Scifipulse recently had the honour of interviewing Lauren Bancroft. She is an actor, writer, producer and comedian. Known for her Doctor Who sketch show The Idiot’s Lantern. Additionally Lauren has been a director of photography on the comedy short Reservoir Docs. As well as an actor/writer on The Burbs at the Nerdist School. And a cosplayer. During this interview Lauren discusses her top 5 Doctor Who episodes as well as her love of the 12th Doctor and Clara.
SFP: You’re an actor, writer, producer and comedian. How did you get started?
Lauren Bancroft: I guess I got my start through standup comedy. A good friend of mine always said I should try it so she made me sign up for my first open mic – and that was almost ten years ago now! But doing comedy, whether it’s standup or sketch, you meet so many creators that have great ideas but don’t necessarily know how to make them real. Having a solid script is great but if you don’t know how to produce it then it’s just some words on a page. I was lucky enough to find a community of creatives that had a need for my skill set of producing, and after a few years of doing it at a hobbyist level, I’ve been working in production full time for nearly four years.
SFP: Please can you tell us about your sketch show The Idiot’s Lantern? Where did the idea for that come from?
Lauren Bancroft: The Idiot’s Lantern is a Doctor Who/fandom sketch comedy group founded by Bob Mitsch about 9 years ago. The show originally started as original skits during the Masquerade at Gallifrey One, and has since grown into a staple of Program A. The group has also branched out from Gallifrey One since those early years, performing at San Diego Who Con, Los Angeles Comic Con, and San Jose Comic Con to name a few.
I first learned about The Idiot’s Lantern while attending my first Gallifrey One in February of 2016. I found myself watching a 2 hour sketch comedy show all about Doctor Who and as soon as it ended I left the hall and said “I want to be involved” to anyone who would listen. I was introduced to Bob (Mitsch) ten minutes later and I’ve been an actor, writer and video content producer with the group since. My past videos include Reservoir Docs (a Reservoir Dogs parody), SNL auditions for the Thirteenth Doctor, and a BBC behind the scenes look at the spider auditions for Arachnids in the UK.
SFP: Looking back at your Twitter I see you’re a huge fan of the 12th Doctor and Clara. What is it about that Doctor and that companion, and the way they work together, that really speaks to you?
Lauren Bancroft: It’s hard to put my finger on why I love Twelve and Clara. I’ve always enjoyed the trope of the grumpy older man who doesn’t like anyone and the young female firecracker who cracks his tough exterior and that is for sure present in their relationship. But their relationship, which started as something very different, grew into a deep love and admiration. They were what they both needed. After losing Danny she needed to run, and he needed her to make him more human. I also never really liked Clara and Eleven. They felt a little forced to me, but Clara and Twelve felt easier. Like it was supposed to feel.
SFP: I see also from your IMDB that you’re a producer on Wild Bitch and that you were a director’s assistant on Consent: A Short Comedy About A Serious Subject. How important is it that women tell their own stories?
Lauren Bancroft: It’s so important for all different types of voices to tell their stories. Absolutely women, but also those with disabilities, people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ communities. When all voices are given a platform and opportunities to share their experiences, it’s a chance to expose viewers to ways of life and to cultures they’d have no idea about otherwise.
I also find that women have a way of story-telling that’s distinctive. One of my absolute favorite things is when I’m watching a show or a movie, and I can feel that it was directed by a woman. Then I check and voila!- it was helmed by a lady.
SFP: What is your take on Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor?
Lauren Bancroft: I think Jodie Whittaker is great as the Doctor. She is such an acting talent and the show, and the fandom are lucky to have her. Any feelings of dissatisfaction or critiques I may have for Jodie’s seasons I feel are due to creative choices, and no fault of the actors. Jodie has done a great job bringing the character to life in this form in a way that pays homage to past incarnations, as is the tradition. I wish she was staying on a bit longer to be given a real shot, but I appreciate her performance over these last three seasons.
SFP: What are you working on at the moment?
Lauren Bancroft: I just wrapped production managing the ViacomCBS Sketch Showcase 2022 that premieres online February 8th and 9th. I’m producing a narrative podcast that centers around a late night radio show that investigates paranormal phenomena called Mythic Hunters. This is crunch time for the annual Idiot’s Lantern sketch comedy show at Gallifrey One, so I’m revising two sketches that I wrote for the 2022 show, that I’ll then produce, direct, and edit before our next live show on Friday February 18th at 8pm in Program A.
SFP: What for you are the top 5 Doctor Who stories and why?
Lauren Bancroft: Heaven Sent – I mean, what a feat of filmmaking Heaven Sent was. Directed by the amazing Rachel Talalay, and acted to perfection by Peter Capaldi, this episode is brilliant storytelling from start to finish. The audience gets to solve the mystery right along with the Doctor who is still grieving very deeply for the loss of Clara. It’s a gorgeous and powerful episode and ugh I just love it. I even have a cosplay of the wall.
Family of Blood – One of my favorite character traits of the Doctor is that darkness they have inside. That cold edge you see comes out from time to time that seems so much darker when juxtaposed with how silly or childlike they can be as well. The Family are baddies.
Girl in the Fireplace – You gotta love a show about time travel that really plays with time. This episode was great for playing with time in a creative way.
The Parting of the Ways – I think this is a great episode for Rose and the Doctor. You have the Doctor being protective and sending Rose away, and Rose taking hold of her agency and finding her way back to save him. My tattoo of “I want you safe, my Doctor.” is from Rose’s speech before she eviscerates the Daleks.
Midnight – Midnight is a great episode with a strong theme of mob mentality and how dangerous it can be. In this episode we see the Doctor in a state we don’t see them in often: afraid. For all his genius and charm, he was still about to get tossed off the ship by a bunch of tourists. And just as rare I feel, is when the Doctor doesn’t solve the mystery. We never found out what was going on there and that’s kind of neat.
SFP: And finally, who would be your pick for the 14th Doctor?
Lauren Bancroft: I actually don’t have an answer for this one! I am very lucky that I don’t think I’ve ever been burned by the BBC’s casting for the Doctor. Each one has been good and right. There’s something about being surprised by who it is, and if it’s someone I’m not familiar with, getting to go on the journey with them as they figure out who their Doctor is. So I don’t have a pick. I’d much rather continue to trust the BBC and be pleased when they pick another rockstar to lead my favorite show.
Scifipulse would like to extend our most heartfelt thanks and warmest best wishes to Lauren Bancroft for so graciously taking the time to answer our questions.
Lauren’s Twitter: @Bancroffed
Her Instagram: Lauren Bancroft (@bancroffed) • Instagram photos and videos
Lauren’s Facebook: Lauren Bancroft – Home | Facebook
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