|Greg Davies as King Hyrdoflax (C)|
Earlier this year, Blogtor had the pleasure of sitting down with comedian Greg Davies on the set of the Doctor Who Christmas Special, The Husbands of River Song.
Greg plays King Hydroflax – a petrifying nine foot cyborg that eats his victims – dead or alive. Davies adds that he’s an empire-building crazy robot that destroys and pillages. Natch for Christmas.
Here’s what he had to say on the festive episode.
“It’s the dream job, being the villain! Unless you count Mr Gilbert from The Inbetweeners [a Channel 4 sitcom], it’s my first real villain, out and out baddie. I think anyone who does any kind of acting whatsoever wants to be a villain on Doctor Who.
They said, ‘Do you want to be in Doctor Who?’ and I said, ‘Yes, of course I do!’ What he says is quite pantomime villain but he’s actually quite a pathetic character in a way. He’s quite deluded, he’s a deluded nine-foot cyborg [laughs].
One of my favourite scenes is there’s quite a dramatic speech where I say, ‘Tell the Doctor I’m going to burn the world!’ in very sort of dramatic, armageddon-like terms. But Douglas [Mackinnon] the director pointed out that I’m just a head when I’m threatening this which is already funny, I think. Then he put it so I’m just face down in a grill in the TARDIS. So it’s most pathetic threat of all time from a disembodied head with his head in a grate!
It’s not just balls out comedy which is what I’ve tended to do. You have to play it straight. You have to think your disembodied head can burn the world. The juxtaposition between my spital-drenched fury and the fact that he’s just a head I think is lovely. It made me clap with joy when I read it.
He’s ill at first so he’s quite a pathetic-sounding evil robot then he gets vengeful. There’s a nice scene where he’s disembodied but he reveals he still does have a certain degree of power because the body is essentially a walking bomb then he’s quite arch. He goes from pathetic to furiously angry to arch.
He has got more more power than being a disembodied head would have you believe because he has a degree of control over his body which is wandering around separately. His threats are real, he can do some damage.
It’s not difficult when you’re a nine foot cyborg to feel evil. You tap into your inner evil I think [laughs].
|Hyrdoflax’s “body” in The Husbands of River Song (C)|
There’s two replicas of my head floating about [on set] that are horrible [laughs]. So unsettling to walk into a room and see two of your heads – one with a horribly surprised expression and one that looks exactly as I will look when I am dead [laughs].
When the robot’s walking they leave that to someone more competent and younger and fitter. So I don’t do a lot of movement really, I’m either headless or lying around inside a robot.
When I was a young man, K-9 was a technological dream – to have a cube robot dog. I’m not sure how credible K9 would sit against the Daleks, who still seem like a credible threat to me. I don’t mean to diss K-9, I don’t want Doctor Who fans tweeting me saying, ‘Don’t slag K-9 off!’ [Laughs]
There’s a real sense that everybody knows how lucky they are on the show. When you’ve got a giant robot clanking around and people are screaming and firing Sonic Trowels at it, there is a sense of joy right throughout everybody who works on it. That’s the dream.
I’ve met hardcore fans since I’ve been doing this so I wouldn’t say I’m a hardcore fan because they are hardcore but obviously it’s a British institution so it’s a huge thrill to be in it. Huge thrill. I’m so excited to be in it – it’s one of those jobs that ratifies my career to my mother [laughs].”
Thanks to Greg Davies and the BBC