We sound familiar interviews, Jonathon Carley

With the sad passing, of Sir John Hurt is 2017, I thought we’d seen/heard the last of The War Doctor. However, Big Finish are extremely talented at respectively re-casting iconic roles. Tim Treloar has played The Third Doctor for a number of years, Jon Culshaw now plays Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, as well as two incarnations of The Master. Jonathon Carley has the honour of picking up the mantle from Sir John Hurt.

Our very own Chris Walker-Thomson has done an exclusive interview with Jonathon, about The War Doctor and Big Finish.

The duo talk about taking on the legacy of Sir John Hurt, on their Podcast ‘we sound familiar‘.

Doctor Who: The War Doctor Begins will comprise four box sets, each one featuring three brand new full-cast stories, for release in June 2021. The first audio has been recorded and sees Louise Jameson make her Doctor Who directorial debut.



Episode 216: Nabil Shaban Interview

Pete Fagan talks to Nabil Shaban, star of of ‘Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor’ on blu-ray and DVD. Nabil shares his filmmaking ambitions, views on Doctor Who and his surprising views on of the character of Sil.

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Episode 215: Keith Barnfather Interview

Pete Fagan talks to Director / Producer Keith Barnfather about the release of ‘Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor’ on Blu-ray and DVD, as well as his new two-disc collection of interviews entitled ‘The Doctors: More Monsters.’

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The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

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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”.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

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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 television series 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 is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

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If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

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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.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

Check out our Youtube.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

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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 is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

Check out our Youtube.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

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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. The 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 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 Doctor Who spin-off, 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 is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

Check out our Youtube.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

Socials:

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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).