Tag Archives: Ace

Day 1, Film & Comic Con Bournemouth, Dorset – August 2015

Tom with Sylvester McCoy
Hello Sylvester McCoy aka MY Doctor, the Seventh Doctor!

Hello and welcome to another post.

Today I am writing what will be a very long post about Film & Comic Con Bournemouth because it is JAM PACKED with Doctor Who actors. This was the very first Film & Comic Con in my home town of Bournemouth and the organisers Showmasters were very kind and gave me a Press Pass so that I could interview all the Doctor Who stars for my Project Indigo readers!

I was very excited and knew that I would ask everybody my three Golden Questions:

  1. What is your favourite Doctor Who episode?

  2. What is your favourite Doctor Who filming location? and

  3. If you could go anywhere in time and space where would you like to go?

As soon as I arrived I went to meet the Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, because he is my favourite Classic Doctor and I have been looking forward to this moment for a long time! Sylvester was just as I imagined and he was incredibly cheerful and was pleased to answer my questions.

I asked Sylvester my questions. He said that his favourite episode ever is the first one he saw, a Patrick Troughton episode but his favourite Seventh Doctor episode is possibly The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (1988) – my favourite Classic episode. What a co-incidence!

Sylvester’s favourite filming locations are both right here in Dorset! He enjoyed filming The Curse of Fenric (1989) at Lulworth Cove and The Greatest Show in the Galaxy and Survival (1989) in a sandpit in Dorset (Warmwell Quarry which I visited in October 2014). Later, in a talk that Sylvester gave with Bonnie Langford and Sophie Aldred , he said that he liked filming Survival in the sandpit because there was a heatwave and one of the ladies overheated in her cat costume and stripped off and ran away!

Bonnie Langford, Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred at Film & Comic Con Bournemouth
The Doctor Who talk at Film & Comic Con Bournemouth

If Sylvester could go anywhere in time and space he would like to visit America before the Westerners arrived to see what is was like. He said that as the Doctor he would not want to change anything he would just like to observe.

I felt so happy to meet Sylvester and relieved that I had finally met him as I tried once before but had to leave before I got the chance. He is the Fourth Doctor I have met and I feel like Project Indigo has been given a real boost by meeting him!

Next I met Terry Molloy (Davros), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) and Sophie Aldred (Ace). I have already asked them my golden questions before when I met them at the Timeless Collector’s Fair and The Bournemouth Invasion so I just had a little chat with each of them and welcomed them to Bournemouth. It was Sarah’s first visit to Bournemouth but Terry used to live in Bournemouth when he was a teenager. I spoke to Sophie about her new audio drama Strangeness in Space which is for anyone aged 8-80 to enjoy! It sounds really fun and I am definitely going to listen to it soon.

Tom and Bonnie Langford
Hello Bonnie Langford aka Mel!

After Sophie I met Bonnie Langford aka Mel Bush, companion to the Sixth and Seventh Doctors. Like everyone else she was very kind and answered my questions. Bonnie can never remember any titles of episodes but her favourites are the ones with Daleks in them.

Her favourite Doctor Who filming location is anywhere indoors! She said it would always rain on location – except for when they filmed Delta and the Bannermen (1987) on Barry Island. It was really sunny then but everyone got sunburnt!

If Bonnie could go anywhere in time and space she would like to visit Hollywood in its heyday and dance with Gene Kelly.

Tom and Matthew Waterhouse
Hello Matthew Waterhouse aka Adric!

Then I went to talk to Matthew Waterhouse who played one of my favourite ever companions Adric , the companion to the Fourth and Fifth Doctor, from Alzarius. I really hope the Doctor will have another alien companion one day as it was always really good when the companions were from another planet. Please make that happen Stephen, if you’re reading!

Although it is many years since he played Adric Matthew still looks like him. Matthew’s favourite episode that he was in was Keeper of Traken (1981), but other than that it was Spearhead from Space (1970) which was an episode he watched when he was 7 and he was very scared by it! His favourite filming location was Tunbridge Wells as the crew stayed in a hotel for a week and had lots of fun.

Matthew liked the idea of pressing a button in the TARDIS and landing anywhere but if had to choose he would love to go to Elizabethan England and see Shakespeare’s plays performed by his original players. That is just like the Tenth Doctor and Martha in The Shakespeare Code!

I was very pleased to meet Matthew, it is always good to meet someone nice but even better when you admire them. My companion bought a copy of Matthew’s autobiography ‘Blue Box Boy’ so we could learn all about his time in the TARDIS!

Tom and Dan Starkey
Hello Dan Starkey – aka Strax!

Next to Matthew was Dan Starkey who plays the Sontaran Strax who is part of the Paternoster Gang. It felt very strange looking at him as his normal self and looking at him as Strax but I recognised him as I have seen him in Wizards vs Aliens and on University Challenge. Luckily he doesn’t have the attitude of Strax because Strax is VERY weird!

Dan’s favourite episode is The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977), but out of the episodes he is in it is The Snowmen (2012). His favourite filming location was filming The Snowmen at Treberfydd House as he was able to stay at his Mum and Dad’s!

If Dan could go anywhere in time and space he would like to see Stonehenge being built. I wonder if the Pandorica is still there?

Tom and John Leeson
Hello John Leeson – the voice of K-9!

When I met John Leeson who is the voice of K-9 he was a very polite gentleman. He told me, in the voice of K-9, that his favourite episode is The Sun Makers (1977) by Robert Holmes.

John’s favourite filming locations were anywhere not far from home as he doesn’t like driving for miles. If he could go anywhere he would love to go to Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire and have a very nice lunch. He says he has never been there before but would love to go there one day, I hope that his dream comes true.

Tom and K-9
The original K-9!

John was sat with Mat Irvine who was the Visual Effects Supervisor and he had brought along K-9 himself! It was great to meet K-9 and his voice – a double whammy.

Tom and William Russell

Next I went to meet William Russell who played Ian Chesterton one of the first companions who accompanied the First Doctor, William Hartnell, and he was first seen in the very first episode of Doctor Who, An Unearthly Child (1963). There was a long queue to meet William.

William said that his favourite episode is The Aztecs (1964) and he told me all about filming a fight scene for the episode. He didn’t have a favourite Doctor Who filming location as in those days it was mostly filmed in a studio.

William said that if he could go anywhere in time and space he would choose to be right here as he was happy at that moment. Isn’t that lovely? It was a special honour to meet William and I feel so happy to have met him.

Tom and Camille Coduri

After William I met Camille Coduri who played Jackie Tyler – Rose’s mother. Camille was in the very first episode of New Who Rose (2005) and appeared many times until The End of Time (2010). Camille loves lots of episodes – including Blink (2007), Doomsday (2006) and The Christmas Invasion (2005). There were too many favourites to choose from.

Her favourite filming location is the estate where the Tyler’s lived because she said it was always a lot of fun filming there. If Camille could go anywhere in time and space she would like to go the Sixties as they seemed good fun – just like Camille who was a lot of fun herself!

Tom and Rusty Goffe
Hello Rusty Goffe aka Little John!

From Camille I went to see Rusty Goffe – the United Kingdom’s No1 Dwarf! Rusty appeared as Little John in Robot of Sherwood (2014) and that is his favourite episode. He liked filming on location at Forest Fawr and Caerphilly Castle and said that the Merry Men were having so much fun in the forest that they didn’t want to leave!

If Rusty could go anywhere he would go to Samui in Thailand – and he said he would go there right now in a TARDIS if he could as he has been before and loves it there! Rusty was a very nice chap, I hope he gets to go again soon.

Tom and Doctor Squee from Gallifrey Stands Podcast
Hello Doctor Squee!

My final interview of the day was with Katy Manning who played Jo Grant, the Third Doctor’s companion. I met up with Doctor Squee from the Gallifrey Stands Podcast who was waiting to interview Katy too and he let me go first. Thank you Doctor Squee!

Tom and Katy Manning
Hello Katy Manning aka Jo Grant!

Katy had been flooded by fans all day and I was lucky to get some time with her. Katy’s favourite episodes were Terror of the Autons (1971) because that is where she met her Doctor Who family and also The Green Death (1973) – she told me how Jo and Cliff went into the Amazon looking for a magical fungus and that story predicted Quorn! Thank you Jo for discovering Quorn as I am a vegetarian and I eat A LOT of Quorn.

I asked Katy what her favourite location was and she didn’t have one because she was always filming in a cold claypit! Even when she filmed The Sarah Jane Adventures it was freezing. If she could go anywhere in time and space she would go ‘EVERYWHERE because she is greedy and loves adventure!’ Katy was very cheeky and it was great to meet her.

Day One at the Film & Comic Con Bournemouth was very tiring but it was an honour to meet so many stars. Thank you to everyone for a fantastic day and especially to Showmasters for making this happen. Soon I will be able to tell you all about Day 2, I hope you will come back soon.

Goodbye!

Warmwell Quarry, Dorset – October 2014

Welcome!
Welcome!

Roll Up Roll Up and welcome to Warmwell Quarry – scene of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy! (1988).

I was lucky enough to visit this private quarry and have an exclusive tour – the filming location for my favourite Doctor Who episode ever.The Greatest Show in the Galaxy is my favourite episode because it is fun, adventurous and the theme of the story is very interesting to me – and of course it features the Seventh Doctor (one of my two favourite Doctors!) and Ace.

Warmwell Quarry is near Dorchester in Dorset and is owned by Aggregate Industries UK. Sand and gravel is extracted from the quarry but this is due to finish in 2017. A company called Habitat First Group is going to develop the area into a holiday resort and nature reserve called Silverlake so I was really pleased to get the chance to see the location before it changed forever.

When I arrived I was happily greeted by Peter Mole, the Quarry Manager. He took me to his office and showed me a presentation about the quarry and it’s history and lots of photographs. Gravel and sand from the quarry has been used for many things including sports pitches and was even used to help build The Olympic 2012 Park. Peter then told me that the quarry was also used in the final Classic Doctor Who episode Survival (1989)as the Cheetah Planet – I was surprised as I didn’t know this before I arrived.

Muddier on the inside!

Next we went off to explore the quarry – I left my TARDIS behind and went in the site car which was really mucky with mud and sand from the quarry all over it! First we went to see part of the site that was used for filming Doctor Who. It is over 20 years since the filming took place so the quarry looked very different. It was less rocky and wasn’t dry – it was filled with lakes so it didn’t look much like the planet Segonax but it was very beautiful.  Segonax was always very bright but it was a wet day when I visited. Soon there will be holiday homes beside this Silverlake – it would be so cool to have a home looking out on an alien planet!

You can see why this will be called Silverlake

Luckily I was wearing wellies as it was really squelchy and my feet were sliding around like I was on ice. I was also wearing a hard hat and a high-vis jacket as it is a very dangerous zone. Peter was wearing an orange jumpsuit that looked just like the Doctor’s spacesuit!

Showing off my safety gear.

Can you see the lake poking out?

Next I was lucky enough to get a ride in something big – I’ll give you a clue. IT IS BIG! That’s right – a huge dumper truck. I had to do a little bit of climbing and then there was a big rocky ride in store for me. Another Peter was driving the truck – he has worked at the quarry for many years and was there whilst the episodes were being filmed and met the cast and crew but doesn’t remember much as it was so long ago! It was very high up in the truck and there was a big vibration going through my body. A digger loaded the dumper and we set off for the sorting plant to unload the truck. I had planned to take a lot of photos from the truck but the battery in my camera went, sadly. The vibration was so noisy it was giving me a headache but it was really good fun. When it was time to climb down my legs were like jelly!

That was a smashing ride.

After that adventure we went to see the woods which were used during World War 2 by RAF Warmwell . The area was used by the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces Ninth Air Force from 1937 -1946. We saw where the Spitfires would have been kept under cover of the trees to keep them safe from view. We also saw the entrance to an underground bunker where the airmen took cover. The bunker is surrounded by barbed wire to keep people and animals out in case the bunker collapses. The airmen must have been scared inside the bunker, they were very brave. It looked very dark and frightening – I wonder if there were bats inside?

Through the woods we got another close-up view of the filming location- the quarry has changed so much. It looks like the Seventh Doctor just missed out on finding the green bit of Segonax that he was looking for. Luckily there was no sign of the Gods of Ragnarok or the Cheetah People when I visited.

We then went to another part of the quarry which has been left for many years to return to nature. The ground was jagged like a lunar landscape and trees were growing out at different degrees. In the old days quarried ground would be left as it was but nowadays quarry owners work to restore the land once they have finished with it so it can be used for other things, and to leave a nice habitat for the wildlife. Many animals live on the land and when I was there I saw pheasants and other types of bird and I just missed out on seeing a deer. Adders live there too but I was pleased not to see one – I think they were in hibernation.

I then went to the sorting plant and saw how the sand and gravel is sorted by size. It is then sent off to be used for building or bagged up and sold in DIY shops!

Sorting the sand

Finally I explored a secret part of the woods – and discovered a Roomoon for the very first time. A Roomoon is a very special lightweight hanging canvas tent based on the shape of an onion. I pulled a chain to yank myself up into the trees and it felt so safe and cosy inside – it felt great to be up high and I didn’t want to come back down.

To finish off I would like to thank Peter Mole and Peter for showing me around Warmwell Quarry – I had a fab time and would love to have more adventures like this in the future. I really appreciate all the time and effort put into giving me and my companions such a good tour of the site. Thank you both so much!

With Peter Mole, the Quarry Manager

I hope you have enjoyed this post all about this Classic Doctor Who location and there are still many locations left to come. I hope you come back and read about my next adventure.

Goodbye!

A surprise from Blue Peter! – July 2014

What do I have in my hands?Allo fellas!
Today I am talking about something very, very, very special. The photo will give you a clue. I hope you have guessed it. I have a (drumroll please)……………………. BLUE PETER BADGE!

Just to let you know, I didn’t buy it, I earned it. I have been awarded a blue Blue Peter Badge for this blog and had a letter from the Editor of Blue Peter, Ewan Vinnicombe , which said

‘it is fascinating to read about all the Doctor Who adventures you have been on! We thought it was so interesting, we’re awarding you a Blue Peter Badge which we hope you will enjoy wearing!’

Ewan Vinnicombe is obviously a fellow Whovian as he put a quote by the Fourth Doctor in my letter, from the episode Warrior’s Gate (1981).

‘One good solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties’.

A very good quote indeed.

Blue Peter Badge winners can visit a lot of fun places for free for example The Doctor Who Experience so I will use my badge to go there and to other adventures for fun and report back to my readers.

Blue Peter is even older than the Doctor Who series, there is a 5 year age gap and it started in 1958. It has supported Doctor Who for many years and has featured lots of interviews with the stars including the debuts of Peter Davidson and Sylvester McCoy. Peter Purves was one of Blue Peter’s presenters and he played Steven Taylor, a companion of the First Doctor, William Hartnell.

Did you know that Ace, the Seventh Doctor’s companion, wore two Blue Peter badges – a blue one, and a silver one that was awarded for heroic achievement? (Remembrance of the Daleks 1998).  They were both awarded to the actress, Sophie Aldred, in real life. Do you have a Blue Peter badge? Leave a comment to tell me how you earnt it.

To finish off I shall say THANK YOU to Blue Peter and the BBC for giving me this wonderful achievement, I feel very happy and proud!

I have more exciting Blue Peter news which I will share with you in a few weeks……. Bye bye fellas, see you next time!