This may be the final interview conducted with the man who was originally slated to direct the very first ‘Doctor Who’ story, ‘An Unearthly Child’; although that never came to pass, he was instrumental in the creative decisions surrounding the show’s inception, and later directed ‘The Gunfighters’ (damn, I hope series 5 of the new series has a western episode).
My copy of the interview is a page torn out of a fanzine, so I’ll have to dig around for the exact source, but it’s page 34 of something and as with everything else here, expect a rush of scans asap. It’s very short, which is a pity because Rex played such an important part in the creation of the series.
Q: What do you remember about ‘Doctor Who’?
A: That was a difficult one because there was conflict about the script. The writer was against the producers and I wasn’t sure who was going to win out until we got to filming, which was on, I think, a studio set at Lime Grove that was very old-fashioned, to the point of being almost impossible to use. I remember feeling very much that we were out in the sticks.
Q: Verity Lambert was a very young producer, and female, which must have been unusual thirty years ago?
A: She was very good, but yes, she was a fish out of water. She proved herself very quickly and I have nothing but the greatest respect for her.
Q: What about William Hartnell? What do you remember about him?
A: Bill was very professional. He seemed to get on very well with the other cast, who were all very young. They were great friends by the time we finished shooting the first serial.
Q: Did you watch ‘Doctor Who’ after you worked on it, and do you think it could ever be a big hit again?
A: I watched it a little. Tom Baker was very good, I’d have liked to have worked with him. I thought all the actors were very good, although the scripts were terrible. I’d have torn them up and refused to make them. I’m sure it could be a success again, it’s a strong idea, it just needs good writers and good directors.