Adrienne Hill (1986)

Adrienne Hill’s Katarina was the first companion to die in the original series, getting suck out of an airlock after just two stories. Here’s a brief extract from a DWM interview in which she discusses her time on the series.

“The first part I auditioned for was the part of King Richard’s sister, Joanna. That was for Douglas Camfield. Ironically, Jean Marsh eventually got the part. He then called me back a few months later to appear in the Dalek story. I was actually introduced in the Trojan War story, in the last episode. There were some brilliant people in it – Frances White, Barrie Ingham, Max Adrian… they’d been doing it for about a month before I arrived and it was all wrapping up. I can remember going along for the last episode and being terribly impressed.

“I had lunch with Maureen O’Brien and Peter Purves and they told me to expect the tight schedule and how to cope with Bill Hartnell. He was nice to me as I told him that this was my first television work and he took me under his wing to guide me. You really had to be on your toes with him, though, because he would often forget his lines and we couldn’t re-shoot things. You had to be prepared to help him out of a situation. Of course, all I ever said was ‘What’s happening, Doctor?’.

“I’m in this chamber, struggling for my life, screaming my head off. Amazingly, not laughing, because there’s this unbelievable line ‘No, Katarina, not that button!’. It was very hard for us to keep a straight face. We were falling about in rehearsal… and then the clip cuts off just before the marvellous death scene, when I did press the button and we were jettisoned into space.

“They cut my best lines about knowing I was destined to die by reading signs and portents. My death was done on a trampoline, with the camera below us. I was jumping up and down to give the impressoin I was floating away through space. I was terribly proud of that – it was actually done before the Trojan stuff. Jean Marsh and I recorded our deaths on the same day, although they were weeks apart when on TV!”

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