Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sladen's Shorthand

"Do you know shorthand?" Elisabeth Sladen politely asks her interviewer, Benjamin Cook, in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine. Cook confesses 'no'; Sladen's reaction? "Good, me neither!"
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And that kicks starts Lis' interview, taken during filming of Doctor Who's epic 2008 finale, "Journey's End". She goes on to discuss a-many things, indeedy! "I suppose it helped doing the DVD commentary [for 'Genesis of the Daleks]," She reveals, "which I hadn't seen since 1975, when it went out. I watched it again for the first time - what? - two years ago, and I appreciated it so much more. Davros is such an iconic thing, and meeting him again... was bizarre."
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Lis continues, "In The Sarah Jane Adventures I'm almost a different kind of Sarah Jane, because of the kids. You kind of have to be. People have different facets to themselves, though, so that's allowed. When I go back to Doctor Who - oh, I love it! I go a bit more... I suppose 'girly' Sarah Jane. At my age, I thought, maybe I shouldn't? But I can't help it. I see the Doctor, and all of a sudden that's my Doctor again. It frees me in a way that I can't be when in 'responsible parent' mode."
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"I'm going to try to bring a bit of that freedom to it in the second series of Sarah Jane. I think I should let go a bit more. I think people sopmetimes think I'm rather acquiescent, but I just work in my own way."
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There's also interviews with other SJA veterans who appeared in Who's finale, Thomas Knight (Luke Smith), John Leeson (the ever faithful K9) and Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith).
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Here's a few random snippets!
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Knight on seeing a couple of Lis Sladen's classic Doctor Who adventures: "Yeah, I Youtubed her! There's a massive difference - wobbly sets and all that. Apparently, Graeme [Harper] worked on older Doctor Whos, too. He was telling me that they'd have egg cartons on the walls and colour them in so that they looked like computer buttons. It sounds brilliant."
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Leeson on K9... and typecasting: "I don't need any gizmos and tricks. My voice doesn't have to be put through a modulator. It seems to be part of me. [He sighs] I only wish people would cast me as something else."
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Finally, Armstrong on the SJA's influence: "I hope this starts a new era of really innovative children's programming, because the bar has now been set incredibly high. It's storytelling that doesn't mess about. Kids have to deal with some quite harsh things in the show, but life is dangerous and a little bit scary."
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The magazine confirms that head writer of The Sarah Jane Adventures - Phil Ford - will be co-scripting one of 2009's four hour long specials, alongside Russell T Davies. Gareth Roberts will also co-write a special - he's also joined by Davies - and SJ.tv understands that [SPOILER!] one of these adventures will be set in Egypt, and will be a historical piece.
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WARNING!! Stop reading now if you don't want a major plot point regarding The Sarah Jane Adventures series two revealled to you...
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Highlight to read, folks:
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SJA Producer Nikki Smith tells DWM, exclusively, that Nicholas Courtney is reprising his role as Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. That, we already knew. What is new to us is confirmation that he returns in the series finale - alongside a number of familiar foes!
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Smith spills the beans, "When Phil Ford was putting all the elements together for the finale, he knew that the threat was so great, Sarah Jane would need more than the support of her regular gang - she'd need one of her oldest and best friends at her side! And don't think Sir Alistair's going to take it easy... because there are more old faces returning in the finale, some of whom no one will be glad to see!"
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The finale has a working title of "Old Friends" according to one source.
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Lethbridge-Stewart's final appearence in Doctor Who - "Battlefield" - is released on DVD 29th December, featuring a commentary with Nick Courtney himself!
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We can confirm that the SJA series one boxset will be released on November 10th, and does indeedy feature "Invasion of the Bane" - already available to buy on DVD. The RRP for the set currently stands at £24.99.
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Finally, frequent SJA villain, the Graske, will be heading back to Doctor Who for a special five minute long scene, shot especially for this year's Proms, that stars David Tennant - and the face beneath the Graske, actor Jimmy Vee.
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The fantasic Doctor Who Magazine issue 398 is out tomorrow, priced £3.99 - there's even a very collectable SJA cover for you to grab!
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