Memories Of WHO - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Memories Of WHO

So many people have been involved with Doctor Who over the last 50 years. From writers, producers, designers, cameramen, assistants, runners, editors, stuntmen, best boys (what does a best boy actually do?), make-up artists, casting agents, special effects departments, etc etc and then of course the countless actors and actresses that have either played a main role or were cast as an extra.

When you consider just how many actors we have seen on screen across the 800 episodes, well the figure must be staggering, and if anyone would like to work it out exactly then I'd love to know.

There are obviously many actors who frequently appear at conventions and tell all about their time on Doctor Who, but what about all those other people we've seen? What about all the actors who have not spoken about their time on the show, or rarely share their memories with the general public?

I recently came across a new book that finally puts their stories in your hands. It's called Memories of Who, and any fan of classic Doctor Who will appreciate the fascinating stories included.

It seemed like such a good idea that I had a brief chat with the author, Andrew Green, to ask him how it all came about;
"When I first started collecting Doctor Who autographs in the early 90's, it suddenly occurred to me that there must be loads of actors who never get asked about their time on the show. So I began a campaign to write to many of the actors who had appeared in the series asking for their stories about working on Doctor Who. Their memories of Who.

Whilst many actors admitted that they had no stories about Doctor Who, there were also plenty who did, and were happy to see these published. I'd originally intended the book to be in paper format, but over the years life got in the way, and the letters were eventually stuck in a cupboard.

Recently I decided to find the folder, and was surprised to find how much good stuff there was in there. So I thought that the book idea could be reinvigorated, but in eBook form. Many of the actors who wrote back to me are now sadly no longer with us, so their stories would otherwise never see the light of day.

I hope that other Doctor Who fans find their stories as interesting as I did."
The correspondence included in the book spans 26 years of the show's history.
Andrew has kindly given us permission to print a couple of short extracts from Memories of Who.

Firstly James Cairncross, who played Beta in The Krotons, remembers his time on Doctor Who and viewing it again years later;

"I saw The Krotons again some years ago when it was repeated. Believe me, it is a humbling process to see yourself after such a long interval. How dark one's hair was - and what a lot of it there was too! I remember that both Pat Troughton and Frazer Hines were so perfectly co-ordinated that they could be playing Table Tennis in a room adjacent to the rehearsal room, and yet never miss a cue or an entrance."

In another letter Philip Bird, who was a Swampie in The Power of Kroll, revisits his first television acting job;

"It was my first TV job. I was living in Norwich, working in a salad bar after my punk band The Strips broke up, and the BBC needed local Equity members to play green tribesmen. We filmed it in the marshes near Snape in Suffolk, right by the Maltings. The green paint was okay, although it took a bit of getting off. Tom Baker was great, not starry at all, and John Abineri was very friendly and approachable.
We did a night shoot with bonfires and so on, and they used a smoke machine to create a foggy atmosphere. I remember hearing the director shout out "Hold the Smoke" at one point, and trying to work out what he meant.
I actually died twice in the story, because I was shot or something in Snape, and then I got it again in TV Centre because they brought a couple of us keen ones down for the studio scenes."

It's a fascinating collection.
You can purchase a copy of Memories of Who here.

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