Episode 195: Interview with Paul McGann

Recorded today at MCM London, here’s the interview I attended with Paul McGann. He discusses Jodie Whittaker and whether or not sci-fi should ever be political.

He praises Big Finish, Bradley Walsh and Sheridan Smith. He also addresses the Withnail & I drinking game.

Paul John McGann is an English actor. He came to prominence for portraying Percy Toplis in the 1986 television serial The Monocled Mutineer. He later starred in the 1987 dark comedy Withnail and I, and as the eighth incarnation of the Doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who television film, a role he reprised in more than 150 audio dramas and the 2013 mini-episode “The Night of the Doctor“.

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John Pirruccello Twin peaks Q&A

Next month, the Official Twin Peaks UK Festival returns to London to re-create the eerie, fictional town of Twin Peaks, over the weekend of September 29th and 30th at the London Irish Centre in Camden; with activities extending to Camden Square Gardens.  Guests will be able to rub shoulders with stars of the show as they dig into some damn fine cherry pie with a cup of coffee.  David Lynch Coffee in fact. We’ve been lucky enough to get a Q&A with John Pirruccello (deputy Chad Broxford) who’ll be in attendance.

QUESTION: What are you most looking forward to, about coming to London and attending the official Twin Peaks UK Festival?

JOHN: I’m really looking forward to meeting all of the great fans in person I’ve been interacting with online and the new ones too. A few of them have offered to buy me a pint. So…free beer! I’m looking forward to free beer in London.

QUESTION: Free beer is always a great incentive, Will it be your first visit to the UK?

JOHN: It is not my first visit to the UK but I have not been for a good long time.  It will be a lot like a new city I’m sure with an air of familiarity to it.  I really loved London way back then.

QUESTION:  Can you describe your character, Deputy Chad Broxford?

JOHN: Chad is a broken man.  He’s arrogant, self-centred and entitled. And not entirely honest!  Not nice.

QUESTION: What was it like performing in Twin Peaks last year?

JOHN: Performing in Twin Peaks was like a dream.  A wonderful dream that seems to be recurring!

QUESTION: Were you a fan of the original series or was ‘The Return’ your first foray into the world of David Lynch?

JOHN: I was very much a fan of the original Twin Peaks. It woke me up like it woke up the rest of us fans. It was a disruption as David (Lynch) might call it. It was impossible to see television the same way after.

For more information regarding the festival visit here.

Episode 192:Sylvester McCoy and Jim Cummings

In which Martyn and Gerrod bring you an interview with Sylvester McCoy and, Jim “Winnie The Pooh” Cummings.

Sylvester McCoy is a Scottish actor, best known for playing the seventh incarnation of the Doctor in the long-running science fiction televisionseries Doctor Who from 1987 to 1989—the final Doctor of the original run—and briefly returning in a television film in 1996.

Jim Cummings is an American voice actor and singer, who has appeared in almost 400 roles. He is known for voicing the title character from Darkwing Duck, Dr. Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog, Pete, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Bonkers D. Bobcat and the Tasmanian Devil. He has performed in numerous Disney and DreamWorks animations including Aladdin, The Lion King, Balto, Antz, The Road to El Dorado, Shrek, and The Princess and the Frog. He has also provided voice-over work for video games, such as Icewind Dale, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Baldur’s Gate, Mass Effect 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft: Legion, and Splatterhouse other voice characters voiced as Biker Mice from Mars, Iron Man, Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Incredible Hulk, Batman: The Animated Series and Fantastic Four. He has been the voice of Pooh since 1988.

The podcast can be accessed via different places, including Audioboom, Player fm and Itunes.

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Sylvester McCoy interview

Recorded at London’s MCM expo, here’s an interview with the seventh Doctor himself, Sylvester McCoy.

Sylvester McCoy is a Scottish actor, best known for playing the seventh incarnation of the Doctor in the long-running science fiction television series Doctor Who from 1987 to 1989—the final Doctor of the original run—and briefly returning in a television film in 1996. He has also featured on countless Big Finish audio plays.

He also featured in the Hobbit trilogy, as Radagast the Brown.

Check out our podcast interview with the cast of Class.

Episode 191:Class interview

In which Martyn attends the MCM expo and interviews the cast of Class.

Class was a spin-off of the long-running programme Doctor Who. It was created and written by Patrick Ness, who also produced alongside Doctor Who showrunner and lead writer Steven Moffat, and Brian Minchin.

Two days after this interview, it was announced that Big Finish Productions would produce a series of six Class audio adventures, telling the further adventures of the students at Coal Hill Academy.

Check out our interview with Sylvester McCoy.

The podcast can be accessed via different places, including Audioboom, Player fm and Itunes.

Follow the Bad Wilf team:

Martyn – @BadWilf

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Interview-Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat

HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU WERE TOLD OF PLANS TO NOVELISE NEW SERIES DOCTOR WHO EPISODES?

RTD: I was very excited! I’d collected Target books as a kid, so it felt like closing a circle. And I wanted to test myself too, I was interested to find out what the process would be like. And to look back on an old piece of work after 13 years was fascinating.

SM: Well, surprised – I knew nothing of the plans, because this all started around the time I was leaving. The biggest surprise, though, was that I actually wanted to novelise The Day Of The Doctor. I had a hell of a time on that script, I had no idea I wanted to revisit it!

WHAT DID THE ORIGINAL TARGET DOCTOR WHO BOOKS MEAN TO YOU, GROWING UP?

RTD: I loved them. I’ve still got them all, on a shelf here in my office! In the days before DVD or streaming, they were the only official records of an adventure. And they were so mysterious, detailing stories we thought we’d never see again. Some we still won’t, because they’re missing from the archive. I can probably tell you where I was, which shop I was in when I bought it, for every single one of my Target originals.

SM: Every time I’d go to a bookshop – and I was a keen reader, so I went a lot – I’d head straight to the Doctor Who book section. Because I’d stared at all the book covers I already owned with such manic intensity, they were carved into my brain like wounds – so I could tell from right across the shop, by the tiniest variation in colour or artwork, if there was a new one on the shelf, and if there was my heart would leap. Then, sometimes, I’d wake up. So you could say I was – y’know – over invested. I think that’s the polite way of putting it.

WHAT ELSE DID YOU READ AS A CHILD? DID THE ORIGINAL TARGETS LEAD YOU INTO OTHER SERIES OR AUTHORS?

RTD: I read anything and everything. Enid Blyton! Tolkien. C.S. Lewis. Agatha Christie. Dune. Jaws. I was a voracious reader, I still am, I was trying D.H. Lawrence by the time I was 11. A lot of young readers will tell you that Targets led them onto many other books, which is brilliant, but frankly, I was there already!

SM: I’m very old, so I was already a voracious reader before the Target series got started – I loved the Narnia books, and The Hobbit, and especially Tom’s Midnight Garden. Reading and Doctor Who were my two favourite things. But the thing I wanted more than anything was to combine my enthusiasms. I longed for there to be Doctor Who books! There were Star Trek books, so it didn’t seem fair there weren’t any Doctor Who ones. And then, suddenly there they were. I was on holiday in Cornwall, in a little town called Mevagissey, and in a shop called Dunns there was a solitary rack of books which I’d always walk round and round, looking for something to read – then one day my Dad grabbed and my arm and pointed to the bottom row of paperbacks: Doctor Who And The Daleks, Doctor Who And The Zarbi and Doctor Who And The Crusaders. I was so happy!

HOW DID YOU APPROACH THE TASK OF NOVELISING YOUR OWN SCRIPT?

RTD: It was tricky, I wanted to capture the essence of the TV episode, but I didn’t want to repeat it. I’d long since lost the scripts! I’m always asked to give away Doctor Who stuff for raffles and prizes, so everything has gone. I found a transcript online, and someone found me a copy of the very first draft. But I didn’t always look at them. I was a bit more freefalling. Or rather, I wanted to add stuff to most of the dialogue because I knew fans would know a lot of it off by heart already, so there had to be new things to discover.

SM: I just sort of started. I had a few ideas about how it might translate, but really, as with any writing, I just dived in. I found the shooting script on my hard drive, and was shocked to see how much I’d altered it during filming. Quite often, I’d have to watch the DVD and transcribe useful bits of dialogue, because I found I had no written record of really quite important scenes. Then, of course, you find the parts that don’t quite work in prose. The shock of seeing David and Matt together, John Hurt as the Doctor, surprise appearances by Tom Baker and Peter Capaldi – you have to find a way to make those moments work in a book, without surprise guest stars, which can be a challenge.

HOW DID THE EXPERIENCE OF WRITING A NOVEL COMPARE TO WRITING A TV SCRIPT?

RTD: It’s all hard work! But it’s a different focus. That became clear with the character of Mickey, Rose’s long-suffering boyfriend. On screen, played brilliantly by Noel Clarke, he flies past, he’s wonderful, he’s fast and fun and furious, but when a novel goes inside someone’s head, I had to give him more focus. Also, bear in mind, on TV, I knew I had 13 episodes to tell Mickey’s story, but in a one-off book, I had to complete him a bit more.

SM: When you write a screenplay, you make the audience a witness to events. When you write a book, you make the reader experience them. You go from the grandeur of spectacle to the intimacy of inside someone’s head. I don’t think either is better than the other, but they are different. Twists and turns, suspense, humour – they all work in different ways. You’re aiming for the same effects, but by other means.

IN A WORLD WHERE THE ORIGINAL SHOW CAN BE ACCESSED IN A DOZEN WAYS ON DEMAND, WHAT PLACE DOES A NOVELISATION HAVE?

RTD: New stuff! Newness. Sheer newness. New action, new dialogue and new insights. A fan might have seen something a dozen times, so I felt honour-bound to add things that could only be found inside the pages of the book. And I know what fandom feels like, there’s nothing we love more than discovering something new about something old.

SM: Well, we’ll find out, won’t we? Back when the Targets started, those books were our only permanent record. The shows were on your telly exactly once, and then disappeared forever, like smoke up the chimney. Back then, Terrance Dicks would give us perfect, prose replicas of the originals, scene for scene, line for line, and very brilliantly done. He’d also do sly little fixes on the plotting when he felt inclined. But a few years later – from about Peter Davison on, I think – we all had VCRs, and we could keep the originals exactly as they were so we didn’t need the prose replicas. So the Target books changed – more of the original writers got involved, and they became more like alternative versions. Perhaps that’s how it will go now? As I say, we’ll find out.

WERE YOU TEMPTED TO ‘GO BIGGER’ WITH THE ACTION, UNFETTERED BY BUDGET?

RTD: Oh, a bit. A lot! Bear in mind, there’s a great big invasion of London by shop-window dummies at the end, so I’d paved the way for some epic action. On screen, the London Eye just sits there in the background. In this version, it’s a lot more involved! I loved writing that stuff.

And writing action is hard – seeing a bullet fly on screen is easy, describing it in prose is much harder, so that was a good test.

SM: Sometimes, yes. I don’t think it’s the big difference. In a way, many of the finest creative decisions in Doctor Who are direct responses to budgetary limitations – there’s a reason the Doctor’s space ship looks like a phone box, and he spends a lot of time in dark tunnels – so its good to go epic, so long as you don’t lose the signature style. I’m not the first person to say it, but the clash of the epic and domestic is a big part of what makes the show what it is.

REVISITING AND RE-PRESENTING PAST WORK – DID YOU FEEL NOSTALGIC?

RTD: I just felt old! But I felt mighty proud. Rose was the first episode in 2005, and for all the changes to the show, it’s fundamentally still the same show.

SM: Too soon for me. Day was only five years ago, and I’ve barely finished as showrunner. I don’t think I’ll ever feel nostalgia for Doctor Who, exactly – I think it will just carry on being my favourite show on TV, and I’ll have fond memories of having worked on it once.

WITH THESE NOVELISATIONS UNDER YOUR BELT WOULD YOU CONSIDER WRITING FURTHER BOOKS – EITHER FOR WHO OR SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY?

RTD: I think it’s more exciting to consider something new, now. I really loved writing this, and I think the chance to write brand new stories with brand new characters would be exhilarating. One day!

SM: Hugely enjoyed writing the book. Very much indeed. So yes, I hope I get another go at prose, in whatever form.

Episode 188: Daniel Lawrence Taylor

Martyn chats to actor/writer Daniel Lawrence Taylor.

Daniel Lawrence Taylor is a British actor who has appeared in several sitcoms including Uncle, How Not to Live Your Life and Hunderby. He starred in ITV2‘s 2015 comedy Cockroaches and had a small role in The Inbetweeners. He is one half of the comedy duo Ginger & Black (with Eri Jackson).

Martyn and Daniel talk about writing to deadlines, the pressure of social media and Daniel’s ITV2 show, Time Wasters.

The podcast can be accessed via different places, including Audioboom, Player fm and Itunes.

You can follow Daniel on Twitter-@DanielTaylor247

Follow the Bad Wilf team:

Martyn – @BadWilf

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Episode 187: Gareth David-Lloyd interview

Martyn is joined by Welsh actor/writer/director Gareth David-Lloyd, who is perhaps best known for his role as Ianto Jones in the British science fiction series Torchwood.

Gareth talks about his latest project, Black River meadow and gives his thoughts on Cardiff Bay’s famous, Ianto Shrine.

You can support Gareth here.

You can follow Gareth on Twitter.

The podcast can be accessed via different places, including Audioboom, Player fm and Itunes.

Follow the Bad Wilf team:

Martyn – @BadWilf

Pete – @BeeblePete

Gerrod – @Gerrod_Edward

Also check out the official Bad Wilf Vlog.

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Interview-David Bradley and Claudia Grant

Recorded, at MCM London 2017, here’s the full press panel with David Bradley and Claudia Grant.

Both talk about their involvement with An adventure in space and time and Big Finish. David talks about his experiences on the upcoming Christmas special, twice upon a time.

David Bradley is an English actor, known for playing Argus Filch in the Harry Potter film series, Walder Frey in the HBO series Game of Thrones and Abraham Setrakian in The Strain. He is also an established stage actor with a career that includes a Laurence Olivier Award for his role in a production of King Lear.

Claudia Grant is a British Actress, she trained at LAMDA graduating with a degree in Acting. She is perhaps best known for her appearance as Carole Ann Ford in the BAFTA nominated BBC Drama, An Adventure in Space and Time (2013) directed by Terry McDonough and written by Mark Gatiss. As well as Headlongs’ production of Spring Awakening directed by Ben Kidd (2014).