156. The Curse of Davros
Behind the Scenes
ON THE FLIP SIDE
Lisa Greenwood talks to Paul Spragg about travelling in the TARDIS as new companion Flip, and meeting the fans…
Hi Lisa! Welcome back to Doctor Who! I’ve got recording time for up to two-and-a-half hours, so off you go…
Where do I start? My first childhood memory…
Mine is seeing the video for Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall and being scared of the weird people in it.
It’s quite scary, my one. When I was little, I lost control of my bike. That’s my first memory and it’s quite gruesome. The bike was my sister’s so I couldn’t touch the floor. I was really going for it on this bike and I saw some ducks, lost control of the bike and my foot scraped across a brick wall and totally took my big toenail off! That was my first memory! I just remember sitting there thinking, ‘Ow!’ and my Dad had to take me to the hospital. It’s really bad. I can’t remember much of my childhood though, which is quite strange.
I think I read that you remember earlier things as you get older. Anyway… on to Doctor Who. Did you think you’d be back after The Crimes of Thomas Brewster?
Not at all. I’d done that one little episode and I thought that would be it. Then I got the phone call a few months later asking if I wanted to do it and I jumped at the chance. I had such a good time the first day that I was here. I didn’t realise there was a secret audition!
How have things changed for Flip over this trilogy?
Flip’s still very much the same person; she’s just a normal girl, getting on with life. She’s learnt a lot more now; she’s gone through a few adventures, things that would never happen to anyone normal. She’s quite a courageous girl and a lot of that’s come out in the scripts. She’s got a lot of different aspects to her personality but one of the ones that sticks out is she’s just so brave. I can’t believe how brave she is! All the stuff she does, I’m thinking in my head, ’What are you doing, why are you doing that???’ She’s written as a very forceful character. I could have played her a lot more subtle and a lot nicer, but I think Flip’s in your face. She is what she is, love her or hate her.
Have you done audio work before?
No! My first ever audio was my first Doctor Who. I’m really quite new to the whole industry; it’s been a complete whirlwind for me. I never thought I’d be where I am at this particular moment in time, it’s been so quick. I didn’t really know anything about it, I just got told to come along to Big Finish to read the script, basically! I really enjoyed it, though, and I would do it again, definitely.
I love working with Colin [Baker]. He’s such a lovely man, and the guys here as well. Just a lovely crew. I keep saying the word lovely but they really, really are! They are so nice. One of the best bunches of people I’ve worked with. Friendly, really warm. They’re standing behind me, that’s why I’m saying this! [laughs] They just made me part of the crew. It was really nice.
How familiar are you with Doctor Who?
I’m very familiar with the TV series but more so since it returned; not so much in the past. I wasn’t familiar with Colin’s character, so I did some research on Colin, had a little look at his stories and stuff, but I’m very familiar with the modern stuff; I watch it.
I hear you’ve also been reading some reactions to your casting on our forums. What did you make of it all?
I’m never coming back! That was a joke. I was being too nosey for my own good to be honest, I shouldn’t have gone on there! But it’s understandable; people really enjoyed the previous companion and they’ve got their ideas about what they want. I don’t think Flip’s had much time to show what she can do yet. All I can do is the best I can do, and if you like it, I’m really happy about it and if you don’t, I’m sorry! Don’t hate me!
I wasn’t too bothered about it. It made me want to do well more. I’ve got something to prove now. But as I said, it’s understandable. If I watch something on TV and I really like a character and all of a sudden that character’s gone, I’ll be like, ‘Oh, why? I really liked her’. But change is good, I hope!
You were, of course, first introduced at Big Finish Day.
It was scary! I wasn’t expecting the whole entrance thing! I thought it was going to be a little room and just a few people in there, but it was huge! They guided me to this door; I just remember walking in through the door and everybody started clapping and I was like, ‘What is going on?’ It was really, really good though. In situations like this, I’m fine to talk to; I’m totally relaxed. But in situations like a panel, I feel a bit nervous. I don’t know what to say or I’m a bit apprehensive about it, so Colin was really good that day; he took me under his wing and he kind of showed me the ropes and gave me things to sign and he took a few of the questions for me when I was a bit, ‘Er…’. He jumped in for me, so that was cool.
What’s the relationship like between the Doctor and Flip?
I think with Flip, she doesn’t say it but the Doctor, to her, is so cool. He’s taken her to different planets where she’s seeing all these different aliens and she’s amazed by this. So yeah, he’s cool to her. It’s grown more into a father/daughter relationship. He does look out for her and I think she does worry about him as well. It’s a nice relationship that they’ve grown to. But she does protest. She protests quite a lot about ‘he isn’t her dad’!
Poor Flip is in at the deep end as well, facing off against the Daleks first time out.
I thought that was brilliant, my first story in and I’m getting to work with the Daleks! And Nicholas [Briggs], I had no idea he was the actual voice of the Daleks! I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ It was amazing. And they actually let me do a Dalek voice. I got to say ‘Exterminate’. It was the pinnacle of my life, ever.
How does it feel to be flying the flag for Essex girls?
It feels good. I’m not actually from Essex myself, I’m from East London, but I grew up and went to school in Essex. It shines a different light on a typical Essex girl; Flip isn’t your stereotypical Essex girl; she’s got some balls, Flip! Some of the stuff she does I would never do!
And you’ve also got to work with some great guest actors.
They’ve all been really lovely. And some people have amazing voices; I’m in awe, actually. This is the first time I’ve done anything like this and I’m totally taken in. Sometimes I just end up watching them do it, and miss my line because I’m so engrossed in listening to what they’re all saying. I’m, like, [staring] out of the window and end up missing my line and everyone’s like, ‘Oh, Lisa! Come on! Do your job! Do what you’re paid to be doing!’ [laughs]
Colin Baker, Lisa Greenwood, Ashely Kumar
Colin Baker and Terry Molloy
Colin Baker and Lisa Greenwood