Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Doctor Who Vs. Collision

This prime-time mini-series, first shown over five consecutive nights in November 2009, began another repeat run on ITV3 last night.
Co-written by English novelist and screen writer Anthony Horowitz (PoirotFoyle's WarAlex Rider), the drama 
centred on the aftermath of a major road traffic accident.
Collision featured Douglas Henshall (as DI John Tollin), 
Richard Harrington (Taylor), Zoe Telford (Sandra), 
Paul McGann (Richard Reeves), and thirty-nine other 
Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

  • real-life brothers Dean Lennox Kelly (Danny) and Craig Kelly (Jeffrey) were the eponymous Bard and (the voice of) Joe in The Shakespeare Code and Scream of the Shalka respectively
  • Sylvia Syms (Joyce) played Mrs. Pritchard in Ghost Light
  • Lucy Griffiths (Jane) voiced Mabel for Big Finish's The Auntie Matter (2013)
  • David Bamber (Norris) and Christopher Villiers (Fowler) both appeared in Mummy on the Orient Express, as Captain Quell (pictured) and Professor Moorhouse respectively - Bamber also voiced Emperor Constantine for The Council of Nicaea (BF, 2005), and both Colonel Ulrik and Whitmore for The Four Doctors (BF, 2010), whilst Villiers was also Hugh Fitzwilliam in The King's Demons, and voiced Cacothis for Absolution (BF, 2007)
  • Pip Torrens (Commissioner) was Headmaster Rocastle in Human Nature and The Family of Blood, then voiced Charlie Gibbs for Eldrad Must Die! (BF, 2013)
  • Philip Davis (Edwards) and Victoria Wicks (Angela) both starred in The Fires of Pompeii, as Lucius and the  High Priestess - Davis also voiced Titus for The Cannibalists (BF, 2009)
  • Kate Ashfield (Ann) voiced Beth Stokes for Enemy of the Daleks (BF, 2009)
  • Jo Woodcock (Jodie) voiced Ziv for Starlight Robbery (BF, 2013)
  • Claire Rushbrook (Karen) was Ida Scott in The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit
  • Jocelyn Jee Esien (Cindie) was Clyde Langer's mum Carla in The Sarah Jane Adventures
  • Andrew Brooke (PC Clacy) was Kahler-Tek, aka the Gunslinger, in A Town Called Mercy
  • Colin McFarlane (Jackson) voiced the Heavenly Host in Voyage of the Damned, was General Austin Pierce in Torchwood: Children of Earth, and was Moran in Under the Lake and Before the Flood
  • Lenora Crichlow (Alice) was Cheen in Gridlock, and voiced Rachel Cooper for The Architects of History (BF, 2010)
  • Nicholas Farrell (Fraser) voiced Gammades for Time Reef and Phil for A Perfect World (BF, both 2008), Captain Frank for Last of the Cybermen (BF, 2015), and was Brian Green PM in Torchwood: Children of Earth 
  • Raymond Sawyer (Chauffeur) was the Desk Sergeant in Blink
  • Renu Setna (Shah) was the Intern in (part 1 of) The Hand of Fear
  • Ben Crompton (Canwell) was Ross in Into the Dalek
  • Nia Roberts (Linda) was Ambrose Northover in The Hungry and Earth Cold Blood
  • Nicholas Gecks (Miller) was Albert Dumfries in The Sound of Drums
  • Matthew Gravelle (DS Braydon) voiced Klinus for The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield (BF, 2014)
  • Nimmy [Anna] March (Carol) voiced both Baroness Vance and Telokni for UNIT: Silenced (BF, 2016), and Rupa Maguire for The Time War (2017)
  • Maya Sondhi (Nurse) voiced Katy Bell for The Carrionite Curse (BF, 2017)
  • Amy Roberts was also the costume designer on Image of the FendahlFull Circle, State of Decay, The Keeper of Traken, Time Flight and Mawdryn Undead
  • St. John O'Rorke was film editor on The Time of the Doctor too
  • Liz Griffiths was also the set decorator on Dalek, The Long Game,Father's Day, The Empty Child, The Doctor Dances, Bad Wolf and The Parting of the Ways
  • SFX supervisor Tony Auger was VFX designer on K9 and Company and Black Orchid
  • Simon Blackledge and Gary Kelly were both VFX assistants on The Power of Three, following work on A Town Called Mercy and The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe respectively
  • Matt Wood was also the VFX supervisor on the previous three stories
  • stunt co-ordinator Derek Lea and stunt performers Stephanie Carey, George Cottle, Stuart Clark, Rob Hunt and Andy Smart all worked on the revived run too
  • Warwick Drucker was the grip on Rose and Aliens of London too

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Doctor Who Vs. The Jury

ITV's prime-time mini-series, The Jury II was first shown over five consecutive nights in November 2011. 
The drama centred on the story of the twelve men
and women called for jury service in the retrial of
a man accused of a triple murder, after the High Court overturned the original guilty verdict.
This courtroom drama (the follow-up to Granada's own six-part series, which aired in February 2002
- see footnote below) began another repeat run
on ITV3 last night. 
The cast, headed by Roger Allam (Endeavour) and
Julie Walters (Harry Potter) as rival QC's, featured
twenty Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

  • Ronald Pickup (Livingstone) made his TV debut as the Physician in The Reign of Terror: Tyrant of France, then later voiced Kestorian for Time Works (2006), and Elder Bones for Spaceport Fear (2013) both from Big Finish
  • Steven Mackintosh (Brierley) played Gazak in Timelash
  • Anne Reid (June) was Nurse Crane in The Curse of Fenric, and Florence Finnegan in Smith and Jones
  • Ronan Vibert (Branson) was Professor Skinner in The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Last Sontaran
  • Keith Parry (Clerk) was the Bus Driver in Planet of the Dead
  • Natasha Williams (Clerk) was a Pharmacist in Gridlock
  • Shobu Kapoor (Mum) was a Woman in Journey's End
  • Meera Syal (Headmistress) was Nasreen Choudhry in The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood
  • Danny Sapani (DI Scott) was Colonel Manton (pictured) in A Good Man Goes to War
  • Nicholas Asbury (Romeo) voiced Rowe for The Companion Chronicles release, The Many Deaths of Jo Grant (BF, 2011)
  • Ivanno Jeremiah (Takana) voiced Abasi for The Ghosts of Gralstead (BF, 2013)
  • Meg Wynn Owen (Olive) was Old Isabella in A Christmas Carol
  • John R Walker (Dent) was a Cured Patient in New Earth, an Injured Man in Evolution of the Daleks, and a Sales Rep in Planet of the Ood
  • Ivanno Jeremiah (Tahir) was Rafando in Extremis
  • Eben Young (Radio Host) was Colonel Don Brabbit in The Pyramid at the End of the World
  • Rakhee Thakrar (Sister) has been cast as new Big Finish companion Bliss
  • film editor Philip Kloss also edited The Doctor's Daughter, MidnightThe End of TimeTorchwood: Children of Earth and An Adventure in Space and Time
  • Adam Harvey was assistant editor on the 50th anniversary biopic too
  • Toby Ford was first assistant director on A Good Man Goes to War too
  • Nick Roberts was also ADR mixer on The Time of AngelsFlesh and StoneThe Vampires of VeniceCold Blood and The Lodger
The Jury (2002) starred Derek Jacobi, and eight further Doctor Who cast
 links: Nina Sosanya, Michael Maloney, Sylvia Syms, Nicholas Farrell, Ellen
Thomas, John Duttine, Paul Reynolds and Helen McCrory.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Doctor Who Vs. Watch the Birdies

The latest edition of Doctor Who: The Complete History examines another four Second Doctor adventures, including The Web of Fear, which introduced the character of Lethbridge-Stewart.
Nicholas Courtney (1929-2011) had failed to 
land the role of King Richard for The Crusade, but director Douglas Camfield later cast him as 
Bret Vyon in The Daleks' Master Plan. Camfield
 then provided Courtney with his first lead role 
on TV, as photographer Bill Page in Watch the 
With the actor due to play Captain Knight in
The Web of Fear, David Langton dropped out
of the role of Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, and Courtney was 'promoted' by the director.
This long-lost BBC2 thriller centred on the investigations of DI Clayton (played by Nicholas Selby, also later considered as Langton's replacement as the Colonel) into
the London underworld.
The five-part series, broadcast in June and July 1966, also featured
eleven other Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

  • producer Alan Bromly (1915-1995) went on to direct The Time Warrior and Nightmare of Eden
  • director Camfield (1931-1984) was a production assistant on 100,000 BC and Marco Polo before directing fifty-two further episodes, from Planet of Giants: Crisis to The Seeds of Doom
  • Kevin Stoney (Bergmann) and Edward Dentith (Crawford) both appeared opposite Courtney in The Invasion, as Tobias Vaughn and Major General Rutlidge respectively - Stoney also played Mavic Chen in The Daleks' Master Plan, and Tyrum in Revenge of the Cybermen
  • Wanda Ventham (Irene) was Jean Rook in The Faceless Ones, Thea Ransome in Image of the Fendahl, and Faroon in Time and the Rani
  • Royston Tickner (Attendant) and Paula Topham (Receptionist) both starred in The Daleks' Master Plan: The Feast of Steven, as Steinberger P Green and Vamp - Tickner was also Robbins in (episode 1 of) The Sea Devils
  • Madalena Nicol (Countess) and Gilly Fraser (Waitress) both starred in The Faceless Ones, as Nurse Pinto and Ann Davidson
  • Terry Wright (Dragos) was a Cheerleader in The Macra Terror (4), and a White Robot in The Mind Robber
  • Jo Rowbottom (Marcia) was Mollie Dawson in The Evil of the Daleks

Monday, 13 June 2016

Doctor Who Vs. Mrs. Caldicot's Cabbage War

This independent British comedy feature premiered at
 German then Moscow film festivals, and was released
in UK cinemas in 2003.
The story (based on the book by Vernon Coleman)
centred on housewife Thelma Caldicot (played by
Pauline Collins and pictured in Tooth and Claw), who
finally becomes free of her boorish husband when
he's killed by a cricket ball, only to be confined to a 
retirement home by her son Derek (played by Peter Capaldi). Upset with the care she and the other 
patients receive, Thelma leads a revolt.
The film was shown again on Channel 5 yesterday,
and featured Camille Coduri (as Jackie) and
thirteen other Doctor Who cast and crew alumni:

  • Sheila Reid (Joye) was Etta in Vengeance on Varos, Clara's Gran in The Time of the Doctor and Dark Water, and voiced Claire Summerfield for Big Finish's The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield: Good Night, Sweet Ladies (2014), and Janaiya for The Middle (2017)
  • Frank Mills (Leslie) was the Telescope Director in Terror of the Autons
  • Isla Blair (Matron) was Lady Isabella Fitzwilliam in The King's Demons, and voiced Paula for Exotron (BF, 2007)
  • Paul Freeman (Jenkins) voiced Jalnik for The Foe from the Future (BF, 2012)
  • Martin Jarvis (JB) was Hilio in The Web PlanetButler for Invasion of the Dinosaurs, and the Governor in Vengeance on Varos, and voiced Nigel Rochester for Jubilee (BF, 2003) 
  • Wanda Ventham (Victoria) was Jean Rook in The Faceless Ones, Thea Ransome in Image of the Fendahl, and Faroon in Time and the Rani
  • Angela Bruce (Gina) was UNIT Brigadier Winifred Bambera in Battlefield, a role she reprised for Animal (BF, 2011)
  • Annette Badland (Cook) was Margaret Blaine, alias Blon Fel Fotch Pasameer-Day Slitheen, in Aliens of London, World War Three and Boom Town, and voiced Queen Karlina for Equilibrium and Thelma for Suburban Hell (BF, both 2015)
  • Nicholas McArdle (Dale) was De Vries in The Stones of Blood
  • Jamie Bradley (Driver) was Strood in Bad Wolf
  • Lisa Kay (Sally) voiced Alayna for Empire of the Racnoss (BF, 2017)
  • Rocky Taylor was a stuntman on The Idiot's Lantern too
  • unit manager Peter Bennett was first assistant director on fourteen stories (from Bad Wolf to The End of Time), production manager on The Doctor's DaughterMidnightThe Stolen Earth and Journey's End, then produced another twelve episodes (from The Beast Below to Series 9)

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Defending 'Love & Monsters'

Five years ago, James Wynne presented his ten
worst post-2005 episodes on the Doctor Who TV 
website. To my dismay, Love & Monsters topped the 
list, with Wynne commenting that the "Blue Peter 
contest winner was poor in every way and felt more 
like a soap [opera] with an alien thrown in just for 
comedy purposes. Not Doctor Who." 
At the time I responded by admitting that the 
adventure was 'marmite' fare, fans either love it 
or hate it.
In January 2012, Jonathan Morris' review of Love &
 Monsters for DWM (issue 443) countered comments
made by Peter Kay in the Daily Mail the previous November.
Britain's most successful stand-up comedian made
guest appearance in the story after praising the programme's reboot in a letter to Russell T Davies, 
but said that his episode was "regarded by fans as the worst ever."
Then yesterday, the Radio Times published Huw Fullerton's latest blog,
The 13 Most Divisive Doctor Who Episodes, and Love & Monsters again
led the survey.
The story was first broadcast on BBC1, ten years ago, to 6.7M viewers. 
This much maligned story is still one of my favourites, and is actually far 
superior to the one that followed it, Fear Her. Written by show-runner 
Davies and directed by Dan Zeff (his only outing on the show), it features a
 stellar cast in Kay, Marc Warren, Shirley Henderson, Simon Greenall, Moya
 Brady, Kathryn Drysdale, and Camille Coduri. And the music is perfect!

  • The working title of Love & Monsters (the only story with an ampersand in the title) was I Love the Doctor, and it's French broadcast was retitled LINDA 
  • The episode is notable as the programme's first 'doctor-lite' script, and was produced in the same block as The Satan Pit two-parter
  • Elton Pope (Warren) witnesses alien incursions from earlier stories: an Auton attack, and the Slitheen and Sycorax ships over London
  • Elton is a fan of Jeff Lynne and his Electric Light Orchestra, and three ELO songs are heard here
  • The fan group LINDA (London Investigation 'N' Detective Agency) is later mentioned in Time Crash, but the acronym was first used on Why Don't You? (BBC1, 1973-1995)
  • Victor Kennedy (Kay) is in fact an 'Abzorbaloff' creature from the Slitheen twin planet of Clom
  • Uniquely, the episode referenced all four of Davies' series arcs - Bad Wolf [virus], Torchwood [files], [Mr] Saxon, and the lost planets
  • The Hoix monster is also seen in Torchwood: Exit Wounds, and The Pandorica Opens
  • Bella Emberg, Mrs Croot here, first made (uncredited) appearances in The Silurians and The Time Warrior
  • Elton paraphrases Stephen King: "salvation and damnation are the same thing" (from The Green Mile)
  • This is the only Doctor Who adventure ever to allude to oral sex
  • The DWM Mighty 200 Poll (September 2009) placed Love & Monsters at 153rd, whilst Fear Her proved to be the most unloved Tennant story and ranked just 192nd
  • To date, the serial has been repeated fifteen times on BBC3

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Doctor Who Vs. Hamlet

In 1925 - more than eighty years before David Tennant's highly acclaimed portrayal of the Prince
of Denmark - a teenage William Hartnell joined Sir Frank Benson's Shakespearean Company. He 
performed in Hamlet a year later, 
and again in 1928.
Patrick Troughton and Peter Cushing both appeared in Laurence Oliver's film rendition of Hamlet (1948). The first ever 
television production of the play 
was broadcast the year before, 
and was Troughton's TV debut 
(he played Horatio here, and 
the Player King in the film).
Tennant took the title role when the RSC staged Hamlet at Stratford in 2008, 
and the play was televised on BBC2 the following Christmas (the cast included 
Patrick Stewart and Doctor Who guest actors John Woodvine, David Ajala, 
Roderick Smith, Peter De Jersey, Andrea Harris and Zoe Thorne).
William Russell starred as the Prince in the 1961 TV version of Hamlet
opposite a dozen future classic era guest stars (Clive Morton, Bernard Kay, 
Nicholas Hawtrey, Neville Jason, Thane Bettany, Anthony Gardner, Kenneth 
Gilbert, Peter Copley, William Marlowe, Robert James, Terence Bayler and 
Michael Spice).
 Another BBC dramatisation in 1980 featured Derek JacobiGeoffrey Beevers, and Lalla Ward (as Ophelia) - here with Claire Bloom, Geoffrey Bateman, Emrys James, Reginald Jessup, Peter Benson, Peter Burroughs, and series stalwart Stuart Fell.
Peter Davison appeared in a 1974 production of Hamlet, whilst Christopher Eccleston took the lead role in Leeds (2002). John Simm also played the 
Prince, in Sheffield in 2010.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Doctor Who Vs. From Hell

The most recent cinematic depiction of the Whitechapel 
Murders of 1888 was the big-budget Hollywood thriller 
From Hell, directed by the Hughes brothers, and 
released by Fox in 2001.
Based on the graphic novel series of the same name
 by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell (originally published
in Taboo from 1989-1992, then issued in a collected
edition in  1999), the film again presents perhaps the
most widely known theory behind the Jack the Ripper
 mystery - the Royal conspiracy.
The stellar cast was led by Johnny Depp and Robbie 
Coltrane as real-life detectives, Inspector Frederick
Abberline (1843-1929) and Sergeant George Godley
(1856-1941). Heather Graham portrayed the final
canonical victim, Mary Kelly (who actually survived
here), Ian Holm was royal doctor, Sir William Gull
(who became a Ripper suspect in the 1970's), and
Ian Richardson was Sir Charles Warren (1840-1927), the beleaguered Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
From Hell was shown again on the 5Star channel last night, and also
featured sixteen Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

  • Ian McNeice (Coroner Drudge) played Winston Churchill in Victory of the Daleks and The Wedding of River Song (a role reprised by Big Finish in The Churchill Years), and voiced Zeus for Immortal Beloved (BF, 2007) and Reginald Harcourt for Renaissance Man (BF, 2012)
  • Lesley Sharp (Kate Eddowes) was Sky Silvestry in Midnight
  • Joanna Page (Ann Crook) was Queen Elizabeth I (pictured) in The Day of the Doctor
  • Paul Rhys (Dr. Ferral) voiced Max Paul for The Scapegoat (BF, 2009)
  • Mark Dexter (Prince Eddy) was Dad in Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead 
  • David Schofield (McQueen) voiced Billy for Death in Blackpool (BF, 2009), Nostradamus for The Doomsday Quatrain (BF, 2011), and was Odin in The Girl Who Died
  • Sophia Myles (Victoria Abberline) was Reinette in The Girl in the Fireplace
  • Vincent Franklin (George Lusk) voiced Lord Stormblood for Doom Coalition 2 (BF, 2016)
  • Steve John Shepherd (Constable) voiced Simon Devlin for UNIT: Extinction (BF, 2015)
  • Donald Douglas (Director) was Vural in The Sontaran Experiment
  • John Owens (Governor) was Thorpe in The Daemons
  • Gary Powell (Constable) was Dev Ashton in 42
  • Anthony Parker (John Merrick, the Elephant Man) was a Millennium FX technician on The Family of BloodUtopiaThe Sound of DrumsLast of the Time LordsThe Rebel FleshThe Almost PeopleDinosaurs on a Spaceship and The Snowmen
  • Rupert Holliday Evans (Sailor) was Colonel Mace in The Sontaran Stratagem and The Poison Sky
  • James Greene (Governor) was the Abbott in The Bells of Saint John
  • sound mixer John Taylor was a boom operator on The Five Doctors

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Doctor Who Vs. Breaking Point

William Russell (born Russell William Enoch in 1924) 
followed his portrayal of Ian Chesterton with the lead role
 in this long-lost thriller for BBC2, as secret service agent 
Martin Kennedy. 
Russell was an established television actor by the time 
he was cast as Coal Hill School's science teacher, and had already played the title roles in five period dramas of the 
1950's - St. IvesThe Adventures of Sir Lancelot, Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield and HamletRussell's most 
recent TV role was as Harry (pictured) in An Adventure in
 Space and Time.
The five-part espionage drama was broadcast in October 
and November 1966, and Russell starred here opposite
eleven other Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

  • producer Alan Bromly (1915-1995) went on to direct The Time Warrior and Nightmare of Eden
  • director Douglas Camfield (1931-1984) was a production assistant on 100,000 BC and Marco Polo before directing fifty-two further episodes, from Planet of Giants: Crisis to The Seeds of Doom
  • Michael Middleton was production designer on The Abominable Snowmen too
  • Richard Hurndall (Sir Alfred) played the First Doctor in The Five Doctors
  • Bernard Kay (Stevens) had four roles in just seven years - he was Carl Tyler in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, Saladin in The Crusade (both opposite Russell), Inspector Crossland in The Faceless Ones, and Caldwell in Colony in Space, and later voiced Major Dickens for Big Finish's Night Thoughts (2006)
  • Big Finish actor Vernon Dobtcheff (Hedworth) was an Alien Scientist in (episodes 4 to 6 of) The War Games, and voiced Dadda Desaka for The Cradle of the Snake (2010), Sibelius Crow for Jago & Litefoot 2, Shamur for The Children of Seth (both 2011), Professor Schumann for Counter Measures 1 (2012), and Jorenzo Zorn for The Genesis Chamber (new for 2016)
  • Ves Delahunt (Servant) was a Thal in The Daleks: The Rescue, and a UNIT Soldier in The Silurians
  • Norman Hartley (Richard) and Michael Miller (Hines) both appeared in The Time Meddler - as Ulf and Wulnoth respectively - the former was also Sergeant Peters in The Invasion
  • Royston Tickner (Gregson) was Steinberger P Green in The Daleks' Master Plan: The Feast of Steven and Robbins in (part one of) The Sea Devils
  • Lynda Baron (uncredited Extra) was Captain Wrack in Enlightenment and Val in Closing Time, but she recorded The Ballad  of the Last Chance Saloon (sung off screen) for The Gunfighters way back in 1966