Doctor Who - Documentary s13e05 Episode Script

Doctor Who Stories - Elisabeth Sladen

The first time I saw Tom was at a very unfortunate time because it was as Jon, as Doctor Jon is going to regenerate into Tom.
So you have Jon Pertwee, in spider story, lying on the floor, genuinely, I think, upset that he's dying.
You have my character, Sarah Jane, feeling for Jon, acting the character of Sarah Jane as the Doctor is dying 'cause she doesn't really know about regeneration.
You have Tom there, coming in to lie in Jon's place.
"Hello, yes, I'm Tom.
" "Yes, I'm Lis.
" "I'm Tom" lying there, and then he goes off to film "Robot" down in Evesham, wherever it was.
And it was a very There's no way you can make any rapport on that.
You just get on with that.
I did "Spiders" that night and then I had to go down that night and film with Tom.
And I got there at two or three in the morning and I'm filming the next day.
And it was the time when Ian Marter, Ian Marter played Harry Sullivan, who was, I think, wonderful in his role as Harry Sullivan.
And it was lovely for Tom that he actually had Ian, who had not been in a Doctor Who before as this I think he may have been in Doctor Who, but not as this character.
And when I got down to film "Robot", they had quite bonded.
And I thought "Oh, right.
Fine.
Well, I'm not going to push this.
"Let's just We've got a long way to go.
"Let's just see how it goes.
" It was a very beady first few days of filming.
Tom had enough on his plate, anyway, you know.
And he had James Acheson tweaking him every five minutes with the scarf and that.
Chris Barry was directing and I had to climb over this wall.
He came up to me after the shot, he said, "Lis, that was really good "but could we have your face in camera, not your bum?" You know, I was rather looking at Tom and was climbing over the wall the wrong way.
And then bit by bit, Tom was from Liverpool, I'm from Liverpool, it just worked, it just gradually evolved.
I think there was a genuine caring there of what happened.
As the character of an assistant, not just Sarah, you can look pretty stupid sometimes.
And Tom was always aware of that.
He would say, "Now, look, if you make Lis do that, "that means I'm going around in space with someone who's doing stupid things "and I'm the Doctor and I wouldn't do that, 'cause I'm too clever.
" And I go, "Oh, yeah.
Thank you, Tom.
" Tom's Doctor was very different to Jon's.
They're very different people, they're from different eras.
Tom's Doctor was very He latched onto something that was very, very clever.
He is an alien.
Tom would take the line and say it with the opposite emotion.
When he meant to be feeling something he'd go, "How are you?" He would do it in a way that was Just these little bits he had to think of to do differently, as an alien, that he wouldn't do things the same.
So, as the Doctor, instead of maybe saying You know, like Jon's Doctor "I will protect you," he'd say, "Now go off and do something.
"You go do something.
I don't want to see you again until you come back.
" He adored being adored as he will, I'm sure, tell you himself.
And little children would come up to him in the street and, you know, he'd come in to work and he'd say, "Camilla next door came and said how much she liked me doing that "and we walked along the road together.
" You know, it's great.
He used to drive the makeup girls mad.
He had all this hair and they used to sneak up and hide behind the scenery with a comb to try and comb it for him and he used to put his hand through "Look, look," he'd say, "Sylvia, I'm saving the universe.
"I haven't got time to comb my hair.
" If I remember correctly, if you had a four-parter, you had four days shooting.
If you had a six-parter, you had six days shooting.
You would do that from dawn to dusk because you were totally at the mercy of the weather, except when we did the OB on Dartmoor, which was wonderful.
I mean, I was literally in a wet nappy on the floor all the time.
I was just soaked.
You'd then go into rehearsal.
You'd come back, go the next day into rehearsal.
I think we would rehearse two episodes in 10 days and you would have maybe the weekend, and then you'd go into the studio for two days.
'Cause when I was working on it, it was like curtain up at 7:30 at night.
You could feel the adrenaline going.
Quite often, you would know the take that would be shown would be the one where the gun worked, where you might be absolutely awful.
Not your best scene, because they had to.
But you knew when you were down on that studio floor, you had to know where you were going.
The clock would stop at 10:00 and the lights would go out.
Very, very rarely were we ever allowed over.
But you quite often filmed the studio out of order because it wouldn't accommodate all the corridors, all the dungeons from one episode.
So, you'd either do all the corridor scenes So, Ian Marter and I used to say, before a scene, we'd say, "Are we out of breath, OOB? "Are we out of breath, Sladen, in this one?" (PANTING) "Yes, we're out of breath.
" Because you just Sometimes Jon used to say, "Where are we now, Lizzy? "Which scene is this?" 'Cause he had all the long words to remember.
I never had those.
I would've hated that.
I suppose, well, no ideas are new, are they? It was kind of the King Kong and Fay Wray thing.
They did very rude things with the Sarah doll, I have to say, afterwards.
Nothing to do with me.
But, that robot outfit of Michael Kilgarriff's that Jim Acheson designed, that was fantastic.
And it wasn't comfy.
And the thing about the costume designers, they were so good with the guys who were inside their creations.
They had a very uncomfy time.
They couldn't "Could you just hold it?" "No, no, he can't sit down.
"We need to go" You know, things like that.
But I mean, Robot, I think, was an incredible creation.
How it worked and how he had to be stood up all the time.
Michael Kilgarriff, he came to tea one day and my daughter said, "Oh! You're a lot bigger than my daddy.
" I mean, he is, you know.
The guys inside the Daleks The Daleks I think were my favourite.
I loved them.
I'm so sad, aren't I? I didn't like the Cybermen, I couldn't believe in those silver Wellingtons.
I just never got past that.
But the Daleks, John Scott Martin, Murphy Grumbar and Cy Town was Baby Dalek.
And they would be at rehearsals in the bottom half of their Dalek outfit.
'Cause it's in two You have to put the heads off and someone else, you know, you take it off.
They can't get it off themselves.
We went away to lunch one day and left them in it.
And they were beeping on their little things to get them out.
And they would shuffle around at rehearsal.
And they didn't have to learn the lines, because someone else would say the Dalek lines for them over the other side of the studio.
But they would learn them because they wanted to know when they had to use their plunger and light it up on the words.
(DALEK VOICE) And they'd be going around talking like this at rehearsals.
It was great.
God, I'll never need a psychiatrist, will I? Everyone had to stay down in Wookey Hole.
You couldn't go away after your scene like you normally can wander off and eat a bun or a Mr Kipling cake or something.
And it was very oppressive.
And the guy who was in charge said, "The witch of Wookey doesn't like you here.
"She doesn't like you here.
" And it was this great big river, this underground cavernous river and it was going at 30 miles an hour.
And it went to a hole where they'd lost potholers, I was told.
Then I was shown this little tiny boat, it was like a ski boat.
And Mike Bryant, the director, came up to me and said, "Now, Lis, would you like Terry to do this scene?" And Terry Walsh is standing there.
He's six foot, I'm 5' 4".
I have a very nice jumper on that day, which I don't want stretched for the studios.
I said, "No, no.
" Idiot.
"I will do this.
" My heart was pounding and I thought, "Right, I've got to do this, got to do this.
" And I did it.
And I don't know how I did it.
And it whizzed off.
God, I hung on, got off the other side, ran off.
Fine.
End of the day, Mike comes up and he says, "We've got a bit of extra time, Lis, do you think, actually, you could "We didn't see you run on to the boat.
" Oh, right.
I mean, I wouldn't have called it a boat.
I said, "I really didn't like doing it.
" "Look," he said, "Jim's out there with the rowboat.
He's hanging on for you.
"You don't have to go all the way to the other side.
"Would you just run down and lie on it? You don't have to put the engine on.
" I said, "Well, if I don't, it will turn and go with the current, "down to where you've lost potholers or whatever.
" And the guy who'd built it came up and he said, "No, it won't.
It will only go the way its nose is pointing.
" So you believe him.
So, I ran down and I looked over.
It was quite far away, the other bank, I'm not very good with distance, so I can't say, but it really was a long way.
And I saw Terry Walsh standing there in a frogman's outfit.
And I thought, "I wonder what scene that is? I don't know that scene.
" He was head-to-toe in black.
Camera, action! I start off and I go on, Jim's there with the rowboat.
And it doesn't go there.
I should've switched the engine on, but I just didn't think.
And it went and it turned.
And I'm seeing them still filming on the bank, and I'm going down this way.
And then everything happened in slow-motion.
I saw Terry Walsh legging it down the beach.
I saw him dive in and I thought, "Oh, I'm in trouble.
" And I thought, "There's a rock there, I either get onto that, "it wedges or it goes down there.
" And I just jumped.
And I had these very, very heavy combat shoes on.
Boots.
And maybe self-preservation kicks in.
I'm no swimmer.
And I trod water and I thought, "I must keep my makeup right for the next scene.
" And maybe that just kept me going.
And Terry got in, got me out.
And they kept film I have the film somewhere at home.
The cameraman said, "I think you deserve that.
" And we were taken to the hospital and given these jabs.
And the big black car came from London to see if I was all right.
And I was fine.
And I shook in bed that night.
And there was a very strange atmosphere down there, you know.
Ian Marter and I were sitting under the Witch of Wookey.
There is the Witch of Wookey.
And I said, "Ian, I can't actually understand this scene, why is it here?" He said, "You know, Sladen, I've been looking at that "and I can't understand it.
" I said, "Well, can we ask Mike when we" And we marked it.
When I'm not sure of a scene, the scene before that I've done, I mark in a red pencil, so I know to quickly nip over to the director to say, "I don't know" And we finished that day's shooting and I said, "Mike, we haven't done this.
" And he said "What scene?" And Ian and I, and there was the mark in our thing, and we looked at it, and there was no scene.
And it was a scene between Sarah and Harry.
And if you put this in the documentary, I really will be made out to be stupid.
But I promise you, that's exactly what happened.
I actually used to quite like getting to a location and not being in the right costume, like you've anticipated the location.
I quite liked working against something, which we did on Dartmoor.
I mean, Tom broke his collarbone on Dartmoor.
I heard this crack.
"Oh," I thought, "that was a bit realistic.
" And then, you know, you saw Tom I mean, Dartmoor was wonderful.
We'd never gone away to do an OB before, you know.
No hot water in Chagford at all.
First one back got in the bath.
It was terrible weather as well.
And we all had these We were sent off to this shop to get these oilskins.
And I had a yellow outfit and orange boots.
And when it came to do the filming I said, "Actually, I think I'll keep mine as costume.
" I was so glad I did 'cause I was sitting on the ground so much.
You really could feel the damp seeping through to you.
But it was lovely, 'cause that was I don't know if that was Philip's first one or his second one.
And he was so appreciative sometimes of what you were doing.
He came running up the hill one day (PANTING) "It's really good, really good.
" And you think, "Oh, yeah, nice.
How lovely.
" That was a Dougie Camfield, the Zygon story.
Dougie was, you know, in command, you were nearly down in the trenches with Dougie with the bully beef.
"Will you come in on Saturdays? Haven't got anything to pay you "but we could bring cakes.
" Tom said, "Yes, I'll bring some soup and someone else bring the" And you would rehearse on a Sunday.
There was great team spirit with Dougie Camfield.
He was always thinking of little things.
I don't know whose idea that was to call the Prime Minister "Ma'am" but I bet it was Dougie's.
I do actually remember the Brig saying "Yes, Ma'am.
" And everyone thinking, "Ooh, that's clever.
" Oh, there's a moment in "Pyramids of Mars", well, it's not a moment and that's why we wanted to make it a moment, where Tom and I have to come out from behind a piece of scenery and see that the monster or someone's there and walk back again.
And it was really nothing and Tom said, "Let's make something more of this.
"Do you remember that scene from the Marx Brothers where they go in unison, "see it and turn, absolutely choreographed?" And we weren't supposed to, we were told not to do it, and Tom said, "Oh, we'll do it anyway.
" And we did it.
And thank heavens it worked.
And that's the moment, you see, that fans pick up and say, "You know that moment, was that from the Marx Brothers?" You know, sometimes you're right.
I remember there was a bell jar one, I had to freeze.
And they had put a bell jar and it was in "Pyramids".
And if I had to stay so still and hardly breathe, I think for three minutes.
And if I didn't, I'd have to do it again because, well, it would look tatty.
And I remember hearing the floor manager with his cans on, when they said I heard a cheer go up, upstairs in the box, that we'd done it and we could move on.
You know, you feel, "Oh, yeah, I've done that.
" And really it's nothing to do with you, it's all that they could do.
I'd never, ever done anything that was quite dangerous before.
And there was a lot of explosions and bangs on Who.
And I was told by the special effects guy, "You have to meet George.
He's going to look after you "and make sure that you're safe.
" And I met George and he had this great scar down his face and his eye was And I said, "Oh, right.
" "Yes," they said, "George made a mistake once "but he will never make it again.
You're very safe.
" We had lot of stuntmen on Who.
We had lovely Terry Walsh, who looked after me.
I've got terrible weak ankles and you have to wear quite high-heeled boots.
You did because the, you know, if you're not in shot with the Doctor, you can't always stand on a box.
And he looked after everyone so well.
He knew the format.
When I came onto it, he'd worked on it for years and he would double for Jon and he would double for Tom.
And when Tom broke his collarbone, I mean, Terry had a lot more to do.
But he was good with anything, Terry.
He was brilliant on falls, he was good with horses.
And he was so safe.
You felt so safe with him.
And he would talk you through everything, and he'd say, "Now, do you want to do this? "Now, you don't have to.
We can do this.
" And he would just watch out for you.
He would even go and move stones for me.
I would be listening to the director, what I had to do, where I had to run, looking behind me, not looking He'd say "Look, I've moved those things.
You're going to go over on that, "if you just go a bit that way" He was just good at his job.
Well, that's it.
We had everyone who was good at their own job on Who.
I was at the beginning of the second season with Tom, we did two seasons back-to-back.
My producer then was Philip Hinchcliffe, and we were called into the office one day and he was nearly dancing on the table.
He was going, "18 million! 18 million!" I just You just realised then, it was that moment that you actually realised and that's when you started to sense the outside.
You could feel that it was really working.
But I still thought when I left that would be the end of it, no more.
And then at the same time, that was when the American audience discovered Doctor Who.
And it was myself and Tom that were going out.
I get letters from Slovakia.
God knows what language I am speaking.
Oh, I have a tape in French.
I sound so sexy.
Oh! The metallic dog, K-9.
I never met him on the series, it wasn't until I did K- 9 and Co.
It was going to be called "Girl's Best Friend".
And it was called K- 9 and Co.
Nathan Turner and I still think "Girl's Best Friend" is a much better title.
And I'd never met this dog before.
And I went out to do filming and the dog is there, and I say my lines to the dog and it doesn't answer me.
And they go, "Well, carry on, Lis" and I say, "Well, he didn't say anything.
" And John is standing there, John Leeson.
And I thought, "Well, aren't you there to do the voice?" I still don't understand if they were setting me up or not.
I really maybe lost my sense of humour.
I said, "I can't remember my He's got to answer me.
" And it was filmed in Birmingham.
It was all a bit of a rush.
I was delighted to be asked to do it.
But I didn't really like the script.
I went in to talk about it and Oh, yes, it was going to be fine.
And then a lot of filming days were pulled away from us.
We had horrendous weather.
I remember the cult were, 2:00 in the morning, were in the sleet and the rain and someone's being on the altar and they're going "Hecate, Hecate.
" At 3:00 they were going "Equity, Equity!" You know, it was And I was being taken away and directed by the cameraman.
We were all over the place, but we did it.
"Let's do the show here," we thought.
I will be very interested to see what they do with it.
It has a very simple format.
And if you try to make it cleverer than it is, you haven't actually got anything.
You play the scene.
You play what it is and you do it as truthfully as you can and with as much enjoyment as you can.
In my time, which is all I really do know anything about, you had Barry Letts, you had Philip Hinchcliffe, they knew their animal.
I hope that they managed to It didn't really have rocky sets.
Sometimes, but it gets a lot of stick for that.
I hope it's given the credence that it should have, I hope Casting is everything.
They need to cast it well and Oh, I wish them all the luck, 'cause I think there's room for a programme like that.
I think people need it.
I really, really do.
Let's go for it.
Barry Letts came up to me one day and he said, "Have I ruined your career by casting you in Doctor Who?" What answer can you give? No! I'm really grateful to have worked on it.
I'm really so pleased to be sitting here now.
I've had a great deal come to me through Who.
But I didn't want to stay with it forever and I thought, "I'm going to go before I'm asked.
"I'm going to go while I know this character is so liked.
" Because, actually, she mattered to me so much by then.
I really do aspire to quite a lot of her qualities.
I do.
I really like her.
And so I asked to leave.
When I wanted to leave, I said, "Please, could I just go? "I don't want to be married off, I don't want to be killed off, "because I don't think that's fair on your younger audience.
" Let the story just be about Doctor Who and right at the end say, "Right, off.
"I'm fed up of being shot at.
Whatever.
Going.
" And I just went back and I did theatre again.
I went back to where I had my first job, to Liverpool Playhouse.
I got offered a lot of "silly little girl"roles.
And actually, I was a lot older than that, anyway, and you can't go on doing that.
But I worked for many years.
I don't mind if no one knows that before, I know.
And I actually just had my first home and I thought, "Oh, I'll retire now.
I just want a different kind of "I'll be picky now.
" Ha! You know, you just take what you want from it and it never, ever I never thought going into this business I would I never went into it thinking I would ever be known for anything.
And how nice that I'm known for Doctor Who.
Well, that's a bonus.
WOMAN: Lovely! Thank you very, very much.