Michael Moorcock (Various)

October 5, 2010

Michael Moorcock is a great author, and he recently wrote a ‘Doctor Who’ novel, which is a good enough excuse to include some quotes from him here:

“I was already adult when Dr Who started with the sarge from the Army Game suddenly turning up as some sort of time traveller visiting his grandchildren… I watched it with my kids, with sofa standing by… Not always used by me, either.

“I loved the Tom Baker Dr Whos — which is probably what I made Harlan watch — when there was a certain chaotic element to the series. Tom B high by his own admission on valium and scotch was ad-libbing his own lines a LOT, on top of having some great scripts. You can tell, if you’re so disposed, by the way other actors appear to stumble when he either hasn’t given them the right cue line or he’s gone off at a tangent which is cracking them up! I’d always wanted him for a TV version of Joseph Kiss in Mother London. If they don’t hurry up and make it (not that they’ve asked yet) the bugger won’t be able to come from Toulouse (or is it Toulon) to shoot the scenes.

“I also enjoy the current ones done from Cardiff. I think they take themselves a bit seriously (PBS in the US runs the ‘extras’ after an episode — full of people telling you how profound their work is…) and I could do without hearing them make so much of their introduction of what are after all the standard tropes and developments of this kind of fiction.

“I’ve turned down offers to do Dr Who scripts, books and introductions. I’m just a punter who is willing to sit up until late on a Saturday night (here) and watch the latest instalment.

“No fan of the Cybermen, who don’t seem to have the heavy breathing which might or might not have inspired Darth Vader’s in Star Wars.

“Didn’t much care for Daleks, either, though there’s been good attempt to update all this stuff and deepen it, which has improved those stories for me.
I liked their airships, though felt they were underused”.

(A few years later, he signed up to write one of the novels).

“BBC books approached my agent. I didn’t realise David T was, as it were, still the Dr. I thought the new ones were already showing. They are pretty much unknown in France. Not, of course, in the US!”

These quotes are mostly from his Multiverse site, which you should go and take a look at.

Advertisements

Harlan Ellison (Various)

October 5, 2010

Here are some quotes from Harlan Ellison, one of my favourite US writers and a man who has never written for ‘Doctor Who’. But he sure does love it:

“I wish for you the same delight that I felt when Michael Moorcock, the finest fantasist in the English-speaking world, sat me down in front of the telly and said ‘Now be quiet and just watch’.

“They could not have been more offended, confused, enraged and startled. . . . There was a moment of stunned silence . . . and then an eruption of angry voices from all over the fifteen-hundred-person audience. The kids in their Luke Skywalker pajamas (cobbled up from older brother’s castoff karate gi) and the retarded adults spot-welded into their Darth Vader fright-masks howled with fury. But I stood my ground, there on the lecture platform of the World Science Fiction Convention, and I repeated the words that had sent them into animal hysterics:

‘Star Wars is adolescent nonsense; Close Encounters is obscurantist drivel; ‘Star Trek’ can turn your brains to purée of bat guano; and the greatest science fiction series of all time is ‘Doctor Who!’ And I’ll take you all on, one-by-one or in a bunch to back it up!'”

Steven Moffat & David Tennant (2009)

October 1, 2010

Here’s a transcript of David Tennant interviewing Steven Moffat for ‘Doctor Who Confidential’:

Tennant: So, Steven Moffat, television writer of some repute, where did you grow up?

Moffat: I grew up in Paisley.

Tennant: Just down the road from myself.

Moffat: That’s right.

Tennant: So growing up in Paisley, how remote did television feel to you?

Moffat: Well it was more Hollywood than Hollywood. I mean, this place (BBC Television Centre) is more exciting to me, to this day.

Tennant: You grew up watching Doctor Who. What was your era?

Moffat: I remember Patrick Troughton being bewilderingly the Doctor, and being confused by that, and really from the start of Jon Pertwee I was watching every single episode devotedly.

Tennant: This is Studio 8. In this very studio, TC8, we had ‘The Sea Devils’ was in here, ‘Planet of the Spiders’ was in here.

Moffat: Jon Pertwee turned into Tom Baker somewhere in this room.

Tennant: Well, quite a few studios were used for ‘Planet of the Spiders’, but let’s just say he did.

Moffat: All those events happened in this very big, dull grey room. I don’t know about you, but I got interested in background stuff, how television was made, because of ‘Doctor Who’.

Tennant: Yeah.

Moffat: It wasn’t really background information about television I was researching, it was ‘How do they make Doctor Who?’.

Tennant: Here’s another studio, TC7. I think all the studios in Television Centre have been used at some point by ‘Doctor Who’. This is currently being used by ‘Newsnight’, but we’re going to invade. ‘Robot’ was filmed in here, this is where Tom Baker began. In fact, this might be the very studio where – I remember, very famously, there was a scene-shifters’ strike, wasn’t there, and ‘Blue Peter’ transmitted from the set.

Moffat: That’s right. I remember my Dad shouted ‘Doctor Who’s on’, I thought ‘That’s amazing, it’s Wednesday’ or whatever day it was, and I went running down and discovered it was just ‘Blue Peter’ and burst into tears.

Tennant: Oh.

Moffat: Sorry, ‘Blue Peter’, it just doesn’t measure up to ‘Doctor Who’.

Tennant: So what was it about ‘Doctor Who’ in particular that fired your little infant imagination?

Moffat: It was a children’s programme, it was also frightening, there was no other show like this. It works you hard as a writer, but I think if you’re prepared to work hard, it helps you.

Tennant: Russell (T. Davies) says that. He says it’s the hardest thing to write. Why is that?

Moffat: ‘Doctor Who’, you’ve got two minutes – if that – of the Doctor and companion in the TARDIS, they walk out the door and it’s a new world of some kind or other, a whole bunch of people you have to introduce and dispose of in one episode. It needs a big, strong idea every week. I think you know you’ve got a good idea for a ‘Doctor Who’ episode if you think ‘Well, I’ve just blown that feature film idea forever, haven’t I?’, that’s the size of story that gets you through forty-five minutes of ‘Doctor Who’.

Tom Baker (1974)

August 30, 2010

I think this is Tom Baker’s first interview after getting the role of the Doctor, and to be honest it’s less an interview and more a series of press quotes. Perhaps the most interesting thing is that while he’s now turned the interview into something of an art form, this is Baker way before he became such a seasoned interview ‘pro’…

“Perhaps what clinched it for me was my appearance in the special effects film ‘The Golden Voyage of Sinbad’.

“We are not playing Dr. Who for laughs. I am trying to stress his strangeness, that he is out of this world, not human, therefore his reactions would be different from ours. I may only be a middle-aged ten-year-old, but I take Dr. Who very seriously. He has to be genuinely loveable, not pleased by violence, and he must be honest. Humourous, but never comical.

“I seem to have played so many psychotics, it will be a pleasant change. The Doctor’s a fantastic character and I’m not sure yet how I’m going to play him. It’s very difficult. Fortunately, kids have such elasticity of imagination that it is easy for them to accept that he has to be killed, but because he is a Time Lord he doesn’t really die. He regenerates into another form.

“I have a nine-week break in the summer. I’m under contract with Sam Speigel to do a film then. I don’t know what. But if I wasn’t acting I would take some job. I don’t like saying ‘I’m resting’ when I’m out of work. It’s a fallacy that actors get paid astronomical sums of money. I get paid very well sometimes, of course, and it’s a temptation to blow it on a flash car. But I live very simply. I have hardly any possessions and I live in a bedsit in Pimlico. I read in a national newspaper that I was getting paid £1,000 a week for ‘Dr. Who’. That’s absolutely preposterous. The BBC must have had a good laugh.

“(The Daleks) are terrible creatures that just want to kill everybody. They’re terrible. No humour, no jokes. And without jokes, there’s no optimism!”

In the meantime…

July 19, 2010

Apologies for the lack of updates recently, but in response to a couple of e-mail enquiries: No, the blog is definitely not ‘complete’ or ‘finished’. I’ve just been moving house (to Denmark, as it happens, on a work related deal) but once that’s all sorted (including an internet connection – I’m in an internet cafe atm) there’ll be regular updates once again 🙂

Andy Lane (Various)

June 29, 2010

I’ve accidentally started focusing on New Adventures authors on the site recently, and here’s another – Andy Lane. He wrote ‘Lucifer Rising’ with Jim Mortimore (of whom more soon) and then ‘All-Consuming Fire’ and ‘Original Sin’. Quite a few of these quotes come from a long and excellent interview here.

Getting into the New Adventures

Jim Mortimore and I decided that if Paul Cornell could sell a Doctor Who book then we could, by which I don’t mean that Paul’s stuff was bad, just that he came out of the fanzines that I’d been in, and people had said equally nice things about both of us.

We sent in a proposal. Peter Darvill-Evans rejected it because it was too like standard TV Doctor Who We sent in another proposal. Peter rejected it because it was far too weird — it was called Bodyshock, and started out when the Doctor and Ace woke up in the bodies of giant lobsters separated by millions of years on an alien planet. I can see what Peter meant about it being weird… Then Peter telephoned Jim and said, ‘Jim, that first proposal you wrote… I’ve been thinking about it, and I’d like to give it a go.’ Cue fame, success and happiness.

On co-writing Lucifer Rising with Jim Mortimore

The way Jim and I agreed was to thrash a detailed plot out over the course of some months, then write alternate chapters, sticking to the plot. The only problems we had were in chapter 5, when Jim wandered away from the plot, and chapter 10, when I wrote some sub-standard stuff. Both chapters got rewritten.

On Virgin’s approach to the New Adventures

I’m impressed with the amount of care and attention that Virgin lavish on the series. Yes they make mistakes, and yes they let things slip through that we wish they hadn’t, but that’s because they’re thoroughly overworked. Rebecca Levena and Andy Bodle, the people with whom I have most contact, are very knowledgable about continuity and the way the series should be going. Rebecca is proud that no proposal has gone through without having been changed.

People buy the Missing or New Adventures for their own reasons. We can’t change that reason. The reason is people want to recapture the feeling of watching Doctor Who. We’ve got to cater to that… If we want to do something more serious, we should write serious books. Not Doctor Who. Tolstoy wouldn’t be writing New Adventures, he’d be writing his own stuff. So should we. (But) if I went out and wrote a science fiction or horror novel now, and sold it, even through my agent, I’d be getting a much smaller print run than I do for the Doctor Who books. We’re getting a very good deal.

On cover art

I was asked to write a page or so on what I wanted on the cover, and I was consulted over choice of artist. Virgin are brilliant in the way they deal with writers.

On Original Sin

It was originally meant to be a Third Doctor Missing Adventure titled Broken Heroes, but it mutated along the way.

On writing for Ace

Ace is a bitch to write for — literally and metaphorically. She isn’t a real character any more. What she’s been through is enough to drive any normal human being mad.

On writing for Benny

I suspect that my take on her is different from most other people’s. Paul Cornell and I have talked it through, and I think – I hope – he’s happier with my interpretation than he is with some of the others.

Camille Coduri (Various)

June 29, 2010

Here’s Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler) talking about Daleks, Cybermen and freezing nights in July:

On Jackie

Jackie’s not very good in a crisis. She’s a bit of a scaredy-cat, a bit of a screamer, she’ll run away. Or she’ll just get her daughter to save the world.

On fan attention

A couple of guys chased me in their cars, which is a bit worrying. But on the whole people have been lovely. I have been getting heaps of fan mail, mostly from men. But perhaps I am too old and too mumsy for them to be saucy. It’s more on the respectful, romantic side than the drop-your-drawers side – and thank God for that! It’s definitely been one of the happiest times of my life. It’s hugely funny to film. More often than not you are tearing down the road screaming when you really want to be wetting yourself laughing.

On Daleks

Daleks terrify me. I remember coming on set the very first year that we did it, series one, I walked through the set and came across a solitary Dalek. I have to say, I did back off and walk back round the other way.

On the Cybermen

They’re really terrifying. No acting required.

On Journey’s End

It was weird. It had been two years, and if felt like it was Sunday and we came back on the Monday. You’re thinking ‘What was she like?’, and then the moment something happens, you remember. It’s great being back with everybody.

Jackie’s a little braver. Still frightened, not of losing Rose to the Doctor but of losing Rose full stop. She knows that when Rose is with the Doctor, wild things happen and she could lose her life.

On The End of Time

We were  very lucky when we filmed the Christmas special in July, because we had one of the coldest July’s on record. There were times when we were out shivering, and we really were shivering, and it was the middle of July! It was quite bizarre.

Lawrence Miles (Various)

June 27, 2010

Lawrence Miles wrote some of the most interesting New Adventures novels, and now (among other things) has a blog that, whether or not you agree with him, is definitely worth a look. These quotes are from various interviews over the years. For a really good, really long interview, try here.

On the original TV series

Doctor Who’s my native mythology. If you read, say, the work of Salman Rushdie… forget about the blasphemy for a moment, it’s not important right now… there’s a lot of material in there that comes from traditional Indian culture, there are lots of links to Indian mythology. Which doesn’t mean he has to believe in gods with the heads of elephants, obviously. It’s just part of his background, those are the symbols he grew up with. That’s more or less the way I feel about Doctor Who. I’ve got a pretty low opinion of a lot of the original episodes, but it’s still my home territory.

Doctor Who always went for action over style, and that’s one of the things I like least about it. Plenty of interesting things happen, but there’s not a lot of artistry there. Which is probably why Logopolis is my favourite story, because it’s supposed to be the Fourth Doctor’s funeral, and it feels like a funeral.

If the TV series had survived, then I don’t think there’s any question that by Season Thirty they would’ve been doing stories like Warhead. That’s what’s most interesting about Doctor Who, I think, that constant development.

On Alien Bodies

One of the points of Alien Bodies… was to do something that felt like a Robert Holmes story, but set in the same universe as the TV Movie. I felt the TV Movie was only half a Doctor Who story, it was like a cross-breed of Doctor Who as we knew it and American SF television.

So, the idea was to do a kind of second-generation cross-breed, kind of 75% Doctor Who instead of just 50%. It needed an ‘old’ monster for it to work properly, and I felt fairly confident about using the Krotons because… well, it’s not really as if anybody’s that bothered about them.

On reinventing monsters

I’m not sure that “making over” monsters is such a good idea.If you’re writing a book about Daleks… oh, if only… then nobody’s going to want to read something that’s post-modern and ironic about the subject of Daleks.

They’re going to want a story with huge Dalek armies exterminating everything in sight and a great big Dalek battlefleet coming over the horizon. A good monster’s a good monster, there’s no reason to play around with it.

If you start playing around with Cybermen, then there’s a chance of you just spoiling the Cybermen, but I thought I could probably get away with doing whatever I liked to the Krotons. Not exactly a first-division monster.

On the prospect of Doctor Who returning (pre-2005)

Eventually, there will be another TV series of Doctor Who. And it will fail horribly, because inevitably it’ll be aimed at the kind of fan-targeted SF market that didn’t even exist until Star Trek: The Next Generation came along and spoiled everything. Doctor Who only works as a family adventure series, but when it finally comes back you can bet any money you want it’ll be like Babylon 5 or something. It’ll only last one series, maybe two. So then the TV programme will be dead forever.

On Doctor Who in 2010

Moffat tries to make the Doctor a fetish-object, because that’s how we think of him as long-term Doctor Who viewers, and because we’re the ones to whom he’s pandering. (Well, not me. But you know what I mean). What the author’s actually doing is ensuring the Doctor’s worthlessness. If you make someone all-powerful, then power’s worth nothing at all, especially if you do it just to reinforce fan-opinion of the safe and clean-cut Boy One.

Steven Moffat (2010)

June 25, 2010

I’ve lost track of whether any of the information in these quotes contains spoilers, so caution is advised. These come from various sources, and are all related to series 5, or 6, or the 2010 Christmas Special, or other current stuff:

On becoming the showrunner

I was boarding a plane when it happened: Russell sent me an e-mail as I was about to fly to Athens for a meeting about the incredibly short-lived Greek version of my comedy Coupling. I found out subsequently that heavy hints had been dropped twice before about me taking over the show, but I’d been too slow and too hungover to pick up on them.

On series five

Doctor Who is an incredibly difficult programme to make. Since the first day of filming, when the tide came in early and chased us off the beach, we’ve been in a state of crisis. Now, a television crisis isn’t a real crisis but it’s still enough to stop you thinking about these weird, metaphysical things, like the show’s importance in terms of so-called 3GTV (three-generation television, appealing to children, parents and grandparents] or how it’s down to me and Simon Cowell to keep the fabric of society together.

On The Big Bang

The universe has ended, mate, he’s dead. The Doctor is in the Pandorica, there’s this little voice saying: ‘Hello, that was a big bang wasn’t it? Oh, something happened out there?

On the 2010 Christmas Special

There will be a Christmas special – well, a flashback Christmas special – but no, we won’t be telling you anything, not a single thing. It’s too early.

On series six

(It’ll be) similar (to seriees 5) in the sense that it’s an arc that doesn’t get in the way too much.

On Russell T. Davies returning

He said ‘Don’t even ask me for series five because I’m just knackered, I just want to go lie down’, and I think I’ll find out how that feels. But I did ask him for series six, and I always will.

He’s pretty adamant that he’s not going to (come back). I’m in constant touch with him. He did an awful lot of ‘Doctor Who’ for an awful lot of years, and I think he’s finding it in a way hard, because in effect he’s done a ‘Doctor Who’ story for ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’. So I think he probably wants to get away from it for a bit. I can understand that, because he did a hell of a lot. It would be just joyous to get him back, becaus I miss him.

On his writing

Russell reckons it’s all about parenthood with me. It’s his view that every writer has one story that they go on re-telling and that being a father is mine.

Anthony Ainley (1991)

June 21, 2010

Here’s Anthony Ainley talking at a Doctor Who convention in 1991.  Among other things, he talks about Richard Hurndall, Ian Marter and the time he whacked Sylvester McCoy with a bone. He also sings a song called ‘A Plea to the BBC’, which you can listen to on YouTube.

P.S. Since Ainley talks about what he’d like written in his obituary, here’s a link to the obituary that was run in The Guardian when he died in 2004.

On Roger Delgado

I can only tell you that I felt very privileged to be given the part and follow such a wonderful performer as Roger. I didn’t know it was going to be as important as it turned out to be, I didn’t know about the fans, I didn’t know that the shows would be scrutinised and analysed fifteen, twenty years later. I was asked by John Nathan-Turner if I’d watch the videos of Roger, I hadn’t watched Doctor Who when Roger was in it, I watched Tom because he’s a friend of the family. John Nathan-Turner offered me the videos of Roger, I said yes, but he never gave them to me! The thing to do is not to try to copy people, no matter what you thought of the way I did it, I think it might have been not very successful if I’d tried to be a pale imitation of Roger. I think you’ve got to come at acting from your own centre, your mind is the character’s mind, your arms, your body, everything, and then it is at least original and at least your own. I feel that it would have been wrong to have sat there, studying the videos.

I’m told that I look a little like Roger Delgado, and I think that may have been one of the reasons Barry Letts wanted me to do it. I was lucky enough to play for Barry Letts in ‘Nicholas Nickleby’ with the young Nigel Havers, who was very young and very good. And Barry Letts saw something in me, I think, that not only reminded him of Roger but also embodied evil. I don’t know what it was. I once sat next to a girl in a play and had to say ‘Would you like some tea?’, and I said it and she broke rehearsal and said ‘My God you’re evil!’. I guess it’s something I have.

On The Land That Time Forgot

I played a bit of a Nazi swine, who took away a submarine and left some people on a volcanic island. And then I got shot. Yes, I wasn’t very nice in that. But what may surprise you is that I won a comedy prize when I was at RADA. Yes, that’s true, I won the comedy prize. It was a very small amount of money. I was amazed, I think it was for playing Jack Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest.

On Logopolis

That scene, hurling Tom from a great height, was a favourite. It was wonderful, I’m very glad to have been in Logopolis, it does quite well in the charts.

On Time Flight

If I mention the moment with the green slime pouring from my throat, do you remember what I’m talking about? Time Flight. I’m glad it wasn’t me. For some reason, a lot of green muck was to come from my mouth as I became the Master again, and they got this guy, and apparently he nearly died, he nearly choked. That was the only time they used a stand-in.

On The Five Doctors

I was absolutely thrilled, and I was aware that it was a great honour and a historical event, and I was very very pleased to have such a large slice of the action in a good story. I’m very pleased to have been in that. It was exciting working with all the Doctors, including the lookalike Doctor.

I’d like to put in a good word for Richard Hurndall, who was very brave. He was dying, I think he died within six weeks of doing that show. I think it was a very difficult job, playing a lookalike, and I think he did it very well. I don’t think enough is said of Richard Hurndall, I try to mention him wherever I can.

I could go on for some time about Pat Troughton. When you think of the chats in green rooms, talking with actors, he was not only an actor’s actor, he was probably the actor’s Doctor, and a very wonderful person. I was with him when he died in Georgia, I was privileged to dine with him on the night before.

On The King’s Demons

I had a bit thing about The King’s Demons, I wanted very much to have a mortician’s wax nose, a long nose, to change the shape of my profile. But television has such strict discipline about filming things, so usually you’re not usually seen in profile, so consequently hardly anything was seen of my false big nose. I think it would have been much more effective, the disguise, if they’d changed the system and had one camera shooting profile to see the nose. No-one would have ever guessed it was me.

You get extra money for make-up time. You get over-time, a beautiful girl fussing around you. You get paid extra, so the BBC don’t like doing that.

On The Trial of a Timelord

I liked working with Colin, I’m sure you’ve all met him, he’s a beautiful, well-mannered man, very easy to work with, a proper gent as they say down south. It was a lot of fun, couldn’t have been nice, really. I’m sure you all like Colin.

I loved coming up on the big screen. I’d never made an entrance like that before. Although my part in Trial of a Timelord was rather miniscule, it was nice to be there. Michael Jayston was a very nice person.

On Survival

I was put in this chair, I felt captive there, and this man had this thing in his hand and I couldn’t believe it was going into my eye. He said ‘Lie back, relax’ and he did some black magic, and it was in my eye. He said ‘Here’s a mirror’ and I looked and it was wonderful, it looked like a cat’s eye with that perpendicular slit that they have, beautiful eyes, and I thought ‘This is going to be magic’. What happened? After a few weeks, they decided that this man wouldn’t be with us on filming, we’d have to do it ourselves, so they gave us these little cheap rubber, no slit, contact lenses, and we could put them in ourselves. It took a bit of practice. Quite nasty. I was disappointed, because they just looked like yellow eyes, they didn’t look like cats’ eyes.

In the fight with Sylvester, I accidentally hit him quite hard with a large bone. I didn’t mean to hit him. These things are done by numbers, and you work it all out, and somehow I managed to hit his wrist very hard with a femur, that’s a large bone. Sylvester, having had to wear those wretched contact lenses that day, didn’t like it, because he hadn’t had the training (with the lenses) that Sophie and I had, and he was finding it very painful to put them in. He didn’t have much help. He wasn’t enjoying it at all, he was in pain, and when I hit him on the wrist with the bone, I said ‘I’m terribly sorry’, he said ‘It’s okay Ant, I’m now in so much pain in my wrist, I can’t feel the pain in my eyes’.

Similar things happened with the cheetah heads. I was told that when they put out the tenders, they were brought in, one businessman said ‘What do you think of this?’, it was wonderful but it was expensive. Another businessman came in with a different cheetah head, said ‘What do you think of this?’. It wasn’t so good, but it was cheap. Of course the BBC took the cheap one. My own feelings on them… this sort of thing shows, and I think it was a little sad. But I hope you liked the cheetah heads you got. At times, they looked quite frightening, but at times they looked like teddy bears, which wasn’t the idea.

The teeth, I had to put fangs in. I didn’t want to, but I was told to. I went to an orthodontist, and they put in these fangs, with a bit of plasticine, but I found it very hard to speak, very hard to speak clearly, so I took the bottom ones out after a while. Bad continuity, that, you might notice that, but they got in my way.

On Doctor Who comic strips

I don’t read them, but I gaze at them. I’ve always been a man for looking at pictures, when I read the newspapers I look at the pictures. A bit like Ronnie Reagan in that respect. It’s very difficult to get faces, lookalikes, but they’re very clever. I have a great respect for artists, it’s a difficult task, drawing, but they do it very well. I wish I could draw.

On Ian Marter

It was so sad about Ian Marter. I was with him just before he died, and I’ve never seen a man look so well. He wrote well, didn’t he, Ian Marter? He’d been doing this muscle course. He had muscles in places I don’t have muscles. And he dropped dead! What’s happening to us all?

On the 1989 cancellation

I wouldn’t be pleased (if Survival was the end for his Master). A guy’s got to eat. I wouldn’t be pleased at all, but I have a feeling that it is the end. I have a gut feeling. I wish I could have brought you exclusive news that we go again in Autumn, 28 episodes of the Master battling the Doctor! But alas, I can’t bring you that news. I hope I’m wrong, but I think the party may well be over. But I want to thank you for keeping it going, to revivify the legend, and I have no doubt in my own mind that were it not for fans, it wouldn’t have lasted 28 years.

I think the ratings drooped a little. In the last ten years, didn’t they? Tom was getting big figures. Ratings fell, and when ratings fall in television, in spite of your (the fans’) love and enthusiasm, the executives get scared. Why did the ratings fall? It might have been because we went up against ‘Coronation Street’, the most popular soap in the world? It was a big drop, wasn’t it? A 50% drop. It was considerable. And TV executives panic, when the ratings do well, the BBC executives get excited, but it’s all about sales. I think they get excited about the video sales, and if they ignore that, they’re crazy. I’m so proud that the videos sell so well.

If only the BBC had taken a bit more care, spent a bit more money, and treated you people better, given you better quality, not rushed them, things might have been different. In my experience, they were too rushed. It’s all to do with money. They took you for granted. They tended to use ‘Doctor Who’ as a kind of training ship for novices to get their experience on. That’s bad.

What he’d like written in his obituary

This bloke is past his recommended selling date. I don’t know, I think I might like it said that ‘I hope they weren’t kidding about heaven’, ’cause I want to go to heaven!

A Plea to the BBC

(sung by Ainley)

Don’t give up on us B-Beeb
Not now we’ve come this far
That Sophie, she’s a great big star
She’s also very lovely
and awfully nice to know
Don’t give up on us B-Beeb
Give us back our show!