Doctor Who - Documentary s09e06 Episode Script

The UNIT Family (Part Two)

(NARRATOR READING) TERRANCE DICKS: If the Doctor was going to be on Earth, he had to have somewhere to live, some people to look after him, a source of income, a car.
NICHOLAS COURTNEY: The actor who was going to play Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, David Langton, at the last moment couldn't do it.
So he had to bow out.
Had David Langton taken that part, my life in the last 40 years would have been massively different.
I remember the morning.
"Jon Pertwee is the new Doctor.
" And I remember thinking, "Wow!" My mum and dad loved him.
Do we really have to call you Miss Shaw? BARRY LETTS: It was nothing to do with the actress, Carrie John, she's a very good actress, but nevertheless, I had to say to her, "I'm sorry, but we're not going to ask you to come back.
" Benton calling UNIT HQ.
LETTS: When I joined, I saw the first ones, "Spearhead from Space", and I thought, "Well, I don't think this is quite right for Doctor Who.
"There's nobody in the regular set-up "for the younger people to identify with.
" What you need is somebody for the Doctor to explain things to, you see.
So really, as a kind of deliberate contrast to Liz Shaw, we created Jo Grant.
JO: The Brigadier sent me along to introduce myself, Doctor.
Josephine Grant.
I'm your new assistant.
About a year before Barry Letts joined the production, I was sitting at the BBC Centre, waiting to go and see somebody else about another job.
And Jon Pertwee sort of swept through with the then-producer, which was Derrick Sherwin, and he came up and he sort of chatted to me.
I obviously looked very pathetic and didn't have my glasses on, was just sort of, you know, looking like I was The startled headlight look, and very nervous and very young and fresh out of drama school.
So, we got on really well and that was lovely, off I went.
Oh, no.
The Brigadier sent me along to introduce myself, Doctor.
Josephine Grant.
How do you do, Miss Grant? My agent rang me, and he said, "Look, "they'd like to see you for Doctor Who.
"They're looking for a new assistant.
"But they probably will have shortlisted it.
" Which they had.
Finally, I got along and they'd shortlisted it, so it was pretty useless.
And I went in and they said, "Could you read for us?" And I said, "No, I can't, actually, I have a bit of a problem.
"You know, the glasses and the thing, "and then you won't be able to see my eyes.
"'Cause you'll just see these sort of really, really thick glasses.
" So they said, "Okay, good start, Katy, "would you improvise for us?" I'm a fully qualified agent, you know.
Cryptology, safe-breaking, explosives.
It was great, I was so nervous, screaming and laughing.
(LAUGHING) It was perfect.
And the very next day, I was asked, "Would you like to play Jo Grant?" Thank you,Jo, I can see you're going to be of great help to me.
Thank you, Doctor.
MANNING: To go back to the bit where Jon Pertwee swept into the room, he had gone up to Barry Letts and said, "Look, I saw a girl here about a year ago.
"And I think she would be perfect for this.
" And Barry said, "Oh, no, no we've found who we're looking for.
" And he said, "Well, I'd like you to see this girl.
" And he said, "No, I'm sorry, it's already decided.
" Well, of course, when I When he heard who it was, he said, "Well, that's the girl that I met downstairs in the BBC Centre "all those years ago.
" (GIGGLES) In our discussions about how we would open the new season, we were looking for, we always looked for, um, a gimmick, if you like.
Something that would catch people's eye and in particular, catch the picture editor at the Radio Times so we'd get a front cover of the Radio Times and start the season off with a bang.
(EXPLODES) We were discussing it, and thinking about a show as a whole.
The Doctor is rather like Sherlock Holmes, you know, in that he's tall and irascible and brilliant and a bit snappy with people, you know, and brighter than everybody else.
And we were discussing that, and one of us, you know, we honestly don't remember which said, "What he needs is a Moriarty.
" And so we kicked that idea about and came up with the idea of a sort of equal and opposite to the Doctor.
You know, an opponent worthy of his steel, as they say.
From that moment, within half an hour, within 10 minutes, the character had grown, another Time Lord.
Another renegade Time Lord, but a villainous one.
Then the next day, Terrance came in, he said, "I've got a name for him.
" And I said, "What?" He said, "The Master.
" And I said, "Yes! Ideal.
" And I said, "I know exactly the actor to play him, "and that's Roger Delgado.
" Because I'd worked a lot with Roger when I was an actor myself.
And I knew what a lovely man he was and what an excellent actor he was and a perfect villain he was.
(SCREAMING) He was a delightful man, Roger.
Critical only of himself.
Never criticised anyone else except himself.
Being a very modest person, a very kind man.
JOHN LEVENE: Roger Delgado I adored and loved as a man.
He was the first sensitive man that I'd met in my life, he was like me, he rather easily teared up over things.
He was always punctual, his script was neat.
His delivery was precise.
His dress was immaculate.
And he was a charming man.
Very nice, seemed to have no side to him at all.
And of course, an absolutely supreme Master.
UFO sir, coming in fast.
LETTS: When the Jon Pertwee season started and the UNIT story started, the Brigadier seemed to be the only permanent member of UNIT, which seemed a bit daft.
Um, obviously he would have members of his staff who would be continuing, you know.
Even more, the Brigadier would have a permanent second in command, who would be probably a captain or even a major.
And it made it easier to be a captain because then the Brigadier would be far more senior to him.
And so we decided that for the second season and onwards, we would have a permanent captain, instead of casting a different person each time.
What's up, now? -Oh, nothing.
Life's just wonderful.
-Easy, love.
RICHARD FRANKLIN: The agent I had at the time was at a first night in the West End and he, by complete chance, found himself sitting next to Barry Letts.
And he was doing his job properly and he was talking about casting and Barry said he was looking for a love interest in Doctor Who.
And, um, they'd got the girl, Katy Manning, and they were looking for someone to go with her.
My agent said, "Well, you know, who are you looking for?" And Barry said, "Well, sort of someone like Richard Franklin, "but I don't suppose he'd do it.
" And the agent said, "Well, as a matter of fact, I represent him.
" When we were doing "Terror of the Autons", I wanted to have a real battle between the Autons and the UNIT troops.
And I said, "Well, what a pity that we can't actually blow somebody up, "so they're flying through the air.
" "Oh, we can do that," they said.
"Oh, how do we do it?" I think it was Derek, Derek Ware who said, "It's very easy," he said.
You'd get somebody to stand on a ladder, out of frame, you'd put a mini trampoline on the ground, under the ladder, and you'd set up your explosion at a strategic point so that your party would hit the mini trampette, as his feet touched the trampette, the explosion would go off and he would be propelled through the explosion.
Terry Walsh in particular did a very, very good gag on the trampette, as an Auton, and the only way they can kill him is to hit him with a motorcar.
And they had to drive the motor car at him, the trampette then became obscured by the bonnet of the motor car, Terry hit the trampette, it looked as if the car had hit him and knocked him up in the air and he took a terrific pearler down the side of a chalk quarry somewhere in Middlesex.
"Mind of Evil" was a rather grim story with a large input of UNIT into it and so on.
I think this derived from the fact that Don Houghton wrote it, who was still thinking in the same way that he thought when he came in to join us for "Inferno".
-Excuse me.
-Later.
Yes.
It's going to be one of those days.
The fact of having UNIT so very much involved was purely the result of the way the story developed.
It wasn't a policy decision or anything like that.
But I think it worked very well.
When I did "Mind of Evil", where I fall down, where the Chinese girl looks at me and drives me insane by the phone box, and you see me fall, I took Do you know when you buy a suit, you always buy a jacket and two pairs of trousers.
And I messed the jacket up.
I mean, how stupid is that? There was a scene where I was watching the missile being brought out of its shed.
And of course, once I had got the information I wanted, I leapt onto my bike.
And the shot was supposed to be me bump-starting the bike, pushing it down the road, leaping onto it and roaring off into the distance.
(FIRING) In fact, it never happened like that, because I did the spotting of the missile extraordinarily well, very good bit of acting, ran to the bike, which wasn't very far, so I look quite convincing doing that, bump-start the bike, but then I fell flat on my face, let go of the bike, which roared off into the distance in a dead straight line.
Well, for a long way, it was really quite sort of frightening to see this sort of unmanned beast disappearing into the distance.
It toppled in the end, and did a considerable amount of damage to itself.
So, once again, my action sequence was not the most popular.
I want a chopper standing by to take me down there as soon as possible.
-I'll get onto it right away, sir.
-And I'll need a mobile HQ -and a full forensic team in the area.
-Extension 34.
I remember there was another character who looked as if she might become a regular at the time.
That was Corporal Bell, played by Fernanda Marlowe.
Report in from the Met Office, sir.
There are freak weather conditions over the whole area.
Sudden snowstorms, sir.
Dense fogs covering the area.
I went up for, I think it was a whodunnit or something that Tim Combe was directing and, uh, he said, "You're completely wrong for this.
" But took me out to lunch, because his father knew my father, or one of those things.
And I thought, "That's very kind of you.
" And he said, "Oh, I'll certainly bear you in mind.
" And I believed it not one small jot.
And suddenly he rang up and said, "Would you like to be in Doctor Who?" I said, "Of course I would.
" Jupiter to Venus,Jupiter to Venus.
Do you read me? Over.
Corporal Bell, when I was asked to do it, I think wasn't exactly described to me, as I was told that my function was not to be a man.
Because UNIT was entirely men.
And I think somebody suddenly thought, "Whoops.
We've got a prison, the whole thing is men.
" So they made Pik-Sen Lim into a red guard, but a female one, and me.
So we had terrific fun, because we were just the three of us and these hordes of men, we had a lovely time.
(GUNS FIRING) When "The Claws of Axos" came along, there was a female corporal in that.
So it seemed logical to have the same actress do it.
And um, so she was asked to do it.
I think she was a walking ASM, myself.
I mean, it was very useful if a curtain had to be drawn or a job had to be done or something, there I was, a sort of wheel-in Corporal Bell.
Like rescuing the day when it suddenly snowed when they were filming in Kent.
Either it was going to go over budget or something had to be done.
So Corporal Bell was wheeled in to announce freak weather conditions over Kent.
There are freak weather conditions over the whole area.
-Explain.
-Sudden snowstorms, sir.
Dense fogs covering the area.
And the worst bit was the cheer when I rehearsed it, because it was literally, they were on the take when it happened.
Um, the cheer that went up, led by Jon Pertwee and Roger Delgado.
They did actually not make faces at me when I said it but it was very difficult to say it with a straight face, to be honest.
WARE: Pigbin Josh was a marvellous routine for me, because the one kind of stunt that I hate is riding a bicycle.
Everything goes wrong on a bicycle, your trousers get caught in the pedals, they get caught on the brake as you try to fall off and all that.
And they shot the one sequence on, I would say, it was the fourth of January or something like that.
They didn't get round to shooting it until about 4:00 in the afternoon.
And I'd been walking around in this wetsuit and perspiring like a madman all the day.
The temperature dropped.
Everything froze up and they said, "Right, "we're ready for your big stunt on the bike.
" And finally we came to the take, and I did the big double-take where I see the flying saucer and go, "Whoa!" Went straight down, smashed into the water, went up in the air, everything went sideways, everything went backwards, "Cut, cut.
" And I think we may have had two cameras on it and certainly one of the cameramen said, "No good for me" or something.
"Oh, my God," I thought, "I can't do that again, I'm freezing!" Luckily, I'd bent the wheel double on impact, and there was no way they could straighten the wheel out.
So, I was off the hook for that one.
But I think the stunt looked quite good in the end, didn't it? LEVENE: "The Dæmons" was what I call quintessential Doctor Who.
It was right down your throat.
Daring, action.
We were all very much a team by then, we'd done a lot of work together.
We knew each other socially and we knew each other professionally.
So, it was great.
What more could you ask for? Devil worship, the force of good against evil, UNIT at its best.
Roger was sensational.
Heho evoway, Azal.
Show yourself! The location, for a change, wasn't a sort of damp quarry somewhere in January, it was the gorgeous little village of Aldbourne in Wiltshire.
A very pretty, quintessential English village.
LEVENE: I'm a fiddler, I like to know how things worked.
I made almost one of the most fatal mistakes ever known on Doctor Who.
I bothered to move the joystick, I wanted to know what it would do.
The director, Jon Pertwee, Richard Franklin, Katy Manning were all standing under the blades because they were about to come and do my scene, my close-up.
And I touched the lever that alters the angle of the blades.
And they went from that to that.
And I nearly, nearly beheaded the whole crew.
And to this day, I remember the pilot coming in and he was furious with me.
He said, "You stupid fool! You never" And of course, I was like a told-off child.
And from then on, I never touched a button or a lever.
All right.
On your way.
If you watch the fight I have with the verger, you will notice the rifle, the shotgun he has, breaks in half.
And as we are fighting up against the pillar, I said, "The shotgun's broken.
"Hold it as though it's not broken, for goodness sake.
" So, you'll notice when he picks the gun up he actually It's broken in half.
So, he has to hold the two halves together to threaten me and I remember thinking, "You can't shoot the gun anyway "because its broken in half.
" Wait, sir.
Look.
COURTNEY: "The Dæmons" contained that immortal line when the Brigadier finally arrives in the village, sees this gargoyle Bok, calls up his corporal and says, "Jenkins" Chap with the wings there.
Five rounds rapid.
As though that would get rid of them but which, of course, it didn't.
It's a delightful line.
No! No, he's a good man, kill me, not him! This one very strongly, you saw that Jo really would have laid down her life for the Doctor.
I think I probably would have done for Jon if I could have, too, in my incredible long white robe, of course you have to wear something like that when you're going to be sacrificed.
And Stephen Thorne, who appeared in a couple of Doctor Whos with me and was always brilliant, but there he is on, like, you know, high-heeled hooves, he looked amazing.
He really And he had that voice that you really believed could have belonged to the Devil.
I shall pass on my power! Oh, mighty Azal, I thank you! But not to you.
All the principal characters, except Nick and I, were doing the dancing and having lovely things to say.
You're right,Jo, there is magic in the world after all.
And Nick and I were just sort of, you know, seeing, observing everyone else having a good time at the end of the story.
So I went to Barry Letts and said, "Look, Barry, do you think it would be possible "for Nick and I to have an exit line from this great story?" And he said, "Yes, think of one.
" So, I suggested the line.
We were standing within sight of the Cloven Hoof, and also in sight, of course, of the maypole, so I said, "Well" Everybody else was dancing, so I looked at the Brig and said, "Fancy a dance, Brig?" And I thought I'd associate myself with the role even more closely and since I was standing outside The Cloven Hoof.
I said, "That's very good of you, Captain Yates, I'd rather have a pint.
" And walk into the pub, I think which is what the Brigadier would have done anyway, I'm sure he would've And I would have, 'cause I was dying for a pint at the time.
(MACHINE-GUN FIRING) DICKS: For the first show of the season, you know, the opening four-parter, we were trying to have something special about that, so we could get some publicity, you know, Doctor Who is back for the new season.
And maybe a Radio Times front cover, you know, all of which helps your viewing figures.
And we came up with the idea of bringing the Daleks back, who had not been there for a long, long time.
Ah, you've saved my life.
FRANKLIN: There was lots of playful social comment -YATES: Sergeant Benton? -Sir.
in Doctor Who when I was in it, which made it interesting for the viewer.
That wasn't very kind of you.
-RHIP,Jo.
-Pardon? "RHIP, Rank Has Its Privileges.
" It was great fun, I mean, it was a very funny line.
And it was a charming little moment.
And it just shows how well-written the scripts were at that stage because it didn't take away from the plot and the story and the action, but it reflected both characters, the character of the sergeant and the character of the captain.
And it put them neatly and correctly in their place.
(SCREAMING) Kronos, hear me! I order you to obey! To act opposite Roger Delgado, like when he pushed me into the filing cabinet, he said, "John, I'm going to hurt you.
" I said, "Roger, hurt me.
" And if you watch, I hit that filing cabinet with such violence, and I always fell well.
I was always great at falling, I always made a noise falling.
But that's what the fans liked and I was very happy to deliver.
Where, for heaven's sake, is Sergeant Benton? The baby, we forgot the baby! But when I stood up as the baby, I had nightmares over that scene.
I was dreading it because I didn't have like a real muscle-bound, hairy body, so it's not that I looked like Sean Connery as Bond.
I looked a bit of a wimp with my uniform off.
So that scene was actually intensely hard for me and you will see me blush.
Would somebody please mind telling me exactly what's happening around here? Now, the interesting thing is Everybody thought it was acting, but it wasn't, it was pure, 100% embarrassment.
Because I'm not good at being naked.
But by goodness, didn't it make the scene? All right, you men, come with me.
Hurry! Fire at will! LETTS: Three Doctors was great fun, from many points of view.
As a show, it wasn't the most successful it could have been.
I don't think the monsters were very good.
And indeed, the sets weren't very good, either.
Uh, but it was a good script and it was lovely seeing the three Doctors.
-It's been so nice to meet me.
-Yes, I see what you mean.
I hope I don't meet me again.
Jon had been a very, very successful light entertainer.
Hugely successful.
This was his first real crack at, you know, being a straight actor, if you like.
So when Pat Troughton came into the mix, of course, there was going to be slight differences, so there was slightly tense moments.
Oh, please be quiet! Lennie Mayne was a very good director to have in this situation because Australians are kind of very cool people, they just kind of hang out, let it go, they don't get strung up about nothing, sweetie.
Anyway, so, he was just watching these two vying with each other.
And I'd been standing there with John Levene for absolutely ages, John Levene said, "What would you like me to do at the moment?" And so Lenny said, "Oh, I don't know, go and do something on the filing cabinet.
" Well, both John Levene and I got the same visual, of him jumping up on the filing cabinet and doing this tap dance in the middle of this slightly tense scene.
Right, force field on.
Well, I got the giggles so badly And so did John Levene.
LEVENE: We were sent out of the studio several times.
When you get the giggles, you hear actors talk about it, but when giggling strikes you, in a studio, with all the pressure, you go and you can't stop.
Well, that was one of those occasions.
We'd been sent out of the studio, Katy and I, I mean, we were banished.
-Well, things are pretty serious.
-Yes, they are.
And so then we came back in, and, you know, the more you try and pull yourself together, the worse it gets and of course we were sent out again.
(LAUGHS) So, by the time we'd finished, I think the tension went, just because we were so ridiculously badly behaved.
We just got so giggly.
Now, see here, Doctor, you have finally gone too far.
I rather think we all have.
What's it like out there? There's Well, there's sand everywhere! COURTNEY: I was always happy, right from the beginning, playing the Brigadier Just to have lines to bark out orders is very boring.
So I was very keen that I should have as much humour as possible.
I mean, valid humour, not cheap laughs or anything like that, I didn't want to make him an idiot.
I'll tell you what we'll do.
You two stay here, see that nobody wanders in, we can't have the place overrun with holidaymakers.
I'll nip out, find a phone and tell the authorities exactly where we are.
I'm fairly sure that's Cromer.
Back in a jiff.
Which is great fun, line to line, I enjoyed all that enormously.
I remember, Jon and I, one day we were coming back from somewhere we'd been, I can't remember what we'd been doing.
It was something to do with the show.
And, uh, we saw one of those billboards outside the newsagent.
And it just said, "Doctor Who star killed.
" And that moment, and you sit there and you It's a strange feeling, but And it sounds awful, but you think, "Well maybe it was just somebody who was in it for a minute.
" You know, it doesn't make it any better, please, believe that.
But you don't think, you know, Nicholas Courtney, Richard Franklin, Roger Delgado.
FRANKLIN: After one day's filming, Roger said, "Richard, I hope you don't mind but I've altered the call.
"I've altered it from 6.
00 a.
m.
to 5.
30 a.
m.
" He said did I mind? And he said well, he did not like being driven by a chauffeur anyway and certainly not if the chauffeur was in a rush.
So, if we go to 5:30, we won't have to rush to the location.
And of course, you know I thought of that, um sometime later, when, of course, he met his death being driven, perhaps rather too hastily, by a unit driver in Turkey.
He'd become my, my He'd become my best friend by then.
He used to invite my wife and I over to dinner in his gorgeous little the White Cottage in Teddington.
And when he died, it's like losing your brother or your father.
And we heard it, I, I hadn't heard it till I got to rehearsal rooms.
And I remember, it was like a black fog came over the room.
And I remember Jon crying.
And I remember having to collect ourselves and having to think, "My God, I mean, this is dreadful.
" And I remember, um, a lot of us having to take, you know, because men don't like to cry in front of men I think it's a little easier now.
I remember Jon going into the toilet and howling with tears.
And Katy breaking down and Nick, Nick never showed quite so much emotion, Nick was much more of a stiff upper lip.
But I remember everything being quite flat because we were all fearful of breaking into tears and this lasted for quite a while.
So yes, this doom, this feeling of doom came over because of all the people to die, it had to be Roger and for so useless a reason.
DICKS: Barry was concerned much earlier than most people with global warming, and the ecology and all that kind of thing.
And he came in one morning having read something, you know, and was very depressed about the way everything was going.
And I remember him saying, "I wish I could do something about it, "you know, I feel so helpless.
" So I said, "Well you're not helpless, you know, you're in charge "of a very influential show.
Let's do an ecology story.
" Look out man, get back! People often ask me, "What's your favourite monster?" I don't think anyone has a favourite monster.
But I know what they mean, so I say, "It was those giant maggots, I think.
" Creepy-crawlies always frightened me much more than a Dalek, I think.
Well, I never thought I'd fire in anger at a dratted caterpillar but FRANKLIN: When we came to the stuff in the studio, they had a great round revolving tower thing with a picture painted all the way around the circumference of the Welsh mines, and sort of muddy ground in front of it.
And on this ground were planted real maggots.
But what no one had taken into account was that under the heat of the arc lamps, these maggots turned into blue bottles.
And they started buzzing around for real, they were quite unpleasant, actually.
-What's going on? -Go on, tell him.
-Cliff and I are going to get married.
-Getting married? The one thing that I have heard unanimously about "The Green Death" is that, there was a definite feeling of great loss and sadness amongst the whole cast.
You know, whether it was me leaving or those being left was not really the issue, it was the breaking up of this extraordinary team.
Come and drink a toast to the happy couple.
-But that's us.
-Aye.
So it is.
That last scene, I can remember, we got pretty tearful.
I knew that it was the beginning of the end.
You don't realise when you're doing the leaving episodes the reality of leaving.
We did all work together so well and in fact, the scene at the end, it was full of emotion when she did leave the Doctor, you know, and everyone on set was very, very emotional, I remember it was.
And then this sort of moment came in the studio when the actual realisation And I remember it clearly, 'cause it makes me go teary.
'Cause that moment, I'll never, ever forget it.
And what was wonderful about that was it was all done with looks.
And that extraordinary shot of Jon at the end, going off in Bessie.
It was just so touching.
And it was at that moment I knew it was over, the fat lady had sung.
You know, and it was time for me to go on and explore myself as an actress, having been given the greatest gift I could have been given, and that was three years working with all those wonderful people, wonderful writers, wonderful technicians, musicians, I had to go out there and see if I could actually do it without them.
And I shall miss them and love them always.