Doctor Who - Documentary s05e01 Episode Script

Tombwatch

(INDISTINCT CHATTER) Would you please welcome the Cyber Controller, Michael Kilgarriff.
(APPLAUSE) Followed by the lovely Miss Deborah Watling.
(APPLAUSE) And the not quite so lovely - he'll get me later - Victor Pemberton.
(APPLAUSE) Former producer, Mr Peter Bryant.
The arch villainess, Miss Shirley Cooklin.
(APPLAUSE) I've completely forgotten the next one.
Er Oh, yes.
Mr Frazer Hines.
(APPLAUSE) Get off! (LAUGHTER) - He's at it.
He's at it.
- Go away! It's going to be one of those afternoons, ladies and gentlemen.
Right.
Now I've got you where I want you, is there anything you can remember from the making of the show or the first transmission? Starting with Michael.
What I remember, particularly, is something that got lost when I did the Cyber Controller later on, which is a shame.
And that is that the lines that I said were actually spoken off-screen by Peter Hawkins because I had a kind of pillbox mouth which was on a springy hinge, and you can see it here.
So I opened my mouth, pulled my chin down to open this mouth at the start of the line, and then shut it at the end of the line.
It was a rather eerie effect and a shame that got lost when I came to do it again many years later.
The interesting thing is that the dear old BBC Contracts Department tried to offer what they grandly called ''a special low'' on your fee, which means that ''It is only children's television,'' they said.
''And it is only Doctor Who, ''and your client doesn't have to learn the lines.
'' I pointed out that I did have to learn the lines because I had to know when to open this thing and shut it.
So they did pay me.
I remember one other thing, actually.
I didn't have many letters of complaint, but I did have this one from a lady who wrote in with a worrying letter, saying her son got nightmares from seeing the Cybermen because he wouldn't believe there was a human underneath.
So I invited them both to the studio, and we took this boy up and I invited - I'm sure it was Michael - to come forward and take his helmet off to reassure this little boy.
That was all very good and fine.
History doesn't relate whether Michael Kilgarriff in the flesh gave him further nightmares! It was a moment to treasure.
I do rememberer This was the second storyline I did.
The first story I was in a long Victorian frock.
The second one, I remember Fraze, Pat and myself outside the tomb of the Cybermen, and my frock had got slightly shorter.
It was just under the knee.
And this was in the days of the mini-skirts in the 70s, and I had to say the immortal line to Pat and Frazer, ''Doctor, Jamie, do you think it's too short?'' - But - Not short enough.
It got shorter, Frazer! I had a certain amount of stick in this because I was then married to the producer, Peter Bryant, and there were talks of nepotism.
But, actually, the late Gerry Davis wrote this part for me.
And on the first day, we were filming in this gravel pit and Frazer came up to me and started to chat me up.
He was wont to chat up young ladies then.
He was wont to chat up young ladies and he was chatting me up.
I had all these wigs and bits.
And after a bit, I said, ''Frazer, it's me.
Shirley.
'' He said, ''Peter's wife who comes on Friday evenings for drinks?'' I said, ''Yes.
'' That collapsed us up.
The other thing I remember, which I just reminded Morris about, is that I disgraced myself in rehearsals.
It was in a very hot August heatwave.
At one point when I was killed, I was lying on the floor in this rehearsal room in this hot August heatwave, and I went to sleep.
I awoke to see this circle of faces, headed by Morris Barry, and, apparently, I'd been snoring.
I have to mention the two people who are here in spirit today, who were very important to the show, of course, and that's Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, who are very sorely missed.
I hope we'll all remember them today.
Working with them was, of course, an extraordinary experience for me personally, because they were two very individual people.
Kit was very much the scientist and great computer expert, and Gerry, of course, was a great storyteller.
And that combination working with Morris, who directed it beautifully.
I remember - as with all Doctor Who shows - how on Earth did they ever get them on the screen? I mean, the turnaround We were talking about this, Fraze.
We had one week to get those things on the floor, and it's amazing that they did it on small budgets and just hard work.
I had a four-year-old son when we made this ''X'' years ago, and he was petrified of the idea of the Cybermen.
I took him up with me to Lime Grove when we were doing episode three and introduced him to some of the guys in the costumes.
That was fine.
Then we walked past a dressing room, and he saw a Cyberman costume hanging up with nobody in it.
I remember that.
He was terrified! He absolutely went to pieces.
He screamed and had to be led out of Lime Grove as a screaming wreck.
I don't think he's actually recovered from it! I was, principally, a little bit worried about some of the shooting.
This is a technical thing, admittedly.
What I think a director to be successful in a Doctor Who needs is a first-class script, which I got, and first-class actors, which I got.
Now, if you can't do something with those lot, then you shouldn't be doing Doctor Who.
After that, you get down to the nitty gritty.
How many people are going to be in a shot? And all that counting up and saying, ''A tight five-shot.
'' Ridiculous.
It's not your cosy little drawing-room comedy or anything like that, where you're confined to two-shots and singles and that sort of thing.
The other thing which is a slight negative one is that I noticed or I wished we'd had more time.
Because some of those steps, which were obviously made of wood and sounded like it, they ought to have been made of metal.
If we'd had more time we'd have dubbed it - post-dubbed it - with metallic noises.
But, on the whole, seeing it again, relaxing a little bit more this time, I Not bad.
That shot of the Cybermen starting to re-awake.
- That was a wonderful shot.
- Yes.
That's like Alien.
It couldn't be better.
It's like Fritz Lang.
Extraordinary.
And what a build-up for an entrance for Michael Kilgarriff! My word.
You couldn't do better than that, could you? When I was attacked by the Cybermat I'd forgotten how funny they were.
They were like something made in Blue Peter.
Like Valerie Singleton had been up all night.
Cruel.
I remember it had little Those little fronds were just felt, sprayed silver.
And it was pulled off my chest by a wire at Ealing, and then played backwards.
That's what we got to see.
But they're funny little things, aren't they? Cybermats, as probably everybody knows, were either on strings or wires and pulled along, or they were shoved into shot.
(LAUGHTER) Or they were clockwork, wound up.
They were based on those Daleks, which were sold in the shops, if you remember.
Um But the ultimate ones were the radio-controlled ones.
Of course, they didn't have any strings.
I'll tell you about that another time.
But, anyway Because they went mad! No.
The ones with strings we could conceal more easily.
If they'd been colour, it would have been very difficult.
I remember an incident with Deborah Watling and Frazer Hines and a pair of knickers and a flagpole at Lime Grove.
But Frazer pretends not to remember that.
Patrick and I were walking through some underground or somewhere, and I find a handkerchief and James says, ''Doctor, this is Miss Waterfield's.
I'd recognise it anywhere.
'' ''Yes, Jamie.
'' Puts it in his pocket.
I went to the wardrobe department and got a pair of lace knickers, and put them down on the floor.
''Hey, Doctor! These are Miss Waterfield's.
''I'd recognise them anywhere.
'' Debbie was off-camera saying, ''They're not, you swine!'' Patrick put them in his pocket.
And then the next scene, Marius Goring playing the evil professor had to mop his brow and we secreted it on him.
''My God, this is hot work.
'' (LAUGHTER) And a Dalek came in.
That's when the Daleks supposedly had this positronic brain that was inserted.
Marius Goring, being a joker, kept calling it a suppositronic brain.
''We have to insert this suppositronic brain.
'' The Dalek came on with a pair of knickers on his plunger.
The producer at the time said, ''Shouldn't it be positronic brain?'' Marius said, ''Oh, yes, of course it is,'' with a twinkle in his eye.
Those knickers went from set to set to set.
I was in at the early stages because Peter had talked to me about it and sent me the original idea of Kit's and Gerry.
Of course, I was excited by the initial idea, and the combination of those two very special talents.
They were very extraordinary, as I said before - the scientist and the dramatist.
At times, it was quite difficult to bring them together as they both had their own ideas.
Kit was so much the technician, and that was quite difficult to bring it into a dramatic form.
But once Morris came into the act, of course, then it all came into shape.
You couldn't get the hands or the head off without assistance.
And I remember When I died - when I was electrocuted - I collapsed onto the floor and then there was a cut while they shoved all these tubes in me for all this gunge and smoke to come out of, and as that happened - you won't remember this, Morris, but I do - it was tea break time, you see.
The electricians are very keen on their tea breaks.
I'm lying there on the floor and suddenly all the lights in the studio went out, and the studio emptied within seconds, and I'm still lying there.
And I literally couldn't get up.
I couldn't stand - it was that clumsy and awkward.
I had to shout for somebody to come and release me and take the head off so I could have a cup of tea.
I can't remember exactly how long it took to get it off, but they were very awkward and cumbersome things, although they looked very effective.
What we tried to do in ''Fury'' was to create an atmosphere, and to make it as real as possible.
As you know, it was set in the North Sea gas field areas, and we wanted people to be able to identify with the menace.
With Tomb of the Cybermen, we tried to get the same sort of feeling - atmosphere.
Atmosphere is very important.
Morris had created this wonderful atmosphere anyway.
He'd been talking to the designers and to Visual Effects and he brought his own individual style to the Tomb of the Cybermen.
That had nothing to do with me.
It was purely and simply that Morris had a vision of what those tombs should be and how he was going to bring it to life.
One of the most important things - extraordinary things - that Morris was able to bring to this, in my opinion, were, you probably noticed in that second episode, little things like pointing things ahead of their time.
You remember the zoom in to Deborah's bag, the handbag? You knew that that wretched thing was in there, and you knew that, at some stage, it was going to start pulsating.
But that's what story telling is all about.
A story is like a jigsaw puzzle.
Each piece has to be put together bit by bit.
And that's what he did quite brilliantly.
So I take no credit for that whatsoever.
The building of atmosphere is vital.
What is interesting about this particular serial - why I think you like it so much and why I like it so much - is that it stands the test of time.
It's almost as good as a Hollywood film! For far less money! Far less money.
When a director gets his script, it takes me - because I've got a very slow brain - ideally, about ten days sitting at home, trying to plot the damn thing and work out when you do your various bits of shooting.
And where you do your various bits of shooting.
All that has got to go in.
And you shoot out of sequence sometimes.
I just can't remember in this case why we did that particularly in the film studio.
But there must have been a very good reason for it.
We probably didn't have enough room in the other one.
As simple as that.
I remember that Morris was a very tough director in rehearsals.
He'd make chalk marks on the floor - ''J One'' and ''Victoria One'' and ''Doctor Two'', and you had to hit these marks.
He had this music stand in front of him and you had to hit those marks.
We got to the studio, and this particular scene outside the huge cave wasn't working.
Morris got his music stand and came down.
''No, it's not working.
I know what it is.
The set's wrong.
'' We all went for tea and they moved the set.
Rather than move us actors round.
That was the power that Morris Barry had.
He said, ''Move the set!'' Yes.
It's got to be one take.
Fortunately, thank God, it was.
It was all right.
But, you see, they were covered All their cells were covered with bits of cellophane.
And then ''snow'' squirted on them.
All that.
And, I mean, it was an enormous set for television.
Huge thing.
When I first saw it, I was staggered.
Amazing.
I mean, I'd seen drawings of it, but I couldn't see how high it was going to be.
And No, this had to be in one take because I was told by Design I mean, it was all clock watching the whole time, and ''Hurry up, Morris.
We've got to get this in.
''I don't care if anybody misses their tea, but'' We've got to do it.
So, fortunately, I kept my fingers crossed and it worked.
As I say, they've got to get back in them.
What do you do for that? I'll give you one guess, anyway! At the time one did it, originally, we didn't know then that we were taking part in what was to become a classic and a legend.
And, if I can say this without sounding superficial, it was just another job for an actor at the time.
And I can't say that, at the time, it terribly impinged on my conscious.
On my sub-conscious even.
Of course, it was black and white, and the cameras, the technical things, were more primitive than they later became, so there was a great deal more lighting.
It still surprises me, as I'm old enough to go back to live drama from Lime Grove when it was like a furnace in the studio, and every now and then the lights had to be turned off to let the studio cool down, as it was impossible to work in.
When you go in a studio now, even though it's colour, it amazes me how little lighting there is compared to before.
Studios are rather more comfortable places to work in from that point of view, and the fact that the editing is easier.
Um It means it's not quite as critical as it used to be.
You don't have to do the longer takes that you used to.
Another effect which I don't think we've seen yet, which we will see in the next episodes, is when there is The Cybermen, I think, do that to an enemy, and sparks go right across, and the enemy dies - vaguely.
Um To do that, you may have - in your days in the chemistry lab, if you ever went there, or science lab - seen those two balls.
And a high voltage is passed between them.
And they may be as near as that, so that you get a sharp - Discharge? - Yes.
Discharge across.
Um, well To do this in Doctor Who, you had to superimpose that, or superimpose the other picture of the two people - the Cyberman and the other person.
And to get that going right across, you superimposed that picture.
Highly technical, highly difficult to get that timing right.
Now, I don't think we could have done that in colour very easily.
The skull in the original was translucent, and it had a pulsating light inside as though the brain was pulsating.
You can't see it very clearly.
You have to look hard.
That caused a lot of grief on the floor, because the batteries kept running down.
So shots had to be abandoned, which was very irritating for everybody, including me inside the damn thing, because it had to be taken off, batteries put in, then do the whole shot again.
You can't see that very clearly, but that got forgotten.
One other thing I can mention is that the death which is coming up I found very interesting to see because it caused quite a furore.
- Remember, Morris? - Yes, I do.
It was considered too violent.
There were questions on ''Points of View'' with Robert Robinson.
I really do think it was a superb production by Morris Barry.
I really cannot (AUDIENCE JOINS IN APPLAUSE) Quite an amazing achievement really.
On a script that was sensational by Kit, as they always were.
It really was sensational.
Pat was very professional, but had a great sense of fun.
In Who, he really became like a great mate to me - a second dad.
Quite honestly.
And, Fraze, you became like a brother.
Yeah.
(LAUGHTER) Don't start! That's what you said in episode two! Oh, shut up.
No, but getting back to Stop it.
No, but it was lovely.
Pat was Frazer can come in on this because Fraze worked with him longer than I did.
I had an insight into Pat because that year was one of the happiest of my career.
He was wonderful.
A great sense of humour.
He always had the twinkle in the eye, but when you You did the rehearsals and, as we said, you got the laughs out of you, but on that floor, the lead Oh, I can't speak.
.
.
the red light went on and you were there.
And you did it for real.
And Pat was marvellous.
He taught me a lot, actually.
If anything was wrong and you thought, ''I don't know how to handle this scene,'' you just said to Pat, ''What do you think?'' And he'd say, ''Think about it.
'' And you'd come back usually with an answer.
If you couldn't get that answer, Pat would help you.
But he never said, ''Do this, do that.
'' He was a marvellous man to work with and very, very giving.
I'm very grateful that I had that year in Who.
I really am.
And I will never forget it.
Patrick Troughton who, as we can see, is just wonderful.
For me, the best Doctor Who.
He had wit, he had weight, he had gravitas.
He had lightness and he was sexy.
(LAUGHTER) When I had the scene with Shirley I remember this terribly well.
And on camera Of course, we rehearsed it for a week, and we got on camera and this woman was quite evil.
She looked really evil, and I thought, ''I want to kill her! ''I really want to kill her because she's a bitch, really!'' That was one of my favourite moments - with you, actually.
I did have quite a line in evil ladies in those days, murderesses.
I enjoyed that scene with Debbie.
I can remember it.
It was a smashing, smashing part to play.
Really lovely.
Of course, my then husband was the producer, so I was closely connected with the programme, and always went along to the Friday night viewing and would sit in the box, and took a very keen interest in it, and was there very often at script conferences and knew Gerry Davis.
Gerry knew my work as an actress and when they were planning this one, he thought that I would be I used to play a lot of villainesses and murderesses in those days and I suppose he thought I'd be nicely villainous for the part and it would add something to it.
As I say, there was a bit of an up and down about it.
I don't know that Peter was particularly pleased I was cast! - Oh, no, no.
- He didn't get much say in it.
Some of the actors said, ''It's not right, the producer's wife in it.
'' Gerry said, ''I've written this part for Shirley and she's right for it.
'' And that was it.
Morris directed it marvellously and I was thrilled to be in it.
The scripts were so finely written and Victor had edited them.
But we were allowed, Pat and I, to put in a gag now and again.
When we did the producer's run, Peter would come along with this huge notebook.
If we wanted to put a gag in, we'd put a dreadful gag in about half a page before, and as he was writing that down, we'd slip the other gag in.
Missed that one until the show.
''I don't remember that.
'' So we were allowed to alter little tiny things.
Instead of going down the right tunnel, we'd go down the wrong one to encourage audience participation at home.
''No, go left! Oh, they've gone to the right.
'' So we were allowed to change things like that.
I've still got the thank you letter he wrote me.
Producers write letters to their leading ladies, and even though we were married I found it the other day.
A thank you letter for playing Kaftan.
So there's a thing.
- You never wrote me one! - I did! - No.
- You've just forgotten.
Now we've done it.
It was a marvellous year for me, but I felt I had to go.
I couldn't do much more with the character because, in those days, the girl didn't have that much to do.
I enjoyed her.
I loved Victoria.
But I'd done just about as much as I could with the character, and I thought I had to go back into the world and do something else.
- And you had the baby as well.
- I did not! I thought you said, ''I've done my nine months.
'' A year! Moving swiftly on This is not true.
I have not had a baby.
I thought I'd worked out who was the father.
Well, I don't know! Order! I think it had a lot of humour and a lot of fun and affection.
Even, you know, the bad characters.
I had completely forgotten the whole thing with Toberman.
I was very affected by Toberman cradling Kaftan's dead body.
I think, in those so-called violent characters, there was lots of affection and fun.
I don't think it was too violent.
- Peter? - No.
I don't think it was violent.
I don't remember I don't remember complaints about it.
Morris seems to remember that we had some, but I don't remember having many complaints.
Looking at it now, I can't see there was much to upset kids then.
No.
I do remember The yeti story, Fraze.
Help me out here.
Wolfe Morris.
Do you remember we had a scene when Wolfe was either head monk - He was Padmasambhava.
- That's right.
And he died and we had this shot of the face.
The body going down and close-up on the face, and they poured acid That's right.
Onto that lovely face.
And it all went into a skull.
I looked at it and I thought, ''They won't get away with this'', because it was pretty horrific.
It didn't go out.
We had to cut it.
It did look horrific.
Do you remember? Hammer Horror did the same thing for Dracula films.
That's it.
That's not right for kids.
- I remember that was cut.
- That was cut.
That's when the yeti was after his ball, wasn't he? - Sphericals.
- Spheres.
- Spheres.
- That's what you call them.
One thing I do remember about this Doctor Who was that, for some reason best known to myself, I decided to give a party at the end of this particular four episodes.
Well, as I was in the episode, we were in the studio until about ten o'clock at night from early in the morning, and I'd been rehearsing all week, and I had two small children who both had measles or something.
And I've never worked out We had a party for 70 people - for all the cast and crew.
And I'm still to this day puzzled because it wasn't just a crisp, was it? It was a great big spread.
And I still puzzle over how did I prepare this food for 70 people.
I still don't know.
I must have been doing it in the early morning and when I came home.
That's the thing I most remember, this party.
I remember one of the Cybermen walked off with a bottle of whisky! I don't know which one it was!