Samuel Anderson: Danny Pink’s Interview From The Archive

    The following is a transcription of an interview with Samuel Anderson, recorded when he was in Glasgow for a convention on the 23rd of August 2015. However, the interview was never published at the time and remained within my personal archive, but now at last, it is unveiled to the world…

    Danny Pink, as played by Samuel Anderson, in Series 8 of Doctor Who.

    Samuel Anderson Interview

    Great to have you with us here in Glasgow, Samuel. So, let’s start by asking – what was your first job?

    My first job in life? Oh, acting job. …I was gonna say I had a paper round. I had a paper round, and uhm, one day I called in sick. I didn’t want to do it, I wanted to go to football and the guy that I called arrived at my house with the paper as I was getting in the van to go to football. (chuckles) That was the first job I lost!

    My first acting job… I did, Doctors! Though I was still in drama school. I had a few weeks left of drama school and got a part in Doctors. It was the most terrifying thing ever. Like, they make that at a neckbreak (sic) pace. It’s like turn up – okay, rehearsal, and then we’ll go for it in… That was the first thing I did. And I did it three times!

    Quite the start. And different from where you’d be in a Cyberman suit years later. Tell me, what was that like as an experience?

    Oh, that. It wasn’t very comfortable. Uhm, you know, it’s such a secretive world. Doctor Who. They don’t… They don’t even tell us anything. I got a phone call one Friday after I’d left Cardiff, and they were like: “Oh, we miss you and working with you. Oh, maybe next week, maybe, perhaps, there’s a chance we might ask for you to go south and get fitted for a Cyberman suit.” I was like: “What do you mean, maybe?”

    [And their reply was] “Well, maybe, we might turn you into a Cyberman. But, you know, maybe not.”

    So, I’m around and like – yeah, I’ll do it. So, I went to this place north of London. It was like, uh, <Location has been redacted in editorial>, and try the suit on. And you know, for ten minutes, it was brilliant. You were in a room, it was like “how are you?” and waving.

    They actually got someone my height, my kind of measurements but left-handed. So, after an hour, my right arm was like “Oh my veins.” Because the guy they modelled it on – his right arm was smaller than his left.

    And yeah, it was the hottest day ever of that year on the first day [of filming in the suit]. So, you gotta drink water… but that makes you go to the toilet. Going to the toilet in a Cyberman suit takes half an hour. But yeah, it was fun. It was tough but fun…

    Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink in Doctor Who (Via BBC)

    Samuel Anderson’s Doctor Who Episodes

    And of the episodes you worked on, which was your favourite?

    I think Death in Heaven. That was the most demanding one to do. I was doing… I was filming Trollied [Sky One sitcom that Samuel had then just begun a regular role on as Daniel Wilson] at the same time. So, I was doing two jobs. I didn’t know where I was! But yeah, that was a good one. Wake up at four o’clock in the morning to put that thing on my face, living the dream.

    But when you went up for the role, were you told that it was a sizeable one or…?

    No, yeah, like when I auditioned, they said it was for one episode, but the character might be a recurring character. And then I got the job. Then I was like… well, actually, I knew Jenna before. From uhm, Emmerdale. And I just texted her “See you on set.”, thinking it would just be an in-and-out. Like a quick job. I’d done loads of little ‘one-dayers’ here and there. And she texted back like: “No, this is good man.” Well, actually, like “AHHHHHH”. (Samuel demonstrates a very excitable squeal.) For five minutes. And she was like: “Sammy, this is gonna change your life. Lots of loveeeeee.”

    Speaking of – how did you react initially when you found out you’ve gotten the part?

    To be honest, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Like I said, they didn’t tell me I was gonna be in it for the long-term. Uhm, I thought it was just an in-and-out. A day’s job. But I was happy! I was sat… It was last November. It was the first time I experienced Thanksgiving.You wake up with a bit of a dusty head, shall we say. And I got the phone call from my agent saying, “You’ve got the part”. I got off the phone, and I was like: “Yeah, I’ve got a little job. Yeah, it’s wicked. Doctor Who.”

    Then, my agent called back and was like: “Don’t tell anyone.” Ahaha! But, yeah, I was hungover when I got the part!

    Was there anything in particular that you added to the character of Danny Pink when you went into the audition, and then after as you worked your way through readthroughs?

    Uhm, not really. Just my interpretation of Steven Moffat’s writing. Oh, the guy… he’s such a good writer! Just do what he says, kind of. Yeah. I think once he got to know me, it was written towards me.

    And of course, on the show, you always hear that it’s such a positive experience. How did you find it?

    Yeah, everyone got along. But the whole thing was a tightly run ship. I think part of the reason why the show works so well is because everyone on it loves it.

    Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink in Doctor Who (Via BBC)

    Quickfire Questions Round

    Now… who’s your favourite Doctor?


    And excluding Peter?

    Oh, you can’t do that to me. Make me choose and then take my choice away from me. Ha! Hm… I actually can’t remember his name. What’s the Doctor in the one with the three of them? The War Doctor? He’s incredible. Him.

    What monster would you say is the scariest of those that have been in the show over all these years?

    I mean, I don’t scare easy. …The Doctor’s probably the scariest thing there! But other than that, the Cybermen are pretty flashy. The Daleks? Not really. Just run up the stairs.

    Oh, not these days. They can get them up!

    Not anymore? They go up the stairs now? Oh, great. (laughs) Missy’s quite bad. Michelle… she’s a great actor. She’s just hilariously horrible. I think, actually, if that character came in here and sat down – we’d be like: Ohhhhh!

    Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink in Doctor Who (Via BBC)

    Final thoughts

    Was it great to be asked back for the Christmas special: Last Christmas?

    Yeah… I was dead! I was so surprised. But again, like with Doctor Who, they called to check my availability. Like: “What do you mean, my availability?”. And [in response from them]: “Because there’s a possibility, we might maybe kind of bring you back.” But it was a nice surprise, yeah. It was all a dream though. I thought I had my job back… I was like yeah-heh-heh! (devolves into laughter) Alas, no.

    Ahaha… thank you so much for your time, Samuel. Pleasure speaking with you.

    {Kind thanks given to Samuel Anderson once again, for the courtesy of this interview.}

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    Jamie H. Cowan
    Jamie H. Cowan
    A wildly varied sci-fi fan. When not dragging people down the Time Vortex with his Doctor Who theories, Jamie is often working his way through 'The Flash' comics (he insists they can be sci-fi!) or trying not to dream of the return of cult sci-fi shows.

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