Saturday, 18 October 2014

Doctor Who Vs. Octopussy

The thirteenth entry in the James Bond film franchise, the sixth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent Bond, was released by Eon Productions and MGM/United Artists in 1983, shortly before the unofficial Never Say Never Again.
Taking its title from Ian Fleming's short story collection, Octopussy and the Living Daylights (published in 1965), the film's plot is original but does include some inspiration from The Property of a Lady (1967) and Moonraker (1955).
The movie was shot mainly on location in India, with the interiors filmed as usual at Pinewood studios. Octopussy was shown on ITV4 tonight, and featured these twenty-one Doctor Who cast connections:
  • Steven Berkoff (Orlov) played the Shakri in The Power of Three
  • Philip Voss (Auctioneer) was Acomat in Marco Polo, and Wahed in (episode 1 of) The Dominators
  • Patrick Barr (Ambassador) was Jack Hobson in The Moonbase
  • Gertan Klauber (Bubi) was the Galley Master in The Romans: All Roads Lead to Rome, and Ola in The Macra Terror
  • Michael Moor (Thug) was an Extra in The Silurians (6)
  • RJ Bell (German) began his career as the Garm in Terminus
  • Jennifer Hill (Wife) was Mrs. Peace (pictured) in The Unquiet Dead
  • Ingrid Pitt (Galley Mistress) was Queen Galleia in The Time Monster, and Dr. Solow in Warriors of the Deep - Pitt and her husband, Tony Rudlin, submitted a Doctor Who script in 1984, which was eventually produced as The Macros by Big Finish in 2010
  • for Albert Moses (Salruddin) and Jeremy Bulloch (Smithers) see my blog for The Spy Who Loved Me
  • future EastEnders actress Nicola Stapleton (Girl) was Mandy Slater in Dimensions in Time
  • child actor Gary Russell (Teen) went on to write and direct Real Time, adapt and produce Shada for Big Finish, then direct The Infinite Quest and Dreamland, produced The Gunpowder Plot, and served as script editor on TorchwoodMusic of the SpheresCity of the DaleksBlood of the CybermenThe Waters of MarsThe End of Time and The Sarah Jane Adventures pilot
  • Rocky Taylor (Roger Moore's stunt double), stunt co-ordinator Martin Grace and stuntmen Tip Tipping, Jim Dowdall, Chris Webb, Nick Hobbs, Stuart Fell, Arthur Howell and Nick Wilkinson all worked in similar capacities on the classic and recent runs

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Doctor Who Vs. Coronation Street, Part 9: 1983-1989

The Street's longest-serving producer,
Bill Podmore, stood down in late 1982,
just as the new edgy, soap opera
Brookside launched on the fledgling Channel 4. Although the rival show never matched Corrie in popularity or ratings, the Liverpool-based series did make the Street appear dated again.
Mervyn Watson's producership would result in much behind-the-scenes turmoil, but the Deirdre Barlow and Mike Baldwin affair storyline proved to be the most successful to date. 
By 1985, many of the programme's core cast had left, including all of the original cast (bar William Roache), then the BBC launched its own flagship serial drama, the twice-weekly EastEnders. Despite retaining its audience, Corrie was accused of being old fashioned yet again, and another new producer, John Temple, oversaw a makeover.
The return of Podmore for a third and final stint as producer in 1987 led to even more changes, and the most significant additions to the show came in 1989 with the introduction of a third episode then an omnibus edition. As the decade ended, Corrie was back at its peak with viewers and critics alike.
These seven years on the Street featured another twenty-one Doctor Who cast and crew connections:
  • Micheal Bilton (Pearson) played Charles de Teligny in The Massacre, Collins in Pyramids of Mars, and a Time Lord in The Deadly Assassin
  • Michael Goldie (Statham) was Jack Craddock in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, and Elton Laleham in The Wheel in Space 
  • Sam Kelly (Challis) voiced Eugene Tacitus for The Holy Terror (BF, 2000), and Acheron in Return to the Web Planet (BF, 2007)
  • David Brierly (Harold in episode 2359) provided the voice of K9 for The Creature from the PitNightmare of Eden and The Horns of Nimon
  • Cory Pulman (Mandy) was Kathleen Dudman in The Curse of Fenric
  • Ron Donachie (Schofield) was a Steward in Tooth and Claw
  • Nigel Gregory (Mills) was Sergeant Vince Wilson in K9 and Company
  • David Ashton (Birchall) was Kendron in Timelash
  • Big Finish artist Susan Brown (Connie here; and Maureen, 2006) voiced Mary for 100: Bedtime Story (2007), Alice Withers for The Eternal Summer, Maud for Castle of Fear, both Mrs Withers and Mrs Sowerby for Plague of the Daleks (all 2009), Margaret for Deimos and The Resurrection of Mars, Eleanor Harvey for Return of the Krotons, Chief Engineer and Chanel for The Song of the Megaptera, Babs for Prison in Space (all 2010), and Kastrella for the forthcoming release Death Match - she also played Bridget Spears in Torchwood: Children of Earth
  • director (of episodes 2761 and 2785) Gerald Blake also helmed The Abominable Snowmen and The Invasion of Time
  • Sarah Lancashire (Wendy here; and Raquel Woolstenhulme Watts, 1991-96) was Miss Foster (pictured) in Partners in Crime
  • Simon Rouse (Farrell here; Woodson, 2013) was Hindle in Kinda
  • Kenneth Waller (Watts) was Hedges in (part 2 of) The Invisible Enemy
  • Mona Hammond (Mrs. Armitage) was Rita-Anne in Rise of the Cybermen
  • Rob Dixon (Roscoe) voiced Reggie Mead for Project: Twilight (BF, 2001) and Sergeant Wood for No Man's Land (BF, 2006)
  • Jenny Funnell (WPC Morgan) voiced Veronica Buchman for Wirrn Isle (BF, 2012), and Reaver for The King of Sontar (BF, 2014)
  • Michael Sheard (Dabner) is another prolific guest actor with seven roles over 35 years - he was Rhos in The Ark: The Plague, Dr. Roland Summers in The Mind of Evil, Laurence Scarman in Pyramids of Mars, Lowe in The Invisible Enemy, Mergrave (also serial 5Z), the Headmaster in Remembrance of the Daleks, and he voiced Orsino for The Stones of Venice (BF, 2001)
  • Julia Deakin (Secretary here; Brenda, 2003) voiced Harriet Griffin for Terror Firma (BF, 2005)
  • Eric Potts (Dearing here; Saxton, 1996; Council Official, 1998; and Diggory Compton, 2005/06) was Oliver Charles in Aliens of London
  • Rod Arthur (Foreman here; Blood Donor, 1991) was Mr. Parsons in School Reunion
  • Ling Tai (Student) was an uncredited Tourist in The Leisure Hive (1), a Seabase Crewmember in Warriors of the Deep, then Shou Yuing in Battlefield

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Doctor Who Vs. X: The Unknown

Released in 1956, this British feature was another Hammer Film production which marked the company's transition from a maker of B-movies to purely science fiction and horror fare. 
X: The Unknown was intended as a direct sequel to The Quatermass Xperiment (1955), but writer Nigel Kneale refused permission to use his character here. American Oscar winning actor Dean Jagger was then cast as nuclear scientist, Dr. Adam Royston, a role clearly influenced by Professor Quatermass.
Shown on BBC Two on Sunday, the film starred child actor Frazer Hines (pictured as Ian Osborn) and seven other future Doctor Who cast connections:
  • William Lucas (Elliott) played Range in Frontios
  • John Harvey (Major Cartwright) was Professor Brett in The War Machines, and Officia in The Macra Terror
  • Kenneth Cope (Sapper) was Packard in Warriors' Gate
  • Edwin Richfield (Burnt Soldier) was Captain Hart in The Sea Devils, and Mestor in The Twin Dilemma
  • Neil Hallett (Unwin) was Maylin Renis in Timelash
  • Brian Peck (First Soldier) was Dervish in The Space Pirates
  • Neil Wilson (Russell) was Seeley in Spearhead from Space