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|Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:41 pm Post subject: Gallifrey 2004 Day 2 Session 2 Transcript - by Miz Em
|From the EZ Board Library
Gallifrey 2004 Day 2 Session 2 transcript
Paul McGann: Hi Gang!
(Laughter because theyíre all kind of just looking at each other.)
Paul: Someone say something.
Phil Segal: I think they just want to stand and stare at you, because they canít believe that youíre sitting here. (Laughter) I canít believe youíre here.
Sylv: Is this your first American convention?
Paul: Yeah! (Applause) And itís going great!
Phil: Well, Iíll tell you, he hasnít aged, he looks pretty good, and heís got hair this time, when he showed up for work, he didnít have any. (Laughter) Thatís a funny story actually. When we first met, he had this great long hair, do you remember?
Paul: Yeah, yeah. We just did the Irish picture, didnít we?
Phil: Yeah, thatís right! And I said, donít cut that hair! I love that hair! And time went on, time went on, as these things happen. Negotiations were a little slow. And he went off and did a military picture. Right? SAS?
Paul: Yeah, that kind of thing.
Phil: So he showed up for work, and he was basically bald! (Laughter)
Paul: I looked so good though! I looked great!
Phil: Yeah, it was a $10,000 problem.
Paul: $10,000 for that thing (with disdain!) in the box?
Phil: Yeah, yeah.
Paul: No way!
Phil: Yeah! Every individually spun hair onÖ(couldnít hear it because they were all talking at once)
Paul: Heís having you on, folks.
Some byplay I canít hear
Phil (to audience): So is this Question and Answer? How would you guys like to do this? Do you want to ask us questions? Or you could sit and stare at us for an hour or so.
Shaun: Actually raise your hand and Iíll run over and give them the microphone.
Phil: Oh, okay, great!
Guy: First question is for Yee Jee. Now youíre living in Toronto, what are you going to do (something) in some other shows?
Yee Jee: (laughs) I guess whenever they invite me on! Some of those shows out there, well, first of all, itís like our only industry now, since the American productions all went off to Vancouver and Montreal and stuff like that, but I havenít actually had a chance to audition for any Canadian shows yet, for some reason, I donít know why, maybe Canadians donít like me.
Yee Jee: But when I was in Vancouver, I did DaVinciís (?) that was the last Canadian series I was on. Donít ask me why.
Sylv: Someone put your hand up over there now, please. (heís trying to make Shaun run around the room! I like watching him run back and forth. (Laughter)
Shaun: Iíll get you, McCoy! (Laughter)
Lady: Hello! This is about the movie. Was this for BBC, was this for America, I mean, how did it come about? The beginnings of working on this movie?
Phil: It was a BBC production in association with Universal Television for Fox network. (Laughter)
Audience: EIEIO, right? (laughter)
Phil: Yeah, exactly! But that was the genesis of it. It would take too long to really get into the genesis of it, but there is a book if you are interested, that actually details the seven years that it took to bring it to the screen. Yeah, seven years. A long time.
Guy: This is kind of a question for Yee Jee, perhaps Phil as well. In the first act of the movie there is a really remarkable tracking shot, I was wondering if you had any anecdotes, or how tough that was to actually pull off.
Phil: The tracking shot? You mean the one down the alleyway?
Yee Jee: Yeah, that was a long one. That whole Chinatown scene was a crazy, crazy thing, wasnít it?
Phil: Yeah, yeah, well, it was cold, and it was at night, two things that really suck when youíre running a film, but it was a complicated shot. Remember at the very top of the movie, when they come out of the window with the fish? It was actually 2 cuts in it but you canít see that. Itís actually in 3 pieces. But not as complicated as it looks, it was just beautifully edited, actually. The editor of the film, whose name escapes me now, Iím embarrassed to say, is actually a very successful director now. I canít think of his name.
Yee Jee: I was going to ask you too, so. (Laughter)
Phil: Yeah, someone will figure it out and tell me. But, heís been doing incredibly well. In fact, I think he just finished another feature for Dimension films.
Guy: This is a question for Paul McGann actually, originally when you took the role, it was going to be a television movie and after that there was a possibility of a series being made. Were you looking forward to the possibility of a series? Or what was your expectation of what might happen with it?
Paul: It was a mixed blessing, letís say. You know, when you take these jobs, but contracts like that weíre not used to in the UK, that is, you sign for a pilot, and in effect, youíre on it for five or six years, these are rare, we never see this kind of contract. So it was unusual, so, like taking any job, you draw a list of pros and cons. It would have involved my moving my family, relocating to North America, my kids going to an American school, so it was a big thing, a big decision, a big to-do. So itís fair to say that there were things that I could look forward to and things that I was dubious about. But I took the job. (Paul must have made a face, because there was laughter!)
Phil: I actually think we were all scared. I think the only person who wasnít scared, is this gentleman right here! (indicating Sylv, laughter in the audience) He was the most composed. Nothing fazed him! He was the most composed person in the production! Weíre running around like rats, and heís just standing there.. ďOkay, just tell me where to stand. This is very interesting. Very nice, very nice.Ē Nothing still fazes him.
Yee Jee: This is true! Heís like lying in a puddle of cold, freezing water in an alleyway in Chinatown in Vancouver and that wasnít a big deal for him either!
Sylv: Well, I come from Britain! Thatís a warm bath in Britain!
Paul: Itís the public school system!
Sylv: Yes, it is! They trained you for those things!
Paul: Thatís right, we conquered a third of the world!
Sylv: Because they gave us cold baths
Paul: Stiff upper lips
Sylv: Yes! Because they were frozen! (Laughter)
Paul: Moving swiftly on!
Guy: This question is more for Phil, itís kind of long so bear with me. You guys did about 5 million, which is bad for network but good for cable. And your ratings in Britain were very good for the movie too. So essentially you were sabotaged by the low ratings for the network. What do you thinking to do to sort of avoid that crap? I donít think the new show should be on the network anyway, I think itíd be better on A&E or PBS.
Phil: Well, the problem started, actually, when they actually screened the film and liked it. Which was scary to all of us. They sort of fell in love with a couple of things. The first mistake was, there was a woman at TV Guide, she gave us an amazing review, and I canít remember, but she sort of started this groundswell of well, maybe this is something that really can take off. The other thing that didnít help, is too, they showed it in May against John Goodman having a heart attack on Roseanne, which didnít help us either. But also, I think one of the biggest mistakes, that network television make, and still continues to make it today, scifi programming is something that they donít embrace. Theyíre afraid of it. So what they end up doing is trying to promote it to fans. And my argument was, and always is, donít promote it to the fans, the fanbase is there, they will come. They will decide whether they like it or not. Itís everyone else in the world, who are not familiar with this kind of programming who should have had an opportunity to come and check us out. We didnít market to them, we marketed to fans. And I think the problem with that is it limits your opportunity to expose it in a very large way. We can see this across the board in any of the networks over the last 15 years, just pick a scifi project. Other than obviously the success of the Star Trek franchise, which I suppose you could debate for hours why it is and why it isnít, but itís unique in and of itself. Everything else has struggled and I think a lot of it has to do with a tremendous amount of fear and how you market these programs.
Shaun: Iím actually going to ask a question myself. Daphne Ashbrook, as you know, could not be here today, she actually wanted to be here, unfortunately she got called out yesterday to do a commercial. What are your memories of working with Daphne on the movie?
Sylv: hm, hm, hm (snickers, audience breaks out in laughter)
Paul (to Sylv): Meaning?
Sylv: hm, hm, hm? (more laughter)
Phil: Well, I can tell you, interestingly, Daphne was cast before Paul was. Technically, because his deal hadnít been closed. When she was cast in Los Angeles, it was sort of love at first sight for all of us, because she was late for the audition, she sort of tumbled in. and was incredibly apologetic, sort of very frenetic, and it was actually that and that alone, and not the reading that we fell in love with her.
Paul: I remember she knew, nothing, or next to nothing, about Dr. Who. And as the weeks progressed, she sort of did the background and she was amazed, wasnít she? She didnít realize what she had let herself in for or what she was involved in. Yeah, when she started, she admitted to me, she didnít know anything about the stuff.
Phil: But to her credit, she was willing to rehearse, which was terrific.
Paul: Great to work with.
Phil: Full of life. Her brother is Dana Ashbrook, if youíll recall from Twin Peaks. He played Bobby in Twin Peaks. Theyíre a very talented family. But, she was full of life, always, always willing to try something, and just gave, and gave, and gave. Good fun.
Sylv: Great sense of humor. Very funny, made me laugh a lot.
Paul: Sadly missed. Where is she?
Yee Jee: She was here last time we were here.
Sylv: What, sheís got a job? (Laughter) I wouldnít be here either.
Paul: Donít rub it in.
Guy: This is a question, I guess, for both Sylvester and Paul. Paul, when you first got the role, what kind of advice did Sylvester have for you about it. (A lot of laughter here, I remember Paul and Sylvester just looking at each other and making faces at each other)
Paul: Maybe you should answer that one.
Sylv: I think I might have said ďLearn the lines and try not to bump into the monsters.Ē (Lots of laughter here. Heís a riot!)
Paul: That was it. Good advice. Thereís actually very little you could say, really. You couldnít really tell me anything.
Sylv: Did we not have some sort of chat? I think you were worried about the conventions!
Paul: Oh! Right! (Laughter) I was!
Sylv: Not so much about the filming and all that, because thatís what you do, thatís your job. You were saying ďWhatís the other bit like?Ē So I terrified him. (Laughter) Thatís why heís never been!
Paul: Thatís right!
Sylv: Thatís right, if he gets invited to these cons, they might not invite me! (Laughter)
Paul says something while Sylv is talking but I canít hear what it is.
Phil: I must say, itís been quite a few years since Iíve seen Paul, but heís definitely changed, I mean, (I think Paul gives him a look here because thereís laughter), heís not quite the hermit he was. He was a very shy, very private person when we first met and this (I think he gestured to the audience) scared him. He was always on in front of the camera, but you put him in a room like this, I mean theatre scared him. You used to tell me that theatre scared you.
Paul: Yeah, it did.
Phil: Now youíve had a change.
Paul: Iíve had an epiphany! (Laughter)
Phil: We all get epiphanies, by the way, just some later than others.
Paul: Well, I did. For years, I was, youíre right, I was nervous about this kind of thing. The thought of it used to just give me the creeps. (Laughter from the audience) I mean, anywhere, just rooms full of people, talking about work. Itís strange you can get like that, and then one day, just work it all out.
Sylv: You did that play at the Bush theatre. I was surprised to hear..
Paul: Yeah, like Phil said, for years I didnít do any theatre, you know, it was just too exposing. It sounds crazy, but its true. But now its fine. Iím cured. ITíS A MIRACLE! (Laughter) Hallelujah!
Guy: I have a question for Paul. This morning when you were talking about playing the character, you had talked about wanting to enhance the melancholic, but the TV movie had a more exuberant Doctor. You had a more exuberant outlook, a sense of wonder about things, small things like shoes and Puccini and all that sort of stuff
Paul: Yeah, I enjoyed that, he would see things fresh, he would see human details.
Phil: We talked about the idea that he wasnít quite playing with a full deck. (Laughter) I mean, there was something slightly off about him, childlike. Everything about this experience, this planet, this regeneration was exciting and fresh and different and yet hereís a guy whoís been around for hundreds of years, so all of a sudden there could be the instant moment of depression or thinking about something else. We thought that would be an interesting way to play the character.
Paul: Yeah, mercurial, thatís a good way, you know. You need that, anyone who plays him in the future needs that.
Phil: You didnít have to work that hard to figure that one out, did you? Youíre like that, arenít you?
Paul: Iíll take it as a compliment, right?
Sylv says something, but I canít hear it.
Paul: I hope that answers your question.
Lady: This question is for Paul. Yee Jee and Sylvester have both done SciFi Seacruises. Would you be interested if you were asked?
Paul: I donít want to push the epiphany, you know. Well, I like the sea, I like cruises. Where is it? The Caribbean? Iíve never been to the Caribbean. (to Sylv) And youíve been on this before?
Paul: Could you recommend it?
Laughter and Applause
Sylv: Itís quite wonderful really, because..
Paul: Whatís the food like?
Sylv: The foodís good, really. Thereís loads of it. People donít stop eating from morning till night. All day long you see people just eating and eating. On the boat, in the beginning itís low in the water. We visited Jamaica, we had six hours in Jamaica, and it was two hours in the bus with a completely stoned bus driver going to Dunnís Falls. Itís one hour up the falls, one hour down the falls, and two hours back again. And itís completely, completely wonderfully mad. We had a ball!
Paul: When is it?
Shaun: I think Danís over in the corner about to have a heart attack. (Iím assuming Dan is the one who organizes the SciFi cruises)
Paul: It sounds like bliss. See my agent.
Guy: Phil, Sylvester, Paul, Yee Jee, hello. In America, the pilot, the movie failed to produce a series, so itís often perceived as something of a, I wouldnít say a failure, itís a very good movie, but didnít quite achieve its aim in this country, but it was sold, if I remember correctly, to many other English speaking countries. Phil, maybe you could tell me a little about that, and was it received well in the other countries where it played?
Phil: I honestly donít know, in terms of the distribution of it, I really didnít have anything to do with that. I mean they kept us out of that, it was BBC worldwide who shared in some of those territories with Universal and continues to. But in terms of how it was received, I honestly donít know. You read clips and sometimes you get sent magazines and things like that, but in terms of other countries, I donít know.
Sylv: It had done really well in England, didnít it?
Phil: Yeah, it did, in fact, Radio Times actually sent me the cover of Radio Times, it was the largest distribution of Radio Times, it was the most popular Radio Times cover in history. They actually sent me the cover with a plaque recognizing that fact. The anticipation for it was palpable, it was very exciting, certainly there. Here it was a little more difficult to gauge. I think in the UK there was a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and anticipation.
Guy: To any of you that care to comment. Earlier, Sylvester mentioned that actors enjoy science fiction because it gives them a chance to go over the top. I was just curious, how much coaxing did it take for Eric Roberts to play the role that he did?
Phil: Well, thatís another long story. Eric was cast by the network, Fox cast Eric Roberts. We really didnít have any say in that. He was supposed to go through various machinations of transformations and prosthetics and ultimately refused to do any of it, hours before shooting. At the time, sadly, Eric was in a bad place. Ironically enough, recently, it was actually last year, he and I actually got together, and it was actually a very good meeting in which he actually apologized for his behavior. Because I wasnít the only recipient of his unfortunate personal habits, but needless to say it was a very difficult and frustrating experience, and you end up dealing with what you end up dealing with. And this is part of the frustration of being the producer. Yes, youíre the producer, but at the end of the day, you have many masters. And decisions are made by committee and youíre pushed in 15 different directions, and itís very difficult. Itís amazing we got as much as we got on the screen, considering the vast amount of concerns that both parties had. I mean, there were months in which Fox did not want the TARDIS to be a blue police box.
Paul: Did they offer an alternative?
Phil: No they didnít, well, they never offer an alternative, itís always.. I think when youíre dealing with network television, they want it special, different, middle of the road.
Lady: Gentlemen, I donít have a question, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for bringing it into existence, thank you for playing the doctors, thank you Yee Jee for being in it, you were great in the show, so I thank you, and my condolences for working with Fox.
(Thunderous applause and laughter here)
Guy: I have a question for Mr. Segal. If the show had been picked up as a series would we have seen Grace or Chang Lee again?
Phil: Um, yeah. (Laughter, I think because Yee Jee was nodding his head emphatically) You know, theyíre part of the fabric of the storytelling. I have no idea how long, I mean, that hadnít really been fleshed out. We started talking about various stories, but we didnít get as far as to map out what characters would be. But it was our intention that we were going to certainly take these characters on a journey, certainly for the first six episodes, and see where it went from there.
Guy: Doesnít the TV movie have a rather obscure connection to Leave it to Beaver?
Phil: Yeah, it does! The visual effects supervisor was Tony Dow (played Wally Cleaver) Who is an incredibly talented visual effects supervisor. He just happens to be passionate about CG and at the time.. actually, a couple of guys, Adam West and Burt Ward, Burt Ward has a digital effects company, or did for a few years. Thereís a couple of guys that used it as a stepping stone to do other things. Tony happened to be very talented at what he did. Interestingly enough, can you imagine if we knew then what we struggled with then in terms of visual effects. I mean, exponentially, weíve learned so much about how to do visual effects, and sadly, itís sort of a learning process, still in 96 but thatís the connection.
Guy: When you re-do a classic television show, thereís always a tough balance between satisfying the old timers, like myself, and providing something new and fresh, (something here about the police box) why was the decision made to make the doctor half-human?
Phil: Well, let me answer that in a roundabout way. First of all, let me mention that the police box was actually invented by an American in NY City which is how I actually convinced Fox to keep it in the movie. (laughter and applause) The answer to your question is simply because I think that you can try to hook an audience with relatability in various different ways. I think aliens for a lot of people who are non science fiction aficionados, the idea of aliens to certain people, is a turn off, so thereís no emotional hook. The thought process that went into actually introducing this into the character was quite an intense conversation, it wasnít just slapped on a wall. It really was designed to try an hook into the emotional aspects of the character to those people who might not relate to aliens. So we thought it was an interesting dynamic that could hopefully hook an audience but that was really part of the rationale for doing it.
Lady: When Sylvester McCoy came back into the TARDIS, it had changed a bit, did you guys have fun knocking around in that very different console room?
Sylv: I regretted the fact it didnít shake! All my acting before was in very shaky sets. I walked into it and went Wow! I love this set! If I had been designing it, it would have come out exactly with that console. I loved the Jules Verne film and that kind of world of Victoriana mixed with the future! And it had it. I fell in love with it immediately. I didnít want to leave but sadly they killed me.
Phil: He didnít want to leave. In fact, when I came on the set the first morning when he was shooting in there, he was sitting in the armchair with a cup of tea, you know. He was quite comfortable and would have sat there all day.
Sylv: I felt very much at home.
Guy: This question is for Paul. Earlier today, Sylvester talked about his casting as the doctor. In the series, the costume kind of defines the doctor. What did you think of your costume, and what would you have changed or kept about it if it had gone to series?
Paul: Didnít I leave, didnít I insist on leaving the scarf behind?
Phil: Yeah. Well..
Paul: Do I remember that differently?
Phil: Yeah, what youíre referring to is, we were paying an homage to the previous shows. We thought it was actually kind of fun, when you were looking for clothes, because it was a dress up party. You were looking for clothes, and you were going through the various lockers, and youíd actually see this giant scarf, and you would put it on. But you didnít want to do it.
Paul: But I liked the costume, I think the costume was beautiful. Those period clothes, I love them. I like them, I look good in them (tongue in cheek here). (Laughter) I had just finished a play, an 1860s play, and they look great, the Dickens thing on the TV (Our Mutual Friend!), and I just like wearing those old clothes, you know, period stuff. They just move better, donít they, those clothes.
Phil: Part of the rationale for those kinds of things, some of the set designs, was the idea of science fiction dating itself. And it can do that, obviously, if you look at the first Star Wars movie, in the technology, and you sort of look at the later films, it dates itself, and thatís one of the things that I think can pull an audience out of the story telling. So there is a timeless quality to those elements that will be here for ever and ever. So, itís a bit of a cheat in some ways, but also a way of salvaging the timeless quality of the story telling.
Sylv: I must say I liked MY costume, the one I had in the film, I really liked that a lot. Because what I didnít like about my original costume were all those question marks.
Phil: We werenít allowed to use that sweater.
Sylv: Well, thank goodness! (laughter)
Paul: Did you have no choice in that?
Sylv: Not in the beginning. I went to the interview wearing my hat, exactly like that. Because I always learned that when you go to an interview, dress with something strange so that they will remember you. So I had my hat, and I went along, and John Nathan Turner said, ďI love that hat! Iíd love to have that in Dr. Who.Ē Well, I said, ďI go with the hat!Ē (Laughter)
Somebody: The rest is history!
Sylv: Yeah! Start Monday, with the hat! The thing was the sweater was John Nathan Turnerís idea and I wasnít going to argue with him the first day on the job. So, three years later, I was still wearing it.
Guy: This question is for Phil. If the series were picked up, were there plans to bring the Daleks or Cyberman, and if so, were they going to be reinvented or changed in any way?
Paul: Will they run upstairs?
Phil: Uh yeah! There were plans to bring the various villains and creatures back that we had the right to use. It was and is a very complicated issue, because the BBC actually sold off the rights to various elements of the show over the years to different people and actually doesnít really know what it owns and doesnít own. And Iíll be surprised if that has ever really been cleared up. But I think that this is part of the fabric of this universe, they were great characters, and they have a timeless quality about them. And I just donít think you throw those elements out if theyíre part of that universe. Why, in my opinion, fix something that isnít broken?
Guy: This is for Paul and Sylvester. How long to do you plan on doing the Big Finish Audio adventures?
Paul: How long do we plan on doing it? Um, till they stop, I guess.
Sylv: Yeah, till I canít read the script anymore. (Laughter and applause)
Paul (in the background): Thatís right!
Sylv: And my false teeth donít keep clacking together! Something like that really.
Paul: As long as theyíll keep making them, Iíll keep doing them.
Sylv: Yeah. Theyíre great fun to do.
Paul: Weíll have to do one together. (I think thatís what he says, I canít quite hear it)
Sylv: Yeah, well we have, technically, havenít we?
Paul: Kind of.
Sylv: You were in Bristol and I was in London or something. Someday weíll meet in the same room.
Paul: In Reading.
Sylv: Yes! Halfway between Buckingham and Bristol. Itís a geography joke that you wonít get.
Paul: Talk amongst yourselves.
Guy: Paul, a lot of us really, really liked you in the movie. So, the question is, for the new series, were you given the opportunity to reprise that character for the series coming up, would you accept it?
Paul: If, I like the scripts, yes, I would. (Applause) I canít say no. I mean, Iíd like to, if the scripts look good. Iíd love to do it.
Phil: I donít know why theyíre recasting. (Applause)
Paul: Maybe it has to do with momentum. I just think that everyone was of its time, and thatís gone, I donít know. (I think thatís what he said. None of this was clear)
Phil: No, thatís not it. There are other reasons, but (shakes his head and stops)
Audience: Tell us!
Paul: Youíre being enigmatic! Heís gone serious.
Phil: Well, no, itís just a function of, whenever you have the opportunity to produce something new, you want to put your own stamp on it.
Phil: And thatís just the reality of the business.
Paul: Which weíll accept, obviously.
Phil: Of course! I mean thatís the reality of it. But it will be interesting to see if it actually gets off the ground.
Trina (of the PMEB! Woo Hoo!): Two questions, one to end a debate and one to start one. First, the PMEB has been arguing for years, whatís the color of the coat? And the second question is for Yee Jee, Whoís your favorite Doctor? (A lot of laughter!)
Paul: Think carefully! So, letís talk about the coat while you do that.
Yee Jee: Well, I can tell you right away, my absolute favorite doctorÖ is the one namedÖ Who! (Laughter and Applause! He was clever, wasnít he? I think heís done this before!)
Paul: Isnít that coat green?
Audience (or PMEB): Yes!
Paul: It is! Itís bottle green.
Phil: It came off a roll of fabric that was purchased. It was actually a closeout. (Laughter because Paul gave him a look) Actually the name of the material was heather green.
Sylvester says something that everyone cracks up at, but I canít hear what it is.
Lady: This is for Paul. Playing the Doctor who obviously was a cult classic, and of course Anne Rice, can you discuss the Queen of the Damned a little please, and also thank you very much for coming. (Sorry, the question didnít make any sense to me but he answered it so it he either winged it or actually understood it.)
Paul: The Queen of the Damned. Which I havenít even seen. But my son, the 15 year old, itís his favorite movie. Which is kind of great because most of the pictures that you do, your kids go ďoh interestingĒ. They go over their heads, but it happens to be his favorite picture. I was on that for just a couple of weeks, it was in Melbourne, Australia. I had never been to Australia. It was a fantastic trip. Particularly this two night sequence where they advertised three months prior to that for as many Goths as there were in the whole state, and I think about 10,000, yeah, came to this desert location and they fed everybody, I think, and they did that concert sequence, it was great. I had a great time. I donít remember much else about it, I was just so jet lagged the whole time. But yeah, yeah, great fun. And that wee girl, Aaliyah, the kid who, she lost her life in a plane accident shortly after, the singer, played the Queen of the damned. I remember that, I remember her. She was great. I didnít know who she was, my kids were kicking me when I went back home. But, yeah, good memories of that anyway. And I kept the clothes.
Guy: Phil, I own the book, but I havenít finished reading it yet, so I have one request. Do you still have the console somewhere in your house?
Phil: No sadly, the only thing I have actually, is the miniature TARDIS that was used to film the (something) sequence. I have that. The actual props themselves disappeared. They were in a lockup for quite a while. Some of them were sold off, some of them were torn up and thrown away. But, rest assured, somebody out there has a TARDIS and a console.
Somebody (I think Paul): Thrown away!
Phil: Oh, I have his bag and the sonic screwdriver.
Sylv: Which I used the wrong way around!
Phil: Yes, you did!
Sylv: We filmed that when you were out. You werenít there that moment and I had to do the scene.
Phil: We had to do an insert.
Sylv: Well, I didnít know how to use the thing. That was Tom Bakerís toy. When I did Dr. Who, JNT said ďWe stopped him using the sonic screwdriver because it made it easy for the writers to get him out of trouble.Ē
Phil: It was actually Jon Pertwee who was the first one, wasnít he?
Audience: No, Troughton!
Shaun: We have a question over here, but I wanted to say, Paul, that for the TV Guide issue, that is the TARDIS that you were stepping out of. (There was a TARDIS at the convention. See our pictures!)
Paul: Thatís the one.
Guy: Apologies to Sylvester. I just wanted to ask Paul, why do Scouses make the best Dr. Whoís? (Laughter)
Paul: Itís our natural gravitas.
Sylv: Because theyíre completely balmy everywhere. The things they do to play the role.
Paul: That and theyíre only half human.
Sylv: There you go!
Paul: But more on that later. Yeah, I forget that Tom Baker is from Liverpool.
Sylv: And HEís completely balmy. Heís brilliant though.
Paul: He needs a check up from the neck up!
Guy: I was just wondering, Paul, where is your costume now? Does anyone know or have it?
Paul: It would have just gone into storage.
Phil: All the costumes, I would hasten to bet that, theyíre actually at Universal. Everything was shipped back, the costumes. They have a very large costume department at Universal, and to this day, probably a very successful rental house. So I would bet itís there.
Paul: What, do you mean itís going out to parties? That some kidís wearing it to Doís?
Phil: Iím sure.
Paul: What a nice thought! On a make out! Maybe someone in this room has it. eBay.
Phil: No, not the wardrobe, they like to keep that.
Guy: Paul, you were quoted as saying, when you went to a press hall, after you were announced as the Doctor in 1995 ďThe anoraks have landed!Ē And I was wondering what you feel now that you are among the anoraks? (Laughter)
Paul: Did I say that? In what context? Do you remember?
Guy: (Something about the fans)
Paul: Yeah, that was probably more about my fear than anything, yeah. The anoraks have landed.
Sylv: And here you are!
Paul: And Iíve landed amongst you. (Some laughter) Itís a crazy expression. If the anorak fits, as they say.
Lady: I have two questions actually. Paul, I was wondering if you would be doing a regeneration scene at all when the show starts up again? And I was wondering if any of the characters they might be adding to the new show might be from our planet but basically different cultures, theyíve never done Asian cultures or African cultures or developed any of that. They havenít really delved into anything but British, a little American, a little Australian. Nothing really different.
Paul: Yeah, interesting.
Phil: Well, we donít know, I donít know anything about the new production.
Paul: Well, all Iím going to say is, if I donít do it, one of my brothers will. (Laughter and Applause) And that I canít allow that to happen.
Phil: Are you the youngest?
Paul: No, Iím second.
Paul: Second eldest.
Phil: Heíll do it.
Sylv: Well, what about the Asian child sitting over there? The new show is going to be made in Wales.
Paul: Is it?
Sylv: Yeah, theyíve given it to BBC Wales, so everybody will be talking like that you know (affects a Welsh accent). Iím an evil (something) from outer space.
Phil: Hereís what I do know, hereís what I can tell you. The BBC has decided that 5 and 6 oíclock is the family hour on Saturdays, after coming out of Grandstand into Dr. Who. The strangest schedule, I donít know, but they consider that family hour. Anyway, theyíd abandoned that for many years. They decided in the last couple of years to bring back family hour to the BBC. So with that in mind, they actually, had decided to produce something called Young Merlin, which interestingly enough they came to me about. But for some reason, the cost, the amount of money they wanted to spend on it didnít make any sense. So, I believe that the money has been split into different pots and part of that has gone to the scripts that theyíre writing for this new series.
Shaun: Yee Jee, how do you feel about that, actually, about the lack of Asians and other ethnicities in TV?
Yee Jee: Well, thatís the kind of thing that you deal with, inadvertently, every day, being an actor of some sort of ethnic minority. And it is like that. Because of how multicultural America is, and England as well, there seems to be a bit of an under-representation on the screens. And I think thatís something thatís changing for the better. I think Iím pretty lucky to be living now, as opposed to 40-50 years ago when parts like those in Breakfast at Tiffanyís were played by someone who wasnít even Asian. And, frankly, I donít personally like that portrayal very much. But now weíve gone to a whole new time in things. For example, way back in 1996 they had the vision to include an Asian person in a Dr. Who story, right? Now Iím sitting in front of you. So things like that are happening and this is by far, not the only example, right? So, Iím pretty optimistic that the trends are towards opening up the screens a little bit more. And I think also for the networks and the studios and the people who are in charge of this sorts of things, I think theyíre starting to sort of see that they bring out more audiences too. And in LA itís more of an integration of societies as well. If you think about it right now, I would bank that thereís not a lot of Asian families who sit around at home and watch NBC or whatever because they donít see a lot of themselves or stories that are relevant to them. Along with those changes theyíll be getting new audiences and with the new audiences theyíll be getting more changes. So hopefully things will continue on that way until weíre all, sort of, share the screen, as you say. (applause)
Guy: This is a question for all four of you, do you have any regrets with working on Dr. Who? And why?
Yee Jee: I donít think I have any regrets. Umm, no, I donít have any regrets at all. I donít think anybody does.
Somebody: I donít think so.
Sylv: I mean, I regret that it didnít carry on. I was psyched about it, I was looking forward to it carrying on. So that was regrettable.
Guy: Youíve mentioned Tom Baker being balmy, and I know about the mythical encounter with John Culshaw (thanks Cherry and Estelle!) as Tom Baker. Can you give any personal experience about how he was balmy in real life?
Sylv: He is a wonderful character, and for many years, he was a great voiceover king, and in order to do voiceovers, you hang out in Soho, and Soho is more pubs than anything else. And a lot of them they hang out at the pubs when they do the voiceovers, so they had a very merry life. And when John Colchar phoned me up, because John does Tom Baker brilliantly, he was in Englandís lane cafť one Sunday afternoon, my phone rang and it was Tom Baker. (I think thatís what he said, itís not very clear) But it wasnít it was this other guy. And I thought, ďGod! How do I talk to Tom?Ē Because I know he sounds like heís at the pub, and he was asking all sorts of silly questions, and I said, ďHave you been at the pub?Ē Of course, this went out on radio.
Phil: Tom, I only met once and it was in a pub. And he was telling me at the time, and I think he ended up doing it, he actually lived in a church, an old church, or something? And he actually told me he bought a piece of marble to create his own headstone, and he actually built his own headstone, wanted to make sure it had exactly what he wanted on it. He didnít want anyone else writing it.
Somebody, maybe Paul: Thatís balmy!
Guy: If I were a casting director, I would put Sylvester in Lord of the Rings, Iím sorry, in Harry Potter, excuse me, in Harry Potter, Paul McGann in Lord of the Rings, and Yee Jee in the Matrix. Phil, Iíd like to know, if you had a chance to recast these three actors, in different parts, give us your thoughts on what parts youíd like them to play.
Phil: Oh boy!
Paul: No pressure!
Phil: Well, I really donít know! I mean, starting with Yee Jee, certainly heís come out of his shell over the last few years, I mean, heís more vocal than he was when I first met him. He was still in his shell and not as articulate as he is now. So, I donít know, heíd be tough toÖ But I think heís, you know, he could plug into some roles, but Matrix, I donít see him in, but, you know casting is a very difficult thing. Obviously with Sylvester and also with Paul, theyíre very much character actors, Paul is obviously a leading man as well. Sylvester has (and the audience breaks out in laughter here so somebody was making faces, I think Paul and Sylvester were cutting up with each other over this) a tremendous amount of humor but heís very wise. A lot of his performance is probably not quite as animated as he would like it to be. Paul is very intense and he exudes a tremendous amount of passion and yet, as I said earlier, is a very private person. He feels very good in period costume, but could plug into a lot of roles as well. Casting is a very difficult thing, itís a very subjective thing. And oftentimes, itís not a picture or itís not a piece of tape that really excites me, itís very much the persona that you meet in the room or how they see themselves in a role or what they want to bring to it. That to me is where I start when I am casting. Itís a tough question for me to answer in terms of what I would plug them into.
Sylv: And I was up for Bilbo Baggins and they hung on to me for 6 months
Audience yells: Youíd have been great!
Sylv: Essentially they said it was down to the last two, and Ian Holm got it. It was lovely to be in his company, I mean, I was so pleased to be in the company of Ian Holm. But why couldnít he have been doing another job?
Paul: So you nearly got it?
Sylv: I nearly got it, yeah! Six months, they kept saying ďNo no! Let us know if he does something else!Ē The usual thing they say to you when they hang on to you.
Phil: Youíd have been wonderful!
Audience: You could do the Hobbit.
Sylv: The Hobbit? Yeah! Bilbo Baggins has a huge part in the Hobbit, doesnít he?
Guy: Will Sasso plays the mortuary attendant in the TV Movie and you all met him at some point. Yee Jee, you worked with him on another show. And since then, heís become a pretty big comedic star. Do you have any recollections of Will?
Yee Jee: He was always a hilarious guy, unfortunately I donít have any specific stories, it was all just sort of hanging around on set. I worked with him on a show called Madison for two years, it was a Canadian high school drama thing, but he was always goofing around. You could see him on a show like Mad TV. Itís good that heís gone off and done really well there. Heís from a small town outside of Vancouver. Heís just perfect for doing that kind of stuff.
Phil: Will had that sort of nervous energy when he came in a room. He didnít like auditioning but he had a charm and naivete, but he was also very neurotic, and he just made us laugh when he came to read, so itís been wonderful to see how heís grown. Iím not surprised heís doing as well as he is.
Yee Jee: He was constantly funny, it was a self effacing kind of humor. Heíd just crack you up.
Guy: Paul, I just have to ask, thereís a wonderful organization called the Paul McGann Estrogen Brigade, the PMEB, some of them are right in front over there, how does it feel to have such a devoted fan following? Itís not just Dr. Who, but these ladies just love you.
Paul: It makes me feel warm inside. (Audience just dies laughing at this) How many of you are here this time? 8? 10? 12? Of you?
Paul: 15 of you. Thatís fantastic! Some of them recently came to see me in London to the theatre there. Itís great, isnít it? Itís been great down the years. But the great thing is that you guys have all met one another, thatís been the thing.
PMEB: Yeah, weíre all friends.
Paul: Yeah. Iíve enjoyed that.
Denise: Weíre not stalking you, honest.
Guy: This is for Paul. Chris from Crystal Silence says hello to Paul. And I asked him via email what was the most embarrassing question I could ask you this weekend. He declined that, but he did ask me to ask you about your work with saving silents and your work with Kenneth Branaugh, where you mentioned that actors like to have less and less dialogue these days. And he asked about your work with silent film and your work with Crystal Silence?
Paul: Yeah, Iím part of Ö Iíve lived in Bristol, England, for 15, more, years, now and this guy Chris Daniels, that he just mentioned, runs this company called Crystal Silence. Itís a silent movie company. They do talks, educational things, and they screen silent movies. Theyíre kind of coming back in England, which Iím pleased about. When I was a kid, this would have been the late sixties, early seventies, every Sunday afternoon thereíll be a couple of hours of silents and two reelers on Granada television in England. I got to love them then, because they tend to be the knockabout comedy things that you never see full length ones of classics. But recently, Iíve been introduced to this guy Daniels and taken part of this organization and in touch with people like the Imperial War Museum and the BFI who have miles of this stuff. Weíve been able to screen some of the old gems. And itís great. Thereís this guy we use, who, as far as I know, is the greatest living exponent of the silent movie piano playing. Because somebody has to do it. A lot of these things that were presented on television went with a sound track kind of generic thing, honky tonk. But this guy would sit and just improvise a tune. Neil Brant is the name. Fantastic. Anyway, we got to screen in some of the bigger places in London. Iím also a real history buff particularly WWI. I did a film years ago with a WWI theme and was hooked. So these things dovetail nicely. About 18 months back we screened the Battle of the (?) film which is the British propaganda effort about the 1916 battle. Full length film. We had Neil playing the piano and I introduced this thing at the Barbican center in London. So itís been good, itís been educational. I think itís something weíre all passionate about. And I want to see more of them, you know. Of course, the sad thing about silents is that 90% of the silents that were made are lost simply because of the nitrate film that they were made on was so combustible, it couldnít be stored. People lost their lives, didnít they? Just storing this stuff. This stuff would just spontaneously combust.
Phil: By the way, I just had a sad flash, thatís how old Iím getting, Patrick Lussier was the editor of the picture.
Paul: Thatís it! You would have woken up screaming that name tonight, wouldnít you?
Some byplay about getting old and not remembering names.
Guy: I have a question for Phil, mostly. Some of the criticism made of the TV movie was that the last couple of acts doesnít cohere as well as the others and seem a bit rushed. I was wondering if it was due to Eric Robertsí refusal to let the prosthetics go on, or were there other script problems, in Regeneration, you talked about some of the problems in getting through Matthew Jacobs and I was wondering what was involved in that?
Phil: Well, itís like everything else, isnít it? You start out a production with good intentions and you end up sometimes biting off more than you can chew. In the case of this film Jeff Sax, the director, always wanted 27 days to make this film, and had 27 days, until he had 25, and then that became 24, and that became 23 as you chip away at the budget. Because the only way to cut costs is to cut production days, in a meaningful way. And unfortunately, the way the script is broken out and scheduled, the film starts to suffer, the later you get into production. You see this in a lot of films. You see it in big budget motion pictures, sometimes itís hid better than other times. I donít think thereís an excuse for it, really, I mean, itís part of being able to juggle a schedule and not rip the heart out of the script, but it does suffer, I mean the work does suffer when you rush these things and the less time you have to do it the harder it is to do something that works. Sometimes you make magic and sometimes you fall flat on your face. Itís one of those things where if the schedule gets moved along things fall by the wayside.
Guy: In the movie, the Doctor seems to have psychic abilities he never had before I was wondering if that was a character trait that was intended to continue on for the Eighth Doctor or maybe one of those things that Fox wanted to do?
Someone else: Being able to tell the future of a character is what I think heís getting at. (probably because everyone on stage looked puzzled.)
Phil: Oh. Well, it was fixed to his time travel ability not psychic ability, I mean he could have been 5 mins into the future or 20 years into the past, so I think it rather speaks to what he might have seen or not seen or experienced or not experienced. So I think it was more about his time travel ability than was his psychic ability.
Paul: So there!
Guy: Sylvester, how did it feel to be asked back after seven years?
Sylv: Oh it was great! I was delighted! Because, by then, I had got to know the fanbase and all that. So I jumped at the chance. I was surprised to be asked to do it, but I was absolutely delighted to do it to hand over to Paul, so it was really exciting.
Lady: I have a question for Paul, but itís not Dr Who based. I am a Hornblower fan, love the films, and I have to ask you, how is life like on those ships. Do you get seasick on those ships?
Paul: Actually the first one I worked on in Spain, this ship was stationary. Theyíd built this thing in the side of a cliff. Seriously! Theyíd done two series before, theyíd been out on the Black Sea and theyíd been somewhere else, and they all got sick as dogs and lost days. When we got to Spain to shoot this, theyíd erected this full ship on the side of a cliff. So they had the horizon. The only weird thing was you shot one way for three weeks, and then we all had three days off while they turned the ship around. Seriously! And we went back and did the other bits of the scene, so that was kind of strange but you got used to that. And I remember, on the first day, because theyíd never worked like that before, the first day was hysterical! Because we arrived, and there were the Marines in all their red coats and the decks were full with the officers and everybody was there. But theyíd neglected to think ďHow were we going to get movement in the picture?Ē But it dawned on them instantly. We spent the first four hours the first morning doing this (he sways from side to side trying to show wave motion). And all those Marines, they were all doing it in different directions, kind of syncopated. Then they actually had somebody who said ďAll right, Iím going to get a big stick, 8 feet long, and Iíll wave it, like this, (he waves it side to side) and you all look at it, and you move at the same time as the big stick.Ē Some footage still exists somewhere of all these guys trying to follow this stick. Lost the whole morning. Until the cameraman said, ďExcuse me, if I just, sort of move the camera up and down slowly, weíre in.Ē And then the second time, we shot in, Cornwall, in England, and we went out on the sea. It was glorious! I fell in love with it then! Never been on a ship under sail ever. It was a fantastic experience! The ship had an engine and weíd get out four or five miles, weíd make the horizon or something, then theyíd turn the engines off, and it was glorious. It was like this (we were very quiet, enthralled by his account), it was quiet. All you could hear were the waves, it was beautiful. I loved it. Just wish it could have gone on.
Guy: Is there a show, American or British, that you are secretly a fan of?
Sylv: I was a secret fan of an Australian show called ďPrisoner of Cell Block HĒ. They used to show it on television in Britain, late at night. And Iíd close all the curtains so people wouldnít know what I was watching. It was completely bad! It was so bad it was just glorious. It was a group of ladies locked up in prison in Australia. And if you thought Dr. Who sets shook, you should see this. That was the only time I was a secret fan, you couldnít really admit that in public.
Paul: Johnny Bravo, you know that cartoon. Iím grooviní. In fact, when I look in the mirror, I see Johnny Bravo. I soak it up. Anyway, letís talk about you now.
Phil: Me, it would probably be history shows, documentaries, that sort of thing. I donít watch a lot of series television. I canít stand it. But I would have to say Time Team is probably my favorite. Itís a show about 3 British explorers, archeologists who have 3 days to search. Have you ever seen this thing?
Phil: Iím in love with it, I think itís really cool.
Paul: Whatís that other cartoon where those girls just fly around? I love that!
Audience: Powerpuff girls!
Paul: Powerpuff girls! I love that! Yeah.
Shaun: Yee Jee, how about you?
Yee Jee: To tell you the truth, I donít watch a lot of television. I donít get cable, and in Canada, we donít get much TV if we donít get cable, but when I was younger I did watch a lot of TV. I watched more Star Trek than I would be ready to admit. Thatís the closest thing to a secret fan. That was a while ago, but thatís it.
Guy: This is more for the three actors than for Philip. After working on the film for so long, when you finally sat back to watch the finished film, was it what you were expecting? Was there anything that surprised you about it, or did you think ďOh, were we really making that?Ē
Sylv: I thought my hair looked great.
Paul: You couldnít see mine.
Sylv: Mine was real. And it didnít cost $10,000. (Laughter) No, it was great. It was wonderful, I regretted when I left. I thought, ďOh, I want to stay on and have more fun.Ē I was so impressed with the TARDIS, you know, that scene, I just loved it. I loved all that. But then, I enjoyed, you know, Jesus here. (Indicated Paul, lots of laughter)
Paul: Then I had a snog with that girl.
Sylv: Yeah! I was very jealous. They didnít have that for me. I thought, ďWhy didnít that happen when I was the Doctor?Ē
Paul: Who would it have been if you had a snog?
Sylv: Sophie Alldred! Whoís to say what was happening in that black box while we were in it!
Paul: Well, on that edifying note.
Guy: Would you guys do it all over again if you had the chance?
Sylv: Oh, yes! Absolutely.
Audience breaks up.
Shaun: And on that note, ladies and gentlemen, Philip Segal, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, and Yee Jee Tso.
"Listen carefully. This is the secret of how to live: fire your gun before somebody else does." ~ Scribble, Vurt