Doctor Who - Documentary s06e11 Episode Script

Sssowing the Ssseedsss

The first I heard was that Michael Ferguson, who I'd worked with in my very first job, actually, for Brian Way's Children's Theatre And the message I got was, ''It's going to be rather painful ''.
but if Alan is prepared to take that risk, ''we'd like him to play this Ice Warrior character.
'' I was chosen for that because of my height and size again.
And not only this, the BBC had me down on their books from the last lot I did, and they saw I was more or less easy to work with, so I got the preference of playing the Ice Warrior.
I suppose I had some misgivings because .
I knew it wasn't going to be very comfortable, but I hadn't done much television, and it was good experience, getting used to cameras and stuff like that.
I shan't forget my experience, which was a very happy one, working on the series, and a very exciting one.
I remember being asked to go for my costume fitting by the BBC, and expecting to be told to go either to Nathan's or to Berman's, the usual costumiers for this sort of thing.
But to my surprise, I was directed to go to a company that moulded the hulls for yachts out of fibreglass.
And instead of being measured with a tape measure in the normal way, I was measured with callipers in order to eventually create the incredible, fantastic costume of fibreglass, foam rubber .
clear plastic, that became the exterior of the Ice Warriors.
I remember Bernard Bresslaw as a character.
He was very He was a sort of gentle giant, I think, as a personality, and, um we all of us would just really feel sorry for them every time we had to put these masks back on, you know.
It was a bit of a torture for them, and I can remember him still having a very good sense of humour about it.
(BRESSLAW) I enjoyed enormously, as I say, the episodes.
Making them was a great adventure, and, of course, being asked to create an alien creature is a great challenge to any actor.
It draws upon your resources in a very taxing way.
You have to give thought to how to match the appearance that the designer has drawn of the creatures that subsequently became the Ice Warriors, how to give that some kind of personality and impact.
That was a challenge which I readily accepted and thoroughly enjoyed.
Oh, Bernie was a very nice man.
Extremely nice man.
Um, Bernieis the only man I know that made me feel like a midget.
He towered over everyone.
He was massive, and a very friendly man, very funny.
(LAUGHING) I can remember .
after he did his part, we did another Ice Warrior series.
Because I broke my Ice Warrior costume when I fell over, I ended up using his.
I was racing after Deborah Watling to grab her, and all of a sudden, there's an avalanche.
Well, I just got to her in time and grabbed her when this avalanche came down, all this snow and ice came down and covered me.
I died in this avalanche, but she couldn't get her hand out because I was holding on there.
In my death throes, I held on, and she was screaming to get out! She said afterwards, ''You shouldn't have held me that tight!'' and I said, ''I wanted to hold you a bit tighter!'' (ALAN BENNION) My costume, apparently, the idea was to make him more pliable in every sense - apart from being more bendy, he also could do more.
I think the idea was to make it more svelte and sophisticated, but by the time I get into a couple of inches of thick latex, I don't look very sleek and sophisticated, I don't think! Whereas the original costume - you know, Sonny Caldinez with his great scaly thing - really had quite a visual effect.
You know, where I might have somebody following me around with, well, no, not a needle and cotton, that wouldn't have been much help with my latex, but Sonny had men with spanners to get him in and out.
I never knew what it entails until the day I went to try it on.
And it frightened the hell out of me because it was this, er .
fabricated set-up.
The stomach and the chest was all the way out here, and you were all the way in the back here.
And it was bolted between your legs with big bolts, and bolted at the top here, so you're not coming out of there unless somebody take you out.
So if somebody left you there, you're not going to get out of that thing.
And you had these rubber legs you put on, but the rubber legs that you wore, they were When you started shooting, we used to wait for about three or four hours.
Within three or four hours, up to your ankle filled up with water, because you sweat in there all the time.
And you keep walking along, slosh, slosh, because there was so much water in there! And the head piece, there was no air getting into the head piece, because you were all fitted with this mask and all is enclosed, so the eyepieces here, it was all misting up.
You couldn't see properly through it.
Other people have their costumes made at costumiers, but I think it was a It might have been a foundry or something like that.
I know it was in Battersea, and I was given the street address.
I arrived in Battersea, found the street, and there was a little entry, as we used to call them in my home town, which led down to this place.
And when I got to the end of the entry, there were two doors, one on either side.
And the left-hand one said, ''South London Refrigeration Company''.
And I thought, ''By God, they're taking this seriously!'' But it was the door to the right which led into this I don't know what you'd call it - a kind of atelier? A lot of it was costume, but we had quite a big input into the making of the Ice Warrior masks, which were I've got a feeling from just remembering that the cast was taken, and the mould was made for the Ice Warrior mask by the Special Effects, and I was there helping with the making of the masks and the colouring as well and matching the colouring to the costume.
It wasn't a suit of armour as such.
As far as we were concerned, the fibreglass chest, that was us, so, in other words, it was our body there.
You don't expect anybody's inside there.
You were the Ice Warrior, and that's your body - the chest, the legs, the arms, everything was there.
And you used to pull your head down like this, and this rubber backing on it used to go down like this, and when you spoke so it looked like your head used to come up from When you look at it, it was really frightening to think that, well, that's a man, or whatever.
It looked very good.
But again, you had to play the part of You couldn't do the part as a human being.
You had to .
play the part of what you were - a Martian or a man from space or outer space or whatever.
In order to get as much movement as possible as well The actual masks themselves were quite thick, but we had to make sure that we could attach them in such a way that they seemed to be part and parcel of the whole face.
They had lovely folds in the neck, or appearance of folds in the neck so that it had an almost lizard-like look.
I had what I always describe as fibreglass accessories, which were a kind of halter thing which was split down the back so that it could be put on me.
The helmet, of course, was fibreglass as well.
And I do remember the first morning in the studio at Lime Grove, and I thought, ''There's going to be a problem when it's the tea break,'' because I couldn't help myself, you see, and I thought, ''I'm never going to get a cup of tea!'' I wasn't sure how I'd be able to drink tea anyway with all the make-up over the face, but I do remember saying to somebody, ''As soon as they say 'Tea break,' will someone take my helmet off?'' But as soon as they said, ''Tea break!'' there I was, alone in the studio, floundering around! I couldn't even begin to think about cameras because I couldn't see very well through this helmet, because the eye holes had a sort of orange screen thing in them and fine wire mesh as well - I suppose because the audience wasn't supposed to see my eyes through - but it meant that I had very dim vision and very tunnel vision anyway, so I couldn't see.
There was one occasion, I remember, where I had to start the scene.
Normally, the floor manager will give you a visual cue - ''And cue Ice Warrior.
'' Of course, I couldn't see her unless she came right into my tunnel vision, in which case, she was in shot as well! I couldn't hear because of the helmet, so the only way that she could give me the cue to start the scene was to give me what looked like a rather vicious karate chop on the back of my leg.
And I had these boots which were meant to be feet, I suppose, and similarly with the I had gloves that were meant to be basic hands.
I don't think there were any fingers.
I had a weapon in this hand and I can't remember whether the weapon was part of the costume or not.
I know it was quite a strain on the thumb keeping it in control! You walk differently wearing wellies compared with ballet pumps, and if you imagine that magnified several times.
You never walked very far anyhow because the set wasn't all that big.
So you walked from A to B, maybe six to eight feet apart.
And you couldn't hear, but the majority of the time, you were in eye line, so you knew exactly who you were having dialogue with.
So it wasn't all that hard.
The sets were really quite impressive.
When you look at it now, you think it's been made in some vast studio.
In ''Seeds of Death'', we were in Lime Grove, which makes one sound pretty prehistoric because I believe the studios are pulled down now, and there was one particular set towards the end which looked enormous.
Me and Terry Scully somehow got onto a ramp, and there was an illuminated screen behind us so that we were there in silhouette, looking really quite sort of balletic.
I didn't know how far they were going to go.
I knew there'd be the helmet and the cossie, but one had to be as inhuman as possible, I suppose.
I remember sitting in make-up covering just the bottom half of my face.
She painted on Copydex, and then stuck these little rubbery, pebble things all over.
Making sure that it looked realistic around the mouth area.
These were problems.
We had quite a few problems doing that.
And also the teeth, which are quite distinctive as far as the Ice Warriors are concerned.
We would have used black tooth enamel to have got the shape - little sharp, pointed teeth which show up really quite well.
And I thought, ''Ah, well, ''there's not much of me to see apart from the teeth,'' and I'd just spent what for me was quite a lot of money, and I'd had my front four teeth capped, and I thought they looked rather good.
Michael Ferguson came in to review the make-up and said, ''We'd better have the teeth blacked out as well.
'' And I thought, ''There's the last of me gone!'' I do remember him being very concerned about it, and obviously, there was no way that we wanted a big insurance claim for his teeth! Well, the make-up wasn't too bad really.
The only thing that was wrong was the costume, because the make-up really was Around here and here, they put a bit of green make-up, because this rubber thing covered your whole face.
So as make-up goes, you didn't have to do anything.
For Alan Bennion, being as it were the chief Ice Warrior, we added a sort of pebble effect, so it gave a much more powerful, strong, heavy, almost stone-like quality to the character, although he was able to speak as well.
It just became a question of whispering really.
The great trouble was that I don't know whether I decided or whether the director wanted this kind of heavy breathing stuff to be going on at the same time.
Um I found it just physically very difficult to do heavy breathing (HISSING, LABOURED BREATHING) .
and speak.
Excuse me, when do I speak? It's difficult to speak on the intake of breath! Um That didn't help with clarity either because there was all this hissing going on.
It was very difficult to really move your mouth in the mask, because, as you know, if you have a rubber mask on, it has a tendency to move about.
So you could be saying something You're facing the individual you're speaking to, and, as you speak, the mouth would shift to the side, so it would look rather grotesque.
So what we did was, we mumbled.
So you formed the words that has already been pre-recorded, so it looks like you were speaking, but really, if you spoke with the rubber mask on, it never look right.
The only thing we used to do, we used to hiss.
(CALDINEZ HISSES) (TRILLING BUZZ) Deaths were very difficult.
They had this I thought of it as a soft mirror, and then the actual death was the floor manager poking his finger in the back of the soft mirror so that the whole image was destroyed.
And then you got a shot of somebody falling to the ground, or in my case, because, as I say, I had this costume, with my fibreglass accessory, this halter, which, if I'd fallen onto it, would just have garrotted me.
It was split down the back, so it would have kind of concertinaed and I'd have been garrotted, so I think I die rather gently! We had to do a piece where you got shot and you had to fall over.
Now, you're thinking, ''Which way shall I fall?'' Is this a fall backwards or forwards? Now, you're thinking, if you fall forwards, you'll be nearer the ground because of the big stomach.
That's a no-no! You shouldn't fall forwards, and I did! As I fall forwards, the front part concaved like this.
(HE GASPS) That went, and I'm lying on the floor and I'm rolling about, and everybody said, ''What's the matter?'' I said, ''Somebody here don't like me.
I've got problems down here!'' When you fell over, there's no way you could get up, because you're like a turtle.
There's no way you could get your foot on the floor.
It takes four or five men to lift you up from the floor.
I had big bruises in between me legs where it slammed.
Oh! That costume was a disaster! It was lovely working with Terry Scully on ''Seeds of Death''.
It was a very emotional part that he had to play, which he did with such sincerity, and he wasn't afraid to be highly emotional but at the same time maintaining absolute clarity.
Steve Peters got that part where he It was sort of a transportation machine, and he has to appear in this machine and this was the first time that people were going to see what the Ice Warriors look like, and he really destroyed the cabinet completely to get out.
It was very, very frightening when you saw it, the way it was done, but he did a good job of it, Steve Peters.
He was over six foot four.
Yeah, I loved being a baddie! I loved trying to kill people and frightening people, you know! The Ice Warriors are popular, aren't they? I've never Seeing them from the inside, I think one Yes, interesting stories, and I'm always fascinated by anybody who can put together these scripts and work the different variations on monstrosity! I think the reason why a lot of people remember the Ice Warriors They were the original ones that one could identify with in a sense that Ice Warriors were true to life.
There were a lot of monsters in the Doctor Who series, but none of them were as frightening as the Ice Warriors.
You looked at them and you thought to yourself, ''Jesus, they are grotesque!'' And every one of them were over six foot.
All the actors Patrick Troughton - he was what, five foot eight? The gentleman who played Frazer Hines - he was five foot something.
Deborah Watling, she was about what, four foot eleven? In other words, we were like giants among midgets, so it makes it look more frightening than ever.
And we actually looked the part of Martians or people from outer space.
Watching ''Seeds of Death'' now .
and I don't think I'm being unduly modest, but I'm just so impressed with the performances of the other actors! They're all so good, and bring tremendous credibility to what is a pretty unlikely kind of story - one hopes it's an unlikely story! Patrick Troughton was lovely to work with, and indeed his companions, Wendy Padbury and Frazer Hines.
I worked with Patrick Troughton and I worked with Jon Pertwee.
The both of them as Doctor Whos.
one played it very, very seriously indeed, which was Patrick Troughton, and one played it for laughs, which was Jon Pertwee.
With Jon Pertwee, you laughed all the way.
With Patrick, you acted all the way, and between the two of them, you don't know who you would say that you enjoyed working with the most, because each one of them was an experience to work with.
But one thing with Jon Pertwee After filming with Jon Pertwee, we became really, really friendly, and we reached so far as to say that one day I was in the West End, walking down the road, Jon was coming round in his car, and saw me on the pavement, walking along the road.
He stopped the car in the centre of the road, run across the pavement and hugged me and lifted me off the ground.
I wondered, ''Who the hell is this?!'' then I saw it was Jon.
Fantastic man, really fantastic man, and it's a great loss to the industry when he died.
A great loss.
A lovely man.
All the good people are going.
Jon is gone, Patrick's gone.
Bad news.
Well, I suppose life must go on anyway.