Monday, 25 April 2016

Doctor Who Vs. Messiah 3: The Promise

Again produced by BBC Northern Ireland, this dark 
and gritty thriller (the second sequel to Messiah,
which was based on the 1999 crime novel by Boris 
Starling), was another original screenplay from Lizzie Mickery.
This two-part serial saw the return of Ken Stott (as 
DCI Red Metcalfe), Neil Dudgeon (DI Warren), and 
the final appearance of both Frances Grey (DS Beauchamp), and Michelle Forbes (Susan).
First shown over two consecutive nights in August 2004, Messiah III concluded another repeat run 
on the Drama channel last night, and featured nineteen Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

  • Liam Cunningham (Tierney) played Captain Zhukov (pictured) in Cold War
  • Tom Ellis (Dr. Ryder) was Dr. Thomas Mulligan in Last of the Time Lords
  • Big Finish actor Michael Maloney (Henderson) voiced Simonsson for Grand Theft Cosmos (2008), Fratalin for Patient Zero, the Viryans for Blue Forgotten Planet (both 2009), Rennol for Kiss of Death, Farrow for Hornets' Nest: The Circus of Doom (both 2011), Hilary for Destiny of the Doctor: Enemy Aliens (2013), and Gregor Saraton for Zygon Hunt (2014)
  • Michael Bertenshaw (Houseman) was Mr. Coles in The Next Doctor
  • Leo Bill (White) was the Pilot in A Christmas Carol
  • Paul Copley (Fleet) was Clem McDonald in Torchwood: Children of Earth, and voiced Dad for Spare Parts (BF, 2002)
  • Pip Torrens (DI Walmsley) was Headmaster Rocastle in Human Nature and The Family of Blood, and voiced Charlie Gibbs for Eldrad Must Die! (BF, 2013)
  • co-producer Sanne Wohlenberg also produced A Christmas CarolThe Doctor's Wife and Night Terrors
  • SFX designer Neil Gorton, of Millennium FX has worked on seventy-five installments of the revived run (from The Christmas Invasion to Last Christmas), thirty-five episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures, and Torchwood
  • special make-up effects artist Stuart Conran worked on prosthetics make-up for New Earth and The Idiot's Lantern
  • Nicholas Hopkins was also third assistant director on Bad Wolf and The Parting of the Ways
  • for Lesley Smith see my blog for Messiah 2
  • Rosalind Ebbutt was also the costume designer on Black Orchid and The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
  • Nigel Squibbs and Roger Dobson both worked on An Adventure in Space and Time
  • Steve Scotton was also a SFX technician on Rose The End of the World Aliens of London The Christmas Invasion Rise of the Cybermen
  • Levan Doran was a stuntman on Tooth and Claw too
  • stunt co-ordinator Gareth Milne was George Cranleigh in Black Orchid, a Mortuary Attendant in Vengeance on Varos, and doubled for Davison on Warriors of the Deep
  • stuntman Nick Hobbs made uncredited appearances in The Ambassadors of DeathTerror of the AutonsThe Mind of EvilThe Claws of AxosDay of the DaleksThe Time Monster, both Peladon stories (as Aggedor), The Ark in Space, then returned to the programme 35 years later, as Mr. Nainby in Amy's Choice

Saturday, 23 April 2016

New Doctor Who Companion Announced

The BBC announced on Thursday that the identity of the actress cast to replace 
 Jenna Coleman when Doctor Who returns to BBC One at Christmas would be revealed today. A photo teaser was issued online yesterday, which showed the
new character's Vans shoes left outside the TARDIS. Then this evening, at half-
time during the Match of the Day coverage of the FA Cup semi-final match at 
Wembley (between Everton and Manchester United), Pearl Mackie was 
unveiled as Peter Capaldi's newest travelling companion, Bill.
The Brixton-born actress, 28, graduated from Bristol Old Vic in 2010, and
appeared in the film Svengali (2013), and an episode of Doctors (2014).
She is currently performing in the National Theatre's West End production
of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Mackie commented on the BBC News site: "I'm incredibly excited to be joining
 the Doctor Who family. It's such an extraordinary British institution, I couldn't
 be prouder to call  the Tardis my home. Peter is such a brilliant actor, and his Doctor is such a wacky and wonderful character, I can't wait to see what adventures are in store for him and Bill." She described the new companion as "wicked, cool, strong, sharp, a bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in."
Her co-star said "It is a genuine delight to welcome Pearl" to the programme,
and added that she was "a fine actress with a wonderful zest and charm."

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Doctor Who Vs. Pet Shop Boys

This post combines my two greatest creative influences: the British institutions
 that are Doctor Who and Pet Shop Boys.

For the uninitiated, the Wikipedia entry for the Pet Shop Boys describes them as
"an English electronic dance music duo [formed in London in 1982, and originally called West End], consisting of Neil Tennant [b. 1954], who provides main 
vocals and Chris Lowe [b. 1959] on keyboards." 
One of the world's best-selling music artists, Pet Shop Boys have sold over 100 million records worldwide, and are listed as the most successful duo in UK music history. Three times Brit Award winners and six-times Grammy nominees, since 1985 they have achieved forty-two Top 30 singles and twenty-two Top 10 hits in the UK chart, including four number ones: West End GirlsIt's a SinAlways On My Mind, and Heart. At the 2009 Brit Awards, Pet Shop Boys received the Outstanding Contribution to Music.
The duo's most recent studio album, their thirteenth, titled Super was released 
last week to great acclaim, and reached number three in the UK chart.
These two icons of British culture are connected by these thirteen facts:

  • In the late 1980's, a young Scottish drama student called David John McDonald adopted the stage name of David Tennant, after PSB frontman Neil Tennant
  • The PSB film, It Couldn't Happen Here (1988), starred Gareth Hunt (Arak in Planet of the Spiders), Barbara Windsor (given a cameo in Army of Ghosts), extra Chris Chering (a Tetrap in Time and the Rani, and a Skinhead in Silver Nemesis), and Simon Archer (lighting cameraman) was later the cinematographer on The Lodger
  • Little Britain actors, David Walliams and Matt Lucas - both longtime Petheads and dedicated Whovians - appeared in the video for I'm With Stupid (2006)
  • Frances Barber - who played Madame Kovarian in Series Six - starred in the PSB stage musical, Closer to Heaven (2001) as Billie Trix, and Concrete (2006) featured her live version of Friendly Fire
  • Tennant provided backing vocals on Robbie Williams' 1998 single, No Regrets with Neil Hannon, who later sang Love Don't Roam for The Runaway Bride, and performed Song For Ten on the first Doctor Who soundtrack album (2006)
  • Former PSB manager Tom Watkins also worked with Billie Piper during her pop career
  • The character of Elton Pope in Love & Monsters was named after Elton John, who recorded a cover version of In Private with Tennant for Fundamentalism (2006)
  • Tennant and Lowe have collaborated with many other musicians, including Kylie Minogue, who played Astrid Peth in Voyage of the Damned
  • The PSB revived the career of Dusty Springfield with the release of the single, What Have I Done to Deserve This? in 1987, leading to her album, Reputation in 1990, produced by the duo - the number one hit record, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me (1966), was heard in The Rebel Flesh, and Rory remarked that his mum was a fan of Dusty (along with Wilf Mott)
  • Phil Oakey also dueted with Tennant, on Yes Etc. with This Used to be the Future - his former band, the Human League, recorded a tribute B-side track entitled Tom Baker in 1981
  • Sir Ian McKellern - the voice of the Great Intelligence in The Snowmen - starred as a vampire in the video for Heart (1988)
  • Ron Moody appeared as the Judge in the video for It's a Sin (1987)

Monday, 4 April 2016

Doctor Who Vs. Messiah 2: Vengeance Is Mine

Again produced by BBC Northern Ireland, this dark
and gritty crime drama (the first sequel to Messiah, 
which was based on the 1999 novel by Boris Starling), 
was an original screenplay from Lizzie Mickery which 
earned another Golden Nymph nomination.
This two-part serial saw the return of Ken Stott (pictured as DCI Red Metcalfe), Frances Grey (DS Beauchamp), Neil Dudgeon (DI Warren), Michelle Forbes (Susan), and Kieran O'Brien (Eric). Alun 
Armstrong and Vincent Regan joined the cast here 
as DCI Charlie McIntyre and DI David Wilby.
First shown over two consecutive nights in January
2003 (postponed from August 2002 due to the Soham murders), Messiah II began another repeat run on the Drama channel last night, and featured twelve Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

  • Shaun Dingwall (Jameson) played Pete Tyler in Father's Day, and returned as a parallel version of Pete in Rise of the Cybermen, The Age of Steel and Doomsday 
  • Angela Bruce (Dr. Dugdale) was UNIT Brigadier Winifred Bambera in Battlefield, a role she reprised for Animal (BF, 2011)
  • Emily Joyce (Anna Marchant) provided an Alien voice for The Girl in the Fireplace
  • Aleksandar Mikic (Pasovic) was Yuri Kerenski in The Waters of Mars
  • David Quilter (Herd) was Greeves in The Unicorn and the Wasp
  • Dani Biernat (Chrissie) was the stunt co-ordinator on eleven stories, from The Christmas Invasion to In the Forest of the Night
  • for Art Malik (DCS Emerson) and Greg Bennett (CSO) see my blog for Series 1
  • line producer Paul Frift also produced In the Forest of the Night and Last Christmas
  • Sean Clayton was also the second assistant director on Dalek and Father's Day
  • make-up artist Lesley Smith began her career working on (part 1 of) State of Decay
  • Pamela Joyce was also production co-ordinator on The End of the World and The Unquiet Dead