171. The Seeds of War
Behind the Scenes
Colin Baker talks about the episode in Vortex #49 (which can be downloaded from HERE)
Here we are doing The Seeds of War and I see Matt Fitton and Nicholas Briggs [credited as writers]! I wonder what that means? Does that mean they both sat there going, ‘No, no, he shouldn’t…’ ‘No, no, no,’ or did one of them write it and the other one fiddled with it? In which case I wonder which way round it is…? The end result is a script that makes perfect sense, it’s an exciting story and is yet another excellent Big Finish story. When you’re reading it you want to know what happens, so I’m hoping when people listen to it they’ll feel exactly the same.
This is another one where people are having a really rough time of it and have had for a long time as the result of some nasty person, whether it’s Davros or the Daleks or, in this case, The Eminence. What is it with all these nutters, that they have to go around destroying universes? I don’t know. Thank God for the Doctor, that’s all I can say.
One of your guest stars for this is Stuart Organ, who played Bazin in Dragonfire opposite Sylvester McCoy, so he’s working his way backwards through the Doctors…
Oh, I didn’t know that! He’s played two parts; he’s Helgert, who’s the frail old agronomist, but he’s also very, very funny Kenneth. It’s a wonderful name to find in a science fiction script isn’t it, Kenneth?
You’ve been back with Mel in these stories; which companion would you like alongside you next?
It’s like all things. People say do you prefer stage or camera, and whenever I’ve done a lot of one, I want to do something of the other. Change is brilliant. I’ve had some fantastic companions. Now I’ve done some with Mel I want to do some with Peri [Nicola Bryant] again, and then I’d like to do some with Flip [Lisa Greenwood] again because I like her a lot, and then I want to do some with Maggie [Stables, Evelyn] again because Maggie and the Sixth Doctor, I think, were a brilliant pairing. Poor Maggie’s not been well, but I’d love the opportunity to do another story with Maggie. And I loved Charley Pollard [India Fisher] as well. I enjoyed working with Frazer [Hines, Jamie]. I’ve been blessed with some really fantastic companions, so doubtless they’ll come up with more. Now, you see, if I could do one story with each of them every year, that would a) keep me nice and busy and b) it would tick along very jollily. But Nicola was my first, so I am loyal to Nicola.
And since we last spoke, you’ve been in the jungle as part of I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here! What were your campmates really like?
To be honest, there’s not one of them I would be unhappy to see again. There were no nasties in there.
Not even MP Nadine Dorries?
She was lovely. I’m still not a Conservative voter, but I have complete respect for her, and the reason she went in I totally believe, which was ‘This is the widest audience I’m ever going to get’. And it’s worked, because she’s on every interview show [and] politics show.
You seemed to get on really well with Ashley Roberts, formerly of The Pussycat Dolls.
She should have won it. Such a nice girl. I was in Snake Rock with her at first when there were five of us, and we’d been there for three or four days, and because the food was so meagre, none of us had ‘used the toilet paper’, if you see what I mean. And we were getting quite obsessed about it. So I came out of the dunny at one point, and Snake Rock was up on the hill and she turned and went like that [thumbs up]. If you’d said to me a Pussycat Doll would have been interested in my bowel movements before I went in…! We high-fived each other!
I learnt a lot about myself, about what matters to me. I was taken by surprise because one thing my girls said to me was, ‘Don’t get all emotional’. I said, ‘Not a hope!’ and then of course, you do. You’re deprived of food, any contact with the outside world at all – literally. When they come in to change your batteries on your microphones, which they do three times a day, even their watches have got black sticky tape over them so you don’t know what time it is. And when they walk you to the trials, they take you, as I discovered afterwards, on long circuitous routes – in fact, they’re quite near. You can get there in five minutes; they make you walk half an hour to get there. Up hills and stumbling and falling over; it’s all about disorientation.
So would you do it again?
I probably would! I met Bobby Ball last week, of [comedy double act] Cannon & Ball, and there’s an instant bond between other people who’ve done it, going, ‘Did you have…?’ ‘Yeah, we did.’ And he said, ‘Would you do it again?’ and I said I probably would. But I wouldn’t do it immediately before I’m going on to do panto next time. Because in my head all the time was, ‘I’ve gotta get out of here to do panto’. If I’d won, I wouldn’t have had a chance of opening in panto on that Friday after I arrived home on the Tuesday night!
Colin Baker and David Sibley
David Sibley, Colin Baker, Ray Fearon
John Banks and Bonnie Langford