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 
Birdies.
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

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