Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Doctor Who Vs. Murder Rooms

The brilliant period drama, Murder Rooms, was inspired by the real-life relationship between Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) and his mentor, Dr Joseph Bell (1837-1911), the apparent model for his most famed creation, Sherlock Holmes.
A two-part pilot was shown on BBC2 in 2000, and starred the ever excellent Ian Richardson as Bell (pictured here on location, right) and Robin Laing as medical student Doyle (here based at Edinburgh University, circa 1877). Charles Edwards was then cast as Dr Doyle (pictured, left) for the full series (when the newly qualified doctor was establishing his practice in Southsea, c. 1882), and Richardson reprised Bell - he had himself portrayed Holmes in the TV films, The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Sign of Four (both 1983).
The next four serials all aired on BBC1 in the autumn of 2001. The programme was released on VHS in 2003, then issued on DVD last year (but excluded the pilot), and featured these twenty-three Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes
(TX: January 4 & 5 2000)
  • director Paul Seed played the Graff Vynda-Ka in The Ribos Operation
  • Bernard Horsfall (Crawford Snr.) was Lemual Gulliver in The Mind Robber, a Time Lord in The War Games, the Thal leader Taron in Planet of the Daleks, Chancellor Goth in The Deadly Assassin, and voiced Arnold Baynes for Davros (Big Finish, 2003)
  • Alec Newman (Neill) voiced Ed Driscoll for Blue Forgotten Planet (BF, 2009)
The Patient's Eyes (TX: September 4 2001)
  • Alexander Armstrong (Turnavine) provided the computer voice of Mr Smith in The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007-2011), The Stolen Earth, and Journey's End
  • Andrew Woodhall (Greenwell) was Rex Tucker in the upcoming An Adventure in Space and Time
  • Lee Sherward was also a stunt co-ordinator on eleven episodes of Doctor WhoTorchwood: Miracle Day, and Sherlock
The Photographer's Chair (TX: September 18)
  • Roger Lloyd Pack (Ibbotson) was John Lumic in Rise of the Cybermen and The Age of Steel
  • series production assistant Holly Pullinger was production manager on The Eleventh Hour, The Time of Angels, Flesh and Stone, The Vampires of Venice and Vincent and the Doctor
The Kingdom of Bones (TX: September 25)
  • writer Stephen Gallagher had also scripted Warriors' Gate and Terminus
  • Warwick Davis was Emperor Ludens Nimrod Kendrick Cord Longstaff XLI, known as Porridge in Nightmare in Silver
  • Miles Richardson (Thurn here; Cox for The Return of Sherlock Holmes, 1987) was Douglas Cavendish in Downtime, and Daemos Rising (the 2004 video spin-off and loose sequel to The Daemons), and voiced Charles Darwin for Bloodtide (BF, 2001) and Irving Braxiatel for Zagreus (2003) and Gallifrey: Time War (2018)
  • John Sessions (Rutherford here; Kenny Price in Sherlock: The Great Game, and Mycroft Holmes in Mr. Holmes) voiced General Tannis in Death Comes to Time (BBCi, 2002), Mozart in 100: My Own Private Wolfgang (BF, 2007), and Roland in Castle of Fear (BF, 2009)
  • Ian McNeice (Donovan) portrayed Winston Churchill in Victory of the Daleks and The Wedding of River Song, and voiced Reginald Harcourt for Renaissance Man (BF, 2012), and Zeus for Immortal Beloved (BF, 2007)
  • Daphne Oxenford (Dowager) was the Archivist in Dragonfire
  • Cyril Shaps (Smoot) was John Viner in The Tomb of the Cybermen, Dr. Lennox in The Ambassadors of Death, Professor Herbert Clegg in Planet of the Spiders, and the Archimandrite in The Androids of Tara
  • John Stahl (Milford) voiced Whitenoise for Red (BF, 2006)
  • stunt co-ordinator Gareth Milne was George Cranleigh in Black Orchid, a Mortuary Attendant in Vengeance on Varos, and doubled for Peter Davison on Warriors of the Deep
The White Knight Stratagem (TX: October 2)
  • Annette Crosbie (Booth) was Mrs Angelo in The Eleventh Hour
  • Ron Donachie (Fergusson) was a Steward in Tooth and Claw
  • Ronald Pickup (Starr) was a Physician in The Reign of Terror, and voiced Kestorian for Time Works (2006) and Elder Bones for Spaceport Fear (2013)
  • Michael J Jackson (Orde) was Sir Geoffrey de Lacey in The King's Demons
  • Hugh Ross (Doyle Snr.) voiced Merodach for The Companion Chronicles release Night's Black Agents (BF, 2010), Robert Stretton for Industrial Evolution (2011), Vepaja for Voyage to Venus, and Sir Toby Kinsella for the Counter Measures spin-off audio series (both 2012)
  • Sean Clayton was the second assistant director on Dalek, and Father's Day too

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