Wednesday 24 Sep 2014
Dr Christian King is the outsider – the dark space scientist informing the police of things beyond their comprehension and, potentially, beyond their control. Emun Elliott talks about swotting up on science and how it feels to be tipped "one to watch".
Dr Christian King is a space scientist. What type of person is he?
Christian likes to keep himself to himself. He's full of drive and ambition, immerses himself in his work and is very passionate about what he does.
Like many academic people, he uses his job and his work as an excuse to avoid the normality of life. He'll work 24/7 to avoid making friends and socialising with people. Fundamentally he's a loner.
Did you have to do a lot of scientific research before you started filming?
I tried to immerse myself as much as possible and, luckily, it's all really fascinating stuff. I found a lot of it to be pretty mind-blowing stuff.
I read as many books as I could in the time that I had, watched lots of DVDs and looked into the scientific terminology in an effort to understand the ideas and theories in the script.
I was also lucky enough to meet with Dr Margaret Aderin, a real-life space scientist, who was also a consultant on some of the scripts. She was great because she had so much enthusiasm for her work. She recommended a few books and, luckily, it was the 400th anniversary of Galileo's invention of the telescope this year, so there were loads of exhibitions on and things to do and see around town.
I have always had a keen interest in science and studied it at school so this gave me a good foundation. I'm completely fascinated and intrigued by what I've learned. It's really thought provoking stuff that can actually be quite daunting at times.
What are your thoughts on changing the future?
I think that I would mess with it, especially if it's to save people's lives. In Paradox we are faced with potentially disastrous situations and events. I think it would be hard to stand back, when you know that something catastrophic is going to happen.
Did you enjoy filming in the Prometheus lab?
The lab is a pretty impressive space, very modern, full of up to date, cutting-edge technology and apparatus and bang in the middle of all that - is me! It may seem quite clinical and over complicated to the outside eye, but everything has a purpose and place.
Matt Gant, the production designer, really has done a fantastic job. It's clear he did his homework and took inspiration from all sorts of places to come up with a very realistic and exciting lair for Christian.
How do you think Paradox stands out from other dramas?
I don't think it's like anything else on TV. It's not your everyday drama and I think viewers are going to have to put some thought into what's going on. It's a great concept and I hope people will enjoy it.
You were named 'one to watch' by Screen International this year. How did that feel?
I felt really surprised and honoured, particularly because I'm relatively new to the industry. I was involved in a play called Black Watch with The National Theatre of Scotland for two and a half years and then went straight on to shoot a feature film called Black Death. Black Death was shot just outside Berlin and is set in medieval Britain during the plague in 1348.
The story revolves around a group of mercenaries and a monk who are assigned the task of travelling to a village that is allegedly untouched by the plague. My character is one of the mercenaries, his name's Swire. The film had a really strong group of actors including Sean Bean, so it was a great project to work on.
I went straight from the film to doing Paradox, with only two days off in between. They are completely different projects, so just as I had climbed out of one world, I went headfirst into another.
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