Tag: Doctor Who

Dimensions in rhyme: Russell T Davies and James Goss promote their book of ‘Time Lord verse’

Me with Russell T Davies at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, 13 September 2017Here’s me at Foyles on London’s Charing Cross Road last night with one of my favourite human beings, the always-delightful Russell T Davies.

Russell was in town, along with the also-very-lovely James Goss, to talk about Now We Are Six Hundred: A Collection Of Time Lord Verse, which James wrote and Russell illustrated, and which looks like a lot of fun.

The evening began with some readings and an amusing hour-long talk, which was broadcast live on the official Doctor Who Facebook page, and at the time of writing is still there, should you fancy a look. This was followed by a signing, photos and posh chocolates – James’s posh chocolates, which he kindly donated to the patiently waiting queue, to aid their sustenance.

Minor classic: The Caves Of Androzani at the BFI

Graeme Harper, Matthew Waterhouse, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding and Peter Davison at the BFI, May 2013“By the time we get to the end, and Caves, it’s as good as it gets.”

So said Mark Gatiss in his intro to this month’s ‘Doctor Who at 50’ screening, at NFT1 on Saturday 4 May. The story that the BFI selected to represent the Fifth Doctor’s era was The Caves Of Androzani – a popular choice. Everything came together on Caves – script, performance, direction and score – to create what readers of Doctor Who Magazine in 2009 voted the series’ best story of all time. Where to go in the TARDIS? For a large section of fandom, Androzani Minor is the destination.

Yet, in some ways, Caves was also a strange choice of story for this event. It’s Peter Davison’s swansong – his Doctor regenerates in part four. It also stars Nicola Bryant as Peri, a companion who has just two adventures with the Fifth Doctor, rather than any of the longer-serving actors from Davison’s three seasons – actors who were invited to talk at this event (Bryant will, I assume, be a guest at next month’s screening, The Two Doctors). By showing the story in this context, it felt a bit like we’d overshot the target.

Who dunnit: The Robots Of Death at the BFI

Philip Hinchcliffe, Louise Jameson and Tom Baker at the BFI, 20 April 2013Talk about April showers. I needed a cold one when I found out that Tom Baker and Philip Hinchcliffe were going to be sharing the stage at the NFT1 for this, the fourth of the BFI’s ‘Doctor Who at 50’ events, on Saturday 20 April.

The story chosen to represent Baker’s Doctor was the 1977 whodunnit The Robots Of Death, the penultimate production of the Hinchcliffe era – that peerless two-year period between The Ark In Space and The Talons Of Weng Chiang, when both the show and its lead actor were at the peak of their powers, scaring the bejesus out of kids like me every Saturday evening with tales of Zygons, Wirrn, Krynoids and Kraals.

Time for a chat: An evening with William Russell

William Russell at the Cinema Museum, Kennington, 27 April 2013It’s 27 April. Saturday evening. Dusk. Normally at this time I’d be at home in front of the telly watching Doctor Who. But tonight I have other plans – plans that I can’t record to my V+ box and watch tomorrow. It’s hard to believe, I know, but sometimes real life is worth venturing out for.

So I’ve straddled the train and ridden the Tube to Kennington, south London, for An Evening With William Russell (all caps, you’ll note, for the phrase is a title as well as a descriptor). The much-loved actor is at the Cinema Museum to be interviewed, by Mark Egerton, in front of around 100 fans and admirers about his 60-year career in stage and screen.

Though he’s most famous for his part in Doctor Who between 1963 and 1965 – when he was Ian Chesterton, one of the original three companions to the original Doctor, played by William Hartnell – Russell’s CV is both broad and long, and includes roles in many other highly successful works, including The Great Escape, Superman, The Black Adder and Coronation Street.