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 Posted:   Nov 11, 2020 - 10:56 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Damned prima donna actors! wink

Ever meet Leeson, Paul? I recently watched him in a brief role in Dad’s Army.

K-9 is definitely his crowning achievement.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 12, 2020 - 7:03 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

Know what Jim? I actually can't remember. Somehow I get the feeling I have something signed by him, but I don't remember meeting him in the flesh.

I have SEEN him live at least once because I went to the infamous great 'con' of 1983. The first big bash organised by the BBC at Longleat, when they thought a few hundred might turn up and it was in the thousands. He did all the announcements for the event over the tannoy, in the K9 voice of course.

Wonderful gig that, despite the freezing cold nights in a tent in a muddy field. But mainly for the camaraderie of the guys I was with, and who I met. Those I met include people who are now part of the official Who machine. Namely Justin Richards and David Richardson who between them write and/or produce for the Big Finish audios and the BBC range of novels.

I tell ya, I've known a few people who have made it 'big' (i.e. at least professional) in the Who fan field and yet never done anything myself. I have a mere trace of a footnote in odd corners of the 'net starting Time Screen magazine with Andrew Pixley.

Back on the voice work thing. Two of the most fun actors to grace a convention were Michael (Davros) Wisher ( who I also met as a guest at a Derby Local Group of the DWAS meeting) and Roy Skelton. They didn't need the 'ring modulator' voice box for the Dalek voices they did. They entertained the crowd at a Brighton 'PanoptiCon' barking at each other in those voices. Very funny.

 
 Posted:   Nov 12, 2020 - 7:45 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

You make those early-1980s Dr Who gatherings sound like Woodstock (or Altamont), Paul! “Gimme Shelter”, baby! big grin

Justin Richards is represented more than a few times in our Dr Who bookshelf; he does fine work.

Michael Wisher gave what was/is hands down the greatest villain performance ever, and Roy Skelton was “my” Dalek voice of choice. I felt Nicholas Briggs gave Roy short shrift in that bonus feature segment, though that may well have been a shoddy edit.

 
 Posted:   Nov 12, 2020 - 7:52 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

Watching The Leisure Hive bonus features. John Leeson mentions having taken a year off, so K-9’s voice was done by another actor. JNT asked Leeson to return to the role.

Why did Leeson step away for that year?


According to his Wiki entry he was "frustrated with the limitations of the character", and only came back for Season 18 on the promise that he would be written out.

Odd then that he came back for every appearance since! We're looking at:

1) K-9 and Company one -off spin-off (which would have gone to a series if a success),
2) The Five Doctors 20th anniversary special,
3) School Reunion, episode of new Doctor Who Series 2
4) Journey's End, episode of David Tennant's last proper series of Who,
5) a minor role in the Sarah Jane Adventures (I think his bum was stuck in a black hole or something..) series,
6) The whole series of the K9 spin-off and even
7) A Doctor Who themed episode of The Weakest Link quiz show.

So much for being frustrated!

But I too am about to start watching Tom's last season, having done a Tom trawl of my own in the past few months. Just wish I could lay my hands on my copy of The Horns of Nimon. Never thought I'd say that!, but I hate leaving this thing incomplete.

Damned prima donna actors! wink

Ever meet Leeson, Paul? I recently watched him in a brief role in Dad’s Army.

K-9 is definitely his crowning achievement.


Money speaks. big grin

 
 Posted:   Nov 12, 2020 - 8:07 AM   
 By:   litefoot   (Member)

Leeson is one of the more active people on the con circuit. When he's not doing that, he's running wine education courses on cruise ships. He used to be a Justice Of The Peace in Ealing. And his wife runs a prop buying service for TV and films.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 12, 2020 - 11:11 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

When I was active in fandom (and they were indeed great days, those early 80s) the guests were almost for free. It was really with the advent of the US cons that they realised they should be paid! Don't get me wrong I understand why they should, but still it was nice when they were getting peanuts, lol.

Longleat 1983 meanwhile WAS Doctor Who's Woodstock. It couldn't be anything else. They planned for a few hundred and got football crowds. It was all in tents. I'll elaborate when I have more time, but yes, it was incredible for both the right AND wrong reasons. But the DWAS (Doctor Who Appreciation Society) had been having cons for years before. And much better organised! This is where the best years were to be had as a fan.

Now, what we seem to have with Classic Who especially is small local events at a village hall type place, where it's a tenner on the door, and we get to rub shoulders and just chill and chat. What a lovely situation. Of course they, the older professionals, and we the older fans are all getting on. Shit innit?

Of course I'm talking about BCV, before covid.

 
 Posted:   Nov 12, 2020 - 4:01 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I’ve only attended one convention of anything, and that was a comic convention five years ago. While it was fun meeting some of the “architects of my youth” and letting them know how much their work meant to me, so much of the atmosphere with greedy fans and sadly, greedy guests left a bitter taste in the olde yap. I wouldn’t go to another convention.

 
 Posted:   Nov 13, 2020 - 6:02 AM   
 By:   litefoot   (Member)

Now, what we seem to have with Classic Who especially is small local events at a village hall type place, where it's a tenner on the door, and we get to rub shoulders and just chill and chat. What a lovely situation.

Colin seems to do every one of those.

Now everything's video-streamed and you watch it live on YouTube.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 13, 2020 - 7:10 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

In the early eighties the Who cons were great. Usually organised by the Appreciation Society, and once in everything was free. After onstage interviews there was usually an autograph queue which afforded the chance for a photo with each guest. Very pleasant. And then it seemed that once the American ones took off, it all got more expensive.

A lot of them now are merchandise fairs with autographs and photos to be paid for, and a fair old whack too. These fairs really are about the money, and I don't bother. I did a couple of official BBC Who cons when it came back from Matt Smith's first up to the first UK Peter Capaldi one. In both cases I did pay for a photo with the lead actor. Of course you don't have to do the photo thing and there's still plenty of entertainment via interviews, and sfx and make up demos.

The only other exception was a one-day charity gig where the whole event was based around a photo with five Doctors at once ( Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann and David Tennant) plus autographs. Colin turned up late, but it was a great day, with mates.

The small village hall type events are nice because we're talking maybe a hundred or less in the audience. Not only is everything free (unless you buy photos), you can have a chat with the guest in quite an informal way. Of course we're talking here about the older crowd, but still a nice way to spend an evening. I wouldn't go too far for these. Our nearest ones are in Derby which for us is less than an hour's drive. Btw, the Ray Harryhausen gig was like this too. A Sunday evening at the Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfiled, but a very small affair with a chance to chat with Ray. No queuing for ages with everything at extortionate prices.

 
 Posted:   Nov 13, 2020 - 7:19 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

My Elisabeth Sladen signed photo and handwritten envelope from January 1981 is priceless to me! We first had to contact our local PBS TV station, where Dr Who aired, and after their person provided us with the Beeb or Lis’ agent’s address, I wrote my fan letter to Lis and was thrilled beyond belief when that little card arrived! A friend’s elder brother wrote to Tom Baker, who sent him a color autographed photo—signed in green ink as I recall—all of this just for the price of postage: 22p I believe.

Great times, great memories (and I’m not really an autograph person).

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 13, 2020 - 7:27 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

My Elisabeth Sladen signed photo and handwritten envelope from January 1981 is priceless to me! We first had to contact our local PBS TV station, where Dr Who aired, and after their person provided us with the Beeb or Lis’ agent’s address, I wrote my fan letter to Lis and was thrilled beyond belief when that little card arrived! A friend’s elder brother wrote to Tom Baker, who sent him a color autographed photo—signed in green ink as I recall—all of this just for the price of postage: 22p I believe.

Great times, great memories (and I’m not really an autograph person).


Wow, yes those were the days. I remember just after John Nathan Turner took over as producer, I sent for signed postcards of all the cast and they were duly returned for the sake of a stamped addressed envelope! Marvelous.

On another occasion I sent for the kitting pattern for the 18th season Tom Baker scarf, and JNT sent it me with just a stipulation that the finished item must not be sold! All free.

 
 Posted:   Nov 13, 2020 - 7:31 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Sladen must have took pity on this then-9-year old, as she paid the return postage herself. LOL

Based on your haul, Paul wink I don’t think the moneygrubbing cynicism as it related to fans and actors had taken hold yet. That must have been an early ‘90s thing, when so-called fans began their rampant speculating, which ruined comic book and cards collectibles for years.

 
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