Rahul Kohli on life with the Doctor
Doctor Who prequel star ‘can’t wait’ to get started
Doctor Who, one of the most iconic British television series’ in history, is set to welcome a new look later this year as its prequel, ‘A Wild Endeavour’ arrives on television screens.
The new show follows the adventures of the Doctor and the Master at a time before they became enemies and for the first ever time, one of the pair will be played by a British born Asian actor, Rahul Kohli.
The biggest twist, even he doesn’t know which part he will play. The actors and actresses have been named yet their roles still remain a mystery and Rahul caught up with the Asian Express to discuss the new project.
Q. How much of a Doctor Who fan are you?
A. Prior to being cast in the role, I hadn't really watched much Doctor Who. My Dad was a big fan and would watch it religiously, so it was always on in the house.
Once my agent told me I had been cast, my first step was to get up to speed with the show, so I'm fairly deep into it now and really enjoying it.
Q. Is there a lot to live up to being cast in its prequel?
A. There's definitely a lot to live up to, this is a fantastic franchise with a loyal fan base. You want to do right by the mythology, the fans and at the same time offer something new.
It’s a great script with some talented actors attached and I'm confident we can contribute positively to the ‘Who Universe’.
Q. To play a role which has only been played by Caucasian actors in the past is something of a pioneering step. How proud are you to do this?
A. I'm extremely proud to be taking on this role, for me it’s the future I've always wanted as a British Asian actor. I would love to see more roles out there for ethnic minorities without a racially motivated reason for casting them.
Since I was a kid I've always dreamed of playing roles like James Bond or Bruce Wayne, and its courage, like A Wild Endeavour has shown, that can make those dreams become reality.
Q. How are you finding it knowing you got the role, but which role is still unknown?
A. Well it certainly relieves some of the pressure. Without knowing who exactly I'm playing, I guess there's a blissful ignorance to the weight one might feel in playing such an iconic character.
Q. How do you prepare for something like that?
A. Preparing for it has been a great experience. Without knowing the identity of my character, I'm able to approach the script and my role with a certain sense of freedom. Focusing on the here and now, not really worrying about who my character may eventually be.
Q. Are you looking forward to getting started?
A. I'm very excited to begin shooting although it must be said; research is probably my favourite portion of the acting process.
Watching the show, researching the history of the characters and dissecting the script has been a blast. There's so much humour and energy in the story, it makes waiting to shoot unbearable.
Q. What are your expectations for the series?
A. From a narrative perspective, I hope we're able to entertain Doctor Who fans and gain some new ones along the way. The idea to not reveal the main characters identity will definitely add a level of excitement to each episode. I'm looking forward to finding out together.
Q. What kind of feedback have you received from Dr Who fans?
A. There's been some great feedback from the fans. I've had people contact me to offer their speculation on who I'm playing (the beard in our promo video seems to dictate their choice).
I've even been sent some artwork by a couple of fans which is by far one of the nicest things I've experienced in my career. People are excited and that's the best thing you can have in your corner as you begin production