Joined: 22 Apr 2009
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|Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:43 pm Post subject: Gallifrey 2004 Day 3 Session Transcript - by Miz Em
|From the EZ Board Library
Gallifrey 2004 Day 3 session transcript
Jason: We're not waiting for Gary, are we?
Jason: Iíd like to introduce to you, Paul McGann, Susannah Harker, and James Goss. And weíre here to chat about a webcast production called Shada. (Applause) Whoís heard Shada? (Looks out to audience) Thatís not bad! Whoís actually seen it online as well? (Looks out again) Well, thatís pretty good! Weíll have something to talk about at any rate. Shada has a very mixed history. It was a production which was originally written in 1979 for a production back then with Tom Baker. And for various reasons, including a BBC strike, only half of it was ever filmed, and it was abandoned, the next producer (couldnít catch name) was supposed to revive it and finish it, but it never happened. So it just sits on the shelf, getting dust, and itís always been one of those Holy Grails of Dr Who. That eventually, someone might finish Shada. And ladies and gentlemen, that is what we did.
Jason: I must hasten to add that it wouldnít have happened if it werenít for James Goss, there at the end. (Applause) Who worked at the BBC, and provided all the food. And helped us immensely, with the one thing that really does matter, sometimes, in a production, which is money. It was done as a co-production between Big Finish and BBCi.
Paul (interrupts!): Did the BBC keep the film footage?
Jason: Yes, they did!
Paul: Have you seen it?
Jason: Yes, I have! Itís being released on video! With link narration from Tom Baker.
Paul: Only half full?
Jason: Only half finished. They did things, it was mostly done location filming, wasnít it?
James: Yes, and some studio work and no end, itís all beginning and middle and no end. It ended with Tom Baker going ďWell, and we defeated the villain, and it was all very excitingĒ
Jason: Which is how ours ended!
Paul: Obviously, Iíve never seen it, but when you make a picture, you, obviously never work in sequence. Was there an end shot?
Paul: So the beginning was recorded, but no end.
Jason: Because a lot of theÖ I donít know if you remember too much about the story but most of the (something) stuff was set in Cambridge. And that had to be location filming. And the filmed without (something), it was all studio blocks
Paul: So they filmed without Chronotis then?
Susannah: Who played Chronotis?
James: Dennis Carey
Paul: Who played Clare?
James: Victoria Bergoyn
Paul: Victoria Burgoyne? (Seems to know who she is!)
Somebody: Do you know her?
Some byplay I canít hear
Paul: When was this done?
Paul: Everyone had the big hair?
Jason: Oh yeah. There are some photographs from it that I have to show you. But the funny thing is that Lalla Ward doesnít look any different!
Paul: No, no different!
Jason: But, theÖ
Paul: Sorry, you were sayingÖ
Jason: (Some stuff) Almost from day one, I said, weíd really like to do Shada. Didnít I?
James: Yes. (Laughter)
Jason: It took about 18 months to secure the rights and put the cast together. It was a nice cast, wasnít it?
Paul: Nice is the word. Why was it me and not Sylv?
Jason: What? Oh, I see, why you and not anyone else? I think it was because..
Paul: Sylv being the senior player and all that.
Jason: I think it was because we wanted something fresh and new.
Audience breaks out in laughter. I think Paul also made a face at this sarcastic remark.
Jason: And of course, when we think of fresh, we think of you, Paul. Not sure about the new, but definitely the fresh. James, what was the conversation that we had, regards the doctors? Just donít say yes! (Laughter)
James: Yes. (Laughter)
Jason: So what was your opinion then, James?
James: We did start off, obviously, saying it was a Tom Baker script but there would be no chance of Tom Baker doing it, because heís way beyond Dr. Who.
Paul: But he would have been a great Chronotis, wouldnít he?
Jason: Yes, thatís a good idea! Maybe thatís what we should have suggested.
Paul: Too late now, baby! (Laughter)
Jason: He might have felt proprietorial about the role. In seeing you as the Doctor.
Paul: Yeah, he wouldíve done, wouldnít he? He would have towered over me, wouldnít he? And bullied me. (Editorial: I donít think anyone could really bully Paul, small though he might be!)
Jason: Really? What, would you have stood up to him?
Paul: I wouldíve had to.
Jason: Yeah, you would bite his knees off or something?
Paul: And stand on the box to.
Jason: Yeah, that was quite funny, you and Sylvester about the box. Because, didnít you stand on the box for the publicity shots?
Paul: You know, McCoy keeps saying that!
Jason: Thatís actually become part folklore.
Paul: Yeah. Iíve stood on loads of boxes. Iím only like 5í8Ē and sometimes you work with these big girls. And theyíre always standing me on boxes on 2-4-6ís, you know, or they dig a little ditch for the girl to stand in. They actually do that. I got over it years ago but yeah, they did! But, the first time I was on a set, I heard one guy say ďJim, we need a manmaker!Ē Itís all because of this girl.
Jason: So the film made you into a man! Fair enough! I think on that note, Iíll throw it out to the audience for questions.
Guy: Having seen the video of Shada, did you keep the invisible spaceship?
Paul looked a little incredulous at this question, then busts out laughing. : - ) Thereís a quicktime clip of this.
Jason: Uh, yes! We did! It is invisible, which is, uh, pretty easy to keep! Yes, the invisible spaceship is still there.
Lady: Did you chat with Douglas Adams, before he died, on this?
Jason: No. I wish I had, I know a few people who were friends of Douglasí and I wish Iíd met him. I really do. But I think he died two years before we contacted the estate, about year and a half? But at the time, his estate werenít really aware of it. Because it was never produced, itís not in his bio, itís not on his list of credits.
Paul: You know, he wrote about it, then he wrote about having written it.
Paul: Because of the sleeve notes of the CD, he wrote to say heíd enjoyed doing it.
Susannah: (She asks a question here, but she speaks very softly and wouldnít you know, the whine started up right about here)
Jason: Thatís one of the reasons he didnít put it in his official television history, because he had re-used the ideas. Because there was no Shada as far as he was concerned. So they werenít aware of the script, and they went ďOh really?Ē and couldnít find it. So we said, donít worry, weíll send you a copy. So we send around this copy and they said, oh okay, fine. And they said ďright, I suppose you could do this thenĒ Actually, they were very lovely and we kept them informed because Gary Russell lives in the neigborhood. He actually did the adaption.
Jason: Adaptation. Isnít adaption American?
Jason: Iím just very bad with my English. He did the adaptation, and we kept them very much informed with what we were doing and they were very happy. Theyíre very happy to finally see it produced and I think itís dedicated to his wife and his daughter, isnít it?
Paul: Are they still here? Are they still in America?
Jason: I donít know!
Susannah: No, they live in London now.
Paul: Before he died, they had moved here.
Jason: He died in a gym here. A very sad story.
Paul: Sadly missed!
Jason: Yes. He was a genius writer. Not very prolific in his writing but certainly what he produced was quality.
Paul: What was it he said in those sleeve notes? He said he had to sort the plot out first, then try to justify these outlandish plot turns for the next few weeks. Itís a good way to work, you know? Iíd like to try to get on with that. But he was very fond of it, he was really fond of Doctor Who, he took it quite seriously.
Jason: As you said yesterday we had the rehearsal, which Paul knows is unusual for us.
Jason: Did you enjoy that process of reading it through and getting to hear the jokes, basically. There are some real interesting jokes in there. (Laughter)
Paul: It was good. It was great to rehearse, you know.
Paul: Any kind of rehearsal really.
Susannah: Gives you a sense of the structure of it. And the pacing of it. (something I canít hear) I canít imagine not doing a rehearsal. Is that normally how you do it?
Paul: Yeah, you just wing it!
Susannah: (Everybodyís talking at once and itís hard to hear her anyway.) So thereís no structure
Paul: Yeah, you just do it.
Jason: We hope the actors have read it beforehand, obviously. (Paul gives him a look here and laughter breaks out in the audience)
Paul: What and ruin the surprise?
Jason: Yeah (laughter. This must either be the worst recording of the three or this group just talked really softly because I canít hear the rest of this.)
Susannah says something hereÖ
Jason: Do you have any questions?
Guy: This is a more general question of the cast. Is BBCi looking to do more webcasts? Or that webcast would be finished that you talked about?
James: Is the question about the webcast from Richard E. Grant coming later?
Audience: OhhhhÖ (Because Paul gives James a look)
Paul: Richard E. Canít
Audience breaks out in laughter
Paul: Thatís how he would say it, isnít it? Richard E. Canít! (makes it real nasal, real hoity-toity sounding)
A lady (Denise?): Oh, Iím telling!
Paul: Sorry! (Does not look in the least bit sorry!)
Jason: James, donít say anymore!
Jason: But is it the case that we will work together in the future?
Jason: But we canít talk about it at the moment?
James: Yes (Audience laughs. James always has these one word answers. And the one time he had a long answer, Paul gave him a hard time. I think he stopped trying after that. Afraid to offend the talent! : - )
James: We are working on an undisclosed project at the moment.
Paul: Whatís that? Are you allowed to say? Whatís going on?
James: Yeah! Itís about zombies and witches and itís very good. (after that I couldnít hear it)
Jason: And itís written by?
James: (somebody) Benson
James: (some guyís name) looks like a giant bear! (Some other stuff) And heís a very good writer, of course!
Jason: Weíre doing (something) which is our next production with BBCi, and itís not Dr. Who. But we have other things in the pipeline
Guy: It was written originally for Tom Baker, and I was wondering if there was much reworking done for McGann to do it instead of Tom Baker.
Jason: Thatís a very good question. Gary can probably give you a better indication than me. But I think in general no, because the part was written for the Doctor and I think if you ask any of the doctors to say the lines they just say it in a different way but keeping the essential doctorness of the part intact. So, no, it wasnít dramatically rewritten. I think there were references to jelly babies which we may have overwrote but in general no. The other thing as well is that, how do I put this, Tom Baker had the tendency to change a lot of the scripts whilst in production and because it wasnít produced, it was the original script from Douglas Adams before Tom had played with it.
Paul: What did he do?
Jason: Well, he used to, Iím not sure Iím allowed to say, really. But he used to change things.
Paul: Just dialogue?
Jason: Just dialogue and so forth which he didnít like and make it funnier because he was in the program for so many years and the lead for so many years.
Paul: Thatís kind of understandable though.
Jason: Yeah, it is, it is. Itís what he wanted to do. And as the lead character, thatís fine. But sometimes, some of his ideas were a bit left of field, letís say, and didnít fit in with what the story was trying to say. The producers were sometimes tearing their hair out.
Paul: Did he write additional lines, you mean? Give himself monologues and all that?
Jason: I can see this ideaís going through your head!
Jason: Next thing youíll see is this 50 minute monologue from Paul McGann.
Jason: India Fisher will be back there saying ďIíll go make some tea, shall I?Ē
Jason: Have we got a question from the Brigade at the front?
Jason: Have you not seen Shada?
Some of us: Yes!
Someone: Well, it actually got me into Dr. Who, so.
Denise?: I thought it was interesting that you said you donít have to change the dialogue or anything but I find that all the doctors are very different. Tom Baker was such a personality that it seems strange to me that you donít tailor it to him.
Paul: I did find, actually, with Shada, that the pattern, some of the speech patterns, you know, were his. You know there was an attack to the lines. The lines were actually, the lines were longer. Because he was able to, Tom would speak very quickly, he was able to drive, he could speak in whole sentences, you know. (laughter) He could do it very quickly, whereas I, Iím not really like that. But some of them, I noticed that I would run out of breath. Jesus, this lineís still going on, you know. But he could do that.
Jason: Did you find your interpretation of the Doctor sort of changing for that script?
Paul: Yeah, a little.
Jason: Thatís interesting! Because Iíve spoken to quite a few of the writers who write for us, and often they donít know which doctor theyíre writing for. We donít say, write a story for the Fifth Doctor, you know. We say, write a good Dr Who story, give us the outline and weíll allocate it to a Doctor. And they often write for the Doctor, not for any of the actors. So thatís quite interesting.
James: The big change that we did have, we were very, very careful with the script, (long dissertation blocked by the whine of the BBC digicam) was that Paul McGannís companion was not India Fisher. And we thought, maybe we should rewrite it for India Fisherís Charley. (some more dissertation) While it was easy to rewrite the lines for Romana into lines for Charley, Charley doesnít have a built in laser pistol.
James: She could have! Now I didnít say that at the time.
Jason: And Iím sure India Fisher didnít want to be referred to as the tin dog either.
Lady: I just first heard about Shada at this con (Just where has she been?). So I wonder, is it possible to download it from the website? Is there any way you can get a hold of it?
James: You can buy the CD copy. The webcast is currently offline until June.
Jason: Is it coming back on in June?
Jason: You get to download it again in June. Itís not on all the time. The CD is available.
Lady: Is it audio or video?
Jason: Itís audio, butÖ James?
James: The webcast is slightly animated. (laughter) Well, things move!
Jason (to Paul and Susannah): Have any of you guys seen the animation for it?
(I remember that Paul and Susannah shook their heads or said no. The laughter blocks all of this out.)
Paul: Low tech?
Jason: Absolutely! Iíll get you a copy. I didnít realize you hadnít seen it.
Susannah: Are they some of the characters inside the sleeve?
Susannah: Theyíve kind of taken the actors who played it and done the cartoons off it? (Sheís got a lovely voice!)
James: Yes, youíre right. Youíre a punk.
Susannah: Iím a punk?
Jason: You were playing it as a punk, surely?
Jason: But those were the images which we used on the website. Itís quite good. Well, Iíll send you a copy.
Guy: Speaking of Tim Dark, can you guys tell some John Leeson stories? About working with him?
Jason: What was it like working with John Leeson? (Laughter because nobody had anything to say!) Actually lets talk about the whole cast, because it was a fantastic cast. We had Hannah Gordon, James Fox, and Melvin Hayes, whom I remember as being ridiculously funny. And there was you. And there was Andrew Sachs. And Lalla Ward, and Colin. There was a lot of people.
Susannah: Yeah, there was!
Jason: It was a nice starry cast to get together.
Susannah: It was a good dynamic.
Jason: Yes! It was..
Susannah: It was an unusual dynamic.
Jason: In comparison to other casts, we did have a good time, didnít we? We jelled together very quickly.
Paul: Then again, by dint of the rehearsal we had..
Jason: Hmm, what are you pushing for now? (Laughter)
Paul: Yeah, it was good fun! We make it in this studio in Bristol, in England, you know. Actually, it was an old BBC studio, wasnít it?
Jason: It was! It was a stupid thing where BBC actually spent 8 and a half million quid updating that studio then sold it for 2 and a half. (Laughter) Iím quite happy because we get low commercial rates, in comparison to what BBC would charge there. Yeah.
Paul: But itís a good atmosphere, and itís a good place to work, you know.
Jason: Thereís a lot of bands in there as well.
Paul: Yeah, rock bands and stuff upstairs. But it was good, yeah, it was
Jason: Didnít you go up and see one of the bands one time?
Paul: Well, they were friends there.
Jason: Oh, you know them already? I didnít realize that.
Paul: Well, I live there, you see. (Laughter) Which is why you record down there.
Jason: Yeah. (Laughter) I just didnít realize you knew them.
Paul: I know everybody. (laughter) Eventually. (laughter) You know who I like working with is James Fox.
Jason: James Fox!
Paul: James Fox was one of the reasons I became an actor.
Paul: Fantastic actor, James Fox. Years ago, at the end of the sixties, he did, you may have seen it, that English film called Performance with Nicholas Roeg, and starred Mick Jagger. I was a 12 year old, sneaking into this cinema, you know gangs of kids, we used to sneak in the fire door to watch these pictures and I remember seeing that. Yeah, James Fox, and he was magnificent in this! And it was a bit problematic as well, because it was a film about acid trips and the like, and they all did it (something here I canít make out), he talks about it. He never worked for 10 years after that.
Jason: I was going to say that he was out of commission.
Paul: Yeah, but he was magnificent in this film. I remember, even as a kid, sitting there, I donít why it was great, but it was so great, you know? Iíd love to do that. There was this presence in this, and he looked so beautiful. And years later, I ended working on a picture with him and thought, ďIíve got to say something to himĒ, you know. But you see, heís so shy and quiet. And there never seemed to be an opportune moment to speak to him. It was actually at the wrap party, it was the last day and I thought, ďCome on, Paul, just say something.Ē And I did, I went up and spoke to him. And I said, ďYou were the reason I got into acting.Ē And he started crying.
Paul: But heís like that! Youíd never know, if you see his films. He plays a bullet, heís so hard and fast and fantastic. And shiny. Itís hard to reconcile with this quiet little gentle and beautiful man. Just, you know. (Something about being apropos) So, I was thrilled to work with him. And heís great, his Chronotis was actually fantastic! A kind of dotty side of him that he rarely gets asked to do, you know.
Jason: Nick had a lot to do with casting him.
Paul: Yeah. Because James has a brother, Edward Fox, whoís more, I mean, you can imagine him as Chronotis. And Edward Fox, he sounds posher than the Queen. (laughter, he has this thing about posh people) The poshest voice in the room. He doesnít say ďYesĒ, he says ďeyearsĒ (thatís what it sounded like) ďeyears!Ē (He does this deep raspy voice) Even the Queen doesnít speak like that. But I think, James, he kind of liked it, didnít he?
Jason: He brought out the kindness in Chronotis. Chronotis was a criminal, until he got older. I remember coming into the studio, I was a bit late, and I remember you coming up to me and saying ďA bit of a fruity cast, isnít it?Ē Is that what you felt? A bit of a fruity cast?
Paul: Yeah, but good though. It was a compliment, a little Manuel.
Jason: I think what we did was cast against type. You donít usually see Andrew Sachs as a villain.
Paul: He had a scream, didnít he?
Jason: He had! He wanted to go further, didnít he? We had to turn him down.
Susannah: It was quite an opportunity to go wildly over the top, for everyone.
Jason: Donít tell me you went over the top. Did you?
Susannah: I might have! (laughter)
Paul: He was great, Andrew. You couldnít believe that voice came out of Andrew Sachs. Heís fantastic, isnít he?
James: I remember walking in on Andrew Sachs practicing his cliff hanger acting. That laughter went on and on
Paul: Mwahahahah. Yeah. When he practiced, he did it like a musical score. What an actor!
Jason: Obviously when you do movies, there are no cliffhangers, itís just one long movie. Did you think, ďOh good, I get to do cliffhangersĒ that end of episode acting.
(Susannah laughs here. And so does everyone!)
Paul: Iíve never thought about it, till you just mentioned it
Jason: Do you like end of episode acting?
Paul: Yeah, you have to do it, donít you?
Jason: Yeah, itís like ďIím going to save the world NOOOWWW!Ē (laughter)
Paul: Are you a frustrated actor? (huge laughter here, poor Jason!)
Jason: I was a very bad actor, when I was a teenager.
Paul: Well, thatísÖ no impediment. (laughter)
Jason: Yes, I was a very bad actor.
Paul: Yeah, you have to do that, donít you? When the end of the episode comes, you have toÖ
Paul: yeah, deliver it. Andrew Sachs did it
Guy: This is for Jason. Would you cast Susannah in a future Big Finish role?
Jason: Obviously, yeah!
Applause and cheering from the audience.
Paul: Something evil, something a bit more evil, yeah.
Jason: I could do that. Actually, the way she was holding on the bicycle thing, I could see the evil side of her. You know that came out. Obviously, itís going to be evil Susannah next.
Guy: I wonder what comments Lalla Ward had to make, given that she was in the original and also a friend of Douglas Adams and his family.
Paul: Her memories of things was fantastic. She seemed to remember everything. Anyway, sheís a very brilliant person, sheís highly intelligent, and thereís a photographic memory, she was very well read, she understands the provenance of everything. She knew what drove every scene. And I hate to say this but Iím going to anyway, she kind of directed some of it. If we were pushed for time, or we werenít quite sure about the emphasis of a particular scene, she would know. She would say ďwell remember that this is this and that is thatĒ. So she was great, you know. A font of knowledge. And a lovely gal!
Jason: She was sort of affected by it. I remember, after the rehearsal, I noticed that she was a bit quiet in the hall. I went up to her and said ďAre you thinking about Douglas?Ē And she said yes.
Paul: They were good friends, were they?
Jason: They were very good friends for many years. Yes. I might be wrong, but I think she introduced Douglasí wife to him.
Paul and everybody: Ohhh!
Jason: And they were very good friends.
James: And he introduced her to her husband.
Jason: Oh right! I knew that happened. So they were very good friends for many years. They didnít just stop with Dr Who, they just kept on. She was very (chuffed?) that we were doing it.
Steph (?): Would you talk about the difference acting together on stage and acting together for the audio?
Susannah: There was quite a difference, yes. Thereís obviously quite a lot more to do on the stage. It was a two-hander so there was a lot more communication, a lot more trust involved. And Paulís a bit of a winger, a self professed winger, so it was very exciting!
Jason: Are you saying he made things up as he went along?
Susannah: Yes! But I found it very exciting! Iíd always worked with actors who were very careful and very analytical and it was very liberating (working with Paul). (This is edited. I couldnít hear all of it, because sheís got a very soft voice, and because of the audience)
Jason: Was this with regard to lines or movements around the stage?
Susannah: Everything! (laughter)
Jason: Youíre not aware of this, are you?
Susannah: But a great actor to work with.
Paul: The right answer! (laughter) Because itís different, you know, itís different from working in the theatre. Chiefly because no one can see you! With audio, youíre just working with the voice. Anyway, you know, this is probably boring, but this studio is perhaps the length of, as long as this room is wide, your mike might be on your left over there, and your swain is ten yards away. That kind of thing. So, you know, it is different. But itís the same. (laughter)
Guy: What was Sean like to work with, and if you could pick any character in the Harry Potter universe to play, who would you play?
Paul: Do you mean Sean Biggerstaff?
Jason: Whom we forgot to name! I do apologize!
Paul: You know, I liked him. I think heís a star! Heís not very old, is he, what 22?
Paul: So heís got it all ahead of him. I think heís going to do well, heís a clever boy and heís also a brilliant musician. So heís got that string to his bow as well. If you will. And heís great fun.
Jason: I hate him (something I canít hear)
Paul: And what was the other question? Harry Potter? What could I do? That Rickman one! Yeah! Whatís his name? (There was a bit here because he couldnít hear the audience say Snape, and he kept saying Snake instead) Snakebite? Snape? Iíd like that because Rickman looks so miserable through all of it. Yeah, I could do that.
Guy: Another question. Jason, have thought about obtaining the license to do Ultra Violet audios?
Jason: Funny, not until this weekend. But I have thought about it now.
Lady: Can you talk about the production process, how long did it take to record this and was it a different length or similar to the other audios?
Paul: It was longer, wasnít it?
Jason: Yes. We rehearsed on Monday, and recorded Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.
Susannah: Was it that long?
Jason: Yeah. It felt like it went pretty quick, didnít it? But I think it was only three days. James, was it only three days?
James: It was actually three and a half. Because the last day they had problems, was it the disco next door?
Paul: No, it was the students, wasnít it? Across the alley.
Jason: Someone playing the drums anyway. In comparison to what we usually do for the audios, we usually get 90 minutes done in about a day and a half.
Guy: This is for Susannah. The first time I saw you was in House of Cards which I thought was wonderful. I was wondering what it was like working with Ian Richardson?
Susannah: Well, heís a great actor, you know, heís a classical actor, very impressive.
So I was very much in awe of him.
Paul: Was he scary?
Susannah (laughs): In what respect?
Susannah: No, no, not at all, heís very sensitive, very fun. I loved Ian. I got to really work with him. I played his daughter in something before. So that put a different slant on what we were doing for House of Cards because obviously it had undertones. So we had adjustments to make. Iím very, very fond of him.
Jason: So you had to refer to him as Daddy?
Susannah: I did.
Jason: Did you think, ďOh, this is getting a bit dodgyĒ?
Susannah: Yeah, but it was meant to be dodgy.
Guy: This questionís for Paul McGann. Are you going to be in any other Hornblower movies?
Paul: We talked about this yesterday. Only if the star, Ioan, is free to do it. He did a pilot and it was picked up and heís here in some series now, playing some lawyer guy. Heís living down in West Hollywood and having a great time. We did them every two years, the Hornblowers, and so weíre due to make one now, this spring in England. But itís not going to happen because Ioanís away. I saw him yesterday and asked him about it. And he said it was touch and go, it might not happen. Also due to the woman at A&E, whose name escapes me now. Delia Fine (after prompting by audience). May lose her job or maybe move sideways at A&E. This is what Ioan said, she was our champion, if you like, at A&E, the next incumbent may not like it. So we donít know. But I hope so, I really, really hope so. And I know that there are still a couple of books outstanding. And I want to lose a leg! Bush loses a leg, gets married (not really!), gets his own ship. I want all that to happen.
Denise: Just to stay off topic for another minute. On a related note since this is your last panel, would be please be so kind as to oblige the Hornblower girls among us and go into Lt. Bush mode for just a minute and give the command to Fire?
Paul: (He says something here that the laughter in the audience garbles) Shall I? I donít need the mike then, do I?
Susannah: Do it!
Paul: Thatís just a big shout, right? Okay, (You can see him switching to Lt. Bush) ďFiyah!Ē (about busted my eardrums on the headphones!)
Audience: A lot of hooting and hollering
Paul: I had a movement there!
(This is where audio only is really frustrating, because I remember him making a lot of faces)
Audience: More laughter
Jason: Obviously a very well rounded character as well. A truly fine performance.
Denise: Thank you!
Paul: It was a pleasure! It was a pleasure! (he also mouths something to Denise that I couldnít make out in the video clip)
Guy: Would you tell us a little about working on Queen of the Damned, especially working with Aaliyah who is now deceased?
Paul: I was on that only for, maybe, ten days in Melbourne, Australia, and I met her, because she was around the hotel and on the set when I was there. I didnít know who she was, I didnít realize that (couldnít hear this), my kids knew, who she was. But I met her a few times, she was great, sweet, clever, and funny. I didnít even realize she was an actress when I first met her. Just met her around the hotel and she was lovely. I did my stuff in just three or four days including the concert footage. I was there when they did that stuff in the desert and she was on stage. But she was around, and Stuart Townsend was there. I just liked her, sheís very young as well, 21, 22, and a tragic loss, I think. Really talented. It was only later on, when my kids, you didnít know who she was? You know, theyíd play the records and yeah. Sadly missed. But yeah, it was good, a good opportunity. It was a strange picture to work on, I remember. It was a bit of a shambles, I think. The atmosphere was quite shambolic (is that really a word?) It wasnít a lot of fun. I remember it was quite tense. Sometimes they are, you know. Iíve worked on big things, bigger things even, and sometimes, you know, it can be smooth, and I guess it depends on the director and the assistant, theyíre kind of responsible for the atmosphere. I just remember on that things seemed unnecessarily tense. But she was lovely, and just glided through it. I wish I couldíve been on it longer. Iíd never been to Australia, either, and, I was curious about that. I loved that place.
Jason: Which part of Australia were you in?
Paul: It was in Melbourne. And there was the desert. We were talking about this yesterday, there was a sequence, the concert sequence was mounted, they needed a 20,000 crowd, and they advertised for three or four months, you know, for sort of goth punks for a few hundred miles away to come. And they all turned up, and they put them in these huge military tents around it in the desert. It was great! It was an event!
Jason: Did you feel a bit out of place, because you were in a tweed coat and glasses?
Paul: Yeah, I thought about it. I felt a bit of a spare part.
Jason: Did you think ďIím a goth, I can do this!Ē
Paul: I felt a bit of, whatever the word is.
Jason: Spare wheel.
Paul: Spare wheel, yeah. Felt a bit middle-aged. No, I did.
Me: Would you come to the Chicago TARDIS convention?
Paul: Yeah, I want to go to Chicago, yeah! Because Jason knows the Chicago convention quite well. India also sings its praises. When is it? October November, isnít it?
Paul: Yeah, I might give myself a birthday present.
Paul (to Jason): Because youíve said it was good, havenít you?
Jason: It is, itís a fantastic city! (Something about Navy Pier)
Paul: Whatís that?
Jason: Iíll tell you later. (laughter) Itís a pier in the middle of the city (itís really not, itís on the lake!). Itís gorgeous (yes, it is)
Paul: Yeah, Iíd love to go to Chicago.
Susannah: Can I ask a question? Iíve always been curious about it. Why has there never been a female Dr Who? And will there be? Or will that completely break the mold?
Jason: Well, Joanna Lumley played a female Dr Who in the comic relief skit on Dr Who.
Susannah: Oh, did she?
Jason: Yeah. Actually, Gary, over there, probably has a better idea. Heís the former editor of Dr. Who magazine.
Gary: It was suggested as a joke by Tom Baker once, and ever since then everyoneís gone ďThatíll be a really good idea, a female Dr WhoĒ but no oneís ever seriously sat down and thought about it. We did an audio with Annabella Weir in it and I thought she did quite a good job but I donít think anyoneís ever going to do it on TV.
Susannah: Itís too much of a leap, is it?
Gary: Yeah, I think people would go ďNo, thatís a different programĒ. Create a good program for a good strong woman character, but I think the BBC is always going to go ďNo, Dr Whoís got to be a manĒ.
James: Although the thing that had Richard E. Grant in it, we did have a list of women as possible people to cast as the doctor.
Gary: Who did you have, James?
James: Alas, Margaret Rumford is dead! I honestly canít remember. I think that Kate Winslet was one of the names.
Paul (incredulous): Kate Winslet?
Laughter from the audience
James: Penelope Keith, it was just
Susannah says something here
Jason: I can see Penelope Keith in a frock coat.
Paul says a name here
James: It was just the most randomest names.
Gary: Who would you want to have play it.
Susannah: Someone said Maureen Littman had been very keen on playing Dr Who. Is that right?
Gary: Iíd never heard that, but sheíd be very good
Paul: Kathy Burke. Sheíd be good.
Gary: We asked Kathy to do one of our audios. And she said no.
Jason: She was brilliant in Elizabeth, she played Queen Mary.
Paul: Kate Winslet! (He couldnít seem to let that go)
Gary: Weíre with you on that one, Paul.
Guy: This is for Paul. Have you ever considered asking one of your brothers to appear in one of the Big Finish audios?
Jason: What a good idea!
Paul: No, I hadnít. But if I did, what could we get them to do?
Jason: I donít know!
Paul: You know, before we started out as actors, before weíd been on TV, before we were well known, we used to sometimes cover for one another. It was possible to do that then. We were fairly interchangeable.
Some byplay I canít hear.
Jason: Paul, youíve grown!
Jason: Do you sound alike?
Paul: Yeah, we do!
PMEB: No! (They really donít!!)
Paul: You hadnít thought about that, had you? Even more if the meterís running. Yeah, itís possible. Mark could fill in.
Jason: So have you done jobs where one of you has gone to the audition and got it, and canít do it, and someone else has just turned up and ďOh, itís McGann, rightĒ
Paul: Yeah, thatís actually happened.
Jason: Iíve got a friend whoís a twin, whoís an actress and the only difference between her and her twin is a mole. And she does do that, she puts the mole on, and goes and does the job. Weíve got to keep a better eye on him, arenít we?
Paul: When we were teenagers we had our girlfriends going, ďNow, which one am I going out with?Ē
Jason: Did any of the brothers say ďTake her off my hands, go onĒ
Paul: Letís not go there.
Lady: How close in age are you and your brothers
Paul: Four years between us, between the four of us.
Lady: Any twins?
Paul: Actually, I had twin brothers. They just lived a few days. They were born in 57, theyíd be 46 now. So my mum had seven children, six boys.
Lady: And where are you in theÖ Are you the oldest, youngest?
Paul: If you count the twins, Iím the middle child. They have this thing, donít they, about middle children. Iím second of us. Joeís the eldest, heís a year older than I, then it goes one year, one year, one year.
Lady: Now that youíve worked with Lalla Ward, and of course, with India all the time. If Jason said to you, weíre going to bring in a new female companion, what would you want as your dream companion.
Paul: I just think that whoever it is, personality wise, I think she should be his equal. So in that respect, more of Romana. It strikes me that it works better, he needs to have an equal. He needs somebody toÖ I donít think he patronizes Charley at all. I think whoever it is she should be able to hold her own and stand up to him and haul him by the scruff of the neck sometimes. Somebody strong. Just a preference. And gorgeous. (laughter) And, um, rich.
Jason: Stand on a box?
Paul: Yeah, stand in a ditch. But not Kate Winslet.
Guy: Iíd just like to thank Paul for coming out (applause)
Paul: I have had, a blast! Youíve made us feel very welcome, and itís been great. And I look forward to coming back next year. (to Jason) Are you coming back next year?
Jason: Oh yeah! We come back every year.
Paul: Itís been great, because, I mean, itís only been the second time Iíve ever done this kind of thing. But it wonít be the last, you know. Because itís been great, the atmosphere (huge applause here) and the spirit has been fun, soÖ Iíll see you at the next one, whenever the next one is.. Chicago! My kind of town!
Jason: And on that note! Thank you very much!
Paul: Thank you all!
"Listen carefully. This is the secret of how to live: fire your gun before somebody else does." ~ Scribble, Vurt