Back in July SFX went on set for The Sarah Jane Adventures (during the filming of series finale “The Gift”) and talked to the cast about what it was like working with David Tennant on the mid-season story in which he guest stars. You can read all about it in issue 189, on sale Wednesday 21 October. In the meantime, here’s a little bit of Q&A with young stars Tommy Knight (Luke) and Danny Anthony (Clyde).
So, what’s new with your characters since last year?
Tommy: “Well, our voices have got deeper. I’ve started to get facial hair. And it’s been sprouting in other places that I’d rather not mention…”
Danny: “I think because our characters have been in this world for so long we’ve grown to understand things better, and to deal with certain situations better than we maybe would have two years ago.”
Tommy: “And Luke’s getting his funny little jokes now – he’s not as much of a social reject as he was before.”
What do you think it is about the character of Sarah Jane that people love?
Tommy: “She’s, like, a woman in control. She’s mumsy, but like a hero mumsy.”
Danny: “She’s in a position of power, really...”
Tommy: “Yeah, and lot of kids will look at her and the way she’s so motherly to all of us kids and say oh, I wish I was in their situation, running around with Sarah Jane, because she’s a bit of an idol.”
David Tennant guest stars in one story this year - what was that like?
Tommy: “It was really fun to work with him because he really does know what he’s doing.”
Danny: “I think we definitely learnt a lot from him - plus he’s a really nice guy.”
Have you had any serious action sequences this year?
Danny: “Yeah, we had one where we had a wind machine and I have to try and get into the TARDIS, but the TARDIS door’s closing. There’s a force that’s pulling us apart. The door closes and I slam against it and get electrocuted and fly back. That was wicked.”
Will any of the stories be particularly spooky for younger viewers?
Danny: “There’s one that’s set in a haunted house, and basically there are poltergeists and stuff, and I remember Anj [Anjli Mohindra, who plays Rani] saying that she was reading it and she was alone, and even reading it, she was quite scared. So I think that’ll be quite a scary one for the kids.”
Is there the danger that it could be too scary?
Tommy: “It’s just on the borderline, but I think that’s a good thing. It’s better to experiment than just be like, ‘Oh let’s have a… pretty little horse!’ (laughs) Then even if it goes wrong at least you know. But I doubt it’ll go wrong, because it’s wicked. It’s fandabbydozy!”
Are there any particularly emotional episodes?
Tommy: “Well, Luke gets a bit angry with his mum because he’s going through his teenage phases and being a bit of a messy kid, and she’s still trying to get him to be a bit perfect. And she’s not quite used to it, so he gets really angry with her and there’s a bit of tension in the air.”
Danny: “Which also ties in with what we said earlier about us all growing up.
Because we all have arguments with our parents.”
Tommy: “Apart from my mum.”
What do your friends think of you being on TV?
Danny: “They think it’s pretty cool but we don’t talk about it much, to be honest. And I prefer it that way. They kind of see this as an opportunity to come and rave it up in Cardiff – I’ve got two mates coming down today, actually. I kind of prefer not talking about it. It’s just nicer to come to work and do all your stuff and then go home.”
K-9’s in this series quite a lot – what’s it like working with that tin dog?
Danny: “I remember Tom was leaning on him once this year and this panel fell off him!”
Tommy: “I was leaning on him and the side panel just fell off on my lap, and I was looked down and I could see inside of him, all of these wires and this thing that was going up and down making his head move...”
Danny: “It’s quite strange as well... because he’s been around for so long you get people talking to him. Lis talks to him. They’ll just be jamming and she’ll just have a little word, like ‘Hello K-9!’ I’ve had a few little heart to hearts with him – or heart to electronics. He’s a nice guy.”
Tommy: “He doesn’t really reply to me...”
Danny: “He’s just one of those things that you chat to. He doesn’t answer, but you get it all out and you somehow find an answer. “
What are your plans after this, Tommy? Do you want to keep on acting?
Tommy: “Education. I finished my GCSEs during this series. I wasn’t in the haunted house episode - they wrote me out of it so I could go off and spend two weeks at home. I’m gonna go to university and I want to study medicine - paediatrics or something like that - so I’m doing my A levels next year.”
To read Lis Sladen previewing the first four stories, click here .
The third season of The Sarah Jane Adventures starts airing on BBC One on Thursday 15 October, with the second episode following the next day.