from TV Choice Magazine (UK) / by Tricia Martin
She made her name as Little Dorrit in the star-studded BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’ story. Now Claire Foy has come bang up to date as Hannah Carter in BBC3’s pilot drama Pulse. A blood-splattered supernatural thriller, it’s a tale of secret medical experiments, cover-ups and a hospital where anything can happen. We caught up with Claire and her co-star Ben Miles to talk about gore and zombies…
Did you have any idea of how gory this was going to be when you read the script?
Claire Foy: That there was going to be this amount of blood in it? I think we all got our fair amount of blood splattered at us at some point. I don’t know that I approve of gore in general terms. But in this, it’s different.
You only see blood when there are operations. There are no unnecessary spurts of blood. And then when it does happen, it’s not just done for effect. It’s like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe what’s happened’.
Ben Miles: I didn’t get splattered by any blood at all. I felt very left out!
The medics’ accommodation looks like student halls of residence. Did it take you back to your student days?
Claire Foy: Oh God! Yes, but not willingly. Those carpets you get in halls that have got stains on them. Really grim. And those mattresses where you need mattress protectors. The glamour!
Is it supposed to be ambiguous at first whether Hannah Carter is really seeing things?
Claire Foy: Definitely. She doesn’t really believe in herself, so she doesn’t know what to make of what’s going on around her.
Ben Miles: There’s the central story of the cover-up, and this pioneering cancer treatment, which is obviously very controversial. But as to who knows about it, and what side of the fence people are on, that’s kind of up for grabs, which I think is a great way to leave a pilot.
What appealed to you about the script?
Ben Miles: When I read it, I thought it defies genre. I didn’t know how it would look, or how it would turn out.
Things are often more scary if they aren’t in environments like spooky houses, or foggy marshes, and this is set in a place that everybody knows. We’ve all got an opinion about hospitals, some people can’t go in them because they hate them, some people like them – it’s a great setting. It makes it more horrific because it’s in a familiar environment, but unfamiliar things are happening.