Many stars from the Doctor Whoniverse appeared at this weekend’s London Film and Comic Con, including one of the newest cast members, Matt Lucas.
Lucas, the well-known star and co-creator of Little Britain, joined the cast of Doctor Who in 2015. Lucas made his debut as Nardole in the critically acclaimed Christmas special “The Husbands of River Song” as the rather sarcastic robot who worked for River Song. Nardole was beheaded by King Hydroflax in a very rude attempt to get information about River Song. The Doctor grew to appreciate Nardole’s wit and usefulness, and eventually re-assembled his body, and tasked Nardole with the task of guarding a mysterious vault.
Matt Lucas’ Nardole also appeared in the 2016 Christmas special “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” and throughout series 10 with the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi. Nardole’s character was initially played to great comic effect in the holiday specials. He provided a comic foil to the serious Capaldi and added a note of hilarity. Lucas is a gifted comedian whose appearance adds to the charm, with his large, hairless head and elastic features.
As amusing as Nardole was in the specials, Nardole took on a different aspect in series 10. In the series, Nardole became a more nuanced character, becoming both the Doctor’s protector and his ally. At first, he refuses to accept Bill (played by the remarkable Pearl Mackie), declining at one point to even get her a cup of tea. He resents Bill’s presence and frequently reminds the Doctor to stay in his office and near the vault. But by the time of the heartbreaking finale, Nardole and Bill face the Cybermen together.
During yesterday’s outing at London Film and Comic Con, Lucas took the time to sign autographs and talk to fans including BlogtorWho. He was warm and friendly and happy to answer a couple of questions about his time on the show before he took a well-earned break from a busy morning full of enthusiastic fans.
Nardole and his strained relationship with Bill
BW: Nardole is very sceptical about Bill at first.
ML: Oh yes.
BW: What’s the reason for that?
ML: Because she’s human!
BW: That’s the answer?
ML: Yeah! Lucas laughs heartily.
Lucas’ approach to joining the Doctor Who cast
BW: How different is it being a part of a family show like Doctor Who compared to being on Little Britain?
ML: I was the co-writer of Little Britain, so it was a different experience. But with Doctor Who, I didn’t have to worry about the whole scope of the show. I just had to think about what Nardole did. So in a way, it’s easier to just act. But at the same time, entering a show that already exists, that has a huge fan base, already has a huge legacy, I was very mindful of trying and making sure I honored that and respected that. In the Christmas special “The Husbands of River Song,” it’s a broader performance. In the series, it was time to explore the texture of the character and bring it down and fit it into the weekly aspect of the show.
With that thoughtful comment., Lucas was off to lunch before returning for another session with eager fans.
- Questions and Photos by Daniel Rice
- Article by Rebecca Kruson