Stage: Classic Thriller Season
THE Daleks might have been calling for the past three years but actor Nicholas Briggs is more than happy to fit the Classic Thriller season into his crowded schedule.
He will exchange the futuristic world of Dr Who for a week from Monday to become Victorian detective hero Sherlock Holmes at Nottingham's Theatre Royal.
Nicholas hasn't appeared in the season for three years because of commitments to filming as the voice of the Daleks and the Cyberman in the highly successful revival of the television Dr Who series.
But filming is already done for the Christmas special and when thriller season director Colin McIntyre came knocking, Nicholas couldn't resist.
“We started rehearsals for Holmes and the Ripper earlier this week,” said Nicholas.
“It's quite a massive undertaking because Brian Clemens' play is almost like a movie it is so elaborate.
“But it's great seeing old friends and familiar members of the cast again and great fun.”
Nicholas is sorry that his hectic schedule only allows him time to do one play in this year's five-play season – one more than usual – which runs over the next five weeks.
Before he became the voice of the Dr Who's arch enemies, Nicholas had been heavily involved in the BBC's audio episodes of the series, of which is now the executive producer.
The latest run of Nebulous – a post-apocalyptic science fiction comedy radio show written by Graham Duff and directed by Nicholas has just finished on Radio 4.
The show focuses on the adventures of the eponymous Professor Nebulous, leader of the eco-trouble-shooting team of KENT (the Key Environmental Non-Judgmental Taskforce) as they combat various catastrophes and try to set the world back on the right path following a worldwide disaster known as The Withering.
As well as being a parody of a number of famous science fiction programmes, including Doctor Who, Quatermass and Doomwatch, Nebulous is considered a cult programme, attracting a number of guest appearances from famous actors.
These include Dr Who himself, David Tennant, who is a friend of Nicholas.
“When I first got the Dr Who job, I rang David to tell him, but it was only a year or so before he was ringing me to tell me he had the job as the main man,” recalled Nicholas.
Even though he doesn't appear on screen, Nicholas has to be there for every rehearsal and shooting to supply the voices for the actors to act with.
He admires the Dalek and Cyberman actors saying “they work so hard in difficult circumstances because their outfits are so heavy and cumbersome”.
“But at some time I would like to appear on screen in Dr Who in some capacity.”
Regardless of whether he is on screen or not, Nicholas is much in demand at Dr Who festivals and conventions.
“As a youngster watching Dr Who, I couldn't imagine that my life would turn out like this.
“I suppose I have a dream job but I had to make many sacrifices to get to this point.
“But life is very good and being back in Nottingham, where everyone is so friendly, is the icing on the cake.”