Friday, August 01, 2014

The Androids of Tara

A terrifying Taran wood beast
(Ray Lavender)
Four episodes (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four)
First broadcast Nov 25 to Dec 16 1978
Average audience for serial: 9.13m

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.

Mary Tamm (Romana) Mar 22 1950 to Jul 26 2012 (cancer)
Doctor Who credits
Played: Romana in The Ribos Operation, The Pirate Planet, The Stones of Blood, The Androids of Tara, The Power of Kroll, The Armageddon Factor (1978-79)
Career highlights
Mary's earliest TV was Hunter's Walk (1973), followed by The Donati Conspiracy (1973), Tales That Witness Madness (1973), Coronation Street (1973/2002), A Raging Calm (1974), The Odessa File (1974), The Girls of Slender Means (1975), The Likely Lads (1976), Return of the Saint (1978), Only When I Laugh (1981), Jane Eyre (1983), Bergerac (1984), The Hello Goodbye Man (1984), Perfect Scoundrels (1991), Crime Traveller (1997), The New Adventures of Robin Hood (1997), Sorted (2000), Amazons and Gladiators (2001), Jonathan Creek (2001), Paradise Heights (2002), Twisted Tales (2005), Holby City (2006), Diamond Geezer (2007), Wire in the Blood (2008), Doghouse (2009) and EastEnders (2009). Mary had a regular role in soap Brookside (1993-96) as Penny Crosbie, and also played Jill Fraser in two series - The Assassination Run (1980) and The Treachery Game (1981). Mary reprised the role of Romana for Big Finish's audio plays from 2005.
Facts
Mary's first language was Estonian, and she didn't learn English until she started school in the 1950s. Tragically, Mary's husband Marcus Ringrose collapsed and died on August 7 2012, just hours after returning from his wife's funeral, and 12 days since Mary's death. Initial reports suggested a heart attack, but a post mortem could find no evidence of this - his heart had simply stopped beating (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome). He was sitting at his computer writing thank you letters to people who had passed on their condolences since Mary's passing. The double tragedy left their daughter Lauren, 32, and grandson Max, seven.

John Leeson (Voice of K-9) Born Mar 16 1943
Doctor Who credits
Played: Voice of K-9 in The Invisible Enemy (1977), The Sun Makers (1977), Underworld (1978), The Invasion of Time (1978), The Ribos Operation (1978), The Pirate Planet (1978), The Stones of Blood (1978), The Androids of Tara (1978), The Armageddon Factor (1979), The Leisure Hive (1980), Meglos (1980), Full Circle (1980), State of Decay (1980), Warriors' Gate (1981), The Five Doctors (1983), Dimensions in Time (1993), School Reunion (2006), Journey's End (2008).
John has also voiced K-9 in Doctor Who's spin-offs, including K9 & Company: A Girl's Best Friend (1981), The Sarah Jane Adventures stories Invasion of the Bane (2006), The Lost Boy (2007), the Comic Relief special From Raxacoricofallapatorius with Love (2009), The Mad Woman in the Attic (2009), The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith (2009), Mona Lisa's Revenge (2009), The Gift (2009), The Nightmare Man (2010) and Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith (2010), and the K9 TV series stories Regeneration, Liberation, The Korven The Bounty Hunter, Siren of Ceres, Fear Itself, The Fall of the House of Gryffen, Jaws of Orthrus, Dream-eaters, Curse of Anubis, Oroborus, Alien Avatar, Aeolian, The Last Oak Tree in England, Black Hunger, The Cambridge Spy, Lost Library of UKKO, Mutant Copper, The Custodians, Taphony and the Time Loop, Robot Gladiators, Mind Snap, Angel of the North, The Last Precinct, Hound of the Korven, Eclipse of the Korven (2009-10). John has also voiced K9 in Search Out Space (1991), the BBC1 animated audio Shada (2003), on various episodes of Blue Peter (1977/2006), The Weakest Link (2007), Comic Relief (2009), Pointless (2013) and Stargazing Live: Back to Earth (2013-14), as well as in Big Finish audios since 2003.
Played: Voice of the Nucleus of the Swarm in The Invisible Enemy (1977)
Played: Dugeen in The Power of Kroll (1978-79)
Played: Voice of the Dalek battle computer in Remembrance of the Daleks (1988)
Career highlights
John's acting career began with The Spanish Farm in 1968, followed by roles in Dad's Army (1969), My Wife Next Door (1972), Headmaster (1977), Jigsaw (1979), Tarka the Otter (1979), Blake's 7 (1978/79), Sorry! (1981), Tucker's Luck (1985), Whoops Apocalypse (1986), 'Allo 'Allo (1989), The Bill (1993), Bugs (1995), Vanity Fair (1998), Doctors (2001), ChuckleVision (2007) and Rebels Without a Clue (2009). He also voiced Bungle in 50 episodes of children's programme Rainbow in the 1970s.
Facts
In the 70s John was a question writer for quiz show Mastermind. He is also a good chef, having prepared period feasts for Agatha Christie's Poirot (1993), been a wine consultant to five-star restaurant staff, and was a serving magistrate in Ealing, and adviser on court etiquette and procedures to film and TV. In 2002 John stood (under his birth name of John Ducker) as a Liberal Democrat candidate in the Ealing Council elections for the Perivale constituency (he got 326 votes, finishing in last place unelected). He stood again in 2010, attracting 1,104 votes, finishing seventh out of nine. His wife is Judy Ducker, a property buyer on productions such as Hugo, Snow White and the Huntsman and Diana.

Peter Jeffrey (Count Grendel) Apr 18 1929 to Dec 25 1999 (prostate cancer)
Doctor Who credits
Played: Pilot in The Macra Terror (1967)
Played: Count Grendel in The Androids of Tara (1978)
Career highlights
Prolific Peter was a familiar face on British TV, having started out aged just 15 in the short Sports Day (1944). He then went on to appear in The Castiglioni Brothers (1958), The Spread of the Eagle (1963), Becket (1964), The Plane Makers (1964-65), Adam Adamant Lives! (1966), The Avengers (1966/67/68), If... (1968), Goodbye Gemini (1970), Countess Dracula (1971), The Abominable Dr Phibes (1971), Dr Phibes Rises Again (1972), Napoleon and Love (1974), Survivors (1975), Porridge (1975), The New Avengers (1976), Midnight Express (1978), Bognor (1981), One By One (1984-85), The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988), Chelworth (1989), The Detectives (1993), Lipstick on Your Collar (1993), Middlemarch (1994), Our Friends in the North (1996), The Moonstone (1997) and The Scarlet Pimpernel (1999).
Facts
Peter was one of the actors offered the role of the Doctor when William Hartnell vacated the role. His speech from the film If... ("Britain today is a powerhouse...") was sampled by pop group Dreadzone on their single Little Britain in 1995. His first wife was the actress Yvonne Bonnamy, with whom he had five children, including actor Victoria Jeffrey.

Neville Jason (Prince Reynart) May 29 1934 to Oct 16 2015
Career highlights
Neville made his debut in Sword of Freedom (1957), then The Little Ship (1960), Hamlet (1961), From Russia With Love (1963), The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965), The Dragon's Opponent (1973), The Carnforth Practice (1974), Warship (1976), The Duellists (1977), Goodbye Darling (1981), Skorpion (1983), Dempsey and Makepeace (1985), The Tripods (1985) and Ahead of the Class (2005). He also had a regular role as Lapointe in Maigret (1960-63/69).
Facts
Neville, who was once awarded the RADA Diction Prize by Sir John Gielgud, read extensively for audiobooks. In 2007 he read all 560,000 words of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace for a 51-disc audiobook, taking him 23 days to record! Before that he recorded an edited version of Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past over 120 CDs and taking 45 days. His wife Gillian founded a modern and contemporary art gallery in the 1980s, and Neville served as a director.

Lois Baxter (Lamia) Born Apr 26 1947
Career highlights
Lois debuted in Spyder's Web (1972), and was then cast in Barlow At Large (1974), Z Cars (1975), Dickens of London (1976), Coronation Street (1976-77), All Creatures Great and Small (1980), Minder (1980), When the Boat Comes In (1977/81), The Cleopatras (1983), Turn On To T-Bag (1988), Perfect Scoundrels (1990), Holby City (2002), Waking the Dead (2004) and Casualty (2006).
Facts
Lois's husband is actor David Savile, who appeared in three Doctor Who stories (1969/71/83). Lois has also been a member of the RADA audition panel and other drama schools.

Simon Lack (Zadek) Dec 19 1913 to Aug 8 1980*
Doctor Who credits
Played: Professor Kettering in The Mind of Evil (1971)
Played: Zadek in The Androids of Tara (1978)
Career highlights
Born Alexander MacAlpine, Simon's earliest credit was in Ah, Wilderness! (1938), and he later took roles in Just William (1940), Silver Darlings (1947), The Creature (1955), Clue of the Twisted Candle (1960), On the Fiddle (1961), The Durant Affair (1962), R3 (1964-65, as Dr Jack Morton), City 68 (1967-68), The Avengers (1968), The Borderers (1970), Trog (1970), Jason King (1971-72), Weir of Hermiston (1973), The Fortunes of Nigel (1974), South Riding (1974), Killers (1976), Enemy at the Door (1978-80, as Major Freidel), Telford's Change (1979), Love in a Cold Climate (1980) and The Borgias (1981).
Facts
*A report on Simon's death appeared in The Times on August 12th, 1980 which gave his birth year as 1917 and the day he died as August 6th. The dates given here are more commonly reported, however.

Paul Lavers (Farrah) Born Apr 16 1950
Career highlights
Paul debuted in the spooky The Treasure of Abbot Thomas (1974), then appeared in Moll Flanders (1975), Dickens of London (1976), When the Boat Comes In (1976), Fathers and Families (1977), The Wilde Alliance (1978), The Flame is Love (1979), Into the Labyrinth (1981), Photoshoot (2009) and Tainted Love (2014).
Facts
After leaving acting in the 1980s Paul became a newsreader for Anglian TV and was one of the first shopping channel presenters on QVC (1993-99). He also appeared on the British version of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy in 2004 as the eponymous straight guy, and was presenter of Tube Poker in 2005. He is now a main player in satellite TV shopping and auction channels, including Ideal World, IBuy, The Entrepreneur Channel and Shop America. Here he is, on Twitter! When he was a child Paul had a defect in his oesophagus which meant he could only eat mashed up food, until he underwent a series of operations to replace the damaged oesophagus with a part of his colon.

Declan Mulholland (Till) Dec 6 1932 to Jun 29 1999 (heart attack)
Doctor Who credits
Played: Clark in The Sea Devils (1972)
Played: Till in The Androids of Tara (1978)
Career highlights
Belfast-born Declan started acting in HMS Defiant (1962), and later had credits in As You Like It (1963), The Three Musketeers (1966), The Avengers (1967), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968), Great Catherine (1968), Guns in the Heather (1969), Naughty! (1971), The Ruling Class (1972), Theatre of Blood (1973), The Land That Time Forgot (1975), A Roof Over My Head (1977), The Losers (1978), Quatermass (1979), Hawk the Slayer (1980), Time Bandits (1981), Up the Elephant and Round the Castle (1985), Rockcliffe's Babies (1987), The Brittas Empire (1991), Lovejoy (1993), Father Ted (1996) and The Pig's Family (1997).
Facts
Declan's greatest claim to fame was a role that nobody actually saw, playing the original humanoid Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars (1977). The scene was cut from the original film, and when it was reinstated in the 1997 Special Edition, a CGI Jabba (in his Return of the Jedi form) was laid on top of the footage Declan had filmed with Harrison Ford. The scene as shot in 1977 can be seen in the special features of the DVD, but here's a comparison. After Declan died, as a legacy to encourage a new generation of actors, he left the residuals that come in from his work to help students financially while they train. The money goes to the Declan Mulholland Trust, which makes scholarships available to deserving trainees. Declan was found dead on a train, and his body was identified by actor Michael Sheard (another Doctor Who luminary).

Cyril Shaps (Archimandrite) Oct 13 1923 to Jan 1 2003
Doctor Who credits
Played: John Viner in The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967)
Played: Lennox in The Ambassadors of Death (1970)
Played: Professor Clegg in Planet of the Spiders (1974)
Played: Archimandrite in The Androids of Tara (1978)
Career highlights
Prolific character actor Cyril's first credit was in 1955's The Vale of Shadows, followed by Quatermass II (1955), Miracle in Soho (1957), Follow That Horse! (1960), Supercar (1961-62, as the voices of Professor Popkiss and Masterspy), The Third Man (1965), Man in a Suitcase (1967), Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width (1967-70), Please Sir! (1971), The Liver Birds (1971-72), The Onedin Line (1971/73), Freewheelers (1973), Porridge (1975), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Holocaust (1978), Private Schulz (1981), The Young Ones (1982), Running Scared (1986), Dark Season (1991), The Madness of King George (1994), Our Mutual Friend (1998), Doctors (2000), Murder Rooms (2001), The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) and The Pianist (2002).
Facts
Starting out as a child radio broadcaster at the age of 12, Cyril was also one of the voices of Mr Kipling in those "exceedingly good" cake commercials. One of Cyril's children was Simon Shaps, a sometime director of programmes for London Weekend Television and Granada.

Martin Matthews (Kurster)
Career highlights
Martin's earliest credit was on Armchair Mystery Theatre (1960), followed by The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), The Leather Boys (1964), Our Man at St Mark's (1965), Volpone (1967), Macbeth (1970), Steven (1974), The Venturers (1975), Spring and Autumn (1976), Prince Regent (1979), Brideshead Revisited (1981), The Tripods (1985), Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (1986), Joint Account (1989), Waterfront Beat (1990-91), Boon (1991), Prime Suspect 4 (1995) and Backup (1995).

CREW

David Fisher (writer) Born Apr 13 1929
Doctor Who credits
Wrote: The Stones of Blood (1978), The Androids of Tara (1978), The Creature from the Pit (1979), The Leisure Hive (1980), and provided the original concept for what became City of Death (1979).
Career highlights
David's other writing work includes Orlando (1967), Dixon of Dock Green (1969), Mogul (1969-70), The Lotus Eaters (1972), Crown Court (1972-75), The Mackinnons (1977), Hammer House of Horror (1980) and Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense (1984). More recently David has written several non-fiction books about World War Two with Anthony Read, his sometime script editor on Doctor Who.
Facts
He submitted a script entitled A Gamble with Time for Doctor Who's 17th season, but due to a tricky divorce he had to withdraw, and the concept became City of Death, one of the series' best loved stories.

Michael Hayes (director) Apr 3 1929 to Sep 16 2014
Doctor Who credits
Directed: The Androids of Tara (1978), The Armageddon Factor (1979), City of Death (1979)
Career highlights
His earliest directing duties were on An Age of Kings (1960), and then A for Andromeda (1961, which he also produced), Moonstrike (1963), Maigret (1963), Sherlock Holmes (1965), Boy Meets Girl (1967), Take Three Girls (1971, which he also produced), Churchill's People (1974-75), Rooms (1977), The Standard (1978), All Creatures Great and Small (1980) and Skorpion (1983).
Facts
Michael's son Patrick (who was 14 at the time) had two unseen roles in The Androids of Tara - pushing the boat K-9 gets marooned in at the end of the story, and waving some bushes around prior to the attack on Romana by the terrifying Taran wood beast! Between 1986-94 Michael read the news bulletins on the BBC World Service.

Graham Williams (producer) May 24 1945 to Aug 17 1990 (shooting incident)
Doctor Who credits
Produced: 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) (1977-80)
Wrote: The Invasion of Time (1978, as David Agnew), City of Death (1979, as David Agnew)
Career highlights
Graham wrote for Target (1977), was script editor on The View from Daniel Pike (1971-73), Sutherland's Law (1973), Barlow at Large (1975) and Z Cars (1975-77), and produced Super Gran (1986-87).
Facts
In 1985 Graham helped design the text computer game Doctor Who and the Warlord. In 1986 Graham pitched a script for Doctor Who's 23rd season, The Nightmare Fair, but when the programme was put on hiatus for 18 months, he eventually wrote the story as a novel in 1989. It was adapted as an audio adventure featuring Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant in 2009. At the time of his death Graham was running the Hartnoll Hotel in Tiverton, Devon. It is commonly believed that Graham may have accidentally shot himself while cleaning his firearm, although there is another, unsubstantiated, rumour that he may have committed suicide.

Anthony Read (script editor) Apr 21 1935 to Nov 21 2015
Doctor Who credits
Script edited: Image of the Fendahl (uncredited), The Sun Makers (uncredited), 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 (1977-79)
Wrote: The Invasion of Time (1978, as David Agnew), The Horns of Nimon (1979-80)
Career highlights
Anthony's writing career began with episodes of Detective in 1962, followed by stints on This Man Craig (1967), Sherlock Holmes (1967), Mogul (1966-70), The Black Arrow (1974-75), Z Cars (1976-77), The Omega Factor (1979), Into the Labyrinth (1980), Sapphire and Steel (1981), the Chocky trilogy (1984-86), The Chief (1995), Heartbeat (1998) and Revelations (2002-03). He also acted as script editor on many of these series, as well as Hammer House of Horror (1980), and was producer on Mogul, The Lotus Eaters (1972) and The Dragon's Opponent (1973).
Facts
In later years Anthony has become an author and historian, concentrating on World War Two, often teaming up with Doctor Who colleague David Fisher, as well as writing prose based on his 1980s series The Baker Street Boys.

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