Tom Stourton on acting alongside “amazing” Peter Capaldi and playing a cowardly Viking in Doctor Who

"Peter Capaldi's so good. You kind of find yourself drifting off during scenes, thinking, 'Woah!' and then, 'Oh my God, it's my line'"

“I’m kind of disappointed. I’ve failed in my head,” Tom Stourton tells us, talking about his role in this Saturday’s Doctor Who. “The small clip I’ve seen I just look really gormless. My mouth is wide open.” 

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The Siblings and Horrible Histories star is set to play a character the Doctor nicknames Lofty in scandi-themed instalment The Girl Who Died. “I’m not a cool, war-lord Viking,” Stourton is quick to say. “I’m like the idiot blacksmith who doesn’t want to fight because he’s a coward.” 

And he’s not entirely enamoured with his performance. “There was a lot of staring at a blank sky pretending that we were looking at a spaceship. I sort of ran out of incredulous faces quite early on,” he tells us, adding: “I sympathise with all those people who do it all the time. All that business of staring at green poles and coming up with really big emotions is terrifying.”

It could have been worse though, he admits: “I came in all ready to do my best Swedish accent and fortunately they stopped me before I could make a real fool of myself.” 

And the shoot itself was a lot of fun. Stourton had “Viking buddies to hang out with” and some pretty impressive surroundings: “You know the kind of place you go on school trips? They pimped one of those out so that it was a big village.” 

The food left something to be desired – “There was a big table of banquet food there under the studio lights. You could have had a proper kind of feast but no one was grazing on it by the end. It stank so bad” – but his fellow cast-members were of a high enough calibre to make up for it.

“[Maisie Williams] is disconcertingly cool,” Stourton says. “She’s so sophisticated. I found myself cracking loads of bad jokes around her.”

And the Doctor himself? “He’s so good. You kind of find yourself drifting off during scenes, thinking, ‘Woah!’ and then, ‘Oh my God, it’s my line.’ It’s pretty amazing to see.”

“He was also really nice. I basically had to fight hard not to quiz him on loads of boring stuff that I’m sure he gets all the time.”  

I ask Stourton if he’d like to step back into the Whoniverse and he laughs: “I mean, I think it’s possible Lofty will have a spin-off series…”

“I absolutely loved it for sure,” he adds. “I love sci-fi and I love Vikings. It was the perfect job!”

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Tom Stourton stars in the second series of Siblings, coming soon to BBC3