The Catacombs Catacombs Reference Library
Interviews
Crew and guest cast

Ray Austin, director

Starlog Number 70 (May 1983); p28,63

"I probably did 10 or 11 1999s. I think the show was better the first year. We had a great deal of production value in that show; no money was spared on sets. I was very surprised when we were cancelled," Austin says, ad- ding that he was never entirely happy with the series but thought it was an improvement over UFO.

"UFO never seemed real to me," he explains. "It was theatrical as opposed to 1999, which seemed more realistic."

David Tombin, director

Starlog Number 86 (September 1984); interview by Adam Pirani, p46-46

Although ITC cancelled The Prisoner, it was already en route to becoming syndicated favorite. Tomblin soon returned to genre TV writing and directing for Gerry Anderson, on The Protectors, U.F.O. and Space: 1999.

The four episodes that Tomblin directed in Space's first season represent his final work in TV. "They were very technical and very full, and there wasn't very much time," he says. "So consequently, you really worked high pressure every minute of the day." For a one- hour show, an 11-day schedule takes a heavy toll on the cast and crew. "Somehow we used to just about get through them, but they were very demanding. The schedules were really impossible.

"That's why I don't do TV any more. There's no satisfaction in it. You end up making something that you're not happy about making, you have to compromise too much."

After years of television, Tomblin returned to features, with both the ability to work fast and an appreciation of the big screen's superior production values. His experience on big-budget movies began with 1976's star- studded A Bridge Too Far, directed by Richard Attenborough, then on both The Omen and Superman as First Assistant to Richard Donner.

Val Guest, director

Starlog Number 163 (February 1991), p62

At the request of executive producer Gerry Anderson, Guest directed three second season episodes of Space: 1999 in 1976- 'The Rules of Luton," "The A-B Chrysalis" and "Dorzac." Faced with feuding married co-stars, he did his best to enliven the performances of Martin Landau and Barbara Bain.

"Martin was having terrible problems with Barbara at the time," he confides. "It wasn't too long after that they divorced. Martin had got an idea into his head as to how he should play his part, and anything I tried to do to goose him up was a bit of a strain for him. Barbara was a real pain. She was always late, and took everything much too seriously."

Roy Dotrice

Starlog Number 133 (August 1988); p55

Dotrice is downright stunned to discover that he is recognized for his hardly- remembered appearances as Commissioner Simmonds in the "Breakaway" and "Earthbound" episodes of Space: 1999, stunned because they are acting adventures that he barely remembers.

"All I can recall is that in one episode I was inside a glass cage and suddenly, I disappeared into outer space. 1 do remember what a joy it was to work with Christopher Lee [who also guested in "Earthbound"] and Martin Landau."

Julian Glover

Starlog Number 52 (Nov 1981); "Julian Glover" By James H.Burns p39,40

Five Million Years to Earth ... It took Glover seven years before he appeared in another science-fiction presentation, Space: 1999's first-year episode, "Alpha Child." The program began with the first baby being born on the Moon base. Within hours, the baby evolved into an adult calling himself Jarak (Glover), who planned to enslave the Alphans.

'"Alpha Child' was totally ridiculous," Glover says with a good natured grin, "but it was fun to do. I mean, how often do you get the chance to run around in a silver skirt? My wife, Isla Blair [renowned English stage actress whose film and television work includes Taste the Blood of Dracula, The Avengers, and An Englishman's Castle], did one ["War Games"] where she had a most extraordinary makeup that was ridiculous. She and Anthony Valentine both had those appliances on. They couldn't look at themselves without laughing, which is why they did all of their scenes facing away from each other. That's the glamour of the theatre for you!"

David Jackson

Starlog Number 140 (March 1989); interview by Jean Airey and Laurie Haldeman p17

His involvement with science fiction considerably preceded Blake's 7, first with a love of the "classic" written SF of the '50s and '60s ("I've read it all!") and then with appearances in two episodes of Space: 1999.

Cast as an alien in "The Rules of Luton," he immediately started to change and modify his character. "They had this outfit for me which looked like a teddy bear- and I had this big fight scene. I said, 'It doesn't look very menacing. I mean, a teddy bear! " I said, 'You've got this one alien who looks like a bird, like Osiris the god, and this other character. Why not make him the teddy bear, because he gets killed very quickly, and I could be ... a lizard ! ' So, they got a lizard half-mask for me, long, green and scaly, a long droopy moustache, long sort of patchy dark hair and," he speaks with relish, "lots of black leather and crocodile skin! I was given the power of speech by the gods of the planet, whom I also played."

In talking to the director, Jackson also came up with another bit of business. "I said, 'If the gods of the planet gave me this voice, I would still have vocal cords that were tuned to whatever a crocodile-like beast's might be tuned to, and it would be rather like a person from Japan trying to speak English.

"So," he continues- in his normal, smooth voice, "the words should come out in a sort of strangulation, trying to get through those strange vocal cords. And I played it like that."

He was told he had done such a good job of disguising himself and his voice that the producers wanted him to come back and play another alien some months later in "The Bringers of Wonder." When Jackson showed up, his costume had been changed and he was able to do his entire part from off-screen. "They gave me the script, and I didn't even have to memorize it!" He was told, " 'Your character is actually a seven- foot tent with blood vessels and eyes on the outside of it and it can grow up to nine feet.' " Faced with that bit of information, Jackson was more than happy to leave the actual manipulation of the creature to another. "They had a fellow about my size inside, dressed in a swim suit, sweating like anything, manipulating this [thing that was] more like a teepee than a pyramid. It kept going up and down and sweating blood and I was just off-stage in a T-shirt and trousers. It was fun!"

Starlog Number 158 (Sep 1990); Christopher Lee interview by Bill Warren p3

Starlog Number 13 (May 1978); Dave Prowse interview p25