When Sam Anderson booked the recurring role of teacher Danny Pink on the long-running British time travel show Doctor Who, he couldn’t wait to spread the good news. “I got the call and was like, ‘Woah, man, I got Doctor Who!’” the actor says. “My agent rang again. ‘Don’t tell anyone!’ I was like, ‘I just told a roomful of people!’ But luckily it was a couple of actors and some jazz musicians, who really couldn’t care less. So I wasn’t too worried.”
Anderson makes his debut on tomorrow night’s episode, “Into the Dalek,” which screens on BBC America and, per its title, features the return of those metallic maniacs, the Daleks.
Below, Anderson talks more about Danny Pink, tomorrow night’s episode, and why he’d rather not comment on Jenna Coleman’s kissing abilities.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell us about your character.
SAM ANDERSON: Daniel Pink. He’s experienced a lot. He used to work for the British army as a young man —which, as you’ll find out through the series, questioned his morals, and questioned him as a man, and he decided that he would become a math teacher. He’s quite an everyday man, into the simple things.
And he’s a love interest for Jenna Coleman’s character Clara, right?
I’m the companion’s companion! Those are the kind of things I’ve been hiding until I read an interview with Jenna and it’s like, “Oh right, she said it. Okay.”
How much did you know about the show before you auditioned?
I mean… “Exterminate!” [Laughs] My sister was a massive fan. There were always posters in her room. I was aware enough. Before the audition, I took some time out and did my homework, just to see what I was getting involved in.
What was the audition process like?
A lot shorter than I thought, and they were very secretive about what was happening. I was told it was a role which may be recurring. It was only two auditions, which kept the pressure off really. The second one was a chemistry read with Jenna. I didn’t think that would be the final read.
What can you tell us about Saturday’s show?
There’s Daleks, and we return to the Coal Hill School, which was in the original Star Trek. Star Trek??? Doctor Who! I’ve got sci-fi on the brain.
I’m so nervous about spoilers! Danny Pink and Clara, they share a few moments together, and it hints at a future that could go one way and could go very much another way. It’s quite a funny introduction to their relationship.
What’s it like to work with Peter Capaldi?
Incredible. I mean, the guy’s one of the best that we have over here. He’s one of the best, period. He’s such a nice, humble dude to work with, and very supportive. I remember a couple of weeks in, he asked me how I was doing. I was like, “I’m finally finding my feet. You know how it is – you kind of test the waters when you’re the newbie in the environment.” It was so nice of him to remind me like, “I’m the newbie too.” It’s like, “Oh yeah, you’re a newbie with a hell of a lot more pressure on his shoulders than me.” He’s second to none.
How about your experience working with Jenna Coleman? And, as a follow-up, is she a good kisser?
She’s a dream. Absolute professional. And she looks bright as a daisy every morning. She’s good to go, man. She’s great to work with. And is she a good kisser? Uh, her boyfriend knows where I live!