Our staff writer Melissa Allen was lucky enough to be sent her own copy of this DVD, complete with six interviews with actors who were involved in Doctor Who in the days before Christopher Eccleston stepped in; except for one actor, who was in Torchwood.

The DVD offers fans (specifically of the old show) a wonderful and detailed look into not just what the actors did in Doctor Who, but their careers surrounding the sci-fi success of the show. The DVD spans around six hours, roughly an hour per interview, and a short introduction by Keith Barnfather and Robert Dick.

DVD set of interviews / Picture Credit: Kotch Media

DVD set of interviews / Picture Credit: Kotch Media

Prentis Hancock

The first interviewee we see is Prentis Hancock, who has been in four Doctor Who episodes with his first one being ‘Sparked from Space’ in 1970 with none other than John Pertwee playing The Doctor.

Hancock seems rather reserved in this interview, but Dick’s fantastic skills as a host bring out perhaps some of Hancock’s best stories in his career.

Hancock speaks highly of Pertwee as The Doctor, and also of Tom Baker who also played The Doctor; this is brilliant for fans who want to know a little more about their favourite Doctors.

The interview gives viewers much more than just the Doctor Who phase of Hancock’s life and shares many little anecdotes, however, the interview seems to drag a little simply because of Hancock’s reserved attitude – which is not a criticism of him, but Dick’s interview skills are worked brilliantly here as we get a little more from Hancock when Dick pushes him gently for answers.

Geoffrey Beavers

The second actor in the light is Geoffrey Beavers, a lovely, bright man who speaks very highly of everyone he’s met and delves into his passion for writing and his long career in the entertainment industry.

Beavers played The Master in the Tom Baker era of Doctor Who (1974 – 1981), and even wrote a short called ‘I am The Master’ as he loved his role so much.

While Beavers does speak about his time on the show, fans may be interested in his career succeeding the delightful Doctor Who; he speaks about doing around 130 theatre plays, 200 TV appearances and even about 400 radio gigs!

Beavers does really perk up, however, when he begins discussing his writing career – having written many novels and even having five plays published by Phantom Publishing; he is hopeful his career will continue.

Beavers’ interview is rather more intimate than other interviews, and again with Dick’s wonderfully impressive knowledge we see Beavers brighten up again and again and it is purely delightful to see him re-live the career he is so proud of.

Angus Lennie

While the third interviewee, Angus Lennie, speaks brightly of working with actors such as Elizabeth Sladen (Sarah-Jane Smith) and the stories he tells, the style of the interview really cuts into Lennie’s answers as the questions were recoded separately, and the transitions used are very distracting.

Lennie speaks of a small role in Doctor Who as he played a pub landlord in ‘Terror of the Zygons’, and another role in ‘Ice Warriors’. He also speaks of his time involved in war films such as The Great Escape (1963) and 633 Squadron (1964).

The parts in which Lennie answers questions and reminisces about his wonderful career is unfortunately very irritating. Nicholas Briggs’ method of shooting the questions and answers separately may have been for a good reason, but you can’t help wish that they did it some other way.

The shot spinning around from question to answer is very distracting, not to mention the music playing subtly while the odd transitions take place.

Shane Rimmer

The first interview on the second disc is Shame Rimmer, who was in just one Doctor Who episode titled ‘The Gunfighters’ with the first ever Doctor, William Hartnell.

Despite Rimmer’s short-lived experience in Doctor Who, he has had a very shining career he talks about so lovingly. He was in Superman (1978), Batman Begins (2005) and no less than three James Bond films!

Rimmer shares wonderful stories about his career and the brilliant people he has worked with, including Stanley Kubrick himself, who Rimmer describes as “a sweet man”.

Despite this set of interviews being centred around actors who have been in Doctor Who, there is more talk in this one at least about his career elsewhere – which still serves for great viewing if you are a fan who has a long attention span for these kinds of things.

Kai Owen

The only interviewee who “hasn’t been in Doctor Who” states Robert Dick as he prepares for his interview with Kai Owen, who turns out to be rather headstrong and comes across a little rude, although he could be joking, but honestly who can tell…

Owen plays Rhys in TV show Torchwood, not quite a spin-off of Doctor Who, but rather similar. It follows a group of people lead by Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), who we do meet in season 1 of Doctor Who (Eccleston’s run).

Owen describes Torchwood as “its own beast”, and is very passionate about the show and his character, who was actually set to die in season 1 of the show – and he did – but they brought him back to life to return for every season of the show since.

Owen talks about how he is the first in his family to act, and despite his blunt demeaner, you can see just how much he loves Torchwood, and how grateful he is to be involved with the show and actors such as Barrowman and Eve Miles, who plays Gwen Cooper, Rhys’ partner.

Nick Joseph

Perhaps not a popular name, but the last interviewee on this disc, Nick Joseph, once again gives us a wonderful account of his career, including how he wondered into the acting business entirely by accident!

Joseph, like Rimmer, was also in James Bond movies… well just the one. Joseph was in The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977, a small role but one he seems very proud of.

He goes into great detail about how he became an actor, which is a very interesting story, and talking about his time involved in Star Wars, too.

This DVD set is most definitely for more involved fans, fans who are prepared to sit though hours of conversation. Each interview has its moments of brilliance, and each also has its moments where it would drag just a little bit – which in this instance would likely be saved by Robert Dick’s or Martin Parsons’ very knowledgeable questions and inputs.

The DVD is definitely focused towards a certain audience, which in that case makes it the perfect addition to any dedicated Whovian’s collection – otherwise, you may not enjoy it so much.

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

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