Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Articles Welcome to Issue 59 - WATNOW: Combat

Contents Guide


WATNOW Cast: Combat

Big Finish Reviews+
Catch 1782
Axis of Insanity
Tenth Doctor Chronicles
Jago & Litefoot Forever
Fourth Doctor Series 7.2
Lure of the Nomad

Interview with Simon Fisher-Becker


Who Reviews
The Sea Devils
The Tenth Planet
Ribos Operation

TW Reviews
Last Beacon
We Always Get Out Alive

Fans Fiction
Luck be a Lady of Time

Editor’s Note

It’s been mad daft busy in the office this month, and with numerous reviews still to put together, some of this month’s mammoth reviews are going to be a few days late.
The Captain is off to Liverpool on Wednesday in search of a missing Weevil – like we really need to look for more – it’s not as if they’re hard to spot – or smell…

We’ve got a wonderful interview with Simon Fisher-Becker which we want to share with you this month. Simon was a joy to interview, once I remembered to remove the yellow post it note covering the camera!

We have a new entry in our One Photo Short Story Fans Fiction this month, which launches our new Lady C Adventures. If you’re unsure of Lady Christina De Souza from Planet of the Dead Doctor Who episode, then read our Luck be a Lady in Time this month to find out more.

We have two Connections this month – Bulletproof, Noel Clarke’s new cop series on Sky One, and Safe, which began on Netflix last month and is a bloody awesome drama series starring Amanda Abbington and Michael C. Hall.

OK, still tons left to do before lights out tonight. The articles with the links are available to read, the ones without are still to be added – in case you go hunting for them.

Thanks, as always to our contributors, and most especially my fantastic team.  

Welcome to Issue 59 – WATNOW: Combat


Articles Where Are They Now? Combat Cast by DJ Forrest

Where Are They Now?

Combat Cast

DJ Forrest

Combat written by Noel Clarke, told of men fighting men and going head to head with a Weevil in a cage, and mostly coming out of it in a body bag. Mark Lynch was addicted to the fighting world. A way of releasing his aggression against another with no repercussions. He had a captive Weevil in his basement and regularly beat it – of course, if it weren’t tethered to the wall by its wrists, it would be no contest who would be the victor.

Owen Harper, still recovering from being ‘dumped’ by Diane, goes undercover, and discovers the money behind the fight clubs, and feeling the way that he does, puts himself in the ring with a snarling Weevil not caring if he lives or dies.


Alex Hassell

‘Mark Lynch’

‘Something's coming. Out there, in the darkness, something is coming.’

Mark Lynch had everything he ever wanted, and he probably had worked hard to achieve it all, but there was a hard-edged primal streak that brought him back to his roots and the street brawls, laying into someone long after they’d fallen to the ground. His thirst for beating someone defenceless brought him to the Weevils roaming the streets of Cardiff, convinced in some messed up imaginings that these were really humans in a thousand years’ time. When Owen uncovers a Weevil strung up by its wrists in a locked junk room, he’s horrified further to discover that Lynch keeps it there purely for his own entertainment – as a punch bag.

It seems that Alex Hassell has been extremely busy since Torchwood. He’s played Felix Nash in Bonkers, Jake Randall in Love Soup, Marcus Kendall in The Bill, Eryn in Legend of the Seeker, Viscount Manley in Hustle, Colin Nash in Life of Crime, Simon Turner in Silent Witness along with Prince Hal in Royal Shakespeare Company: Henry IV Part 1 and 2 and played various characters in Shakespeare Live! From the RSC. Has just finished The Isle, playing Oliver Gosling and Max Rose in The Red Sea Diving Resort currently in post-production.

Paul Kasey


It’s difficult to isolate which Weevils were played by Paul Kasey, given some of the people we’ve interviewed who have also played Weevils in the series. Paul has also played a Blowfish character too. If we look through his Doctor Who career, Paul has played a multitude of Cybermen and other monster creatures including a Whisper Man, Footman, Zygon, Ood Sigma, and a Time Zombie, plus many more throughout his tenure with the series, along with appearing at the BBC Proms as some of the monster creations, including playing Shansheeth and Red Robot in Sarah Jane Adventures. He was the Werewolf in Being Human between 2009 – 2012, and he regularly appeared as the Foxy Bingo Fox before the Jeremy Kyle programme on ITV.

But its discovering that he was also in the Star Wars saga that makes me tingle with excitement. This is what Paul had to say about his time on set of The Force Awakens and Rogue One.

‘I played Admiral Raddus plus Edrio Two Tubes on Rogue One. Also I played Ello Asty on the Force Awakens and I'm also the CFX movement choreographer for both films.

Not only do I get to play characters in the films I get to work with the other Creature Effects performers and puppeteers on the movement of characters and get to choreograph how they move. This happens in a rehearsal period or on set.’

When asked what it felt like to be on set of something as big as Star Wars, Paul replied. ‘Every day I have to pinch myself.’

Since then, Paul has also played C’ai Threnalli in The Last Jedi.

Check out our interview with Paul from a few years ago

Alexandra Dunn


‘Are you going to answer that? The ninth missed call. Work. Do you enjoy your job then?’

Owen Harper is out drowning his sorrows in a loud bar, when the barmaid notices that he’s ignored his 9th phone call. She makes small talk until her jealous boyfriend Tommy turns up. Owen soon sorts him out.

There are several gaps in Alexandra’s acting credits which could mean anything from starting a family to working in theatre. Since her role in Torchwood, Alexandra doesn’t appear in anything else till 2015 when she plays a Beautician in Stella in Episode 9 of Series 4.

Matthew Raymond


‘You're never happier than when you're flashing your tits at a passing dickhead, are you.’

Tommy clearly has issues regarding his girlfriend working in a busy bar where any man is a threat and so stalks his girlfriend and bad mouths to customers. One of these days he’ll get her the sack, or if she’s any sense, she’ll dump him!

Owen puts him out of his misery at least twice during the episode, the second time with the help of Mark Lynch.

Since Torchwood, Matthew’s credits take a leap of six years to 2012, but again that could be due to his performances in theatre, which are never normally listed on a popular website of acting credits. Matthew has appeared in several television series – Dead or Alive, Obsession: Dark Desires, War & Peace, Stella, Doctors, Henry IX. Recently he played an Engaged Man in Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams television series and played a prosecutor in Keeping Faith. He was the voice of a character in Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia video game.

In 2016 produced and played the title role in a short film called Stu (Stuart) & Ollie, which was  nominated for Best Comedy at the London Short Film Festival 2016.

David Gyasi

‘Hospital Patient’

‘I was mugged. There was three of them. They had knives.’

The Hospital patient was an unfortunate victim of an attack by a Weevil – but then, if you go putting yourself into a cage with a raging alien creature, what do you expect?

Since Torchwood, David Gyasi has been extremely busy since 2007 with roles in New Street Law, Silent Witness, Doctors, Waking the Dead, Apparitions, Demons, Law & Order, Murderland, Red Tails, Chuggington: Badge Quest and White Heat.
In 2012 he played Harvey in Doctor Who episode Asylum of the Daleks and played a Skinny Prisoner in The Dark Knight Rises (loved that film).

More recently he’s played Alex ‘Lex’ Carnahan in Containment, Steve in Man in an Orange Shirt, Achilles in Troy: Fall of a City and Agreus in Carnival Row which is currently in pre-production, due out in 2019.

Cara Bamford

‘Dancing Girl’

Cara’s role was uncredited in the episode and so there’s no quote I can give. I’m also struggling to work out where she was in the episode itself.

Since Torchwood much of Cara’s roles were uncredited until she played DS Claire Moretti in Feather-Light and Paper-Thin in 2014, a television mini series, and played a Waitress in Kosmos another mini series for television.

There are two film productions currently in post and filming with no dates on release, called The Real Thing and Mermaid Down, where she plays Lauren and Susan. As well as an actress, Cara is also a producer.

Martin Fox

‘Fight Club Doorman’

Again another uncredited role, but an interesting one nevertheless as Martin has appeared several times in Torchwood including Security Guard in Reset and Custody Officer in Children of Earth: Day 5. In Doctor Who he played a UNIT Soldier for The Sound of Drums. As well as an actor, he is a stunt performer, action performer and assistant stunt coordinator. He was also a Police Advisor and police technical advisor.

From Torchwood and Doctor Who, Martin has played Prison Officer to Detectives to Martial Arts Instructors. After 2015 Martin’s roles seemed to be mostly geared around stunt performing, in My Bloody Banjo in 2015 to By Any Name and Knights of the Damned in 2017. Carnival of Sorrows is in Post Production and Chosen is currently still being filmed.

Alexander Hathaway

‘Fight Club Punter’

Again uncredited but you might remember Alexander from Greeks Bearing Gifts as he strode past Toshiko quoting a line from James Bond.

In about 97% of Hathaway’s roles are uncredited but what amazing films to have been a part of since Torchwood, especially given the quote in Torchwood GBG. Alexander played a Passenger in 1st Class in Quantum of Solace, as well as playing a character in Casino Royale, a Comic Book Store Manager in Kick-Ass, a CIA agent in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Italian Police in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and a Colombian Gangster in The Infiltrator. His credited roles are as James Robinson in Casualty, DC Ken Davis in Carmen’s Kiss, Peter in Darkness Into Light, James in Nearly a Mystery, and currently in pre-production, Donny in Sunny Side Up.

Not only an actor but also a director, Alexander is also patron of the Kent Youth Theatre.

Interviews Interview with Simon Fisher-Becker by DJ Forrest

Interview with Simon Fisher-Becker
by DJ Forrest

I've discovered quite by accident that breaking the ice in any interview is usually me trying to look intelligent but having absolutely no clue when it comes to how to master the simple things in life - such as, trying to understand why I can see Simon on the screen but he can't see me. It wasn't so much that Skype had updated everything, it was more to do with me, not removing the piece of paper over the camera on the laptop!!!

I found Simon to be an absolute delight to interview, oh how we laughed, and his stories were an absolute dream to listen to, that I realise now, I need to order a copy of his autobiography.

The interview began with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Did you wear a harness for the Great Hall scene as the Friar Ghost?

Simon: Yes, I was strapped to a see-saw. It was very bizarre. I mean, most of the stuff was done, hanging twenty feet from the ceiling of a giant studio, but when it came to that bit, they tied me or harnessed me to a see saw, So when I started the shot I was upside down and a (tanker) was put on my head and then they raised the see saw and then I came up and as I came up, I just had to do the (Simon puts on the ghostly friar voice). I did that about three or four times, made me a bit dizzy.

I'd imagine it would be a bit sore would it not from wearing the harness?

Simon: Well, it was bizarre when all the blood is rushing to my head, but it was fine because everything else we were just hanging - literally.

Are you as well known for your Harry Potter role as you are for your Doctor Who role as Dorium?

Simon: I think those that don't know Doctor Who do know me remarkably from playing the Fat Friar. All I know is that I did Harry Potter in 2000, and apart from getting the occasional bit of fan mail no conventions were interested in me at all. But as soon as I got into Doctor Who of course, I was sailing all over the world, and flying and walking because of Doctor Who, but the fans who were Harry Potter fans instantly knew what I did because you all go Googling and whatevering, and many of you go find things about me that even I can't remember.

So, it's on equal measure, so sometimes, even at a Doctor Who convention, people are more interested in my Harry Potter stuff, which is absolutely wonderful. And in fact, in August, I'm going off to Baltimore for Potterverse! So, I'm going specifically for Harry Potter which is wonderful.

The first time I saw you on television was in the series Afterlife.

Simon: Afterlife? Oh my gosh! You have dug very deep! (laughs)

Now thanks to Netflix I can watch an entire boxset back to back, and I thought, oh I remember that, and then 'oh that's that's...' (points at imaginary screen).

Simon: And I must admit, what I liked to see was the shot they had more of my eyes looking in the rear view mirror. I liked that bit. I enjoyed that very much. I think we filmed that in Bristol or somewhere round there.

It was a sad story that one - Roadside Bouquets.

Simon: Yes, and I liked the twist, that final shot that gives away the final answer. Oh no I thoroughly enjoyed that. And the driving was actually done on the main road. It wasn't a side strip. So not only did I have to remember my lines, but I had to actually drive. I wasn't even on the back of a trailer.

Oh, so proper, proper driving.

Simon: Proper driving and speaking at the same time. I don't know, what's the world coming to?

What or who inspired you to become an actor?

Simon: As a child, the first sort of theatre thing I saw of course was panto. And of course, Panto is very glittery and amazing, and I must have been about five when I saw my first panto. But I've always watched television and always gone to theatre, and I can always say, now, that I'm 57, that I always hankered at the idea of being an actor, and I had some outings when I was at school. I never seriously considered myself to be a professional actor at all until I was made redundant from my first job. I had a bag of money and what to do, what to do? So, I decided to use the money to do a post graduate drama course and it was the best decision I made.

So, what was the first theatre production you were involved in?

Simon: If we go back to school, the first thing was a production of Oliver. And because of my size I was automatically cast as Mr Bumble - I fit the prop -  but I thoroughly enjoyed it, of course. I had no real idea, although there was the thought of 'oh I wish I could do that' there was no real idea. So, I couldn't perform properly, until I did that.

My first professional production i.e., when I left college, was a tour of Alice in Wonderland and I played the Griffin, so there we go. My first professional line was with the mock turtle.

Your autobiography My Dalek Has a Puncture - where does the idea for the title come from?

Simon: It's fully explained in my book, which people can get from Fantastic Books Publishing - but in simple terms I was asked to write an autobiography, and I sort of fumbled a lot because I couldn't think of a title. I gave up on the idea of 'On the Cutting Room Floor' because a lot of my TV and film work to start off with was all cut. It was my experience with Harry Potter as well. A vast majority of what we did was cut.

I was an actor at some convention where Daleks were being paraded around and part of their competition was they had to go around the whole arena that we were in and the celebrity guests were asked to judge for who's the best. And there was this young girl in the corner crying and when I asked her what the problem was, she just said "My Dalek's got a puncture.' (sobby voice) And then Ping that was it

The first edition has done very well, and I've been commissioned to write 'My Dalek Has Another Puncture' and then 'Let Zygons be Zygons'. And hopefully they're both out this year through Fantastic Books Publishing. 

So, it's not available in the shops, you have to order in online?

Simon: I think you can buy it on Amazon. You can buy the paperback on Amazon and an eBook through Amazon, but if you want a hardback copy, you just have to go to Fantastic Books Publishing. https://www.fantasticbooksstore.com/authors/simon-fisher-becker

How long were you in make up for when you were playing Dorium Moldovar?

Simon: It's difficult to tell because the first day of course, they shaved my head but overall for costume and makeup it was about two hours.

I wasn't sure if you wore a cap over your head initially.

Simon: Well let's be honest, when we did the first read through Steven Moffat came to me and asked if I'd be happy to have my head shaved. Using the excuse that HD reveals all and a skull cap looks like a skull cap! And of course, you don't say 'No' to Steven Moffat. When they first shaved my head, the extraordinary thing was I discovered the shape of my head and the back of it looked like the dark side of the moon. So, to some it looks like I'm wearing a skull cap anyway.

Are you still touring with your Dalek autobiography?

Simon: I did the first tour of which I was very pleased broke even. Since then I've been doing them mostly at Conventions when asked but I haven't gone on another theatre tour yet. But you never know!

Well if you ever come towards Carlisle it'll be fantastic.

Simon: Yes, I know Carlisle. I'll let everybody know!

When you're not acting or touring, how do you relax?

Simon: I think it's fair to say and I think my husband would agree, that I rarely relax. (laughs) I'm always doing something, and because I do all the travelling, I have to record a lot of stuff on TV. On the rare occasions when I can say that I'm not going to do anything else, I will have a feast of what I've recorded, even then it's a challenge, as I'm thinking, I shouldn't be watching this or, there's something I've got to be doing.

And the spin off from doing the plays and that, I've been asked to do my autobiography and also to do my bits of writing, so I've always got that ticking over in my head. I try to spend as much time of my spare time with my husband as I can, because I'm always off travelling.

So, it's always good to catch up kind of thing - time out.

Simon: So, I'm sort of torn. I have my agent Kim Barry at Jaffrey Management company and I also have my event manager Matthew Campbell of M and M Famous Faces and he's continuously keeping me busy.

Simon was surprised when I told him we'd interviewed Matthew last year for the website. I told Simon I found Matthew an interesting person - a lad who started with nothing and now had a business and a list of famous names on his books.

Simon: Oh, no he's very good, and he did literally just start, and in fact I have to thank Ian MacNeice for that because Matt was looking after me and  Ian could see what Matt was doing for me and Ian said, 'Do you think the boy would do something for me?' and that's where I first sort of trickled the idea to Matt that he should start up his own booking agency and he's done extremely well. He's very young and much younger than most bookers. He's hard working. He can be a bit like a terrier with a bone.

He gets very chuffed when the fans ask him for an autograph. For me, he's an example...you're always hearing in the Press how teenagers and young people today are lazy and things, which they're not. They work as hard as any of us and Matt is a perfect example of that.

I liked your profile photo the other week - would you ever sport a Brian Blessed beard again?

Simon: (laughs) Will I? Well I suppose...I naturally like to shave and to be honest when I do grow a beard it looks a bit moth eaten because there are holes, there are patches. It looks as though a little mouse has burrowed in. So, I tend to keep myself clean shaven but if I had to grow a beard for something, I'm quite happy to try. It's better than having stick on and then it drops off half way through a scene. (laughs)

I just dug that photo out because there was this thing you know Your First Head Shot, and alas I can't find my very first head shot, because of course when I first started out people were chipping things out on stone, so the idea of having a jpeg was very difficult. But I did find that photo, which was a good 26 years ago

Were you a fan of Doctor Who before you took the role of Dorium?

Simon: Yes, absolutely. I was born in '61 and so I do remember the latter part of William Hartnell and changing into Patrick Troughton, and so I always say that Troughton is my Doctor and of course, Matt Smith is my Special Doctor because I got to work with him, but yes I've been a fan and now that I'm associated with it, it is quite extraordinary and the response to Dorium is marvellous and I thank and adore the fans and I always try to follow up any fan mail etc.

I mean, what I've been doing, is some people as you know sort of ask the same sort of questions, so I've started vlogging. I did it for a while and then one or two things happened, and I sort of kept a low profile, but I've started up again. And I will admit that sometimes I'm deliberately provocative, but I like to stimulate a conversation. I had a lot of people say - when are you going to do some more vlogs, we enjoyed that, so I now have my own sort of Youtube channel. Please feel free to subscribe!

I will be vlogging more. I've done two now so I will probably do another two in a few weeks’ time.  www.fisherbecker.info   website - links etc will be on there.

When you first got the script, what drew you to the character of Dorium?

Simon: It was very fortunate that the instructions were very short and clear. It just said - Dorium, large blue man, think Sydney Greenstreet. And those who don't know who Sydney Greenstreet is he's American. 

He's an English actor who did extremely well in America and in one of my favourite films, Casablanca, he plays a black marketeer. And also another thing about Sydney Greenstreet is he keeps very still on screen and mainly because he's large. And when you're large, and if I show you (Simon rocks from side to side) I only have to make the slightest movement and it looks as if it's a strike 12 earthquake, a seismic shift. So, I keep very still and keeping very still helped with the dramatic effects with Dorium, and then when the scripts came along there were some very funny lines as well as some very disturbing ones. Thank you, Steven Moffat, for writing a full 3D character for me to play with and it was absolute fun!

Was it claustrophobic between takes when Dorium's head was in a box?

Simon: It was a little. The worst time was when they were getting ready to do a take and they'd go, Right, Ready! (laughs) and then they'd close the door and I'd immediately within seconds was sweating cobs, and the sweat was very salty as well and if it dripped into my eyes it was like...So, they closed the door and on more than one occasion they then decided to have a continued conflab, so I was just sort of stuck there.

I remember on one occasion Matt said: Oh, we've forgotten Simon! And you could hear him coming over and I was stuck in this giant box with my head out the top and then put the Dorium's box on, so it was claustrophobic. And I can definitely say that on one occasion when they opened the door there was a definite psshhhhh (sound of escaping air) (laughs). But it was alright, it was good fun.  And I had the good fortune of course with the Wedding of River Song, and then it was just me as Dorium and the Doctor. So it was just me and Matt Smith who was utterly kind and delightful
and respectful and I thank him very much.

Did you get a fit of the giggles when you were on set?

Simon: Yes! I mean we can, always can. I know Dan Starkey is very funny! Neve McIntosh (check Spelling), very funny indeed. And it's just something that happens on the spur of the moment. In the past when I've tried to give examples they sound very boring, but to us at the time it was hysterical.

There is a little bit of subconscious tension - none of us want to mess it up. Television and film are really a technical medium and so the idea unless you're a big, big star, you could do take after take after take. If there's a take and they're happy with all the lighting and sound and everything else, the fact that you did a duff one they'll just print it anyway. (laughs) See it's lovely paranoia. I do understand why some actors say they don't watch themselves on television because you always and I find this, that you do watch yourself and you're always saying 'Oh, they chose that one.' or 'I could have done that differently'.

And then in another scenario at least in Doctor Who we had a read through, so all of us knew exactly what the story and what the arc is because sometimes everything is always top secret. You only get the pages that you're involved in and nobody will tell you what's happened before and nobody's going to tell you what is going to happen afterwards and there's been many times when I've just seen the whole thing that I thought 'Well if I knew that I would have delivered my lines in a slightly different way.' There we go that's show business, lovey!

There's a couple of new productions you're involved at the moment - Humber City: The Rising Tide, you play Cllr Arthur Boyd, can you tell us anything about that?

Simon: Humber City is a futuristic sci fi detective story, in simple terms. Peter Goundrel (check spelling) is the chappie who directs and produced it and wrote it and full credit to him. He saved up every penny can for us to do it, and it's taken years. He gets together a bag of money, he says 'I've got a bag of money to do a scene. Can you do this month, that month...', and so over the years, and of course he's a huge sci fi fan, so he's got a lot of Doctor Who actors involved.

I read that Terry Molloy and Sophie Aldred are in it as well.

Simon: Ah yes, the lovely scene with Sophie was that it was really very, very good, it was excellent fun as well. When it's out we'll be thinking 'Oh my gosh!' You know, I'm talking years. Years and years. I've been involved with it for about four years I think, and I would like to give full credit to people. So, Peter is a perfect example of 'Well if nobody will back me I'll back myself.' So, I'll raise the flag for him and say 'Tally Ho!'

You're also in the post production of The Great Director playing Alfred Hitchcock.

Simon: Oh yes! It came up very quickly. I got a call from my agent and I was abroad at the time. I literally landed at Heathrow airport and had to go to a studio to do a casting and I was the chosen one. And the same thing happened when they eventually got around to filming - I was abroad, came back, through to the studios. It was really good fun, I'm really looking forward to this when it comes out.

That sounds absolutely fantastic, I mean, Hitchcock himself has written so many brilliant stories.

Simon: It's so very exciting, it is! (Simon puts on his best Hitchcock impersonation). (laughs)

Will these films come directly to the television or to the cinema, or straight to DVD?

Simon: I very much hope that The Great Director gets a proper distribution because it's a very good film indeed.

You're also in another film, Indie film with Nicholas 'Buffy' Brenden.

Simon: Oh yes, Richard Calvert is the writer and director of the Indie. I did a short with him called Pundemic for which I was nominated for Best Actor in a Short. Very good film. I haven't yet done my bit. I know I'm contracted to do it.

Filming starts in August. Are you able to divulge what that may be about?

Simon: (laughs) That's all I know!

Thank you so much for the opportunity of the interview

Simon: Thank you! And can I just say Thank you again because you've asked some difficult questions that caught me out!