Harry Van Gorkum
ABOUT THE EPISODE
Sylvester McCoy – who so brilliantly played the Seventh Doctor – joins host and lifelong Whovian Sandro Monetti to discuss Daleks, Cybermen and so many more in ‘Who’s The Best…Doctor Who Monster?’ His choice may well surprise you! Also joining the debate is Jon Davey, who has played many of the most memorable monsters in nearly 50 episodes. And there’s a welcome return to the pop culture podcast by actor Harry Van Gorkum, the man originally cast as the Eighth Doctor, only for the ‘powers that be’ to switch instead to Paul McGann. At the end of the show, we reveal the result of the public vote. All of this and more on the out of this world second series premiere of ‘Who’s the Best?’
This episode was recorded at Mercury Pictures, CA.
WHO KNEW? THE DANGERS OF FILMING DOCTOR WHO
by Sandro Monetti, host, Who’s The Best podcast
Filming Doctor Who could be dangerous in the classic era of the show when stunts were sometimes more spectacular than safe.
“They nearly blew me up three or four times,” admits Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy, whose decision to do most of his own stunts proved risky.
The same policy almost proved fatal for his co-star Sophie Aldred, who played the Doctor’s companion Ace, as Sylvester reveals in the latest episode of the podcast.
“I saved her life,” said McCoy. In a scene for the 1989 story ‘Battlefield’, Ace is trapped in a rapidly filling water tank, but McCoy was the only one to notice that Aldred was actually trapped for real, as the water poured down on her and the dodgy tank began to buckle.
“It started to bulge and I shouted ‘Get her out of there!’” He did so with such force that two stage-hands lifted the actress out of the tank which cracked moments later sending glass shattering and water flooding out onto the studio floor across which live wires were running.
The rest of the cast and crew scattered to avoid electrocution and once they were safe, they made sure to thank the show’s star for his quick thinking. “For one moment, I was a superhero for real,” Sylvester tells me.
We spend the rest of the interview discussing the more conventional scares of the show, provided by terrifying creatures like Cybermen and Daleks.
Fellow guest Jon Davey has played them and many other monsters in close to 50 episodes of modern era Dr Who. It’s clear he loves getting the chance to send viewers scurrying behind the sofa in fear.
There is also a moment of Doctor Who history in this episode as Sylvester McCoy is brought together for the first time with the actor who nearly succeeded him as the Doctor, Harry Van Gorkum. Harry tells how he was originally cast as the Eighth Doctor in 1996 until the powers that be at the BBC had a change of mind and gave the part instead to Paul McGann.
All these years later, Harry finally got his hand on the keys to the Tardis, sort of, when during recording of this pod, Sylvester presented him with a spare key from his key ring!
As a lifelong Doctor Who fan myself, talking about the show with Sylvester, Harry and Jon was a total treat – as was recording it at Mercury Pictures in Llano, California, an audiovisual production facility where sets include an old Wild West town.
This is the second time the pod has debated Doctor Who but it’s not the last. Coming up on Friday April 10 2020 is our latest Who’s the Best live show. At the giant WonderCon pop culture convention in Anaheim, California, I’ll debate with a panel of experts the question: Who’s the Best Doctor Who? After his fascinating stories in this episode, Sylvester McCoy will take some beating.