TV Series

Lenny Rush on his upgraded role in 'The Legend of Ruby Sunday'

The BAFTA-winning actor shares his experience on the set of Doctor Who after originally being cast in 'Space Babies'...

The TARDIS is en route to UNIT HQ in the thrilling first part of Season 1's epic finale, The Legend of Ruby Sunday. At UNIT, the Doctor and Ruby will be reunited with some familiar faces, as well as introduced to some new ones - including Morris Gibbons, played by BAFTA-winning actor Lenny Rush.

We spoke to Lenny about his 'original' role in Doctor Who, joining the world of sci-fi... and filming with a mouthful of pizza!

Watch The Legend of Ruby Sunday on BBC iPlayer from Saturday 15th June and on Disney+ from Friday 14th June where available.

Lenny Rush as Morris

How did you react when you found out you’d be in Doctor Who?

I was in disbelief when I was given the part! I just wanted to start filming straight away. I remember I had a couple of friends who were massive fans of Doctor Who, and I was itching to tell them I had a part in it, but I was sworn to secrecy. 

Can you tell us a little bit about how you got the role? 

I was originally given the voice role of Eric, the Space Baby, in the Space Babies episode. As Eric, I would have only had to voice record, so no filming was needed. In fact, I even did a full read through with the cast and crew in the studios and recorded some of my dialogue. A few days after recording some of my dialogue I was in my bedroom at home and my mum came in and said “I’ve had a message from your agent, unfortunately you’re no longer playing Eric in Doctor Who.” I was so shocked and sad. Mum decided to leave a long pause before telling me ‘because they’ve given you a bigger part!’ I was over the moon!

What can you tell us about Morris? Is he different to other characters you’ve played?

Morris is a child genius - so very different to myself! (laughs) He is also very different to other characters I’ve played. I’ve never acted in the sci-fi genre, so for Doctor Who to be the first sci-fi show I’m in is an honour!

How is Doctor Who different from other projects you’ve worked on?

I’ve never worked on a show with so many cool effects! I think the stand out difference for me were the sets. They were amazing and are exactly how you see them on screen, it was unreal! I can’t believe how much work goes into building them.

What was it like working with Ncuti and Millie? 

Ncuti and Millie were lovely and a joy to work with. They were so helpful with welcoming me into the show and making me feel at home, as were the rest of the cast and crew.

Lenny Rush as Morris

Do you have any standout moments from set? 

A standout, funny moment for me is when we were filming an emotional scene, and in the scene we are having pizza. It was like an emotional dinner! So when it was my turn to say my line, I couldn’t say it and had to ruin the whole emotion of the scene, because I had a mouthful of pizza and couldn’t get my words out! 

What do you think makes Doctor Who so special and iconic? 

I think a big part of Doctor Who being so iconic is how long the show has been running. It’s been airing since the 1960s and is still going strong. Another part of its special feeling is because of the fan base. People are so passionate about this show, and you can tell it means so much to them. I’ve never been in a show with such an amazing fan base and I feel so lucky to be a part of it.

What was it like filming with so many special effects and stunts? 

I loved filming with all the special effects and stunts. It gave me a whole different perspective as to how much work is put into this show.

How would you sum up your episodes in three words? 

To describe my episodes in three words, I would say: thrilling, suspense and heart-warming.

Were you a fan of Doctor Who before? 

Before being in the show, I had never seen Doctor Who, which pains me to say! However, of course I knew the premise, a few of the Doctors, the iconic police box and of course, the Daleks! Since being in the show, I have watched a few of the episodes, and I love it. I’m currently away filming another show, and when I get time off, I think I’m going to have a massive binge watch!

Watch The Legend of Ruby Sunday on BBC iPlayer from Saturday 15th June and on Disney+ from Friday 14th June where available.

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