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Tuesday, 22 September 2009

ReGenerations Report, Sunday 20-09-09 Swansea Village Hotel By Ty Davies

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I have been talking to Ty Davies, a Facebook contact and blog regular, he has sent me a report on this years ReGenerations, with pictures. This is about Sunday, you really need to read Saturdays report first which is here :)

Due to events beyond my control (and autograph queues), I sadly missed the discussion with Paul Marc Davis, Colin Spaull and Graeme Harper. Also Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred to my great regret.

Doctor Who Magazine
* Major discussions at the top of Panini nearly prevented the famous BAD WOLF edition of the magazine. However, it was authorised by the BBC, they accepted it.
* Regarding the comedy in the magazine, such as the running gag about the shy and retiring John Barrowman. The panel agreed that particular flavour of humour was always part of the magazine, so nothing new there.
* As with majority of fans, very pleased to see a great mix of Classic and New Who in The Mighty 200. It was also refreshing to see a classic Who at number one.

Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter (The Talons Of Weng-Chiang).
* Mr Benjamin elaborated on a time at the Royal Shakespeare Company, his acting group were encouraged to go out and steal something, to feel like thieves for their characters. The director returned to his car, at the end of rehearsals, on bricks with all the wheels stolen.
* Mr Baxter observed that for the scenes in the morgue, it was a real morgue and the freezer units had to be switched off, as for the noise, not to disturb filming, the whole cast and crew were unnerved by the moaning exhalation of air from the recently deceased!
* Both found Tom Baker an absolute original and a hoot.
* Mr Benjamin enjoyed working on The Unicorn and The Wasp, remarking that it was much different than back in Weng-Chiang days! The series actually had money this time around!
* Jago and Lightfoots recent audio adventure for Big Finish The Mahogany Murders is officially the companies highest selling audio book to date.
* Mr Benjamin commented that his only regret in acting was that he never got to play one of Shakespeares lovers, commenting that he always played old men! To which was also agreed by Mr Baxter!
Mr Benjamin and Baxter joined on stage by Big Finish with Lisa Bowerman (Survival and now into the 11th season of Bernice Summerfield!)
* Regarding Survival, Lisa Bowerman observed that Anthony Ainley was a little scary but was mellow to anyone he talked about cricket with! Additionally, the cat make-up was a nightmare! Finding herself eating meals through a straw during filming. The scary aspect of the shoot, was that money wasn’t low, it was non-existent! Industrial action threatened closure of the episode at any time.
* Lisa also had a massive fear of horses which almost cost her the Survival role. However, after a dummy run experience riding at a stable, overcame those fears with a wonderful horse which won her the role.
* Big Finish are putting the finishing touches to the un-filmed Colin Baker season which will see the return of The Celestial Toymaker!
* Big Finish have a policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Get. In turn, they have announcements of major stars for audio adventures coming up!
* Protracted negotiation has taken place for Tom Baker previously. However, he is now aligned to the BBC Audio as The Doctor, as indeed is a certain Mr Tennant who cannot appear in a Big Finish audio as The Doctor due to rights issues.
* Lisa commented that her brother was in The Talons Of Weng-Chiang, and that the rat wasn’t that convincing!
* Jago and Lightfoot will indeed return!

Sir Derek Jacobi
* Arrived on stage to a standing ovation, stood quietly on the stage whilst slowly revealing a pocket-watch! The Master Is Here! You had to have been there.
* Sadly, never met John Simm, he filmed his re-generation for Mr Simm to turn up a week later to carry on the role.
* HE WOULD LOVE TO BE DOCTOR WHO, However, feels that they are looking for younger people now (which is a damn shame and I am sure that all of you will agree that!)
* The organisers screened a clip of Sir Dereks role in Frasier as a Shakespearean actor reduced to signing autographs at a science fiction convention. A really funny moment!
* Discussed his legendary performance in I Claudius. Admitting that the trick to removing a prosthetic mask is a hot bath and bath product Badedas! He still has a mask from the show to this day in a drawer!
* The secret of acting is keeping a childlike quality, as you lose the ability to emote as you get older . Also if you want to become an actor - DON'T. However, if you have a fire in your belly that you really need to be an actor then pursue it all the way.
* Needed his agent to fiercely lobby for his role as Cadfael. Sir Derek gets annoyed as being pigeon holed when acting. ITV considered him too BBC2 and wouldn’t be interested in the role, which he has made his own.
* Recently pinched an acting trick from Donald Sinden only to have Sir Donald visit him after the show! Sir Donald was wonderfully generous about it.
* Regarding generating tears on camera. He thinks about the loss of his late father.
* Had terrible and tangible Stage Fright for a number of years after a performance of Hamlet in Sydney (at a theatre which is now a car-park). Before going on stage, he imagined himself forgetting Hamlet soliloquy To Be Or Not To Be only to actually forget it, causing him to not want to go back to the stage for six years. Thankfully, the Royal Shakespeare company brought him back.
* His favourite part of I Claudius is single scene where Claudius meets his arranged and giant wife. With Claudius reaction!
* He also regularly got into trouble performing with John Hurt, especially after the famous foetus scene! Constant breakdown into laughter which caused no end of problems delaying scenes.
* Concerning his Frasier experience, he found the comedy by panel atmosphere quite disconcerting. In the initial read-through of the script, after the enforced laughter of the writing team to Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce, he found complete silence when he got to his part of the read-though! However, he found David Hyde Pierce a great character and a good actor.
* Regarding Madame De Sades theatre failure at the Donmar, Sir Derek admitted that the show was served by a bad script translated from Japanese which didn’t work. However, he highly regarded the cast which included Judi Dench and Rosamund Pike, commenting that the show was on a high thing to nothing trying to perform with that bad a script

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I missed the discussions with the following but have met them, so another aspect away from the talks;

Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred
Had a great chat to them in the autograph sessions. Sylvester looked a bit poorly, walking around with a crutch and went around in a motorised buggy. Sophie Aldred was as radiant as ever, sat right next to new Whos Phil Collinson. Arriving on stage for the final curtain-call of the guests, Sylvester comically attacked a Dalek with his crutches! Which was a bizarre scene in itself!

Graeme Harper
The poor man got a earful from me regarding it was all his fault that I set up the Facebook group, with his The Stolen Earth cliffhanger which brought tears to my house when David Tennant appeared to be leaving us! Lovely man and a bloody good director. I am enjoying his autographed book now of Calling The Shots. Recommended reading for any Who fan. Told him that were all looking forward to The Waters Of Mars coming up!

Colin Spaull
Said cheers for his great role in the Cyberman two parter (and of course classic Who) and requests his return to the world of Doctor Who soon!

Paul Marc Davis
The Chieftain in Utopia and various other baddies in the New Who world. I thanked him for scaring the heck out of all of us, making our 10 year old run around the settee. To which he replied Job Done! Good Man!

Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to speak to Welsh acting legend Philip Madoc and Isla Blair (Who I have been fortunate to meet previously at last years Memorabilia with her husband Julian Glover).

Charlie Ross, David Bickerstaff and Sean Carlsen did themselves all proud with their interviews. In turn, were wonderfully versed in their own right, as to the Doctor Who universe! To give those gents credit, they really are a part of the world of Doctor Who for me now, for their passion and knowledge of Who remains unparalleled. Congratulations all! Sasha Behar unfortunately wasn’t there either due to a work commitment.

As you can read, a marvellous weekend had by all and I have the pictures to prove it, which I hope you will all enjoy! Of course, stay tuned as always to Combom, who in my opinion is THE Doctor Who blog on the internet. In turn, I would be delighted if you could please come visit me and my couple of 1000 friends on Facebook at Doctor Who: The Journey Never Ends group for a shared experience in Time & Space and indeed our spin off group called Bring Back Torchwood. We have been going for a year now & are going from strength to strength. Even more so, I am based right here in the heart of Doctor Who land of South Wales.

There are a couple of photographs from ReGenerations at the top, and you can see a gallery here, all by Ty :) He asked my to mention his facebook group too, which is here. A really BIG thanx to Ty Davies for choosing my blog for this :)

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