BBC Shada Interview  May 9, 2003
Sean Biggerstaff - Confused physicist Chris.

Bizarre books
What is the most bizarre book you have ever read?

I'm reading a book at the moment which is very odd. It's called Lullaby, and it's about a song that kills people, an ancient culling spell. The guy who discovers it goes on trips around the US to try and eliminate all the copies of this book that he can find. I'm not quite finished yet. I don't know if it's the strangest but it's certainly up there.

Tartan terror
We can't ask you what the worst thing you wore in the seventies was, so what's the worst piece of clothing you've ever owned?

Being a Scotsman I wear a skirt quite a lot, but we're allowed. I have an incredibly loud Hawaiian shirt that's pink and a particularly disgusting turquoise, but I just wear it on days when I'm in a strange mood.

Someone bought it for me because we all decided to crash a school party that was for a different year and all went wearing kilts and Hawaiian shirts. It was never intended to look good, it was a complete joke in the first place. Tartan and flowery Hawaiian - it gave a few people nightmares I think.

Toasting Skagra
What's your favourite moment so far?

We just had a scene between Skagra's ship where the ship is being convinced by the Doctor to follow his orders instead of Skagra's, and that was absolutely hilarious.

Because Hannah Gordon is lovely...

Her voice is incredible, it's like everyone's suddenly fallen in love with the ship. [It's] very sexy and very rude at times.

If Hannah Gordon could provide the voice of any piece of electrical equipment in your house what would it be?

In my house, I'd like her making toast for me in the morning.

Smart student
How you think your character looks and dresses?

I have to remind myself every so often that it is in fact in the seventies, because I was going along as a Cambridge student would be now.

Well, [I'd be] in a lab coat for a large part of it because he's in his science lab but [also] fairly smartly dressed.

Why Who?
What are your favourite memories of Doctor Who?

I'm just old enough to remember fairly clearly watching Sylvester McCoy, the Seventh Doctor, on television, and obviously the old repeats.

I've seen Tom Baker and I've seen Jon Pertwee doing it but not much to be honest.

What got me interested in this job was the fact that it was a Douglas Adams script because I'm a huge Douglas Adams fan, so as soon as they said those two words I just said yes. 'Do you want to read it first?' [they asked]. I said 'No, yes.'

The Adams effect
How have you been influenced by Douglas Adams?

Well, hugely. I've read the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy at least once a year since I was twelve years old. A lot of my own personal sense of humour and sense of timing is very influenced by this, and whenever I occasionally try and write things I end up ripping off Douglas Adams which is probably something I should try and get away from, but it's a lot of fun.

What's your favourite bit of Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy?

It's a different bit every time I pick it up and read it, because there's so many ideas that you can't possibly remember them all. Just the other day I was reading again the description of how the Heart of Gold, with the infinite impossibility drive, comes into existence, where you just enter the probability of it ever existing into the computer and then give it a cup of tea, [and it] appeared out of nowhere.

Do you have a favourite Hitchhiker's character?

The paranoid android's obviously a classic but it just depends what mood I'm in. I like Ford Prefect's odd reactions and Arthur reacts hugely to pretty trivial scenarios like not being able to get a cup of tea, whereas the fact that he's in space he's relatively chilled out about.

I need a hero
Who were your childhood heroes?

Childhood heroes? Well the Beatles, they always were and still are, and also to this day, everyone that was in any way involved in the making of Ghostbusters, which is my favourite film of all time.

Back to Hogwarts?
Can you see yourself getting back together in a studio to do Harry Potter twenty years from now in the way we're doing Doctor Who here?

I wouldn't think so because Harry Potter's finite. There's seven stories, it's not going to go beyond that, unlike Doctor Who where there have been lots of writers and there's lots of episodes and the BBC are at liberty to write new ones. I think it's less likely to happen with Harry Potter.

The cast of this is fantastic, I walked into the hotel the other day, to the bar where we were all meeting up, and recognised everyone. All the people have been doing brilliant stuff since before I was born, I'm a bit out of my depth here.

How have the old hands been with you?

Oh, they're great. Everyone's completely lovely and supportive and not even slightly patronising. When you come [across] people who have done things for [so long], when they talk to you completely normally like an equal, it's very relieving.