A new series of Doctor Who is a landmark event in the world of television, but despite a brand new Doctor, it’s another cast addition, Samuel Anderson, who has caught our eye. On screen he may be a maths teacher, but off-screen the actor proves a true style setter…
By Hollie Moat
They say we’re living in the golden age of television, but even today’s most celebrated shows are small fry compared to the phenomenon of Doctor Who, the small screen juggernaut that has been captivating audiences for half a century now. So little wonder the internet is on fire with anticipation and speculation over season 8, which debuted on Saturday. And resplendent in the spotlight’s glare is new addition to the cast, Samuel Anderson, described by Doctor Who’s writer Steven Moffat as the show’s ‘secret weapon.’
Sam’s character, the mysterious Danny Pink, is teacher at Coal Hill School. And consequently, he’s not the sharpest of dressers ‘he’s a maths teacher so at work he has to wear a shirt and a tie’ concedes Sam, but in real life the actor turns out to be something of a sartorial star, arriving at our shoot in a jacket and hat almost identical to those we’ve called in.
And since sci-fi favourite and fashion pin-up is something of an unusual combination, we decided to find out more about the rising English star. Here’s the five things you have to know about Samuel Anderson…
He’s already made a splash in the ‘Whoniverse’
Sam’s first Doctor Who episode doesn’t air until this weekend, but already the show’s famously dedicated following has welcomed him into the family, ‘They know stuff about me that I’d forgotten’ he says. It came as something of a shock ‘I had no idea it had this amazing fan base, I hadn’t watched it since I was a kid and before I went for the audition I had to catch up.’ And what did he think when he did? ‘I’m a convert now. It’s like a genre all of its own and one of the best things out there, it looks amazing – the episodes have a real cinematic feel to them. And this new Doctor (Scottish actor Peter Capaldi) is the man.’
‘They (Doctor Who fans) know stuff about me that I’d forgotten. It’s like a genre all of its own.’
His style icon is Sherlock Holmes
‘I’m a big fan of tweed’ says Sam ‘I don’t know where it’s come from – probably my granddad. He would wake up and put a suit on and sit in the house.’ But his love for the British classics doesn’t end there, ‘I’ve got this cape I like to wear too – not like Superman, but a good old English eighteen hundreds kind of swagger.’ There’s more ‘And I’ve got a beautiful deer-stalker hat, it’s real Sherlock Holmes style. I actually wore it to the first read-through of Doctor Who, and I hadn’t put two and two together and realised that Steven Moffat was actually the writer of both (Doctor Who and the Benedict Cumberbatch starring series Sherlock) and there’s me walking in on the first day in this hat when he must just constantly see people dressed up as his characters. But mine is the real thing, it’s not from the fancy dress shop, it’s from the dress fancy shop!’
HE HAS AN UNUSUAL MUSICAL HOBBY
Countless actors dabble in guitar and piano playing but few can be found in the brass section of an orchestra. When it comes to trumpet playing actors we can think of only two – Louis Armstrong and Sam, ‘I’m not very good’ he concedes, ‘but I can hold a tune, and I’ve only been playing it about four years.’ So why the trumpet? ‘I could never work out how people could do different things with each hand (like a piano or guitar) - I’m not very good with that kind of dexterity. But the trumpet seemed to make sense, don’t ask why.’ As a self-described amateur, until recently Sam contented himself with playing during breaks in filming (once jamming with former Farfetch New Boy Joel Fry) but last week he made his stage debut with a jazz band at London’s Festival Hall, ‘that was a big old brass ensemble, there were about a hundred of us. And we’re also doing Bestival.’
‘I’m not very good at playing the trumpet, but I can hold a tune'
He’s celebrating The Return Of The Rude boyIn addition to being Sam’s personal catch-phrase (‘my mates were sick of me saying it’) Return Of The Rude Boy was also a major recent exhibition at London’s Somerset House. ‘I might not look like I dress like a rude boy’ explains Sam (clad in an Etro polo-neck) ‘but that’s the point of the exhibition, it’s about how the original rude boys came to this country in the Sixties from the West Indies and were all very sharply dressed, three piece suit was the order of the day.’ And what does rude boy style mean to him? ‘It’s a whole approach to things, it was about style and being fresh, and it was cool.’
FOR HIM FASHION GOES FROM THE FEET UP
Of all the pieces in our shoot, it’s the Paul Smith shoes that seem to really catch Sam’s eye ‘These are lovely. I do like Paul Smith. He is very traditional but with a little splash of magic. I like what he does.’ And in his own wardrobe? ‘I also like a good old boat shoe, with odd socks.’ The odd socks, it turns out, are an integral part of his look. ‘The odd socks have to be matching if you know what I mean, they have to be complimentary. Socks are probably the most important part of my outfit, I love a good sock. Although I’m definitely not a socks and sandals man, I haven’t got quite that much swagger!’
'I do like Paul Smith. He is very traditional but with a little splash of magic'