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Interview in Big Finish Vortex Magazine August 2010

 
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VirgoGirl



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:40 am    Post subject: Interview in Big Finish Vortex Magazine August 2010 Reply with quote

Pictures to follow!

Paul McGann tells Paul Spragg what heís learnt from his time playing the Eighth Doctor so farÖ
Youíve had a pretty relaxing day today.
Iíve done ten minutes! It bucks the trend, I tell you. And Iíve been listening to my son do his thing, ply his new trade. Itís nice, itís good. Iíve enjoyed it.
Yes, we gave you a later call time, yet you arrived bright and early with Jake [who plays the Doctorís great-grandson Alex] in towÖ
Because I was his chauffeur! The only guarantee of his getting here was if I got him up and gave him a poached egg and sausages and put him in the car and drove him here. Iím a father first, Time Lord second.
How have you found the fourth and final Eighth Doctor series?
Watershed events seem to have been happening thicker and faster. With Sheridan [Smith, Lucie] it seems like yesterday she started and now sheís left. Weíve only just said ta-ra to the last incumbent and itís all a bit sad and sentimental. Weíve had some good adventures. The last bunch of stories has beenÖ one might say I would say this, but I always feel that they improve. They feel like weíre getting better at them. Not just doing them but enjoying doing them as well. This morning Iíve hardly recorded anything but Iíve sat in the booth listening, and thereís a good spirit, you know? Thatís important. I feel the last year weíve just had a laugh doing them. And itís not a bad guiding principle. If we have a laugh, then maybe people will enjoy them when they listen to them.
Iím really into them. And I spent spring Ė at least our spring Ė over in Australia/New Zealand meeting people, doing a couple of conventions, and people love Ďem. Everybody loves Ďem. And the age range of people who are into them, Big Finish, itís really reassuring. Kids are buying Ďem and getting into Ďem. Seven, eight-year-old kids: itís fantastic! And 68-year-old kids as well. And itís great that theyíre popular as well; when Iím over doing those things, and particularly when I have to do stage appearances, the audience are always having to fill me in like a big crib sheet because I can never remember! Typical actor, you learn your part, you forget your part, you learn the next one. Itís Time Lord amnesia.
Weíre pleased we can give the Eighth Doctor the life he never had on TV.
Iím glad too. The Eighth Doctor was six weeks shooting, one TV appearance 15 years ago, so by volume thereís rather little to go on, itís quite thin. There was this one film. And he sort of hung on in there. But heís there in the pantheon. During the last year heís even reappeared briefly in flashback on some of the new TV stuff. And I have to say, just on a personal note, I was kind of relieved because it wasnít so long ago Ė just a few months ago, in fact Ė sat there with Jake, and Jake was looking on some web-related thing and he said, ĎEre, Dad, thereís some thread or something, apparently theyíre going to de-canonise youí. Itís like being made a saint! And I said, ĎReally?í and he said, ĎYeah, youíre gonna be decommissionedí. So you never quite know. Anyway, a couple of weeks later there I was on the telly, but without trying to give you the impression that one hangs on thinking that one is either in oblivion or there at the party, it was nice to know that the Eighth Doctor is still part of things. And I think we can Ė I say we, thatís the royal we Ė I think thereís plenty to come. Iím really happy doing Big Finish, because itís kept us going and itís kept us in it. Thatís the beautiful nature of the character and the programme anyway. Itís never over. Where thereís life thereís hope.
Youíve also been working with Carole Ann Ford as Susan again.

Iím enjoying going back Ė you canít really say that in Doctor Who, can you? Ė going sideways to the stories involving the great grandson and granddaughter. Iím fascinated by the history, the idea that Bill Hartnell first appeared with a granddaughter.
When one stands there on stage on your tod, yakking to 300 serious Doctor Who fans, sometimes itís electric because you ask these questions about the mythology and thereís people out there with degree-level knowledge about such matters. Iím always amazed that people out there have timelines, essays in their head about what happened when and to whom. I never understood it to start with and was never a fan anyway as a kid, I just watched the other channel, I watched the football! But Iíve really grown to be seriously fascinated, as much by the people, by its adherents, as the stories themselves. Iím kind of a newfoundÖ I donít know if I can call myself a fan, I donít know about anything, I couldnít even get an O level in it, let alone a degree in it! But the last couple of years in particular the pennyís really dropped about it.
And next up, youíll be back sharing the main range with the other Doctors.
It sounds like one of those projects where they try to introduce wild animals back into the veldt! ĎWeíre going to be putting you back in with the giraffes.í
Have you watched much of the current TV series?
If I told you I donít keep a television, would you believe me? Because itís true, I donít watch TV. I rarely know whatís happening on telly. Whatís more, Iím often introduced to people, particularly actors, that are really hot on the telly and I donít know who they are. People say to you, ĎDo you know who that was you were just talking to?í Not a clue. Ten years ago, I just stopped watching TV. I watch sport. I enjoy watching football matches and the like. I think itís because I know itís gonna end. Thereíll be a final whistle. Whereas with television it seems to be never-ending. I saw a couple of minutes of Matt Smith because I was curious to see what he looked like, and he seems typically mercurial, inspired. I watched quite a few on computer. I thought David Tennant was fantastic. A real shot in the arm, just what the thing needed, somebody that consummately brilliant but also somebody that really believed in it, that was also a real fan. But itís all there, that sort of quicksilver comic but serious attack that he had.
You could make the case that some of that speed came from your ebullient performance as the Eighth Doctor.
I think with the Eighth Doctor, even though it was over so quickly, it was a pilot, so it had a function to fulfil. He was quickly in extremis, and there were keynote things, bases he had to hit. There was hardly anything that was reflective, perhaps quieter. We didnít really get all of the colours. But I know what you mean; there have been times since where Iíve watched the actors and of course, it is the same character. Even Chris Eccleston. Chris has got a very expert light touch; heís not renowned for it, but I watched him a couple of times and thought thatís some of the best work he ever did. Chris doesnít do charm easily, but he did when I saw him. He does tend to play dark roles most of the time. Heís much more than that. Heís gotta be enjoying it, though. Heís like all of us, heís gotta enjoy doing what heís doing and when he does it really shows. But every now and again, Iíve seen McCoy do things, Iíve seen Colin Baker do things, and itís the same. I donít know how it happens but itís the same character. Their responses are the same, their heart Ė hearts Ė are the same.
There are some moments where Matt Smith is very like Patrick Troughton.
But thatís kind of great, isnít it? If he was able to do it on purpose he is a genius. Heís touched with genius, Matt. Heís a bit of a force of nature. Iíve seen him before, Iíve seen him in the theatre. Heís a very brilliant actor, Matt Smith. And heís never better than when he doesnít quite know what heís doing. I mean that respectfully. Heís purely instinctive, and I hope they just give him his head and let him do what he wants to do.
David Tennant is such a brilliant technician. Again, I say that with due respect, heís a wonderful classical actor, but technically heís dead on. You could get it in one with him, heís like that. But Iím not sure Matt could always do it first time. It might be sixth time, but itís extraordinary, you know? Heís one of them. So with Matt you might have to wait for it, but itís worth waiting for. Heís got that otherworldly thing, Matt Smith, the appeal, the look of him. He looks splendid. I was slightly concerned when I read the first press release, it seemed he got the gig because of his hair; I remember doing that, I got the gig because of my hair! Anyway, heís on his way with it and heís still in his twenties, so thereís a long way to go for him.
Bill Hartnell, the first Doctor Who, he was my Doctor Who Ė because Iím older than you think I am! He was probably only in his fifties in the 1960s, Iím guessing, but he seemed like an old man. To a child, anyway. He had white hair and so forth. And even Troughton seemed old to a kid, but there was a gravitas to it; you believed in the seasoned traveller. More innocent days perhaps, but their age was respected. I grew up in a time just after the war really, and most people your fatherís age, your
teachersí age, Bill Hartnellís age, had probably done some incredibly brave thing, so older people garnered respect really easily then.
We were slightly in awe of them. And Hartnell had that. I remember he was slightly scary and demanded your respect. And Troughton had
this rather stern presence, which I love. Thereís nothing wrong with a youthful Doctor, but every now and again itís good to be reminded that the characterís older than you are. Heís seen a few things.
Thereís even been times you become disillusioned, thereís no youthful innocence about him Ė this is from my O Level Who history. But as I understand it, the turmoil, the trouble back on his home planet, the things that happened have left their mark. And thatís important. Itís someone whoís witnessed things, whoís seen life and death. Itís important, that.
We love the eccentric quicksilver Doctor Who, we love the comic, but often it works best when it appears that heís trying to disguise some pain, thereís something very poignant about it. And that was very present when I was growing up. You couldnít have a Doctor Who any more than you could have a vampire character, say, as theyíre the current vogue, who was just blithe, breezy. You couldnít. A Time Lord has to be also deep and dark. I like that. I like the idea of that.
The Eighth Doctor Adventures continue this month
with Nevermore. The Four Doctors will be available at
Christmas to all customers whose subscription includes
Decemberís Doctor Who main range release
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VirgoGirl



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote





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scribble



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing the fab interview and photos, VirgoGirl! Smile

I wasn't aware that they are working on the final season of Eighth Doctor Adventures?? Shocked
Does anybody know what, if anything, is next for Eight, audiowise? Please clue me in! Confused

For those who want to view Vortex magazine issue #18 or other back issues: http://vortexmag.com/
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Biggles



Joined: 04 Dec 2009
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, judging by this--

Quote:
And next up, youíll be back sharing the main range with the other Doctors.
It sounds like one of those projects where they try to introduce wild animals back into the veldt! ĎWeíre going to be putting you back in with the giraffes.í


--it sound like there will be more Eight audios, just not a whole separate series of them.

I had the same reaction when I read a mention of the final Eight season in the latest DWM. So I hope they will be continuing his audios in the regular Doctor series.

And yes, thanks VirgoGirl for posting that! Very Happy
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emay
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Virgogirl, for posting this interview! It's cool that Paul is complimentary about Matt Smith, after previously referring to him as "little Matt Smith" in an interview posted on youtube.

I'm sure there will be more Eighth Doc audios mixed in with those with the other Doctors. Very Happy

Estelle
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VirgoGirl



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome! Smile

I was reading through the magazine and knew it had to be shared. I forgot to mention that the picture of the young man and Carole Ann Ford is of Jake McGann, but you all probably knew that. Very Happy

Yep, according to many sources, Big Finish podcasts included, 8th Doctor audios are going to be included in the monthly releases range. BBC Radio is no longer playing the 8th Doctor adventures on the radio, so my guess is that they are no longer paying for them either.

I'm hoping the over all quality of the stories will improve, although based on many of the monthly releases in the past year I don't hold out much hope. PM is an amazing audio actor with his rich voice and the slight Liverpool accent, I want to hear him in the best stories possible.
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scribble



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh, good. Thanks for clarifying that for me, ladies. Glad to know we've more Eight audios to look forward to! Smile

I loved the Vortex interview. And I agree with you, Estelle. I liked that Paul was complimentary about Matt Smith, David Tennant, Chris Eccleston and some others. I enjoyed reading PM's insights on the other actors' talents and techniques. And I chuckled at the bit where he (almost) admits he's become a 'fan', or at least he's grown more fascinated with the history, fans and stories particularly in 'the last couple of years'!? Laughing It sure took him long enough, huh? Wink

Gotta love him, he's so adorable! Hahaha. Laughing
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