That great British inventor and cheese enthusiast known only as Wallace, of West Wallaby Street in Wigan, and his anthropomorphic pet dog, Gromit, first appeared in the BBC animated short A Grand Day Out in 1989. The plasticine duo were created by Nick Park way back in 1973, and brought to life by Aardman Animation (based in Bristol since 1972). Three more 'clay-mation' TV adventures followed, and in 2005, Wallace and Gromit made their full-length film debut in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (released by Dreamworks).
The Wrong Trousers (1993), A Close Shave (1995), and the film all won Academy Awards, whilst A Matter of Loaf and Death (2008) received Park's fifth BAFTA prize.
Wallace has been always been voiced by Peter Sallis, and it was intended that Gromit should talk too - Peter Hawkins (one of the original Dalek and Cybermen voice artists on classic Doctor Who from 1963) was to provide his voice, but this proved too difficult to realise.
The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was co-written by Bob Baker, the writing partner of Dave Martin (1935-2007), and they were nicknamed "the Bristol Boys" by the Doctor Who production teams. Together they scripted nine TV serials, from
The Claws of Axos (1971) to Nightmare of Eden (1979), although their greatest contribution to the Whoniverse is the creation of robot-dog, K9.
Shown again on BBC One today, the film featured the voices of Ralph Fiennes
(as Quartermaine), Helena Bonham Carter (Lady Tottington), John Thomson,
Liz Smith, Geraldine McEwan, Mark Gatiss (Miss Blight) and ten other Doctor
Who cast and crew connections:
- Sallis (born 1921) played Elric Penley in The Ice Warriors, and was due to star in Enlightenment as Striker
- Peter Kay (PC Mackintosh) was Victor Kennedy, the 'Abzorbaloff' in Love & Monsters
- Nicholas Smith (Reverend Hedges) was Wells in The Dalek Invasion of Earth
- Edward Kelsey (Mr. Growbag) was a Slave Buyer in The Romans: The Slave Traders, Resno in The Power of the Daleks, and Edu in The Creature from the Pit
- Dicken Ashworth (Mr. Mulch) was Sezon in Timelash
- Vincent Ebrahim (Mr. Caliche) voiced Shardul Khan for Big Finish's The Emerald Tiger (BF, 2012)
- Christopher Fairbank (additional voice) voiced the Professor for The Wreck of the Titan (BF, 2010), and Doc Baroque for The Scapegoat (BF, 2009), then appeared as Fenton in Flatline
- ADR recordist Robert Edwards was a mixer on Hide, Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, The Crimson Horror, Nightmare in Silver, The Name of the Doctor and Space and Time
- Peter Gleaves was also ADR mixer on The Magician's Apprentice and The Witch's Familiar
- assistant cameraman Adam Lincoln was clapper loader on Blink