Who & Me
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Includes Extra Material Not Featured in the Audio Book
Voted the best Non Fiction Doctor Who Book 2009 by the readers of DWM
Barry Letts began his screen career as an actor, starring in the Ealing film Scott of the Antarctic and TV dramas such as The Avengers, The Moonstone and Gunpowder Guy in which future Doctor Who actor Patrick Troughton took the lead role. In the 1960s he switched to directing, taking the helm of classic shows such as The Newcomers and Z Cars.
Barry got his first taste of Doctor Who in 1967 when he directed the six-part serial The Enemy of the World. In 1969, he took over as the show’s producer. This was an exciting time for Doctor Who – the show had a new lead actor, and was being broadcast in colour for the first time. Barry reveals his memories of this era, talking about his relationship with script editor Terrance Dicks and the show’s cast, Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning and Roger Delgado.
Packed with behind-the-scenes gossip, fascinating production detail and witty anecdotes, Who and Me recounts Barry Letts’ journey from struggling actor to successful producer, and the ups and downs of working on Doctor Who during the Jon Pertwee years.
for the short list next year. I’ll get in touch with you to let you know when we start on it.’ Another year! Never mind. At least I was in the system. But I knew that I was pushing it; this was in the summer of 1965, which meant I’d turned 40 (what midlife crisis?) and I’d heard that Auntie preferred her suitors to be younger. But I felt that if I was only given the chance, I’d be able to persuade the selection board to make an exception in my case. I had a good year as an actor, including
accent do you call that?’ It was an absolutely authentic York accent. I’d been in the rep at the Theatre Royal twice, for a total of four years. I still feel angry, on my own behalf, and on behalf of all the poor blighters who are still going through it. For the auditions, I’d written a short two-handed scene with a black magic theme. (It was Terrance who later suggested that I should expand it into a full length story, The Daemons.) I wanted to cast the new character, Captain Mike Yates, at
Stevens, the first name of Jocelyn, the name of his boss at the Sunday Times. We were lucky not to get a libel writ. So I rang one of the top military tailors and asked them how much a Brig’s uniform would cost me. ‘£80 ($160),’ they said. ‘Done,’ I said, ‘I’ll send him along.’ Recently I called another leading tailor (the first having merged with somebody) and asked him how much the same uniform would cost today. But I didn’t get the same answer. ‘£985 ($1970).’ Cheap at the price. So the
wanted to try a similar shot in the afternoon, swooping up into the air from a close shot of the chief thug, played by Rhys McConnochie, firing at us. Oh well. But towards the end of the break, he sought me out where I was checking the positions of the afternoon set-ups, and said, ‘I’ve had a word with the pilot, and we reckon we could have a go.’ The helicopter was one of those small jobs with a bubble cabin at the front. The pilot, whose name was Jack, had agreed to take the doors off, so
professional appearance in a Doctor Who. But it wasn’t as the young king in The Curse of Peladon, as some of you may think. Nor, as the real experts will know, was it in the first episode of The War Games. It was in The Enemy of the World. David was on holiday from his last year at school. He’d already made up his mind that he was going to follow his dad, so Patrick asked me if I could give him a walk-on part, just for the experience. He played the guard who got Jamie’s elbow in his midriff –