23 Oct 2012
“Russell T Davies had a specific idea of what he wanted him to be like. So I just had to do exactly what he wanted me to, and he wanted a giggling lunatic”
John Simm would like to reprise his role as the Master in Doctor Who, he’s revealed.
“I’d love the opportunity to play him differently,” he told an audience at Cheltenham Literature Festival last week. “I’d love to have another take on him, to be a bit quieter.”
Simm was the seventh actor to take on the role of the Doctor’s arch-adversary – most recently in the 2009 Christmas special – and was notable for his manic cackling.
“I started annoying myself after a while,” he confessed. “Russell T Davies had a specific idea of what he wanted him to be like. So I just had to do exactly what he wanted me to, and he wanted a giggling lunatic.”
However, he did admit that the Master’s blond hair was his idea:
“That was a mistake. I shouldn’t have listened to my instinct there.”
“There’s a new writer now” he continued, referring to Davies’ successor Steven Moffat – “and I’m sure his take on him would be different so I’d be interested to have a look at it. I’d like to take the Master to a very, very dark place.”
Simm is currently filming another BBC1 drama called The Village in which he also plays a “nutter”.
“It’s about the residents of a village in Derbyshire over a hundred years,” he explained, “as seen through the eyes of a guy who’s now the oldest man in the world – a character called Bert.”
“I’m Bert’s dad. It’s like no other part I’ve ever done: he’s a farmer and a real piece of work. He’s not farmer Barley Mow; he’s more like There Will Be Blood.”