Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Doctor Who Vs. Fairy Tale: A True Story

This British film told the compelling, true
story of the Cottingley fairies. 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 (Harry Houdini), the cast included Paul 
McGann, as Arthur Wright.
Hungarian-born escapologist, Houdini
(1874-1926) was a known sceptic,
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, 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.
Released by Icon and Paramount in 1997, Fairy Tale was shown again on 5 Star 
today - it featured a cameo from Mel Gibson, and sixteen other Doctor Who 
cast and crew connections:

  • Florence Hoath (Elsie) played Nancy (pictured0 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) was Charles in The Visitation, Colonel Godsacre in Empress of Marsand 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
  • 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)
  • Harry Fielder (Stagehand) was a Guard (in serials PP, ZZZ, 4L, 4P, 5A, 5F, 5Z), Crewman (SS, 4T), Vogan (4D), Assassin (4Q), Tigellan (5Q), and Krarg in Shada
  • assistant John Munro was a make-up artist on twenty-four instalments 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 Daleks, Genesis 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

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