Doctor Who Series 9: Reece Shearsmith interview

Reece Shearsmith in Sleep No More (C) BBC

Ahead of his starring role in this week's episode of Doctor Who, the BBC have released an interview with actor Reece Shearsmith. Read what he has to say about Sleep No More below. The ep airs 8.15pm, Nov 14 on BBC One.

You’re playing the role of a professor, can you tell us about him?
Professor Rassmussen has created a machine that has changed the very fabric of human existence. He is very proud of what he has done, but at what cost?

Can you explain your relationship with the Doctor in this episode?
The Doctor arrives on the space laboratory and begins asking some difficult questions in relation to the Professor's work. The Doctor is a bit of an irritant to the Professor, who doesn't like his work being questioned.

It’s shot in a very different way from the episodes we’ve seen so-far, was there a lot of discussion on set around the direction?
Time was taken during filming to make sure we never broke the conceit of the episode, and so a lot of time was spent capturing the action from various characters POV's. It was quite meticulous and the action I think feels very raw and ‘captured’.

What did you initially think of the script?
I knew it had the potential to be very scary, and I was excited to be playing Rassmussen. I felt I knew exactly how Mark had intended it to be delivered. Hopefully I got somewhere near. I had a fantastic time filming the episode and felt really privileged to be part of such an iconic show.

How did you find acting directly in to the eye of the camera?
It's very odd doing that because it is counter intuitive to the way you film anything else ever! You spend most of filming ignoring the camera, (whilst being very aware of its presence) and never looking right into it.

Have you worked with Peter and Jenna in the past?
I have met Peter a few times socially, but we have never worked together. I had never met Jenna, but the pair of them made me feel very welcome and part of the "Whoniverse." It is quite daunting going into such an established world, so that was very gracious and lovely of them.

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