Sacha Dhawan has spoken about the “brilliant” response he received from Doctor Who fans following his debut earlier this year as the Master.
The actor appeared in four episodes of the BBC sci-fi drama’s most recent series as the latest incarnation of the popular villain and told RadioTimes.com that taking on the beloved character and following “so many great actors” was “really terrifying”.
“It was 1st January that the [first] episode aired – I’d already seen it at a special screening but you’re terrified because it’s airing ‘to the world’ as it were, and you’re not sure how people are going to react. Doctor Who fans know what they want!
“But I was just so overwhelmed by the support. A lot of people say it’s going to have an impact on your life and until you’re in it, you’re not able to know exactly what it’s going to be like, but the fanbase has been brilliant.”
Dhawan cited a particular incident from July of this year, when Doctor Who fans shared messages of support using the hashtag #SachaOurMaster after he shared a post from a Twitter user suggesting that it “stupid and wrong” to cast an actor of colour in the role.
“There were certain people who had problems especially with an actor of colour playing the role – I got sent so many messages about that and I just ignored them,” he recalled.
“One day, I was just reading another tweet that I had been sent and Anjli [Mohindra, Dhawan’s partner] was saying to me that I should let people know the kind of messages that actors of colour can receive when they’re playing characters that people don’t agree that they should be playing… so I retweeted it.
“I didn’t realise the support I’d get… that people would be vocal about it and really get behind me, I was really moved by it.”
Dhawan was speaking to RadioTimes.com to promote his involvement in Dreamflight, a new Sky Kids series encouraging mindfulness on which he serves as a narrator. “There were many times where I felt quite alone, especially with regards to mental health – I didn’t want to talk about it,” he said. “But actually [with Doctor Who] you’ve got a huge support base there and now I never feel alone.”
Speaking about a possible return to Doctor Who, Dhawan also told us that he would “really love” to return as the Master in Doctor Who’s upcoming 13th series.
Dreamflight is available now on Sky Kids and and with the NOW TV Kids Pass (£3.99 a month). You can sign up to Sky TV here.
Doctor Who will return to BBC One for a festive special in late 2020 / early 2021 – check out what else is on with our TV Guide.