Friday, 16 November 2012

Doctor Who Vs. The Quatermass Experiment (2005) [Revised]


The contemporary remake of Nigel Kneale's seminal series of 1953 was transmitted live (like the original) on BBC4, in April 2005. Jason Flemyng (the son of Gordon Flemyng, director of both Dalek films) became the seventh actor to portray Professor Bernard Quatermass. It was during rehearsals that David Tennant (pictured, here playing Dr. Briscoe) was offered the role of the Tenth Doctor, but his casting was only announced two weeks after transmission. In the live broadcast, Flemyng even changed Quatermass' first line to Briscoe to "Good to have you back Doctor" from the scripted "Gordon"!
Six other Doctor Who cast connections here are:
  • Mark Gatiss (Paterson) - scripted for television were three Doctor Who Night sketches (BBC2, 1999), The Unquiet Dead, The Idiot's Lantern, The Lazarus Experiment (in which he starred as Richard Lazarus), Victory of the Daleks (with an uncredited role as 'Danny Boy'), Night Terrors, and forthcoming episodes, The Crimson Horror and The Cold War, with a further appearance in The Wedding of River Song as Gantok (and reprising 'Danny Boy') - written for Big Finish were Phantasmagoria (also voicing the part of Jasper Jeake) and Invaders from Mars (which he also directed), whilst playing Walter Schwieger for The Sirens of Time (1999), Karl Hendryk for The Mutant Phase (2000), Thinnes for Sword of Orion, Vincenzo for The Stones of Venice (both 2001), and the Master for Unbound: Sympathy for the Devil (2003) - penned for Virgin's New Adventures were Nightshade (1992) and St. Anthony's Fire (1994), and The Roundheads (1997) and Last of the Gaderene (2000 and 2013) were later published by BBC Books
  • Adrian Dunbar (Lomax) voiced McCarthy for Brave New Town (BF, 2008)
  • Indira Varma (Judith) was Suzi Costello in the first series of Torchwood
  • Andrew Tiernan (Caroon, pictured left) was Jim Purcell in Night Terrors
  • Isla Blair (Blaker) was Lady Isabella Fitzwilliam in The King's Demons, and voiced Paula for Exotron (BF, 2007)
  • Greg Bennett (Journalist) was both a Sycorax Warrior and a UNIT Soldier in The Christmas Invasion, and a Guest in The Lazarus Experiment

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Doctor Who Vs. A Very British Coup [Revised]


Channel 4's new drama serial, Secret State - starring Gabriel Byrne as the newly elected PM - was inspired by the 1982 novel, A Very British Coup, from Labour MP Chris Mullin.
Dramatist Alan Plater adapted 4's original three-part version of this landmark political drama, which was first broadcast in 1988. Here, Ray McAnally played the beleaguered working-class Prime Minister, Harry Perkins.
This seldom repeated programme (but still available to watch on 4oD here) won four BAFTA awards and an International Emmy, and was finally released on DVD last year. 
This series featured no less than eighteen Doctor Who guest actors:
  • Geoffrey Beevers (Wainwright) first appeared in the 'classic' series as Private Johnson in The Ambassadors of Death, opposite his wife, Liz Shaw actress Caroline John, who is also seen here as Annette - and then became the third actor to portray the Master in The Keeper of Traken, and both Dust Breeding (2001 - again with John, as Madame Salvadori) and Master (2003) for Big Finish
  • Hugh Martin (Sampson) was Munro in Terror of the Zygons, and the Priest in Vengeance on Varos
  • Bernard Kay (Page) had four roles in just seven years; he played Carl Tyler in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, Saladin in The Crusade, Inspector Crossland in The Faceless Ones, and Caldwell in Colony in Space, as well as voicing Major Dickens for Night Thoughts (BF, 2006)
  • Tim McInnerny (Fiennes) was Halpen in Planet of the Ood
  • Christine Kavanagh (Liz) was Aram in Timelash
  • David McKail (Robertson) was Sergeant Kyle in The Talons of Weng-Chiang, a role he reprised for Big Finish's Jago & Litefoot spin-off audio range
  • Shane Rimmer (US Secretary of State) was Seth Harper in The Gunfighters
  • Clive Merrison (Interviewer) was Jim Callum in The Tomb of the Cybermen, and the Deputy Chief Caretaker in Paradise Towers
  • veteran actor Philip Madoc (Fison) played Eelek in The Krotons, the War Lord in The War Games, Dr Mehendri Solon in The Brain of Morbius, Fenner in The Power of Kroll, Brockley in the second Dalek film, and provided the voices of Rag Cobden in Return of the Krotons (BF, 2009), and Victor Schaeffer also for Master
  • Jeremy Young (Alford) was Kal in 100,000 BC, and Gordon Lowery in Mission to the Unknown - he was once married to Kate O'Mara (the Rani) 
  • Stephanie Fayerman (Editor) was McLuhan in Dragonfire
  • Jim Carter (Newsome) voiced Brother Bernard for The Book of Kells (BF, 2010)
  • Roger Brierley (Andrews) was Trevor in Volcano, and voiced Drathro in The Mysterious Planet
  • Preston Lockwood (Fain) was Dojjen in Snakedance
  • Barbara Ward (Reporter) was Ruth Baxter in Terror of the Vervoids
  • Jessica Carney (Maureen) is the grand-daughter of William Hartnell and the author of his biography Who's There? (Virgin, 1996)
  • Julian Fox (Porter) was Peter Hamilton in Death to the Daleks
  • Ernest Vincze was also the cinematographer on 38 NuWho episodes, from Rose to The Waters of Mars