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Jacob Anderson: “Being Around Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill Is a Proper Joy”

There’s a new regular character in this season of Doctor Who: Vinder, played by Jacob Anderson.

And, as it turns out, the Game of Thrones and Broadchurch alumni is something of a fan…

Can you tell us about what it meant to get the call to say you’d be on Doctor Who? What was your reaction?

It was a complete surprise, it felt like it was completely out of the blue. But it was one of those things that I always wanted to do. There are certain goals or dreams you might have in your life and the minute you stop obsessing over them, that’s when they happen! I had no expectation at all of being asked to be part of it, and Chris swooped in and asked if I’d like to be part of this iconic show that means a lot to me. 

What’s the difference between Doctor Who and other sets you’ve been on? 

It actually feels like walking into somebody’s family home. Everybody knows and cares about each other and you can tell that this is a group of people who have spent a lot of time with each other and would choose to continue to. There are some people who have been working on the show for fifteen years and you feel that, but you can also feel Jodie and Chris’ influence on the environment.  It’s just a really welcoming, comfortable, warm place to work. 

Are there any big moments in Doctor Who history that stood out to you, who was the Doctor that got you into the series? 

My first Doctor was Sylvester McCoy: he was great and kind of kooky and a bit curmudgeonly as well — I’ll always have a special place in my heart for him.

But David Tennant is just charisma to eleven, I think he’s fantastic and really defined a modern-day depiction of the Doctor, so he’s probably my favourite before seeing Jodie. I think Jodie does such a wonderful job; she does things with the character that are subtler than she gets credit for sometimes. She puts so much pathos into this alien. The Doctor can sometimes be quite clownish, skittish and jumpy and that’s really a part of the charm that she can do that, but she also has the tragedy of their life and it is all contained in it. She plays it in a really beautiful subtle performance. I really enjoy her Doctor. She makes it look effortless! 

Can you tell us about who you enjoyed working with? 

I really enjoyed working with Craig Parkinson, I knew him a bit before but this is the first time we’ve worked together. Thaddea [Graham] is amazing, she’s an incredible actor; Mandip is one of my favorite human beings ever. She and Jodie are like the same person but also the inverse of each other, they’re so similar but then also completely opposite. Being around them as a team is a joy, a proper joy. 

How has the reaction been from fans? 

I tend to hide a bit whenever there’s any type of announcement but in the immediate  announcement I saw some really nice “Welcome to the family” type tweets from Whovians — “Welcome to our crazy family, it’s going to be an adventure!” I really appreciated that and thought it  was really nice. It was really nice to be welcomed so I zoned into that and I really appreciate it. 

Can you tell us a bit about Vinder?  

I really hope people like Vinder — as a fan of the show and as a fan of those characters that come in and recur and are part of the story beyond their singular story, there are some really iconic characters. Like River Song and Osgood, and all these people you really remember and I hope Vinder can be a part of that; I really hope people like him.

Doctor Who: Flux continues this Sunday 7th November 2021 with War of the Sontarans.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Jacob Anderson: “Being Around Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill Is a Proper Joy”

by Philip Bates time to read: 3 min
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