Before the actors start a scene, the lighting cameraman and director must prepare the camera and lights. This can be a lengthy process, and the actor may still be in make up or wardrobe. So a member of the crew acts as a "stand-in", literally standing in the position of the actor. The stand in must be a similar height and build to the actor, and wear clothes of a similar colour, so the lighting will also match the actor in costume. Stand ins are not necessarily actors, but may sometimes appear as extras on screen, whenever a crowd scene called for many Alphans.
Guest stars normally had a stand in. Guest stand ins, like the guest actors, often only did a single episode. Occasionally mid way through the filming another stand in was used. A stand in may be used on short notice- sometimes they were listed on the daily call sheets as "A N OTHER".
Stand ins for supporting cast, apart from Tony Anholt, were not often used. The actors had less close ups, and fewer lines, and if they did their own stand in they might be rewarded with more camera time. Only when an actor had substantial screen time did they have a stand-in, as when Nick Tate in Dorzak, when his stand-in was David Clare.
John Clifford was Landau's stand in for the initial episodes of Year 1, until replaced by Alan Meacham. He also appeared as an Alphan in at least 6 episodes. He died in 2014.
Suzanne Heimer and John Clifford, with Anton Philips, preparing the scene when Helena checks Koenig after his crash at waste disposal area 1, in Breakaway
Preparing for a shot in Matter Of Life And Death. Barbara Bain's stand-in, Suzanne Heimer, is sitting left as lighting cameraman Frank Watts holds the light meter in front of her, Martin Landau's stand-in John Clifford stands on the right.
Meacham was the main stand in for Landau (apart from the initial episodes, John Clifford, and some episodes at the end of series 2, which were Bill Westley).
Fran Miller (stand-in for Catherine Schell) and Alan Meacham, standing in for Martin Landau, on the Piri set.
Alan Meacham appeared on camera as Sandos the dead caveman in The Full Circle
Suzanne was born in 1945 and worked as a stand in and actress on many films over her 20 year career. She doubled for Lynn Redgrave in Smashing Time (1967), Lisa Harrow in Star Maidens (1975), Sarah Douglas and Valerie Perrine in Superman (1978), Lois Chiles in Death on the Nile (1978), Cybill Shepherd in The Lady Vanishes (1979), Farrah Fawcett in Saturn 3 (1980), Melody Anderson in Flash Gordon (1980), Cassandra Harris in For Your Eyes Only (1981), and in Gregory's Girl (1981). She appeared in front of the camera, but uncredited, in Casino Royale (1967) and Superman (1978). She left the film business when she married, moved to New York and trained as an interior designer. She attended the Alpha: 2014 convention in Britain.
In this scene in Breakaway, Helena is watching the vital signs of the sick Meta Probe astronauts. A video camera is shooting the sick astronauts, which is then relayed to a TV screen. The film camera (operated by cameraman Neil Binney) is shooting down at the TV screen. Helena's reflection will be seen over the screen, so Suzanne is standing so Binney and director Lee Katzin can ensure both the video of the astronauts, the vital signs indicators, and the reflection is visible on film.
Suzanne as a nurse helping the Maya/animal from the Eagle hangar in Space Warp.
Copyright Martin Willey