Doctor Who - Documentary s10e03 Episode Script

Girls, Girls, Girls of the 70's

PETER PURVES: Exploding back onto our screens in glorious colour, Doctor Who of the 1 9 70s started as '60s chic.
But how were the trends of the new decade to affect our Doctor Who girls? The family show ethos of the 1 960s, that of the father figure Doctor with the boy and girl companion, was now a thing of the past.
The new, all-colour Doctor Who was just that little bit more grown-up.
When I was chosen, The Avengers, they wanted Jon came.
So, this was a new Doctor, and they wanted to upgrade the series so dads would watch.
Oh, yes, that's right.
So, they started saying they're not going to have a boy companion, they're going to have a woman.
Like Avengers.
Diana Rigg.
But they didn't go that far, did they? But you wore those kind of divine costumes.
-You always looked so elegant.
-You think? Oh, gosh, yes! All I know is I saw one of ''The Ambassadors of Death'' the other day.
My skirt is obscene.
-(LAUGHING) -Hello! I think The Avengers had a huge influence, actually.
Certainly on my 'Cause we were on the crest of that feminist wave -in the '70s.
-You're right.
And I remember actually going up for The Avengers girl at the same time as I went up for Leela.
-I went up for Purdey at the same time.
-CAROLINE JOHN: Oh, really? Yes.
Went up for it, got down to the last 1 0, but, you know, Joanna Lumley is another story.
See, I never equated it at all.
No, no, they made me see that, when I went up, they wanted to make her no longer granddaughter to Doctor Who, that sort of child thing, they wanted to make it more adult, and to make her a scientist, she was intelligent.
You know.
And then, when Barry came on the scene, he thought, ''She's too intelligent, really, for this.
'' MANNING: Well, yes, 'cause I was JOHN: So, they got rid of me and they got you.
For there to be conflict between the Doctor and the Yes, yes.
And I was put in it.
They wanted the fathers, and I was very much, you know, the modern miss.
So then you were going into the teenagers.
And yet I was still 1 8, straight out of school, so I could say, you know, ''What's that, Doctor? What does that mean?'' So, you were also doing the translation -Getting a middle-of-the-road approach.
-for what went on to be Yeah.
I think basically we were all there to say, ''What is it, Doctor?'' -You know, as a cipher for the writer.
-JOHN: I'm pretty sure we were.
So the Doctor can then explain to the audience.
And how many ways can you say it? Oh! About three million ways.
''But, Doctor'' Oh, boy! I wanted to one day count how many times I said, ''What are we going to do now, Doctor?'' ''What are we going to do'' ''Doctor, what are we going to do?'' (ALL LAUGH) ''What are we going to do now, Doctor?'' ''Look out, Doctor, there's a big one,'' was one of my favourites.
(LAUGHING) JOHN: You are so naughty.
I've often been asked about my costume in the '70s.
(LAUGHING) Yeah.
And did I have any Did I have any say in it? Did I My total naivety, I thought I was going into a, you know, a kids' Saturday afternoon, light entertainment family show.
And I, for want of a better phrase, suddenly turned into this sex symbol overnight.
It was very naive, but absolutely shocked me rigid.
I can't believe you really thought that, with that patch of leopard skin round your bod, and looking really lush.
Of course.
And it went on after the football results.
So, you've got a whole JOHN: That was the whole point of the show.
I mean, I honestly, like you, and I can truly say this, no, I didn't make my own costumes.
I didn't design my own look.
Yes, I was very trendy myself as an actress, but I was not Jo Grant, for goodness sake.
I was wearing You know, people could see my little red knickers and things like that.
But I wasn't conscious of that.
I truly was not conscious that people were, like, when I saw some of the letters I got, I realised, you know, people were looking at it differently, but I was not aware of it.
And people can say, ''No, you must have'' No! I thought I was playing a scientist.
And they put me in the costume and I had to fight with one when I went down to caves.
And it was Jon, he said, ''You're not wearing that down the caves.
'' I said, ''Jon, they won't let me wear anything but these short skirts,'' which, actually, because we didn't wear coloured tights in those days, revealed everything, practically.
I mean, I look at it now Oh, did you not have your knickers made -I had me knickers made to match, I did.
-Oh, fuddy lady.
Because I thought, ''Well, if I'm going to show me bum, ''it's going to match me frock!'' (LAUGHING) Anyway, Jon luckily got it changed for me, so that I could go down in a miner's suit because it was so stupid.
One was trying to be real, and at the same time, they wanted this very high boots with very short skirts.
Well, that was very Avengers, wasn't it? I mean, look at all that fighting they used to do in things that I probably wouldn't have been able to breathe in, you know.
So, I do think probably were we affected rather than making a fashion statement ourselves? I don't know.
I mean, did people go around with sort of leopard skins? I think Leela became a fancy dress costume character.
I think that happened quite a lot, so You know, an excuse to get into that leather leotard.
MANNING: Leopard's very now, darling.
It was more patchwork quilt than leopard, really.
It certainly suited you, though.
-You looked terrific.
-You looked fabulous in it.
I'll tell you what I did like about it, was the fact that you became a very Because I wore the same costume more or less throughout JOHN: Did you get smelly? You became It was like, you know, Tom's long scarf, it became something that was very much very much identified me.
And then we did a sort of Eliza Doolittle-type story, ''The Talons of Weng-Chiang'', a six-parter, which was beautifully written by Bob Holmes.
I got to wear, you know, the corset and the high dress That must have been fun.
And there was a lovely little moment there with, you know with Tom as the Doctor, looking at the character through different eyes.
So, the fact when you did wear a different costume, it had this kind of really nice, big I got Minoan with Ingrid Pitt.
(LAUGHS) Lovely Ingrid Pitt.
And, I mean, there's this woman coming into the rehearsal room.
You know, I mean, I could have ruled the world if I looked like her.
I mean, she was just like, I mean Oh! And I ended up with these dreadlocks.
(LAUGHING) Some weird dreadlocks and this awful frock.
The one change that Jo gets and it's absolutely awful! -Horrendous.
-It was horrible! Did you have any say in it? -Because I didn't, you see.
-I looked like a pale Rastafarian.
You know, with a badly fitting catalogue frock.
When I started, I had my hair back and I was very severe looking.
And slowly, and slowly, I said, ''Well, actually, I do wear, every day, my hair down.
''I'd rather have it down.
I didn't know we were going to have'' So, slowly it came.
But I mean, every story I looked different.
And there's only four stories.
And people make jokes about it up to this day.
But I wasn't firm enough.
I didn't know that you could go up to them all and say, ''Oh, no, I don't fancy Oh, I think this is a bit'' -I didn't think you could do that.
-No, you couldn't.
-I wouldn't have -Dared.
You wouldn't go up and say, ''I'm sorry, I'm not wearing this frock.
'' I did get an extra piece put on the back to cover my bum.
'Cause you didn't have knickers to match.
Yes.
Well, that was it.
I was wearing the knickers.
JOHN: Were you from an alien planet? I was.
The tribe of the Sevateem, I was.
I think they chose Leela in order to get away from the lovely Sarah Jane.
So they wanted somebody completely opposite to that.
And Sarah Jane's character did twist her ankle and scream a lot and all that stuff.
Whereas Leela was much, much feistier.
Mmm-hmm.
Uneducated but very, very intelligent still.
Whereas, when they chose me, it was to get away from the little girl not knowing and to be very much more intelligent, rather disbelieving and snooty about anything.
So I think they were quite canny like that.
They kept changing.
-And then when you came on -That's right.
Because I came in as I came in as 1 8, not really trained to do anything, 'cause as I said, you know, he says, ''I thought you did A levels.
'' ''I didn't say I passed,'' was Jo's response to that.
And, in my time, I went from 1 8 to 1 9, 20 and so on.
And you actually watched my character grow up.
And you watched her suddenly becoming aware of women, rights, the planet.
You know, death, and all these different things.
And Jo was the kind that would lay down her life.
So she had bravery on side.
Yes, but then we all had that.
I was allowed to stand up to the Doctor quite often and sort of challenge.
More like the Romana character JOHN: Right.
And that varied with each character, whether you were allowed to be sort of Helpless or helpful? Is that what we're trying to say? And my only claim to fame is I only scream once in the whole thing.
Moi, aussi.
-Oh, my God.
I know, I know.
-Sorry, girls.
Do you know why I have this mouth, don't you? It is because, you know, I can swallow the entire screen with one scream.
Because that's all I did in my audition, was scream, because I couldn't read the script because I didn't have my glasses.
-I love you.
-So basically -That's what got you the part.
Hurrah.
-I had to pretend that this hat was turning into a monster, and then it Or a devil.
And then it had to change back.
So I went from screaming to hysterical laughter.
Go figure.
(LAUGHING) But in order to make Leela as feisty as she was, they took her clothes off to do so.
Now, they made Leela this feisty, intelligent woman, and yet, all I wore was this leather leotard.
So, as far as feminism goes, what Does that follow the path -or doesn't it follow the path? -Oh, no, it does.
It does.
I'm just getting excited here.
You know why? Because whenever people think of feminism, right, they think of women who kind of, you know I really have to jump in here, I'm sorry.
And I'm saying, it doesn't mean you can't be sexy.
I have to say No, exactly.
I think the word ''feminism'' has become a dirty word.
-And it's become a dirty word -Absolutely.
through the media and it's In a way, it's irrelevant how the feminism is packaged.
Why should it be important whether we've got spots or hairy armpits or whether we look absolutely stunningly gorgeous? -The fact is feminism is a philosophy.
-Choice.
-And it's to do with equal opportunity.
-Yeah.
-And still -It's also respect from men.
And still, we're fighting equal pay for equal work.
-Yes.
-Still In 1 976 the Equal Rights Bill came out, and that's simply outrageous.
And part of the reason we're still fighting it is because the word ''feminism'' has become a dirty word.
And it will dismiss ''Oh, that's just feminist rights.
'' But there have been women who have let the side down.
Thank you.
That's just what I wanted to say.
There's quite a few women out there who have actually taken It's like anything you do in life, when you want to improve a situation, you know, it's like there's always going to be people who take it beyond.
-Women sometimes are our worst enemies.
-And I think that Exactly.
There's been a lot of women out there who have written and spoken on the subject who have given it and given the media all the fuel that they need because But how many times do you hear a woman say, ''I'm not a feminist but'' And then they give you a bit of feminism.
-Why not say, ''I am a feminist''? -You're a feminist.
Reclaim the word.
Still, the ratio of jobs for women in our profession is two to five.
-Oh, absolutely.
-And I think it was even less then.
I'd say it was one to five, actually, now.
And nobody over 40.
-I still think, when you think -Lucky! the audience watching are probably women who are free over 40 or 50 or 60, why don't they have more of that kind? Because that's who we're representing.
But it's not going to happen until the writers come through of that age group.
So that's what needs encouraging, isn't it? JOHN: And the producers and executives.
You don't The BBC's got a lot of women in powerful positions now, a lot of women producers.
JOHN: Well, I'm glad to hear it.
MANNING: It is happening.
But you have to remember, when we were there, they did want the looks.
-JAMESON: Yes.
-Whatever you say.
-And that still happens.
-It's still the same.
I mean, there's no way we can say that is not exactly what is happening now.
-And it hasn't changed that much.
-It's the way it is.
We used to be able to produce things on very little money, and everybody in that workplace was working for one thing, the outcome.
-And, you know -It was a team.
It didn't matter if you stayed up all night, you know, there was no It was like back in the old days, you never took a day off.
I think one of the reasons the relationships have floundered so much within our peer group is because we gave the profession what actually you give to a marriage.
-You drop everything for it.
-MANNING: Everything.
-JAMESON: You travel for it.
-It was -You work through thick and thin.
-It was your whole life.
When you have a temperature of 1 1 0, throwing up in the wings, you know.
-You just did it.
-MANNING: Exactly.
I mean, sometimes you'd think, ''What for?'' -You know, I did -Yes, the pain is appalling.
Don't ever let it go away.
Isn't that some Yes.
And it's true you don't feel pain onstage.
That's true, too.
-'Cause the adrenaline does kick in.
-It's better than a lover or a husband.
You don't have to wash its socks, do you? (LAUGHING) But it can pick you up and drop you.
Would one rather have a terrific relationship or be working? -There's a question.
-JOHN: I'd like both.
I know that.
I know, but surely No, you can't have both.
Well, I mean, well, you can.
I'm saying, if you couldn't You can have both if you've got time.
Okay, so here's the lover of a lifetime or the best TV series ever.
And you have to choose.
-TV series! -Ooh, lumme.
-What would you? -I don't know.
I really wouldn't like to answer that one.
I mean, I've been very blessed.
Especially as your husband might see this.
I've got a very lovely husband.
But don't you feel like the moment that you're onstage -It's magic.
-Or in front of I actually feel for the first time totally all right.
-Absolutely all right.
-Onstage? Onstage, in front of a camera, everything in my life is all right.
JAMESON: In a way, when it's working well, it's like the perfect type of meditation.
Because everything just drops away except the matter in hand.
But even the battles I like fighting.
-One thing is -Yes, but And I think this is when you've rehearsed.
Like, this is for me, theatre.
I love the theatre.
You've rehearsed, you're actually safer there, because you know As a character you don't know what's coming, but you know as the actor.
And you are now in three hours, or however long it takes, -of complete security.
-Yes.
-And have the freedom.
-Control, darling.
You don't have the control -Well, no, but in terms of you -of our lives.
-We know what's going to -Yeah.
Whatever happens, the audience are going to react in different ways, but you, in a way are, as you say, controlling.
It's true.
The stricter the boundaries, the more freedom you have inside.
-It's interesting, isn't it? -Yes.
And then you get the thank you afterwards.
JAMESON: A question I'm often asked, you know, ''What's the apocryphal Tom Baker like to work with?'' And, you know, the answer is, ''He's my favourite monster, really.
'' (LAUGHS) See, I worked with Tom, and I adored working with him.
And, well, I actually had lunch with him two days ago, and he was absolutely delightful and charming.
Oh, I think he's so great.
And I said, ''Who would've thought, however many years is it on, ''30-odd years on, ''that we'd be having this charming, lovely, mellow time together?'' -It's extraordinary.
-I wish I could have mine back.
Yes, I bet you do.
As you were saying, I go all teary when I get to that.
But true, 'cause all of the ones that I worked with I think I was very lucky with Jon because he was a supremely good actor and he took care of us.
-A great team leader.
-And I know he did you, didn't he? So we were very, very lucky.
I mean, he literally He was everything.
And because it was only my second job in the business.
And there was this wonderful man, who as a child, I used to do the imitations, 'cause I used to listen to him on the radio, and because I was a child that lived in a corner on my own without being able to see, I just did voices.
And so, I was doing Jon Pertwee, never knowing that one day I'd work with him.
And to actually work with somebody who had given me so much pleasure as a child, and then to learn so much from him and for him, he was learning because it was his first opportunity to become an actor -away from all the things he'd done.
-Rather than the light entertainment.
And, you know, and he And an adventure and all the rest of it.
And it was lovely.
So early.
I mean, I was very young and very I had very little, well, no experience, one time on television, you know.
And he was so wonderful, he would nurture us.
With a very different leading man, Kenneth Haigh.
I mean, that was the good thing, he nurtured everybody.
He would stop in the middle if something was going wrong, and say, ''Sorry, we're going to do that again for the actors,'' -That's quite rare.
-Hmm.
He taught me to say a rude word -if I thought I could do it better.
-He taught me, too.
He said, ''Darling, you know, if you want to go back again, ''just say a four-letter word.
'' I mean, he must have done the same to you.
And I said, ''Oh, Jon, I daren't,'' And he said, ''Well, that's the only way they'll stop,'' -(JAMESON LAUGHS) -And he was right.
I don't want you to get me wrong about Tom.
I think he was amazingly talented and I thought he was a terrific Doctor.
-Oh, fantastic.
-And he had a huge fan base, and was very dedicated to the programme.
He was just, you know, quite difficult to work with at the time.
I'm exceedingly grateful to Doctor Who because it kind of put me on the map.
I was lucky enough to have done two and a half years with the Royal Shakespeare Company before I went into it, so I already had this reputation for being, you know, -a ''classical'' actress.
-Same as me.
And I came straight out of Doctor Who to play Portia in The Merchant of Venice.
-And then came -JOHN: I did it before I went, too.
-Did you? Did you? -Yes, how funny.
I feel left out now.
No, no.
But it was a terrible thing trying to get into television.
I'd been at the National for four years, and then I went and played Portia opening the Northcott Theatre, Exeter.
-Oh! -And I couldn't get it You know, and then I sent this photo of me in a bikini around to all the people I'd written to, and they all wrote back and saw me.
And that's how I got Doctor Who.
-And it taught me television.
-You tart.
(LAUGHS) If I'd known you had to do that So we've been lucky.
I mean, 'cause I Well, because people in the theatre sort of kept, in those days, television and theatre were very far apart, were they not? And now, one complements the other.
Yes, we always try very hard -to mix and match.
-I was very lucky afterwards.
I'm certainly grateful to it.
I mean, it stemmed off an entire career for me, -and straight after it, I had -Me, too.
I did As I say, I did lots of Plays of the Month.
I got to play characters that were certainly nowhere near who I was playing.
And then to go and get my first stage play, which ran for two and a half years in the West End.
Thank you, Doctor Who, because otherwise I thank Doctor Who every day.
And, boy, didn't we Wasn't it like having, for me, you know, nearly three years in television repertory? And I'd done one other television series.
You know, which was brilliant.
But this, boy, did I learn! I know people talk The other girls I've spoken to Girls, women.
That have played the part, have said that they haven't done so well afterwards.
Because it certainly It worked for me and I've heard the same.
But it was just another job for me in the fact that I could Twenty-six episodes, I learnt television.
I learnt what a camera was.
You certainly learn technique in a hurry, don't you? Yeah, exactly.
You know, cue Katy to cry.
Bang, I know how to do that.
And then, so you could go back into theatre, you could do television, you could do film.
And yes, because I didn't think it was the be-all at the time, I thought that was another learning step for me.
I just thought it was fabulous I had a job and then I went into another one.
-And then I did a movie.
-Would you have ever thought it would have come back now to us to be sitting here? -No.
-No.
And also, the Doctor Who fandom is the loyalest in the world.
-Oh, they're the best.
-Not only are they loyal, they're some of the most polite people I've ever met.
I must just tell you, when I came out of Doctor Who, I was pregnant.
-Oh, really? -I used to come to Geoffrey and say I know! And I used to say to Geoffrey, ''I think people are awfully rude.
''They look at me, and I know I'm pregnant, ''but really, I do think staring at me is really rather awful.
'' I had no idea, of course, that every Saturday they were watching this thing.
And I just thought they just think I'm fat and it's really horrible.
''She don't half look big off the telly.
'' (LAUGHING)