Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Robots of Death

SV7 (Miles Fothergill) bathed
in lavender
Four episodes (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four)
First broadcast Jan 29 to Feb 19 1977
Average audience for serial: 12.73m

CAST

Tom Baker (The Doctor) Born Jan 20 1934
Doctor Who credits
Played: The Doctor in Robot, The Ark in Space, The Sontaran Experiment, Genesis of the Daleks, Revenge of the Cybermen, Terror of the Zygons, Planet of Evil, Pyramids of Mars, The Android Invasion, The Brain of Morbius, The Seeds of Doom, The Masque of Mandragora, The Hand of Fear, The Deadly Assassin, The Face of Evil, The Robots of Death, The Talons of Weng-Chiang, Horror of Fang Rock, The Invisible Enemy, Image of the Fendahl, The Sun Makers, Underworld, The Invasion of Time, The Ribos Operation, The Pirate Planet, The Stones of Blood, The Androids of Tara, The Power of Kroll, The Armageddon Factor, Destiny of the Daleks, City of Death, The Creature from the Pit, Nightmare of Eden, The Horns of Nimon, Shada (unbroadcast), The Leisure Hive, Meglos, Full Circle, State of Decay, Warriors' Gate, The Keeper of Traken, Logopolis (1974-81). Return appearances in The Five Doctors (1983, archive footage), Dimensions in Time (1993), The Day of the Doctor (2013, as The Curator - but I think we all know who he was really!).
Tom also played the Doctor in the 1975 audio story Doctor Who and the Pescatons, and in several BBC and Big Finish audios since 2009.
Played: Meglos in Meglos (1980)
Career highlights
Tom's career began with a 1968 adaptation of The Winter's Tale, followed by roles in George and the Dragon (1968), Z Cars (1968), Softly Softly (1970), Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), The Canterbury Tales (1972), The Vault of Horror (1973), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973), The Mutations (1974), Piccadilly Circus (1977), Late Night Story (1978), The Book Tower (1979-81), The Curse of King Tut's Tomb (1980), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1982, as Sherlock Holmes), Jemima Shore Investigates (1983), Remington Steele (1984), Blackadder II (1986), Roland Rat: The Series (1986), The Kenny Everett Television Show (1986), The Life and Loves of a She-Devil (1986), The Silver Chair (1990), Selling Hitler (1991), The Law Lord (1992), Cluedo (1992), Backtime (1998), Max Bear (2000), Dungeons and Dragons (2000), Fun at the Funeral Parlour (2001), Strange (2003), Fort Boyard (2003), Swiss Toni (2003), The Magic Roundabout (2005), Agatha Christie's Marple (2007), The Beeps (2007-08) and The Genie in the Bottle (2010). Tom has also had regular roles as Prof Geoffrey Hoyt in Medics (1992-95), Professor Wyvern in Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (2000-01) and Donald MacDonald in Monarch of the Glen (2004-05). He is probably most famous in his latter career for providing the eccentric narration for sketch series Little Britain between 2003-08.
Facts
Tom left home at 15 to become a monk with the Brothers of Ploermel on Jersey, but abandoned this profession at the age of 21 in favour of National Service. In 1971 Tom was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards for his portrayal of Rasputin in Nicholas and Alexandra (he was beaten by Ben Johnson and Desi Arnaz Jr). In December 1980 he married actress Lalla Ward (who had been companion Romana in Doctor Who since 1979), but the marriage ended 18 months later. He married third wife Sue Jerrard in 1986, previously an assistant editor on Doctor Who. Tom's old drinking buddies in the 1960s and 70s included artist Francis Bacon at the infamous Colony Room. Tom has several links to popular music - appearing on Technocat's single Only Human (1995), and providing a monologue on Witness to a Murder (Part Two) by Mansun (1998 - his Doctor and the TARDIS also appeared on the cover of the band's album Six). Pop band The Human League released a song entitled Tom Baker in 1980. In 1999 Tom published a short fairytale novel called The Boy Who Kicked Pigs, which has since been adapted for the stage. Tom's distinctive vocals can also be heard at various tourist attractions in the UK, such as the London Dungeon, Natural History Museum and Alton Towers' Nemesis ride. In 2006 Tom recorded 11,593 phrases so his voice could be used for BT's text messaging service to raise money for homeless charity Shelter - as a result record producer Mark Murphy created a single of Tom "singing" You Really Got Me by the Kinks.

Louise Jameson (Leela) Born Apr 20 1951
Doctor Who credits
Played: Leela in The Face of Evil, The Robots of Death, The Talons of Weng-Chiang, Horror of Fang Rock, The Invisible Enemy, Image of the Fendahl, The Sun Makers, Underworld, The Invasion of Time (1977-78). Return appearance in Dimensions in Time (1993)
Career highlights
Louise made her screen debut in a 1971 adaptation of Tom Brown's Schooldays, and then took roles in Cider with Rosie (1971), Disciple of Death (1972), Emmerdale Farm (1973), Space: 1999 (1975), The Peddler (1976), Dominic (1976), The Gentle Touch (1984), The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Age 13¾ (1985), The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1987), Molly (1994), Wycliffe (1995), The Upper Hand (1996), River City (2008), Doc Martin (2011), Holby City (2012) and The Tractate Middoth (2013). She has had a number of regular roles over the years, including Dr Anne Reynolds in The Omega Factor (1979), Blanche Simmons in Tenko (1981-82), Susan Young in Bergerac (1985-90), Janet in Rides (1992-93) and Rosa Di Marco in soap EastEnders (1998-2000).
Facts
Louise was persuaded to become an actress when she was working as a prison visitor and met Leslie Grantham, then serving 12 years for manslaughter but later to become famous as EastEnders' Den Watts (and who was also in Resurrection of the Daleks in 1984).

Russell Hunter (Uvanov) Feb 18 1925 to Feb 26 2004 (lung cancer)
Career highlights
Scotsman Russell made his debut in 1950's The Gorbals Story, followed by roles in Lilli Marlene (1951), Angels One Five (1952), The Brave Don't Cry (1952), Dixon of Dock Green (1955), Para Handy - Master Mariner (1960), As You Like It (1963), Redcap (1966), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970), Up Pompeii (1971), Ace of Wands (1971), Crown Court (1973), Five Red Herrings (1975), Rule Britannia! (1975), Mind Your Language (1979), Scotland's Story (1984), First Among Equals (1986), The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1988), The Negotiator (1994), Deacon Brodie (1997), Skagerrak (2003) and Born and Bred (2003). His most memorable role was as Lonely in the series Callan (1967-72), its 1974 film version and its 1981 spin-off Wet Job, while another long-running role was as Harry in The Gaffer (1981-83).
Facts
Director Peter Jackson used many of the mannerisms and facial expressions of Russell's character Lonely from Callan as the basis for the computer-generated Gollum/ Smeagol in his Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03) - the likeness is admittedly undeniable. Former shipyard worker Russell had the honour of having appeared at the first ever Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1947, in The Plough and the Stars, and despite being very ill, his last theatrical appointment was at the 2003 Edinburgh Fringe, in 12 Angry Men. He was married three times, first to actress Marjorie Thompson (best known as Grace Lachlan in over 100 episodes of Scottish soap Take the High Road); secondly to actress Caroline Blakiston (known to sci-fi fans as Mon Mothma in Return of the Jedi); and thirdly to actress Una McLean. In his later years Russell reprised the role of Uvanov for a series of audio plays based around the world of Kaldor City.

Pamela Salem (Toos) Born Jan 22 1950
Doctor Who credits
Played: Xoanon voice in The Face of Evil (1977)
Played: Toos in The Robots of Death (1977)
Played: Rachel Jensen in Remembrance of the Daleks (1988)
Career highlights
Indian-born Pamela has one of the most familiar faces on British TV, her career starting with 1969's Happy Ever After, then Out of the Unknown (1971), Jason King (1971), The Onedin Line (1972), The Carnforth Practice (1974), Van der Valk (1977), Blake's 7 (1978), The Bitch (1979), Flesh and Blood (1980), Buccaneer (1980), Into the Labyrinth (1981-82), Never Say Never Again (1983, as Miss Moneypenny to Sean Connery's 007), The Tripods (1984), Ever Decreasing Circles (1984), Magnum P.I (1985), Howards' Way (1986), Succubus (1987), All Creatures Great and Small (1978/80/88, as Zoe Bennett), EastEnders (1988-89), French Fields (1989-91), Perfect Scoundrels (1992), ER (1996), Gods and Monsters (1998), Party of Five (2000), Licensed by Royalty (2003), The West Wing (2005, as the British PM!), Big Love (2010) and Pig (2011).
Facts
Pamela originally auditioned for the role of companion Leela in The Face of Evil, but instead got a guest role in the following story. She is married to prolific Irish actor Michael O'Hagan.

David Bailie (Dask) Born Dec 4 1937
Career highlights
South African born David made his screen debut in Flame in the Streets (1961), followed by roles in Ransom for a Pretty Girl (1966), The Fenn Street Gang (1971), Adam Smith (1972), The Creeping Flesh (1973), Son of Dracula (1974), Legend of the Werewolf (1975), Warship (1977), Blake's 7 (1978), Cutthroat Island (1995), Gladiator (2000), Shadows in the Wind (2009), Tribe (2011), Sinbad (2012) and Traveller (2013). His most high profile success has been playing Cotton in the three Pirates of the Caribbean films (The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, 2003/06/07) and the short Tales of the Code: Wedlocked (2011).
Facts
The gap in David's CV in the 1980s is down to the fact he was running his own furniture-making business at the time, but he decided to return to acting in the early 1990s, at which point he had to have a cancer removed from his lip, prompting David to have to relearn how to speak. Nowadays he is also a portrait photographer. David's other claim to Doctor Who fame is having played an incarnation of the Celestial Toymaker in two Big Finish audio plays - 2009's The Nightmare Fair (an adaptation of a cancelled 1986 TV script) and Solitaire (2010).

David Collings (Poul) Born Jun 4 1940
Doctor Who credits
Played: Vorus in Revenge of the Cybermen (1975)
Played: Poul in The Robots of Death (1977)
Played: Mawdryn in Mawdryn Undead (1983)
Career highlights
David debuted in a 1964 ITV Play of the Week, then took roles in Gideon's Way (1965), The Troubleshooters (1966), Point Counterpoint (1968), The Possessed (1969), Strange Report (1969), Scrooge (1970), UFO (1970), Elizabeth R (1971), The Regiment (1972), The Love School (1975), Treasure Island (1977), Midnight is a Place (1977-78), Breakaway (1980), Look and Read: Dark Towers (1981), Blake's 7 (1981), By the Sword Divided (1985), The Return of the Antelope (1988), Love Hurts (1992), The Darling Buds of May (1993), Press Gang (1989/93), Persuasion (1995), Wren: The Man Who Built Britain (2004) and The Invisible Woman (2013). He is perhaps best remembered as Silver in the telefantasy series Sapphire and Steel (1981-82), but fewer people might know he dubbed the English voice for the character of Monkey in the 1978-80 Japanese series of the same name (originally Saiyuki, based on the Chinese novel Journey to the West).
In 2017 Toby Hadoke released his Who's Round interview with David here.

Rob Edwards (Chub) Born May 24 1949
Doctor Who credits
Played: Xoanon voice in The Face of Evil (1977)
Played: Chub in The Robots of Death (1977)
Career highlights
Debuting in Gangsters (1976), Rob's further credits include Just William (1977), The Fourth Arm (1983), By the Sword Divided (1983-85), The Practice (1986), Aliens in the Family (1987), Mother Love (1989), Soldier Soldier (1993), Harry (1995), Dangerfield (1996), Hamlet (1996), Dalziel and Pascoe (2006), Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley (2008) and The Thick of It (2005-12).
Facts
He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 2000 for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Scar in The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre.
In 2016 Toby Hadoke released his Who's Round interview with Rob here.

Brian Croucher (Borg) Born Jan 23 1942
Career highlights
Former Butlin's entertainer Brian made his screen debut in The Jazz Age (1968), after which he appeared in numerous productions, including The Ten Commandments (1971), Burke & Hare (1972), Made (1972), Cranford (1972), The Jensen Code (1973), The Hanged Man (1975), The New Avengers (1976), The XYY Man (1977), Out (1978), Sykes (1979), The Gentle Touch (1980), Jangles (1982), The Young Ones (1984), Edge of Darkness (1985), Grange Hill (1990-91), Shopping (1994), Wycliffe (1998), New Tricks (2010), Outside Bet (2012) and COOLIO Time Travel Gangster (2014). He may be best remembered as the second actor to play Blake's 7 baddie Travis in the 1979 series, and he also had regular roles as Chief Superintendent Barry Wyatt in Rockcliffe's Babies (1988) and Ted Hills in EastEnders (1995-97). He made a return to the world of Doctor Who in 1994 when he played Kurt in the fan spin-off video Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans.
Facts
Brian can also be seen in the 2014 video for Tori Amos's single Trouble's Lament.
In 2014 Toby Hadoke released his Who's Round interview with Brian here.

Tania Rogers (Zilda)
Career highlights
Tania made her debt in Gangsters in 1975, followed by roles in Crown Court (1976), Dixon of Dock Green (1976), The XYY Man (1976), Out (1978), The Stud (1978), Minder (1980), Late Starter (1985) and Testament (1988).

Tariq Yunis (Cass) Oct 16 1946 to Aug 26 1994
Career highlights
Indian Tariq's debut was in a 1969 Wednesday Play, but his career really took off in the 1970s with roles in The Regiment (1973), Sykes (1974), It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1975), Gangsters (1976), Rooms (1977), Strangers (1979), Terry and June (1979), Hammer House of Horror (1980), Minder (1982), Caught in a Free State (1984), Tandoori Nights (1985-87), The Deceivers (1988), Scandal (1989), Nice Work (1989), Inspector Morse (1990), House of Cards (1990) and Bollywood (1994).

Gregory de Polnay (D84) Born Oct 17 1943
Career highlights
Debuted in Contrabandits (1968), then Skippy (1969), The Rovers (1970), The Group (1971), Boney (1973), Angels (1976), The Other One (1977), Tenko (1981), One By One (1985), Selling Hitler (1991) and Boon (1991). Gregory also had a running role as Detective Sergeant Mike Brewer in Dixon of Dock Green (1974-75).
Facts
Gregory now works as an acting tutor and vocal coach. In 1987 Gregory had to give up acting after a serious on-stage accident in America when he broke his hip and pelvic girdle. If you've ever pondered on the true face of D84, here's Gregory pictured in a 1976 episode of Space: 1999, and pictured more recently.
In 2016 Toby Hadoke released his Who's Round interview with Gregory here.

Miles Fothergill (SV7)
Career highlights
Miles's acting career didn't last long as he gave it up to go into public relations, but his other credits comprise Blake's 7 (1978), Breakaway (1980) and The Olympian Way (1981).
Facts
Miles was also chosen as the first male presenter on Satellite Television, the forerunner to Sky TV, in the mid-1980s. Again, if you're curious about SV7's true appearance, here's Miles in his Blake's 7 role.

Mark Blackwell Baker (Robot)
Career highlights
Mark's further work includes The Dragon's Opponent (1973), The Duchess of Duke Street (1977) and All Creatures Great and Small (1978).

John Bleasdale (Robot) Jun 29 1946 to Jul 16 2003
Career highlights
John's other work includes Village Hall (1974), Grange Hill (1978), Open All Hours (1982), We'll Meet Again (1982), Middle English: Interference (1985), Rockcliffe's Babies (1987), Ruth Rendell Mysteries (1990), A Touch of Frost (1992), To Play the King (1993), Bugs (1995), Wilde (1997), Harbour Lights (1999) and The Bill (2001).

Mark Cooper (Robot)
Career highlights
Mark's other acting work includes Man About the House (1975), The Upchat Connection (1978) and Hawk the Slayer (1980). Note: IMDb lists Mark as having moved behind the camera to become a producer, but as I am unsure of whether this is the same man (it's a very common name), I'll await confirmation.

Peter Langtry (Robot)
This is Peter's only credit.

Jeremy Ranchev (Robot)
Career highlights
Jeremy's other work includes Secret Agent (1965), Goodbye, Mr Chips (1969) and Angels (1978).

Richard Seager (Robot)
Career highlights
Richard's other work includes Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (1978), Secret Army (1978/79) and Anne Devlin (1984).

CREW

Chris Boucher (writer) Born 1943
Doctor Who credits
Wrote: The Face of Evil (1977), The Robots of Death (1977), Image of the Fendahl (1977)
Career highlights
Chris started out as a satirical and comedy sketch writer for the likes of Braden's Week (1968) and The Saturday Crowd (1969), later writing for Dave Allen At Large (1971), Romany Jones (1973), That's Life! (1973), Shoestring (1980), Juliet Bravo (1982), Home James! (1987) and The Bill (1990). Chris also played a major role in developing drama in the late 1970s and 80s, becoming script editor and occasional writer on Blake's 7 (1978-81), script editor of Bergerac (1981), and series deviser of Star Cops (1987). In more recent years Chris has written novels and audio dramas based upon the worlds he created in Blake's 7 and Doctor Who.

Michael E Briant (director) Born Feb 14 1942
Doctor Who credits
Assistant floor manager: The Crusade (1965, uncredited)
Production assistant: The Power of the Daleks (1966, uncredited), Fury from the Deep (1968, uncredited)
Directed: Colony in Space (1971, as Michael Briant), The Sea Devils (1972, as Michael Briant), The Green Death (1973, as Michael Briant), Death to the Daleks (1974, as Michael Briant), Revenge of the Cybermen (1975), The Robots of Death (1977)
Played: Radio DJ (voice) in The Sea Devils (1972, uncredited)
Played: Monitor voice in Revenge of the Cybermen (1975, uncredited)
Career highlights
Michael's first directing credit was on The Newcomers (1965), then The Doctors (1969), Z Cars (1970/74), Sutherland's Law (1973), Warship (1976-77), Treasure Island (1977), Blake's 7 (1978), The Onedin Line (1978), Secret Army (1978-79), Breakaway (1980), Blood Money (1981), Kessler (1981), One By One (1985), Howards' Way (1987), Spijkerhoek (1989-90), Zonder Ernst (1992) and EastEnders (1995). He had also taken an acting role in the 1952 series Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School, as well as The Little Round House (1955) and True as a Turtle (1957); he also wrote and directed the 1980 adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities.
Facts
Michael is now a keen Spain-based yachtsman and sailor and travels the world filming excursions - and occasionally getting attacked by pirates, according to his website! Michael says he was asked by Doctor Who producer Graham Williams to direct a Season 15 story, but was unavailable - after that, he was not asked back. Michael directed his final two Doctor Who stories as Michael E Briant (E for Edwin).

Philip Hinchcliffe (producer) Born Oct 1 1944
Doctor Who credits
Produced: The Ark in Space, The Sontaran Experiment, Genesis of the Daleks, Revenge of the Cybermen, Terror of the Zygons, Planet of Evil, Pyramids of Mars, The Android Invasion, The Brain of Morbius, The Seeds of Doom, The Masque of Mandragora, The Hand of Fear, The Deadly Assassin, The Face of Evil, The Robots of Death, The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1975-77)
Career highlights
Doctor Who was one of Philip's first TV jobs, after being script editor on Alexander the Greatest (1971), You're Only Young Twice (1971), The Jensen Code (1973) and The Kids from 47A (1973-74). After leaving Doctor Who, Philip became producer on Target (1977-78), Private Schulz (1981), Nancy Astor (1982), Strangers and Brothers (1984), The Charmer (1987), Bust (1987-88), Friday On My Mind (1992), An Awfully Big Adventure (1995), Seesaw (1998), McCallum (1998), Rebus (2000-01) and Taggart (1999-2001). Philip has also written scripts for Crossroads (1970), Target (1977) and Bust (1987-88), and novelised three Doctor Who stories for Target Books.
Facts
Philip won the 1990 Prix Europa Fiction Prize for And a Nightingale Sang, a film adapted from C P Taylor's play by screenwriter Jack Rosenthal. In 1977 he was nominated for a BAFTA for his work on Doctor Who, and received a further nomination for Private Schulz. There was also an Emmy nomination for Nancy Astor, a mini-series he produced in 1982. His daughter Celina Hinchcliffe is a British TV sports presenter, including for SkySports. His brother-in-law is actor Geoffrey Whitehead. In 2014 Philip returned to the world of Doctor Who by writing two new audio serials for the Fourth Doctor and Leela for Big Finish Productions.

Robert Holmes (script editor) Apr 2 1926 to May 24 1986 (chronic liver ailment)
Doctor Who credits
Wrote: The Krotons (1968-69), The Space Pirates (1969), Spearhead from Space (1970), Terror of the Autons (1971), Carnival of Monsters (1973), The Time Warrior (1973-74), The Ark in Space (1975), Pyramids of Mars (1975, uncredited), The Brain of Morbius (1976, uncredited), The Deadly Assassin (1976), The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977), The Sun Makers (1977), The Ribos Operation (1978), The Power of Kroll (1978-79), The Caves of Androzani (1984), The Two Doctors (1985), The Trial of a Time Lord (1986)
Script edited: Robot, The Ark in Space (uncredited), The Sontaran Experiment, Genesis of the Daleks, Revenge of the Cybermen, Terror of the Zygons, Planet of Evil, Pyramids of Mars, The Android Invasion, The Brain of Morbius, The Seeds of Doom, The Masque of Mandragora, The Hand of Fear, The Deadly Assassin (uncredited), The Face of Evil, The Robots of Death, The Talons of Weng-Chiang (uncredited), Horror of Fang Rock, The Invisible Enemy, Image of the Fendahl, The Sun Makers (uncredited) (1974-78)
Career highlights
He began writing for TV as early as Knight Errant Limited (1960), and went on to write scripts for Deadline Midnight (1961), Ghost Squad (1962), Emergency Ward 10 (1962-63), Dr Finlay's Casebook (1964-65), Undermind (1965), No Hiding Place (1965-67), Public Eye (1965-68), Mr Rose (1967-68), Doomwatch (1971), Spyder's Web (1972), Dixon of Dock Green (1974), Jukes of Piccadilly (1980), The Nightmare Man (1981), Blake's 7 (1979/81), Into the Labyrinth (1981-82) and Bergerac (1983-87). He was also story editor on Armchair Thriller and Shoestring, both in 1980.
Facts
Robert was the youngest ever commissioned officer in the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, serving in Burma. After he left the Army he joined the police, then became a journalist and sports writer - he was the last ever editor of British lifestyle publication John Bull Magazine in 1964. He was originally going to write Doctor Who's 20th anniversary tale in 1983, but when he found the numerous elements he'd been asked to incorporate unworkable, he was replaced by Terrance Dicks. Robert died while writing the final two episodes of The Trial of a Time Lord, and due to tensions in the Doctor Who production office at the time, his original ending for the story had to be changed and written afresh by Pip and Jane Baker. His face was also one of those seen during the Time Lord mind battle in The Brain of Morbius.

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