Happy Birthday Carole Ann Ford!

That’s “Susan” on the show…


Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty

After the 50th aired, there was an “after-party” show.

I haven’t found a link to the whole thing, but here’s a clip where they tried to talk to One Direction live:

For what reason they wanted to talk to them, I have no idea.  But this was terrible.  I have to give credit where credit was due – Matt Smith fielded a horrible question quite wonderfully.  Aside from them (the show-runners themselves) just not knowing enough to give up, we were also subjected to one of the boys readjusting himself on camera.  Seriously?  Poor Steven Moffat had his head in his hands.  He looked horrified, and rightly so.

On a side note, I’m rather impressed to see that Matt Smith shares my affection for crazy socks.

There were a number of technical glitches during the show, some more glaring than others.  All in all, some of it was pretty painful to watch.  At the same time, it was nice to see some former Doctors and all of those companions.  I understand there’s a link where you can watch it if you’re in the UK (I’m not) so that’s an option for you if you’d like to try.

Oh, and I’ve seen a few other reviews of the show… and mine is really nice in comparison.

Mark Gatiss Talks An Adventure In Space And Time

I’m really trying to not repeat anything here, but there’s so much of it that it’s easy to forget what I’ve posted.  I apologize if I double up on anything!

What About Everything

Fan Video

Doctor Who Outtakes

Modern Companions Interviews

The Guardian had the companions talking about their time in the TARDIS.  There’s a wonderful video, which you can watch HERE, and you can also read on below:

Billie Piper, Doctors: Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant

Doctor Who launched my acting career. I was in this awful transitional period, going from singing to acting, so getting the part of Rose Tyler felt like a real vote of confidence. I’m not sure the fans were as happy – loads seemed hacked off, as they often are about  change – but they soon seemed to accept me. I’ve signed quite a few fans’ bodies over the years, but my fan mail has been very gentle: these are smart people, with sci-fi intellects.

At first, I didn’t know whether the show was going to be a success or die a death. It was such a hard shoot: nine months, with pretty much everyone using CGI for the first time. There were times when I thought, “Is this ever going to pay off?” But it did. I remember being in a London hotel for the launch of the first episode. There was such a buzz; it was thrilling. I called a friend and said, “I’m going to remember this feeling for the rest of my life.”

I loved the character of Rose; the fact that she was a girl who went from a small, domestic life to experiencing time travel with this strange guy. She was both strong-willed and vulnerable. I think that’s a really healthy representation of women. Instead of showing a female character endlessly striving towards perfection, here we saw a range of genuine female reactions. The show seemed to say, it’s OK to cry, it’s OK to question yourself, and it’s OK to be excited about someone else coming up with a great idea.

I’ve had some discussions recently with a friend who is convinced the next Doctor needs to be a woman. I don’t think he does. I like that he’s a man and that he has his little time-travelling mate. You see what’s important in that kind of relationship: what a man can offer, what a woman can offer. It’s OK to feel small against this enormous male character. It’s actually quite romantic.


Freema Agyeman, Doctor: David Tennant

Being in Doctor Who changed my life. I went from being a steady, guesting actress to people recognising me and knowing my name.

I auditioned a couple of times, and for the spin-off show, Torchwood. Then the producers called to ask if I could come to Cardiff, tomorrow, to screen test with David Tennant. I was really nervous. David sent me a note saying, “Just be yourself, have fun.” The next day the producers called when I was driving with my sister and said I’d got it. I nearly drove off the road.

David was a dream to work with. He is a huge Doctor Who fan and as a child dreamed of being in the show. He was always being hoisted up, dragged around, put in prosthetics. I don’t think I heard him complain once. It’s an incredibly physical show. I’m 5ft 2in and I think David’s 6ft 1in – so to get us both in shot, I was always running in heels, often on cobblestones.

The show was hilarious to work on. The whole period John Barrowman was with us was so funny. We would often get the giggles. I remember shooting Daleks In Manhattan. We were in a music hall and the Daleks had these humans on a leash. We were supposed to be hiding and suddenly we all got the giggles. It wasn’t a funny scene, but we were all hysterical.

Shows reflect life and society. Look at the Carry On films from 40 years ago, all that bum slapping and “phwoar!” Things have changed and Doctor Who has changed, too. The companions today are there to challenge the Doctor, to contribute. They are intelligent, gutsy, strong, positive role models. Do I think there is room to change further? Yes. I’d love to see the Doctor be a woman one day, or a different ethnicity. It’s one of the major strengths of the show. The Doctor can be anything.


Catherine Tate, Doctor: David Tennant

I was not a Doctor Who fan. As a kid, I thought it was scary and for boys. I started watching it when David Tennant became the Doctor. Then, in 2006, I was asked to be in the Christmas special, The Runaway Bride. In 2008 I came back as the Doctor’s full-time companion for a series. Donna was a lairy temp from Chiswick: the Doctor used to refer to her as his “best mate”.

Leaving was really emotional, both within the series and in real life. Donna said, “I thought we were going to be for ever together, best friends, travelling the universe.” She loved the Doctor. John Barrowman pulled his pants down at my leaving do. It was by no means the first time. So many of my highs and lows in Doctor Who are encapsulated by John pulling his pants down.

In the early days, Doctor Who was pretty sexist. But later on we were given more to say. It would be nice to see a woman Doctor, but only when it’s the right one. They shouldn’t make the Doctor a woman just for the sake of it, and I think Peter Capaldi will be amazing.

Some would say there has been a female Doctor: me. I know it is a source of much debate among the cognoscenti, whether or not I am an official Doctor. I was Doctor Donna for a little while – all of one episode. The sceptics will doubtless point out that I merely became an amalgamation of David and my characters, so wasn’t in any real sense the Doctor.

The most important way that Doctor Who changed my life was that David became a good friend. We went on to work together in the theatre, and I recently saw him in Los Angeles. The Doctor Who love in the States is huge.

More than anything I’ve done, it will live on – because the fans keep all things Doctor Who alive.


Karen Gillan, Doctor: Matt Smith

Doctor Who changed my life drastically. It takes over everything. You film for nine months of the year. You move to Wales and work with the same people every day. And then you come out of this little bubble and it’s this hugely popular show that everybody watches. That’s a pretty strange sensation. I feel like I’ve spent all of my 20s so far on that show.

It was the most fun ever. No other job is like that. I mean, when you’re filming outside and it’s -9C and you’re eating ice cubes so nobody sees your breath, that’s pretty tough. But I’m Scottish, so I’m used to the weather.

Things were just ridiculous between takes. One of my favourite memories is of Matt Smith  hiding in my trailer. He used to do that on a regular basis. I’d walk in, and he would jump out at me and scream absurdities and freak me out.

I’ve had a really good experience with the fans. It’s amazing to work on something that people feel so passionately about. When I do conventions, it’s fun because they really care. One time, me and Matt and Arthur Darvill [Rory Williams in the series] went to a Doctor Who Tumblr party at Comic-Con in San Diego. They didn’t know we were coming, and I’ve never experienced anything like it. It was like being in the Beatles.

What I loved best about Amy is that we got to see her entire life play out. We see her as a little girl when she meets the Doctor. Then she grows up and gets married, and then we see her have a kid, and then we see her die. Rather than a snippet of her time with the Doctor, we got this epic journey.

But I feel I made the right decision to leave when I did. It was really difficult, because I was having so much fun and I could have carried on for many more years. But I had to put my own personal desires to one side and choose what was best for the character.

Don Smith Interview

Radio Times interviewed Don Smith a few days ago.  Not sure who he is?  Not surprising… He was the photographer that took the first publicity shots for Doctor Who.

That’s right, we’re officially within the 50 year “range” for the show.  On this date 50 years ago the show was already filming.  Amazing….

Anyway, here’s the interview!:

Fifty years ago, Radio Times photographer Don Smith took the first publicity photographs of the cast of Doctor Who.

As the actual sets from the first episode, An Unearthly Child, weren’t available, the RT photoshoot used special mock-ups of a classroom and a junkyard, suggesting the settings that would feature in the episode.

I gave Don a call (he’s now retired but enjoying life as a musician) to pick his brains. Despite the passage of time, he recalls the assignment clearly. “Oh yes, I remember it well. I took them in the photographic studio in the basement at Television Centre, which was just a large room – most uninspiring. We had bits of furniture in the waiting room, and it was just a matter of dragging anything in.

“Because our press day was a few weeks ahead of transmission, we naturally had to shoot things like this in rehearsal rooms and studios or anywhere we could. And in this particular case, we had [first Doctor] William Hartnell, and [his companions] William Russell, the girl teacher Jacqueline… I never remember her name [Hill], and Carole Ann Ford. It was a terribly uninspiring session – just a matter of putting them together in a schoolroom. I don’t remember the junkyard as such.

“There was nothing jokey. No big arguments. It was just a straightforward shoot: ‘You stand there. What’s the relationship between you two?’ You’ve got to try to put across in a limited number of pictures whether William Russell and Jacqueline Hill were lovers or not. What was their relationship with the strange William Hartnell character…

“I’m sure that [producer] Verity Lambert was at this photo session. Waris Hussein directed that first one. It’s funny – I’ve covered many of his productions but I don’t think I’ve ever actually spoken to him. You see, directors and producers would be up in the control room while we were working on the floor.”

William Hartnell had a reputation for being crabby but Don says, “In the period he was Doctor Who, I had quite a lot to do with him. I always found him OK. He was never tetchy with me. I would always say to him, ‘Please may I take a picture of you doing this or that?’ and I don’t ever remember him saying no.

“My main memory of photographing Doctor Who is at Lime Grove [the BBC’s former studios in Shepherd’s Bush]. I dare say I did it at Riverside [other facilities in Hammersmith], but I’m not sure. I’ve got all my work diaries from when I started in 1955. They’re tattered and torn to bits, so I can check.”

Don wants to share another sharp recollection, from a few weeks later in 1963: “One of the BBC publicity photographers, Douglas Playle, who’s still a dear friend of mine, came back to TV Centre, where I was doing something else. He said, ‘I’ve just been down to Lime Grove photographing an episode of Doctor Who. And they’ve got these fantastic things – they’re like inverted dustbins on wheels. It’s fantastic the way they move about.’ And this is the point: Doug said, ‘I can see them becoming very popular and being the in thing.’ I’ve often thought back on that.”

Of course, Don himself would go on to meet the Daleks and photograph them many times for RT – and capture on film dozens of Doctor Who classics right into the 1980s.