Wait. Why is it so dark? Oh. Bugger.”
Matt takes off the lens cap and makes a pleased noise in the back of his throat as the screen is suddenly filled with clear blue sky. He quickly redirects the camera, the whole picture shuddering dizzily until it focuses on the figure in front of him – Alex in a black corseted dress, her hair piled on top of her head and the sun outlining her from behind, making it look as if she’s glowing from within.
“There she is!” Matt says, and despite being off-screen, the grin in his voice is obvious. “The Kingston!”
Alex grins, waggling her fingers at the camera.
“So how does it feel to drive the Doctor to distraction in that dress, Alex?”
She laughs, throwing her head back, and for a very brief moment, the camera zooms in on her throat and then the smile on her face before zooming out again quickly. “I think the Doctor’s a bit too busy to pay attention to River’s dress, dear.”
“Not true,” he says, sounding petulant. “I’m the Doctor, Kingston, and I think you’ll find I always have time to stop and appreciate that dress. You always get the best costumes and I’d be a bit more put out about it if you didn’t look so bloody good in them.”
“Oh stop it, darling,” she says, rolling her eyes and planting a hand on her hip. “No one likes a flatterer.”
“You wound me, Alex,” he says, and she laughs at whatever face he must be making behind the camera. “Can’t a bloke just proclaim his love for your cleavage?”
She shakes her head, grinning widely as she inches a little closer to the camera and wags a finger at him. “Darling, try to control yourself. This is for children, not your own personal collection.”
He grumbles under his breath.
Alex waves him away, tucking a stray curl behind her ear. “Now, be a good boy and go visit the ladies from the costume department for a while.”
“Alright,” he sighs, and then his voice brightens considerably, “I’ll thank them for your wardrobe this season.”
The sound of Alex’s laughter is cut short as Matt turns his camera off.
There is a very brief clip of the women in the wardrobe department giggling as Matt kisses their cheeks and tells them to keep up the great work before the screen goes dark again, and then Alex is standing on her own across the set, fiddling with a gangster hat.
“And that,” Matt says in a hushed whisper, “is Melody Malone preparing for her role. Takes lot of concentration, apparently. She sent me away because I was breaking her focus, the trollop.”
Totally unaware of Matt’s resentment, Alex stands on the other side of the room, tossing her hat from hand to hand, looking deeply in thought as she mouths something under her breath, eyes on the script resting on the table in front of her.
Matt sighs, zooming in closely on her face. “She knows everyone’s lines by heart, including mine, and she still feels the need to have a bloody cram session five minutes before filming. Overachiever.”
His camera moves down slightly, filming the hat she’s fiddling with. Someone comes up to Matt and begins a conversation but even while he responds, his camera never wavers from Alex; his hands surprisingly steady throughout the chat. Finally, when the other person walks away, Matt zooms out and films Alex putting her script aside and blowing her curls out of her face with an annoyed puff of air.
“Come on, Kingston,” he mutters quietly. “Put it on, love.”
As if hearing him somehow, Alex fluffs her hair and then places the hat on top of her wild curls, tilting it at a jaunty angle. She smoothes her hands over her top and Matt’s camera follows the movement avidly.
She glances in his direction as she moves to walk on set, sees him filming her and rolls her eyes. Matt chuckles, calling out, “Give us a kiss, wife.”
She shakes her head, her hat falling into her eyes. Matt’s pout must have been utterly pathetic because she breaks into laughter and blows him a kiss anyway, turning and sashaying off, hips swaying.
“Tease,” he mutters, and turns off the camera.
“And this,” he says, entering the makeup trailer with a flourish, “is where they make Karen Gillan look like a human being.” He focuses his camera on Alex sitting in a chair, her hair pulled back and someone sweeping a makeup brush over her cheeks. “And they try to make Kingston look even better than she already does. Impossible, really.”
She grins at him over the makeup artist’s shoulder. “They do their best, darling.”
Matt collapses inelegantly into the chair next to her, the camera jarring with the movement. Turning to Alex, he focuses on her face and she raises an eyebrow at him, unamused. “All right, Erica,” he says, addressing the woman applying blush to Alex’s cheeks. “What are you doing to my wife? Enquiring minds want to know. Every fan watching this is on the edge of their seat.”
Erica laughs as Alex sighs in exasperation and futilely attempts to shield herself from his camera while he does his best to thwart her. “Well, I’ve already applied foundation and now I’m putting a bit of color in her cheeks -”
“Pfft,” he says dismissively. “Unnecessary. I can just make her blush all day with my charm and innuendo and save you the trouble.”
Alex laughs. “Of the two of us, honey, you’re the one who usually ends up red in the face.”
“Only because you’re shameless and know no bounds, Kingston.”
“And you like it,” she says, smirking.
“Always. Now, Erica, tell our audience about the voodoo ritual sacrifice you perform to make her hair look like that. Do you just let the blood of small rodents or must you stab the heart of a dove first?”
And then Erica kicks him out of the trailer, claiming she can’t apply Alex’s lipstick if she won’t stop laughing at Matt.
The video changes to the parking lot of BBC Studios, the picture jumping up and down as Matt jogs to catch up with Alex, who is slipping her purse strap over her shoulder and walking slowly to her car.
“Kingston, are you trying to avoid me?”
Alex turns quickly, glancing over her shoulder and laughing when she sees him. “How could I avoid my very own shadow? Besides, it’s sort of difficult to avoid a man who stays in the flat two doors down from mine. Now kindly shove off, darling, before I do something drastic with that lens cap. Again.”
“Rude,” he mutters, trailing behind her and rather cheekily zooming in on her arse for a moment. “And I have to film you. I’m documenting your journey as you realize what a catch I am.”
Alex snorts and keeps walking. “Oh, honey, I already know that.”
“And yet you continue to threaten me with my own lens cap,” he says. “You’re an enigma, Kingston.”
Once Alex reaches her car, she swivels on her heel and Matt is so close to her that her hair smacks the camera as she turns. “You’re a great catch, honey. Fantastic. Some girl will be very lucky to have you one day. Now, why don’t you go find her and pester her with that camera of yours, hmm?”
“Now why would I want her when you’re so entertaining?” He asks, bending his head and the camera until Alex’s whole face fills the screen, her eyes sparkling and her cheeks flushed.
Shutting her eyes and laughing, Alex shoves him away and unlocks her car. “Goodbye, Matthew.”
“Bye honeybuns,” he says, holding out his hand for the camera to see as he waves her off. “See you at home.”
She rolls her eyes and shuts the door, but Matt doesn’t move until her car disappears from the lot.
“You are a creepy stalker.”
Matt jumps at the new voice, camera spinning around to focus on Arthur standing behind him, arms crossed over his chest and an amused smirk on his face.
“What? I am not!”
“You are. I’m just waiting for the day she finds you outside her bushes with some bloody binoculars.”
“It’s not stalking,” Matt insists, zooming in on Arthur’s nose just to be a pest. “It’s pursuing. There’s a difference.”
“Can I be there when you try to explain that difference to a judge when Alex files a restraining order?”
“Oh bugger off.”
The next shot is a sunny field – it looks like the same one Alex had filmed Matt in with her video camera – and nothing can be seen but various crewmembers traipsing through the long grass. Matt continues to film as he walks along, the camera swerving to the right and ahead, where nothing is visible but a line of trees in the distance. Then, the picture shakes slightly as he adjusts his hold on the camera and begins filming the ground as he walks.
For a while, there is nothing to be seen but Matt’s boots as he walks through the field, and nothing can be heard but the very distant sound of voices, the rustle of grass, and Matt singing under his breath.
“You won’t regret it, young girls don’t forget it. Love is their whole happiness, and it’s oh so easy. Try a little tenderness…”
Finally, Matt comes to a stop at the base of a tree, making a triumphant noise of delight as the camera shows a grouping of bright purple flowers.
“Aha,” he murmurs, and bends down to pick them one by one. “There you are, lovelies. You’re coming with me.” He gathers the little cluster of flowers in his fist gently and stands again, starting back the way he came. “You’ll look much prettier where I’m taking you. Trust me.” He stops. “Oh god. I’m talking to flowers. She has reduced me to talking to flowers. Get a grip, Smith.”
He walks the rest of the way back to his friends in palpably determined silence. Walking right past Steven and the director, and Karen and Arthur performing some kind of strange dance, Matt doesn’t stop weaving through people until he reaches Alex. She sits on the ground, legs tucked under her and arms stretched out behind her, supporting her as she leans back and tilts her head to the sky, eyes closed.
Matt stops the moment the camera focuses on her, and for a moment, he simply films her sitting there, basking in the rare bit of English sun. He doesn’t move - not even the sound of his breathing can be heard – and for once, the camera in his hands is steady.
When Alex blinks her eyes open and squints up at the sky, the camera jumps as if Matt has been startled, and then he begins to move again, walking slowly toward where she sits. Alex glances at him with a smile. “Still carrying that thing around? I think I’ve given up on mine.”
“Not giving up yet,” he mumbles, and jostles the camera as he moves to sit on the ground next to her. “Got you something.”
“Did you?” Alex brightens, peering at him curiously.
“Would I lie about gifts?” He asks, and the angle of the camera tilts to the side slightly, like he is reaching into his coat pocket. “Just…saw them when I was taking a walk and thought you might like them.”
Alex beams at the sight of the purple wildflowers, reaching out to take them from Matt’s outstretched hand. “Oh, darling! They’re beautiful!” She scrambles forward, clutching her bouquet, and there’s a smacking sound as she plants a kiss on his cheek. “Thank you.”
“Anything for the wife,” he says, sounding flustered. “Here, give me one.”
She hands him a flower and follows willingly when Matt grasps her elbow and maneuvers her closer to him. The camera catches a quick, up-close glimpse of Alex’s curls before pulling back, and Matt films the flower he has just tucked behind her ear.
“The camera is loving you right now, Kingston.”
Alex preens, tilting her head to the side to allow the camera see the flower better. “How does it look?”
“You have pretty earlobes,” Matt answers, and she laughs.
“You’re exhausted, honey. Turn off the camera and lie down for a while.”
“What?” He asks, zooming out to capture her face on the screen. “Any man can tell you your face is gorgeous – and it is, mind you. But how often does someone compliment your earlobes?”
“See? I’m just making sure all your body parts feel equally loved and appreciated.” He reaches out a hand, touching a finger gently to the flower tucked behind her ear. “Today’s your earlobes. Tomorrow, expect your arse to get a lot of attention.”
He laughs, sounding rather pleased with himself, and before he can react, Alex reaches out and tickles him in the side quite viciously. Matt jerks in surprise and the camera falls from his hand and onto the ground as he falls back into the grass and Alex moves to hover over him and tickle him mercilessly.
For several moments, there is only breathless laughter and shrieks, the camera glimpsing Alex’s foot and one of Matt’s flailing hands. Finally, the laughter dies down and the camera is picked up once more. Alex must have it now, because she turns the camera to film Matt lying on the ground, curled into himself protectively and grinning, his face red.
“Give up now, Mr. Smith?”
He nods, wide grin softening into a fond smile as he watches her. “I surrender,” he says softly.
Alex makes a pleased noise of triumph and the picture goes black.
The next clip opens on Alex dancing with Arthur on the TARDIS set to Sweet Child O Mine, the same father-daughter dance that Karen had filmed. Except Matt doesn’t focus long on the pair. Instead, his attention seems to be on Alex entirely, his camera zooming in on her and ignoring Arthur completely.
He films the back of Alex’s curly head where it rests on Arthur’s shoulder, waiting patiently until Arthur twirls her to face the camera. Alex grins as Arthur says something in her ear, her whole face lighting up as she laughs.
When Arthur twirls her again and Alex is facing away from him once more, Matt moves the camera to her back, lingers on her arse for a moment, and then continues down, filming her legs in River’s skirt and the heels on her feet.
Arthur dips her and Matt zooms in on Alex’s throat as she tilts her head back, and then to her hands as she clutches at Arthur’s arms, her fingers digging into his shirt as if she’s afraid he won’t be able to keep her upright.
As the song ends, Alex pulls away with a kiss to Arthur’s cheek and begins to clap along with everyone else, laughing. After one last glimpse of her smiling face, Matt switches off the camera.
With five minutes remaining on the video, the last clip shows Matt trailing after Alex as she climbs the steps in the block of flats where they’re staying. “I’m just saying,” he calls after her, “it wouldn’t hurt to document you in your natural habitat as well as on set. So the audience gets to know the real Kingston.”
Alex stops halfway up the stairs to shoot him a look over her shoulder. “What you see is what you get, Matthew. Now turn that bloody thing off.”
She starts up the stairs again and Matt follows after her, filming her reaching the landing and starting down the corridor. She fishes through her handbag for her keys and he whinges, “But Alex, it’s a documentary. I can’t just turn it off -”
Reaching her door, Alex whirls around with her keys in hand and her expression murderous. “It is not a documentary, it’s a sodding handheld camera for behind the scenes footage. This is not behind the scenes. This is me going into my flat and you pestering the life out of me.”
“Well, technically, this is behind the scenes. Sort of.”
She releases a frustrated sigh that comes out sounding more like a growl, shoving her key into the lock and pushing open her door. “Alright, I have had enough of you, Matthew. You are going to tell me why you’ve been following me around with that thing all season. Right now.”
Silently, Matt follows behind her as she stalks through the door and tosses her purse carelessly onto the sofa. She whirls on him, hands on her hips as she gives him a pointed look.
“And put the bloody camera down while you explain yourself.”
Without a word, Matt places the camera on her coffee table, and by the way the picture shakes, his hand must be trembling. But in his anxiety, he has forgotten to turn the camera off, and from this angle, nothing is visible but Alex’s living room wall and her legs.
“I’m sorry if I’ve been bothering you,” he says quietly. “It was just a bit of fun - ”
“No,” she interrupts, voice hard. “Don’t lie to me, Matt. Why have you been filming me so much? Is it part of some plan to drive me absolutely mad? Because it’s working, darling. You can stop now.”
Matt huffs and the camera’s microphone picks up the sound of him shuffling his feet nervously. “I’m not trying to drive you mad. I just…want you to notice me.”
“What are you talking about? Of course I notice you.”
“Well yeah, now. It’s impossible not to, when I’m following you about like the bloody paparazzi.”
“Oh, you - ” Alex sighs, obviously frustrated. “I noticed you before then! I work with you every day. We get coffee together in the mornings. You read to me in funny voices when I have a headache! I’ve noticed you!”
“That’s not the way I wanted you to notice me.”
Exasperated, she asks, “Then how did you want me to notice you?”
“Oh, you sodding infuriating woman,” Matt growls, and suddenly his lanky legs come into view as well as he stalks up to Alex. “Like this.”
For a moment, there is silence, but by the proximity of their legs, it’s obvious what they’re doing.
There’s a distinct smacking together of lips, and then Alex’s voice. “Wait, Matt – what -”
“Shut up, Kingston,” he grumbles breathlessly. “I’m trying to show you I’m in love with you.”
“Is that what this has been about?” She asks, and if possible, shifts even closer to him. “I love you too, silly man. And I certainly don’t need to stalk you with a camera to work up the nerve to tell you!”
“Then what the hell were you waiting for?!”
“I don’t know! The right time, I suppose. I wasn’t even sure I was reading your signals correctly. You’re quite the flirt, dear.”
“Well, if you were paying attention you’d know that lately, all my flirting has been directed at you.”
She laughs quietly. “As it should be, husband.”
There is a moment of silence before Matt, who seems to have replayed their whole conversation in his head and realized the significance of it, chokes out, “Wait. Did you say you love me?”
“Yes. And you love me.”
“Wasn’t a question, darling.”
Matt growls. “Shut up so I can kiss you again, Kingston.”
Silence again, this time punctuated by the occasional smack of lips, the rustle of clothes and soft moans. Occasionally, there is a tenderly quiet whisper that even the camera’s microphone can’t decipher.
And then, suddenly the angle shifts as the camera is lifted. The view changes from Matt and Alex’s legs to their whole bodies, the two of them standing in Alex’s living room and wrapped intimately around each other, snogging passionately.
“The editing department is going to love this,” Arthur says. “Do you think it’ll make the cut?”
Matt extracts a hand from Alex’s hair momentarily to give Arthur the one-fingered salute, not even bothering to pull his mouth from hers. Alex smiles against his lips and reaches out to grasp his hand and pull it back to her, her other hand sliding up to caress his cheek with her fingers. Wrapping his arm tighter around her waist and hauling her closer into him, Matt slips his hand gently from her grasp and back into her curls, proceeding to ignore Arthur and the camera completely.
“Ah, love,” Arthur sighs, and turns off the camera.
For a long moment, the small editing room is totally silent as they all stare at the screen in astonishment. The head of the editing department can’t seem to close his gaping mouth, and someone mutters quietly, “I knew it.”
The woman with the notepad in the corner is sniffling and wiping at her eyes like she’d just watched a romantic comedy. “That was beautiful,” she sniffs. “And age difference doesn’t even matter, y’know? Not when you love somebody like that.”
The head of the editing department snaps his mouth shut with a scowl. “Pull yourself together, woman.”
She nods and wipes at her eyes. “So…do they know we have their videos?”
In the corner, a man in black-framed glasses shakes his head slowly. “I sort of took them without checking with any of the cast first. Didn’t think they’d mind.”
The head editor claps his hands together, blowing out a steadying breath. “Right. Let’s go through this again and try to find something both entertaining and relatively kid-friendly, yeah?”
“Pft,” someone scoffs. “Good luck with that, mate.”
A frantic knock at the door sends them all jumping nearly a foot in the air, and at the sound of Matt’s voice, they turn to stare at the door, wide-eyed.
“Uh, guys?” Matt clears his throat uncomfortably. “You haven’t, uh, watched my video yet, have you? Because it’s rubbish and I really don’t think you need to see it. Waste of time, really. Oh god, Alex is going to murder me.” He knocks again. “Guys? Are you in there? Can I have my camera back? Please?”
The head of the editing department crosses his arms over his chest. “I’m not answering that.”
“Neither am I!”
“Well someone has to!”
“It isn’t going to be me.”
“Wait,” the man in the black-framed glasses looks up, eyes wide. “If we keep the video, we’ll have to tell Steven what’s on it.”
The head of the editing department sighs painfully. “Let him in.”
Someone unlocks the door and Matt stumbles inside, cheeks flushed and eyes wide. “Uh, hello.” He waves awkwardly.
They stare at him.
“You’ve watched it already, haven’t you?”
“Right.” He winces. “So…I dropped my camera and damaged it and the footage on it beyond repair. And we never speak of this again.”
The head of the editing department nods slowly. “That’ll work.”
Matt beams and leaves the room clutching his video camera like it’s a precious treasure – and considering what is on it, they suppose it is.