The Catacombs Catacombs Credits Guide
Barbara Bain

Comments from the Alphacon 2012 convention, Los Angeles, September 2012.

Alphacon 2012

The first day I arrived in England and I went into what was going to be my dressing room. I had asked them to please build me a barre. I walked in, and there were a bunch of chippies, carpenters, and they're building me a bar. A bar for whiskey, beer. I meant a ballet barre. No guys, all you need is a dowel, and a couple of things to hang it up on. You're building me a bar. I don't drink.

We happened to be there during a major strike. We were declared an essential industry. So Pinewood kept shooting. That was because Lord Lew Grade, he was only Sir Lew then, he became Lord Lew in the course of making the series, had us declared an essential industry. However, there were certain things not available, like hot water. So we managed to heat the tea kettle, the ubiquitous English tea kettle, to wash my hair in the morning. The English are the best at making do, making something work no matter what. That's what we did, we washed my hair with the tea kettle.

(On moving countries). There were a couple of questions the kids asked. My older daughter wanted to know if she had at wear a uniform at school, and if she was, she's not going. I said, no, she didn't have to wear a uniform to school, she said, ok, I'm going. That worked that out. My younger daughter, I went in and said, which is the feeble thing a parent does, you learn, "would you like to go to England?" And she said, "do I have a choice?" It was an adventure for them. They learned to keep touch with their friends here, by writing letters. They actually rediscovered the art of letter writing. Some of their friends came over and stayed with us, which was a big excitement for those kids who hadn't been to Europe. Everything about it was fun. If you're an actor, you're half a gypsy, you're used to going where the work is. Unless it's Albuquerque. (laughs)

We were finished by dinner time. I could get home and be with my kids for dinner time, which we couldn't be if we were shooting an American series. It's one of the reasons I said yes, I'll do it. Because I didn't want to miss those years with them.

The one when I had to be a cavewoman- that was so interesting, it had many ramifications. Not the least of which, I had to go home with that stuff on me for some reason. And my daughter was bringing the first boyfriend home. She's never forgiven me. I walked through the house, and she had to say, this is my mom. The other thing that was interesting to me, acting-wise, about it, was I was supposed to make this primal scream. And I had no idea how to do it, or what to do to do it. And I'm going to have to do it the first shot after lunch. So I went up in my dressing room and said, ok, make a big noise, see what comes out. So there I was in my dressing room making a bunch of crazy noises. I've never heard myself make some guttural sound. I hadn't played a cavewoman before, for god's sake. So it was kind of funny. But I remember that moment in the dressing room, thinking, well, you've got to do something.

We had a fire next door, Burnham Beeches was on fire. Our lot was right next to it, and the wall was right next to where it was burning. We were coming back from lunch, and the cars were all parked there. So someone told me when I was 4th grade, you can't have cars in fire. Who was our line producer, awfully English fellow? He said, come along, come along, we're going to shoot. I said, Reggie, has anyone called the fire department? He said, oh, someone will come along. I said, I want an American hysteric here right now, I don't want an Englishman telling me it will be all right, when the flames were about 10 feet high!

(Regarding Moment of Humanity dress). That was never finished. They were upstairs in the dressing room, stitching me into this dress, and it was never closed up. I go down onto the set, holding myself together.

Sylvia had a marvellously ebullient personality. She had a kind of fun and light feeling. Gerry was very serious. Very serious. At least in my estimation.

When I first met Barry Morse, he was trying to explain the Brits to me. So he brought in a headline from when he was a kid. It said "Storm in the channel. Continent isolated." It was very helpful.

We had a flat tyre in Mayfair, in that Rolls. So Ray, the driver, said "It's a bit awkward, Madam". So we got out of the car. Martin was always complaining about this car. "Why are we driving around in this fancy car, I don't like it..." We're walking around Mayfair while Ray is fixing the car. And I said to Martin, "don't tell me this isn't the best flat tyre you ever had?" He never complained again.