Wednesday, 30 December 2015

'Radio Times' TV Review of 2015

That venerable publishing colossus,
Christmas perennial, and loyal Doctor 
Who supporter, the Radio Times, has
revealed the results of their annual,
multi-channel survey. Their top forty
shows of the year (headed by BBC2's
historical drama Wolf Hall) have again
been selected by the magazine's critics,
and Peter Capaldi's second season has
been placed at a very respectable number seven (up from nine last year). Rwriter Patrick Mulkern comments:

DOCTOR WHO BBC1 

"This autumn, the TARDIS landed in
its latest ever timeslot, which seemed 
suited to a darker tone of storytelling 
but was quickly denounced as the
reason for a ratings plunge of around
one million. No decline in quality was visible [though, in fact] there was an
upswing, with provocative themes, bold experiments, intelligent writing and
performances. Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi remoulded the Doctor
into a "raddled old rocker" more lovable than last year and painfully aware
that his glory days with Clara were ending. Jenna Coleman shone but her
job was done, while Capaldi proved [with] his solo jaunt, Heaven Sent (an
instant classic) [that] he's a one-man constellation".

Monday, 28 December 2015

Doctor Who Vs. Coronation Street, Part 1: 1960/61


"There was life before Coronation Street but it didn't add up to much."
- Russell Harty

"Manchester produces what to me is the Pickwick Papers. That is to 
say, Coronation Street, I live for it. Thank God. Half past seven tonight 
and I shall be in paradise" - Sir John Betjeman

Shown again on ITV3 last night, the BBC Four drama, The Road to Coronation Street documented the creation of ITV's long-running soap opera, from inception (as Florizel Street in 1959) to first transmission a year later.
Set mainly at Granada Studios in Manchester, the biopic told the true story
of Tony Warren (born Anthony Simpson in 1936, and played here by David Dawson), a struggling actor and scriptwriter who envisaged a programme that depicted normal, working-class life in a Salford terraced street.
After an initial commission to write thirteen pilot episodes, Warren contributed 
to the soap - affectionately known as Corrie - until 1978, and even made a
cameo appearance in the show's fiftieth anniversary live edition in 2010.
Based in the fictional Northern town of Weatherfield, Corrie debuted with a live episode on Friday December 9th 1960, and within three months was Britain's most watched TV programme and a national institution.
The show's first year on air included scripts from future Doctor Who writer
Barbara Clegg, guest starred former actor Barry Letts (in two episodes 
as Wentworth), and featured twenty-four other cast connections:
  • Alan Rothwell (David Barlow, 1960-1968) voiced Janto for Big Finish's The Twilight Kingdom (2004)
  • Daphne Oxenford (Esther Hayes, 1960-1972) was the Archivist in Dragonfire
  • Cyril Luckham (Dr. Tinsley) was the White Guardian from The Ribos Operation to Enlightenment
  • Frank Crawshaw (Arnold Tanner, 1961) was Arnold Farrow in Planet of Giants
  • Campbell Singer (Mason) and Reg Lever (Davies) both appeared in The Celestial Toymaker - Singer was Joey the Clown, the King of Hearts and Sergeant Rugg, and Lever was the Joker in The Hall of Dolls   
  • Graham Rigby (Thief here; Whitehead, 1963; Lambert, 1965/66; Wardle, 1995) was Larry Madison in The Dalek Invasion of Earth
  • Bryan Mosley (Alf Roberts, 1961-1999) had two parts in The Daleks' Master Plan - he was a Prop Man in The Feast of Steven, and Malpha in The Abandoned Planet
  • Fulton Mackay (Dr. Graham) was Dr. Quinn in The Silurians
  • Angela Douglas (Eunice) was Doris Lethbridge-Stewart in Battlefield
  • John Collin (Snape here; Pickens, 1969; and Stringer, 1979) was Brock in The Leisure Hive
  • Robin Wentworth (Dewhurst here; and Greaves, 1969) was Professor Horner in the first episode of The Daemons
  • Donald Morley (Fletcher here; and Bolton, 1974) and Keith Anderson (Constable) both appeared in The Reign of Terror - as Jules Renan and Robespierre respectively
  • Kenneth Cope (Jed Stone, 1961-63, 1966, 2008-09) was Packard in Warriors' Gate
  • Phillip Anthony (Pilkington) was Roald in The Daleks' Master Plan: The Nightmare Begins
  • Keith Marsh (Foreman here; Chippendale, 1966; Marsden, 1980; and Uncle Mervyn, 1999) was Conway in Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD
  • Neville Barber (Marsden) was Dr. Cook in The Time Monsters
  • Steve Plytas (Leo) was Wigner in The Tenth Planet
  • Anne Reid (Valerie Tatlock/Barlow, 1961-1971) was Nurse Crane in The Curse of Fenric, and Florence the Plasmavore in Smith and Jones
  • Jack Woolgar (Stallholder here; and Noblett, 1970) was Staff Sergeant Arnold in The Web of Fear
  • Harold Goldblatt (Riley) was Professor Dale in (episodes 3 and 4 of) Frontier in Space
  • Bernard Kay (Foster) was Carl Tyler in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, Saladin in The Crusade, Inspector Crossland in The Faceless Ones, and Caldwell in Colony in Space, and later voiced Major Dickens for Night Thoughts (BF, 2006)
  • Stratford Johns (Powell) was Monarch in Four to Doomsday
First shown in September 2010, The Road to Coronation Street also featured 
another six Doctor Who cast and crew connections:
  • Lynda Baron (Violet Carson) recorded The Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon (sung off screen) for The Gunfighters way back in 1966, then was Captain Wrack in Enlightenment, then Val in Closing Time 
  • Steven Berkoff (Sidney Bernstein) provided the voice of the Shakri in The Power of Three
  • Celia Imrie (Doris Speed) was Miss Kizlet in The Bells of Saint John, and voiced Dr. Elizabeth Bradley for Counter Measures (BF, 2013), then Madame Tissot for Gallery of Ghouls (BF, new for 2016)
  • Tim Palmer was also the cinematographer on Let's Kill HitlerThe Wedding of River Song and Nightmare in Silver
  • Thomas Alibone was assistant director on An Adventure in Space and Time too
  • Adam Green also edited The Girl Who Died, The Woman Who Lived and The Husbands of River Song

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Doctor Who Vs. The Gorgon

This feature marked a departure from the typically gothic fare of the Hammer stable by turning to Greek mythology for inspiration - here the legendary Gorgon sisters terrorise the villagers of Vandorf in turn-of-the-century Germany.
Released in cinemas in a double bill with The Curse 
of the Mummy's Tomb in 1964, the cast was headed 
by Hammer stalwarts Christopher Lee (as Professor Meister) and Peter Cushing (as Dr. Namaroff).
Shown again on the Horror channel today, The Gorgon featured Patrick Troughton (pictured as Inspector
Kanof, his second of five Hammer roles*) and six
other Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

  • Barbara Shelley (Carla) played Sorastra in Planet of Fire
  • Michael Peake (Constable) was Tavius in The Romans
  • Jim O'Brady (Angry Man) was an Escapee in Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD
  • Ron Hyde was sound editor on Dr. Who and the Daleks too
  • music supervisor Marcus Dods was the conductor on The Aztecs
  • stunt co-ordinator Peter Diamond was a regular stunt double and fight arranger on the classic series, from The Daleks to The Daemons
The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (also screened on Horror this week)
starred seven other Doctor Who links:
  • George Pastell, Pat Gorman, Jimmy Gardner, Michael McStay, Roy Stewart, Eddie Powell and Peter Diamond
*Troughton also appeared in The Phantom of the Opera (1962), The Viking 
Queen (1967), Scars of Dracula (1970), and Frankenstein and the Monster 
from Hell (1974)

Doctor Who Vs. S.O.S. Titanic

This Anglo-American TV movie was first shown over 
two nights on ABC television in 1979, then opened
in European cinemas in 1980.
The film depicts the doomed maiden voyage of 1912
from the perspectives of passengers in First, Second
and Third Classes, and is the first Titanic film released
in colour.
Exterior deck scenes on the famed liner were filmed
on board RMS Queen Mary, whilst TSS Manxman 
doubled for the rescue ship Carpathia. Some interior onboard scenes were recorded in the Waldorf and 
Adelphi hotels in London and Liverpool, and Peel in 
the Isle of Man served as the backdrop for 
Queenstown.
The cast of S.O.S. Titanic (screened on the True Entertainment channel last night) was headed by
Ian Holm (as Bruce Ismay), David Janssen (John
Jacob Astor), and Harry Andrews (Captian Smith), and featured thirteen 
Doctor Who cast and crew connections:
  • veteran Northern screen actor and prolific Big Finish artist David Warner (pictured as Second Class survivor Laurence Beesley here; then Lovejoy in 1997's Titanic) portrayed an Unbound Doctor for both Sympathy for the Devil (2003) and Masters of War (2008), then voiced Sir Isaac Newton for Circular Time: Summer (2007), Co-ordinator Angell for Empathy Games (2008), Professor Boston Schooner for Deimos and The Resurrection of Mars (both 2010), Autarch Siris for The Children of Seth (2011), Biggs for The Rosemariners (2012), the Narrator of The Black Hole (2015), and Cuthbert for the Fourth Doctor adventures The Sands of LifeWar Against the LaanThe Dalek ContractThe Final Phase (all 2013), Casualties of War and The Pursuit of History (both 2016) - he also voiced Lord Azlok for Dreamland (2009) and finally had a television role as Professor Grisenko in Cold War
  • Ed Bishop (Harris) voiced General Finch for Unbound: Full Fathom Five (BF, 2003)
  • Tony Caunter (Officer Wilde) was Morgan in Colony in Space, and Jackson in Enlightenment 
  • Robert Pugh (Farrell) was Tony Mack in The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood 
  • Maurice Roeves (Stoker Barret) was Stotz in The Caves of Androzani
  • Peter Bourke (Harold Bride) was Mr. Chambers in Human Nature
  • Alec Sabin (Frederick Fleet) was Ringway in Earthshock
  • Malcolm Stoddard (Officer Lightoller) voiced Urtak for The Zygon Who Fell to Earth (BF, 2008)
  • Phil Davis (Lookout) was Lucius Petrus Dextrus in The Fires of Pompeii, and voiced Titus for The Cannibalists (BF, 2009)
  • AndrĂ© Maranne (Navratil) was Roger Benoit in The Moonbase
  • Big Finish artist Nick Brimble (Abelseth) voiced Shreeni for Exotron (2007), Dudley Jackson for The Eternal Summer (2009), Kith for Max Warp (2008), and Olaf Eriksson for The Book of Kells (2010)
  • Barbara Lane was also the costume designer on The Claws of AxosThe DaemonsThe Curse of PeladonThe Time MonsterThe Android InvasionThe Seeds of Doom and The Hand of Fear
  • gaffer Maurice Gillett was the supervising electrician on both of Amicus' Dalek films

Friday, 13 November 2015

Britain defined by 'Doctor Who' (and some other stuff!)


The Radio Times recently published an article by Dominic Sandbrook that
celebrates Britain's television heritage. The historian mourns the loss of the
nation's status as the greatest superpower in history, but rallies with the
claim that Britainnia now commands a new Empire, that of Imagination.

Sandbrook explains that in the last 70 years, no other medium, "not fiction,
pop music, video games, even film" has rivalled "the sheer power on the box".
Britain is a major TV exporter, and since 2011, we have sold six times more
programming than Germany, a larger economic power. "Our cultural success is based partly on our penetration of the [all important] American market, where [hits] like The Avengers and Downton Abbey have come to define not just Britain's global brand but Britishness itself".

The author then lists his own most influential television shows, were Doctor 
Who is only beaten to the top spot by that other iconic veteran of British TV,
Coronation Street. Of the former, Sandbrook writes: "When I was growing up,
most people regarded Doctor Who with contempt. I never imagined that one
day [it] would become a colossal international brand. That's testament to the brilliance of the basic idea, as well as the skill with which it's been updated. The Doctor has become one of the great fictional embodiments of Britishness, rivalled only by Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. The show itself - sentimental, spine-chilling, silly, earnest, clever, populist - could surely only have been made in Britain". The complete top ten is:
  • The X Factor (ITV, 2004-present)
  • Cathy Come Home (BBC, 1966)
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus (BBC, 1969-74)
  • That Was The Week That Was (BBC, 1962/3)
  • The Avengers (ITV, 1961-69)
  • Dixon of Dock Green (BBC, 1955-76)
  • Brideshead Revisited (ITV, 1981)
  • Dad's Army (BBC, 1968-77)
  • Doctor Who (BBC, 1963-present)
  • Coronation Street (ITV, 1960-present)

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Doctor Who Vs. The Little Vampire

The Little Vampire series of children's books by
Angela Sommer Bodenburg began in 1979, and were originally adapted for German television in 1985.
This English language cinema version, filmed in Scotland, was released by New Line in late 2000,
and starred ten-year old Jonathan Lipnicki.
Shown again on ITV2 today, the film also featured
Richard E Grant (pictured as Walter Simeon in
The Snowmen), and nine other Doctor Who 
cast and crew connections:

  • Alice Krige (Freda) voiced Dr. Patricia Sawyer for Big Finish's Phantoms of the Deep (2013), and the Queen Mum for The Tenth Doctor Adventures: Death and the Queen (new for 2016)
  • Elizabeth Berrington (Elizabeth) was Auntie in The Doctor's Wife
  • Jim Carter (Rookery) voiced Brother Bernard for The Book of Kells (BF, 2010)
  • Steve Griffin was also a stuntman on The Idiot's Lantern
  • three-times Oscar winning costume designer James Acheson worked in the same capacity on twenty-nine episodes of the classic series, from The Mutants to The Deadly Assassin - he was responsible for designing the Fourth Doctor's first outfit
  • digital compositor Sandra Roach was a 2D artist on The Idiot's LanternThe Impossible PlanetThe Satan Pit and Love & Monsters
  • Micky Reeves was the gaffer on Closing Time and Torchwood too
  • Richard Glass and Jemma Scott-Knox-Gore both worked on The Time of the Doctor too, as (contact lens) optician and co-ordinator respectively

Monday, 12 October 2015

Doctor Who Vs. Coronation Street, Part 11: 1996-1999

By 1997, the Street's viewing figures were lagging behind rival EastEnders, with the programme yet again perceived as dated. ITV bosses were keen to make sweeping changes, and sought to attract a younger audience. Outgoing produced Sue Pritchard was replaced by Brian Park, and his short reign saw the culling of many older cast members, starting with the sacking of Peter Baldwin (who had played Derek Wilton since 1975). Park's controversial tenure saw the arrival of the unpopular Battersby family, the introduction of Hayley Patterson (the first transgender character in British soap history), and he was responsible for the infamous 'Weatherfield One' storyline when Deirdre was jailed.
David Hanson, the show's next producer, oversaw another landmark for Corrie, when its first Asian family, the Desais took over the corner shop in 1999, following the death of Alf Roberts (played by Bryan Mosley since 1961). The year also saw another expansion of the outdoor set (with Victoria Street
built to accommodate new businesses and flats),
and the appointment of another producer, Jane Macnaught.
These four years on the Street included scripts from Gareth Roberts,
Paul Cornell and Phil Ford, and featured twenty other Doctor Who 
cast and crew connections:
  • former actor Phil Collinson (the future producer of both Doctor Who and Corrie) appeared in episode 4302 as Bob Wright
  • Su Douglas (Mrs. Bradley here; and Meredith, 2012) voiced Countess Venhella for Benny's Story, and Gem Weston for Fitz's Story (both part of Big Finish's The Company of Friends release of 2009)
  • Michael Walker (Motorist) was a Radar Operator in (episodes 1 and 2 of) The Claws of Axos, and Miseus in The Time Monster (5/6)
  • James Garbutt (Wilf) was Ronson in Genesis of the Daleks
  • Peter Kay (Shopfitter here; and Eric Gartside, 2004) was Victor Kennedy, aka the Abzorbaloff in Love & Monsters
  • Suranne Jones (Mandy here; then Karen Phillips/McDonald, 2000 to 2004) was the eponymous subject of The Sarah Jane Adventures: Mona Lisa's Revenge, then played Idris (pictured) in The Doctor's Wife
  • Derek Riddell (Newbould) was Robert MacLeish in Tooth and Claw
  • Andrew Knott (Liam) voiced James O'Meara for 1963: Fanfare for the Common Men (BF, 2013), and Sean Casey for Dark Eyes 2: The White Room (BF, 2014)
  • William Ilkley (Horrocks) was Tim Bass in The Mark of the Rani
  • Jennifer Hennessey (DC Kay here; and Bernie, 2009) was Valerie in Gridlock, and Moira in The Pilot
  • John Normington (Groves) was Morgus in The Caves of Androzani, and Trevor Sigma in The Happiness Patrol
  • Big Finish artist Michael Cochrane (Fay) was Charles Cranleigh in Black Orchid, Redvers Fenn-Cooper in Ghost Light, then voiced Lt. Col. Brook for No Man's Land (2006), Murgat for Brotherhood of the Daleks (2008), Colonel Spindleton for Trail of the White Worm and The Oseidon Adventure (both 2012), Chivers for Destiny of the Doctor: The Time Machine (2013), and Geralk for both The Fate of Krelos and Return to Telos (new for 2015)
  • Brigit Forsyth (Babs) was Ruth Maxtible in The Evil of the Daleks
  • Victoria Alcock (Mary) was Angela in Planet of the Dead, and voiced Marion for Power Play (BF, 2012)
  • Carolyn Pickles (Moira) voiced Lady Meera for Army of Death (BF, 2011)
  • David Simeon (Dr. Bird) was Private Latimer in (episodes 1 and 3 of) Inferno, and Alastair Fergus in The Daemons (1)
  • Stephen Billington (Greg Kelly) voiced Commander Bergam for UNIT: Shutdown (BF, new for 2016)
  • Raji James (Collector) was Dr. Rajesh Singh in Doomsday and Army of Ghosts
  • Elizabeth Rider (Kathleen here; and Genna, 2006) provided the ATMOS voice for The Sontaran Stratagem, was Linda in The Time of the Doctor, and voiced Galatea for The Well-Mannered War (BF, 2015)
  • Annie Hulley (Gwen) voiced the Newsreader for (part 3 of) The Happiness Patrol

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Doctor Who Vs. Jonathan Creek, Series 1

This cult BBC crime drama (expertly blended with supernatural mystery and black comedy) began in 1997, and ran for four irregular series until 2004. These were followed by five specials, and a new, fifth series was broadcast last year.
Written and created by David Renwick, the programme won the 1998 BAFTA for Best Drama Series. The titular lead character, Creek (played by comedian Alan Davies), worked for magician, Adam Klaus, and was joined in the first three series by Maddy Magellan (Caroline Quentin), an investigative journalist.
 From Satan's Chimney (Christmas 2001) to the end of the fourth season, Creek was then aided in his cases by Carla Borrego (Julia Sawalha), until Joey Ross (Sheridan Smith) worked with Creek in The Grinning Man (2009), The Judas Tree (2010), and The Clue of the Savant's Thumb (2013).
The first season co-starred Maureen O'BrienGeoffrey Beevers (as Kirsten and Spivey, both in part two) and Colin Baker (as Hedley Shale in the opening mystery), whilst later episodes starred Peter Davison and Mary TammVerity Lambert produced the show
from series two to four inclusive. 
This five-part series began both a repeat run on the Alibi channel and concluded another run on the Drama channel last night, and featured twenty-seven other 
Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

The Wrestler's Tomb (TX: May 10 1997)
  • Anthony Head (Klaus) voiced Valentine for Death Comes to Time, and Grayvorn in the three-part Excelis saga for Big Finish (all 2002), before his TV role as Brother Lassar in School Reunion, then voiced Baltazar for The Infinite Quest - Head had auditioned for the part of the Doctor in 1996 and was replaced as Klaus from the next series by revived series co-star Stuart Milligan
  • Lloyd McGuire (DS Davey) was Lugo in The Face of Evil, and voiced Generalleutnant Tendexter for The Architects of History (BF, 2010)
  • Tim Chipping (Martin) voiced both Grigory [Rasputin] and the Dahensa for The Wanderer (BF, 2012), and both Constable Wolsey and Mandrake for The Widow's Assassin (BF, 2014)
  • John Asbridge (production designer on twenty-four Jonathan Creek stories) designed The Happiness Patrol too
  • regular costume designer Annie Hardinge and make-up designer Vivien Riley both began their TV careers on the classic run, on Vengeance on Varos and The Masque of Mandragora respectively
  • series sound recordist Terry Elms was an assistant on serial 4M too
  • regular visual effects designer Chris Lawson had provided VFX for Arc of InfinityPlanet of Fire and Attack of the Cybermen
  • series stunt co-ordinator Steve Whyment was an uncredited extra on The Keeper of Traken and Snakedance
  • magician Ali Bongo was also a consultant on the classic series and many other television shows
Jack in the Box (TX: May 17)
  • Bernard Kay (Oliver) had four classic era 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, and voiced Major Dickens for Night Thoughts (BF, 2006)
  • Robin Soans (Rokesmith) was Luvic in The Keeper of Traken, and has been cast in Face the Raven
  • Colin Stinton (Reisner) was US President, Arthur Coleman in The Sound of Drums
  • William Franklyn (Narrator) voiced Pharaoh Amenhotep for The Roof of the World (BF, 2004)
The Reconstituted Corpse (TX: May 24)
  • Philip McGough (Brickman) was Sergeant Calder in Resurrection of the Daleks
  • Nigel Planer (Shelford) voiced Alex Marlowe for Hothouse (BF, 2009), then played Vorgenson (son of Vorg, Carnival of Monsters) for Doctor Who Live: The Monsters Are Coming
  • dubbing mixer Laurie Taylor worked on studio sound for Castrovalva
No Trace of Tracy (TX: May 31)
  • Geraldine Alexander (Francine) was Areta in Vengeance on Varos
  • Del Henney (Gibbins) was Colonel Archer, also for serial 6P
  • Christine Moore (Polly) voiced Winnie for The Vanity Box (released in 2007 with The Wishing Beast)
  • Rob Jarvis (Tex) was Abramal in The Time of the Doctor
The House of Monkeys (TX: June 7)
  • Barnaby Kay (DC Spelling) has been cast in The Girl Who Died, and voiced Martin Donaldson for Dark Eyes 4: A Life in the Day (BF, 2015)
  • Charles Kay (Elliot) voiced the Curator for Excelis Rising
  • Annette Crosbie (Ingrid) was Mrs Angelo in The Eleventh Hour
  • stunt co-ordinator Peter Diamond was a regular stunt double and fight arranger on the 'classic' sereis, from The Dalek Invasion of Earth to The Daemons
  • Tony Lucken was also a stuntman on DalekBad WolfThe Parting of the Ways and The End of Time
  • Tina Maskell was a stunt performer on Boom Town and The Runaway Bride too

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Doctor Who Vs. Spooks, Series 6

Series regulars Peter Firth (as Harry Pearce), Rupert 
Penry-Jones (Adam Carter), Miranda Raison (Jo Portman), Hermione Norris (Ros Myers), and Hugh Simon (Malcolm) all returned for the sixth season of this award-winning spy drama, which was first broadcast on BBC One in the autumn of 2007.
This ten-part series saw the introduction of both Alex Lanipekun as journalist Ben Kaplan (later recruited as a junior officer) and Gemma Jones as Section D analyst Connie James, then the departure of Raza Jaffrey as MI5 agent Zaf Younis.
Season six of Spooks began another repeat run on the 
Sony Entertainment TV channel tonight, and featured nineteen Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

  • prolific Big Finish artist and director Lisa Bowerman (Maggie Dibden) played Karra in Survival, and voiced Seruba Velak for Dreamland, but is best known for her title role in the Professor Bernice Summerfield spin-off audio series (and The Shadow of the Scourge, The Dark Flame, Benny's Story, Love and War, The Highest Science, All-Consuming Fire) and as Ellie Higson for the Jago and Litefoot audio adventures - she also voiced Beth Pernell for Whispers of Terror (1999), Sergeant Gazelle for Zagreus (2003), and the Computer for The Bounty of Ceres (2014)
  • Lanipekun voiced DS Joseph for The Third Doctor Adventures 2: The Hidden Realm (BF, 2016)
  • Pete Lee-Wilson (Ronson) was Tommo in The End of Time, Part 1
  • Selva Rasalingam (Maruti) was Ranjit in The Power of Three
  • Simon Slater (Caldwell) was Edwardes in Terror of the Vervoids
  • Angela Bruce (Chambers) was UNIT Brigadier Winifred Bambera (pictured) in Battlefield, a role she reprised for Animal (BF, 2011)
  • Richard Dillane (Richardson) was Captain Carter in Let's Kill Hitler and The Wedding of River Song
  • Joe Montana (Millar) was a Worker in Daleks in Manhattan
  • Sam Graham (Rolfe) voiced Guthrie for City of Spires (BF, 2010), and McMullan for Destination Nerva (BF, 2012)
  • David Yelland (Castledine) voiced Walter Pritchett for Big Finish's Doom Coalition 1 (new for 2015)
  • for Hermione Norris, Miranda Raison, Robert Glenister (Home Secretary) and writer Neil Cross see my blog for series 5 of Spooks
  • for cinematographer Damian Bromley and editor Jamie Pearson see my blog for series 4 of Spooks
  • Toby Ford was the first assistant director on A Good Man Goes to War too
  • Simon Morris was also second assistant director on Love & Monsters, then first assistant on Turn LeftThe Stolen EarthJourney's End, and the second season of The Sarah Jane Adventures
  • Lucienne Suren was art director on Asylum of the DaleksThe Angels Take Manhattan, and An Adventure in Space and Time too
  • director (of episodes 7 and 8) Stefan Schwartz, a former actor, was Knight Commander in Battlefield
  • Marcus Catlin was also first assistant director on The Hungry EarthCold Blood, The Pandorica Opens and The Big Bang
  • Robert Edwards was ADR mixer on Space and Time too

Monday, 21 September 2015

Doctor Who Vs. FairyTale: A True Story

Fairy Tale tells the compelling, true story
of the Cottingley fairies. Two cousins, Elsie
Wright (1901-1988) and Frances Griffiths (1907-1986) photographed 'fairies' at Cottingley Beck, near Bradford in Yorkshire,
in 1917.
Headed by Peter O'Toole (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) and Harvey Keitel (as Harry Houdini), the cast of this British film (from Icon and Paramount, 1997) included Paul McGann, as Elsie's father, Arthur Wright. The Hungarian-born escapologist, Houdini (1874-1926) was a known sceptic, who determined to expose fake phenomena, whereas Sherlock Holmes creator, Doyle (1859-1930) was a famed spiritualist, who believed in the existence of the Cottingley fairies. Two (of the five) photos were originally published with a supportive article by Doyle in The Strand magazine at Christmas 1920, but the story continued to attract fresh interest from 1966, and just before the cousins died, they finally exposed the fairies as a hoax in 1983.
The Whoniverse has seen numerous mentions of Houdini and Doyle in many media. Tim Beckmann voiced Houdini in Destiny of the Doctors: Smoke and Mirrors (from
AudioGo), and the illusionist appeared in The Space Cuckoos online novella (both 2013). Doyle (voiced by Steven Miller) starred in Jago & Litefoot: The Monstrous 
Menagerie from Big Finish (2014). In the Torchwood episode, Small Worlds (2006), Gwen Cooper is seen examining a Cottingley photo.
Shown again on the 5* channel yesterday, FairyTale featured sixteen other Doctor Who cast and crew connections:
  • Florence Hoath (Elsie) played Nancy (pictured) in The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances
  • Bill Nighy (Gardner) was Dr. Black in Vincent and the Doctor
  • Tim McInnerny (Ferret) was Halpen in Planet of the Ood, and voiced Admiral Dolne for Big Finish's The Well-Mannered War (2015)
  • Anthony Calf (Hodson) also appeared opposite McGann in The Monocled Mutineer, and voiced Lord Barset for Frozen Time (BF, 2007)
  • Don Henderson (Chalker) was Gavrok in Delta and the Bannermen
  • Tom Georgeson (Reporter) was Kavell in Genesis of the Daleks, a police Inspector in Logopolis (and worked with McGann again on Downtime, also 1997)
  • Sean Buckley (Bandylegs) was a Barman in The Wedding of River Song 
  • Ann-Louise Plowman (Fairy) was Diana Goddard in Dalek
  • Carol Noakes (Photographer) voiced Olerik for The Acheron Pulse (BF, 2012)
  • and Harry Fielder (Stagehand), a veteran of fifteen 'classic' era appearances, was a Guard (in serials PP, ZZZ, 4L, 4P, 5A, 5F, 5Z), a Crewman (SS, 4T), a Vogan (4D), an Assassin (4Q), a Tigellan (5Q), and a Krarg in Shada 
  • assistant John Munro was a make-up artist on twenty-four installments of the revived series, from The Runaway Bride to Journey's End
  • foley editor Michael Feinberg also edited ten episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures, and The Lazarus Experiment
  • stuntman Jim Dowdall had uncredited roles in Day of the DaleksGenesis of the Daleks and Frontios
  • Steve Griffin was a stuntman on The Idiot's Lantern too
  • stuntman Bill Weston was a Militiaman in The Smugglers
  • stuntman Chris Webb was a Monoid in The Ark, and a Guard in (episode 1 of) The Curse of Peladon

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Doctor Who Vs. State of Play

This landmark six-part political thriller
(a co-production with Endor), written
and co-produced by Paul Abbott
(Cracker, Shameless), was originally broadcast on both BBC One and BBC
Four in May and June 2003.
 Directed by prospective Doctor Who 
film-maker David Yates (Harry Potter), State of Play later received
seven BAFTA nominations, eventually winning three awards, and a sequel was planned but is still to be made.
 The series was repeated on BBC Four
from August 2004, then issued on DVD
in 2005, and an American film version starring Russell Crowe and Helen Mirren was released in 2009.
Another repeat run of the series continued on the Drama channel last night, and featured John Simm (pictured as journalist Cal McCaffrey, his future Life on Mars 
co-star) Philip Glenister (DCI Bell), James McAvoy (Foster), Kelly Macdonald (Della), and these seventeen other Doctor Who cast and crew connections:
  • David Morrissey (Stephen Collins MP, pictured left) played Jackson Lake in The Next Doctor
  • Bill Nighy (won the Best Actor BAFTA for his role here as Cameron Foster) was Dr. Black in Vincent and the Doctor
  • Marc Warren (Dominic Foy) was Elton Pope in Love & Monsters
  • Rebekah Staton (Liz) was Jenny and Mother of Mine in The Family of Blood two-parter
  • Sean Gilder (DS Cheweski) was the Sycorax leader in The Christmas Invasion
  • Big Finish artist Nick Brimble (DCC Janson) voiced Shreeni for Exotron (2007), Dudley Jackson for The Eternal Summer (2009), Kith for Max Warp (2008), and Olaf Eriksson for The Book of Kells (2010)
  • Anthony Flanagan (Man) was Orin Scannell in 42
  • Bruce Lawrence (Jack) was the Engineer in Voyage of the Damned
  • Michael Gould (Merrick) voiced Frederick Lindemann for The Churchill Years (new for 2016)
  • Madeleine Potter (Tate) voiced Yoanna Rayluss for Cradle of the Snake (BF, 2010), Lizzie Williams for Assassin in the Limelight (BF, 2008), and Lady Ferril for Ferril's Folly (BF, 2011)
  • Aaron Neil (Paramedic) was cast as Dunlop in The Magician's Apprentice
  • Fred Pearson (Dad) was the Barista in The Bells of Saint John
  • Christopher Obi (Journalist) was George in Closing Time
  • David Ryall (Coutts) voiced both Carthok and Sir Nikolas Valentine for Phantasmagoria (BF, 1999)
  • series line producer Paul Frift later produced In the Forest of the Night and Last Christmas
  • first assistant director Stephen Wolfenden went on to direct Nightmare in Silver
  • Thomas Elgood was location manager on The Bells of Saint John too

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Doctor Who Vs. Spooks, Series 5

Series regulars Peter Firth (as Harry Pearce), Rupert 
Penry-Jones (Adam Carter), Raza Jaffrey (Zafar Younis), Miranda Raison (Jo Portman), and Hugh Simon 
(Malcolm) all returned for the fifth season of this award-winning BBC spy drama, which was first broadcast in the autumn of 2006.
This ten-part series saw the introduction of Hermione 
Norris, as MI6 officer Ros Myers, and the departure of Rory MacGregor and Nicola Walker, as Section D analysts, Colin Wells and Ruth Evershed. Norris played Captain Lundvik in Kill the Moon.
Season five of Spooks (known as MI5 in some countries) began another repeat run on the Sony TV channel last night, and featured thirty-one Doctor Who cast and crew connections:
  • for Raison and Walker see my other Spooks blogs
  • series regular Gugu Mbatha Raw (Jenny) was Martha's sister, Tish Jones (pictured) in Smith and Jones, The Lazarus Experiment, The Sound of Drums and Last of the Time Lords
  • Lindsay Duncan (Angela Wells) was Captain Adelaide Brooke in The Waters of Mars
  • Robert Glenister (Home Secretary) was Salateen in The Caves of Androzani, just his second TV role
  • Mark Straker (Manager) and Michael Carter (Clark) both made their TV debuts on the classic series, as a Trooper in Earthshock, and a Prisoner and UNIT Soldier in The Mind of Evil
  • Colin Stinton (Styles) was President Arthur Winters in The Sound of Drums
  • Lucian Msamati (Bufong) was Guido in The Vampires of Venice
  • David Fynn and Gary Milner (Policemen) were Marcellus in The Pandorica Opens and Scared Man in The Stolen Earth respectively
  • Davood Ghadami (Prince) was Jim in Let's Kill Hitler
  • Shaun Dingwall (Paynton) was Rose's dad, Pete Tyler in Father's Day, and returned as a parallel version of Pete for Rise of the Cybermen, The Age of Steel and Doomsday
  • Pip Torrens (Lee) was Headmaster Rocastle in Human Nature and The Family of Blood
  • Alec Newman (Dempsey) and Michael Maloney (Russell) both starred in Blue Forgotten Planet for Big Finish (2009), as Ed Driscoll and the Viryans respectively - the latter also voiced Simonsson for Grand Theft Cosmos (2008), Fratalin for Patient ZeroFarrow for Hornet's Nest: The Circus of Doom (both 2009), Rennol for Kiss of Death (2011), Hilary for Destiny of the Doctor: Enemy Aliens (2013), and Gregor Saraton for Zygon Hunt (2014)
  • James Greene (Holland) was the Abbott in The Bells of Saint John
  • Anthony Flanagan (Fletcher here; and Tom in Spooks: Code 9was Orin Scannell in 42
  • Aaron Neil (Ibraham) voiced Tir Ram for All-Consuming Fire (BF, new for 2015), Sanukuma Master for The Diary of River Song (BF, new for 2016), and was cast as Dunlop in The Magician's Apprentice
  • Peter Barrett (Officer) voiced the Capper for Damaged Goods (BF, 2015)
  • Derek Hutchinson (Cash) voiced Altus for The Burning Prince (BF, 2012), and Brother Callis for Dark Eyes 4: Eye of Darkness (BF, 2015)
  • for Francesco Reidy and Robert Edwards see my blog for series 1
  • director of photography Michael Costelloe was camera operator on the first five episodes of the revived series
  • Tim McInnerny (Mace) was Klineman Halpen in Planet of the Ood
  • director (of parts 3 and 8) Julian Simpson also helmed The Rebel Flesh and The Almost People
  • for editor Jamie Pearson and cinematographer Damian Bromley see my blog for series 4
  • writer (of part 9) Neil Cross also penned The Rings of Akhaten and Hide
  • Tony Slater Ling was also cinematographer on The Vampires of Venice and Vincent and the Doctor
  • Andy Merchant was also stuntman on The Wedding of River Song and Into the Dalek