We caught up with him to talk through the new episode, hear about some scary new monsters and find out whether Rigsy has a bit of a thing for Clara…
Rigsy was doing community service the last time we saw him, what’s he up to now?
“He’s in a bit of a situation. He has a tattoo on the back of his neck and basically that’s what starts everything in the whole episode off. He has to call in Clara because he built a close relationship with her last year and he doesn’t know what’s going on.”
Does Rigsy still have a crush on Clara?
“I do think Rigsy definitely has a thing for Clara because she’s a very attractive girl! What’s more, Rigsy has lost a lot of love and he hasn’t got that kind of relationship with his mum so he responds to Clara’s kindness. I don’t think it’s necessarily that he’s infatuated with her specifically, but he definitely takes to her…”
How’s he getting on with The Doctor?
“The Doctor has finally accepted him and has realised that Rigsy’s actually quite a useful guy to have around. Last time they met he practically saved the Doctor’s life so the Doctor has certainly grown to respect him.”
Then the three of them find themselves in this secret alien world, hidden somewhere in London…
“It’s almost like when you’re on the streets of anywhere you kind of think you know your city and where you live, but you don’t notice things that don’t notice you. You’re kind of looking at things you see every day, but you never actually stop to say ‘well OK actually what is this?’ Then suddenly it all becomes clear!”
We kind of know what you mean. Has the Doctor ever seen this place before?
“I don’t think he even knew about, but suddenly it’s a world that’s opening up before them. That really helps the Doctor respect Rigsy, because he’s shown him something he never knew about.”
Will they be facing some fearsome creatures?
“There are definitely some frights, but what I love about this episode is that the monsters are so original. They’re scary, people haven’t seen them before and people are going to be like ‘wow’ even just down to what they look like. They’re not your usual monsters!”
Then Rigsy, The Doctor and Clara find themselves in a race for survival?
“Essential yes! It’s basically a mission of trying to find out what’s happening and trying to solve the problem before it’s too late for one of them. They’re essentially trapped in their own puzzle!”
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams also returns for this episode, what can you tell us about her character?
“Not much apart from that she’s a great character and she’s completely influential to the episode!”
Is she a good character or a villain?
“You just don’t know. When you do first see her character you’re not really sure how to feel about her and it’s only as the episode unfolds that you’re able to make an opinion on whether she’s good or bad.”
What can you tell us about the title of the episode, Face the Raven ?
“The Raven is a monster in itself, probably not your most abstract monster because it is actually a raven. But what the raven stands for and how it’s connected to the world of Doctor Who is imperative to the story. The raven is a creature that has a lot to say about the world of the show.”
Mysterious! Are you pleased to be back on the show?
“Yeah, really pleased because I had an amazing experience last year. Doctor Who is such an iconic show and as an actor being able to put that on your CV is amazing. When I got back on set it just felt like I’d never left. It was an amazing experience and fingers crossed I get to do a few more!”
Did you have any idea you’d be asked back?
“It was a shock when I got the call because that kind of thing doesn’t happen very often. I had no idea. But what helped was Rigsy’s becoming such a fan favourite! Steven does listen to the fans and brings back characters that the fans do enjoy and love, so if they continue to love Rigsy then hopefully you’ll see more of him. I have no idea whether I’ll be back but fingers crossed!”
What was it like when your episode, Flatline, went out last year?
“Doctor Who fans come in all shapes and sizes. It’s so broad and there are so many people that love the show so you don’t really know what to expect, but it was the fan mail that really got to me. After doing a few shows I’ve never received the amount of fan mail that I received for Doctor Who. Even now I still receive fan mail about that episode which is phenomenal. It’s a ridiculous amount and that’s the one thing that really shocked me… these people are sending letters to an actor… they love the show that much and they regard the show that much that they go out of their way to write to you and send you pictures to sign. That blew my mind!”
Doctor Who Face the Raven screens on Saturday, November 21 on BBC1