Hot on the heels of the fourth series of The Sarah Jane Adventures, I caught up with Tommy Knight and Anjli Mohindra a.k.a. Luke and Rani to chat about their take on the show amongst other things.
Hi guys! So the current series has just finished and the general reception has been good. What are your thoughts on it; do you think it was better than the previous ones in terms of storyline, drama etc?
Tommy: I think in terms of storyline, the fact that I wasn't in it just completely destroyed it! Haha, only kidding; I dunno, I don't think I can pick out a favourite series...
Anjli: Yeah, it's really hard to do that.
Tommy: Yeah, I think it's more like I'll pick favourite days, like 'Oh that's my favourite scene of all time,' because with every series we're going to do, the scenes are going to be similar, so...
So what was your favourite scene from this series?
Tommy: My favourite's are always the ones where we get gooed! That's my favourite.
How has the level of fame that you now receive affected your studies and your personal life?Anjli: It doesn't really affect it a great deal. I think because our main audience is children, our largest fanbase is with children, so because we are a lot older - especially because I am a lot older than the target audience - I don't really hang out in those circles, so it's avoidable to an extent, unless you are picking up siblings from school or whatever.
Tommy: Yeah I pick up my little brother from school, like every now and then, and so every time I go there, the little kids go really mental. It makes things a bit awkward...
Anjli: But it's nice, in a way. Because kids aren't ashamed to say whether they like something or not, whereas adults get formal or try to be 'cool' about it, but kids just get straight to the point and it's really nice. You get instant feedback too.
Speaking of older viewers, what is your response to older viewers tuning into The Sarah Jane Adventures due to the Classic Doctor Who connection with Sarah Jane?
Anjli: The writers are great, they always put in little jokes for adults as well as the kids, because they will go straight over [the kids'] heads, but we definitely pick them up, so it's nice having a mixed audience, I think.
Would you say that you have become more interested in the Classic series now because of The Sarah Jane Adventures?
Tommy: (laughs) I'm not even like a telly watcher, so I don't know...
Anjli: I'm not sure about Classic Doctor Who, but it's definitely got me interested in Doctor Who. I don't think I'd have watched it before, but because of Sarah Jane, I have started to watch it. And with the Matt Smith and Karen series, I have really followed every story because they're just great, they really are.
Do you ever check forums or discussion boards on opinions about the series, or do you choose to stay out of them?
Anjli: (laughs) No! I stay away.
Tommy: My mum checks them. She's a poster on one of them... yeah she's cool. She tells me now and then what people are saying.
Yeah, I've heard she is more in touch with the fanbase than you are!
Tommy: (laughs) Oh yeah, definitely. She's got lots of friends.
So... Katy Manning was in this series. What was it like working with her?
Tommy: I didn't.
Anjli: (laughs) I did. She's brilliant, she's a wicked lady. Just as a woman and an actor, she's great. There is so much to learn from her.
Tommy: She's so funny.
Anjli: Yeah, she's from Classic Doctor Who, so what you meant before, it's nice to see different sides like working with Nick Courtney and stuff. So yeah. (Nick was a legend!)
Tommy, would you agree that Series Four was a turning point for Luke's character, especially in The Nightmare Man?
Tommy: Yeah! It's sort of made Luke a bit more... 'humanoid' if you know what I mean. It's not so alien, because he's having dreams and things like that and he's becoming way more social.
Anjli, you starred in the production of East Is East and Tommy, you did The Bill. Are there any more plans for you in terms of TV and films and theatre etc?
Anjli: Just to keep going really. It's hard to say that you've got stuff lined up, but some people are fortunate sometimes to know that you could be doing something in a few months. But we're very much in a sort of 'nomadic' lifestyle of just going along and seeing what happens.
Tommy: I dunno what I'm going to do. I don't think I'm going to keep on acting forever and ever.
Yeah I heard you wanted to be a paediatrician.
Tommy: I did want to be a paediatrician, I changed my mind (laughs) I'm so thick, I shouldn't be allowed to pick things for myself. It's really not a good idea for me. I honestly don't know what I'm going to be doing with my life. I'll do a bit of travelling next year.
Finally, Tommy you were doing your A Levels during filming this year. What is your advice to people juggling stuff like that?
Tommy: (laughs) I am not the best person to be asked that! I always try to make sure that my education is Number One. Acting is such a flippity-flippity world (Anjli laughs) you don't know what's round the corner, but if you have good grades at school or anything then it doesn't matter if my career goes to pot 'cause I'm secure in my life.
And the lovely duo recorded this special message for all ye dedicated supporters!