Carol Ann Ford, Katy Manning and Louise Jameson visit Peter Capaldi on the TARDIS set

The Dimensions convention in Newcastle over the weekend of 25th – 26th October 2014. On separate panels Carol Ann Ford, Katy Manning and Louise Jameson all describe their experiences of visiting Peter Capaldi on the TARDIS set at Cardiff. 

Carol Ann Ford (the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan, 1963-64)

“A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be in Cardiff studios, and I was green with envy. Because not only were they doing it in individual takes, but the actors got individual lighting! I couldn’t believe it! You see, you took pot luck when I was doing it, because you had some overhead light, which was very unflattering anyway, but you were very lucky, especially if you’re me, if you caught it. Because I was always the smallest, with these people towering above me. I was always desperately trying to get a bit of light.”

“I was invited by the BBC. They said that I had to go and do a set-visit and meet Peter, which I did. It was great, I really enjoyed it. It was just marvellous […] We had our photos taken together, and he was very sweet, He’s very, very tall and very skinny. We were standing next to each other and the camera’s there. He said, ‘I’m not quite sure what I should be doing at this moment.’

I said, ‘Don’t worry, just stand there. I’ll do it.’ I dash up and…. ‘Grandfather!”

On being on the new TARDIS set:

“Absolutely overwhelming. I mean, I couldn’t relate, apart from the console, which was more or less the same. Except it wasn’t actually. No, no it wasn’t. Lots of very different things. Including a sensor; they have a sensor panel which is all beautiful pastel colours. So I went up to it and I started running my fingers over it, and he said, ‘Oh no, no, no, no! You don’t do that. You’re a Time Lord! You don’t have to do it!'”

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Clara uses the telepathic circuits in Listen

“I was surprised at how excited he was. I was quite tentative because I saw the very first one he did and they wrote him as a very prickly, unpleasant sort of character, who obviously didn’t like to be touched, cuddled, whatever. And so I though, ‘Oh dear. How’s this gonna go?’ But in actual fact he came running over to me, flung his arms round me and said, ‘Oh! I’m so pleased to meet you!”

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Katy Manning (Jo Grant, 1971 – 73)

“I just sort of went in and, I get really shy, but then I thought all I’ve really got to do is say, ‘Hello.’ He came up and they all said, ‘He really wants to meet you.’ I think he’s a really fabulous actor, but I thought, ‘Pull yourself together and be brave.’ […]

He said, ‘I want you to come and see the TARDIS.’ And we went into the thing and he said, ‘Well, this is the something’ and he put my hands on there and he came up behind me and held my hands on thing. So you’ve got that shot of him standing there.

And you can see I’m actually really focused. I forgot, because I’m that kind of an actress… I’m on the TARDIS console, that’s my memory thing… it’s all happening for real! You can see the intense concentration.”

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Louise Jameson (Leela, 1977-78)

“We went to the set and someone walked over with the sonic screwdriver for me to have a look at. She didn’t know I’d seen one before quite a lot, but it’s a new one. So we held the new sonic screwdriver. There were lots and lots and lots of children in the shot, and we waited and waited. He was very busy and someone said, ‘I’ll take you over.’

I go, ‘No, no, no, no, no.’ He’s obviously running lines in the corner.’

And then he came on set and he spotted me. He went, ‘Oh. Oh! Oh!’ like that. Grabbed my hand, hauled me behind him up some stairs onto the console. He said, ‘Stop, stop, stop, everyone. Stop!’

I could see the director. She was like, ‘we’re half an hour behind, I was going to get this shot.’

He’s going, ‘Stop! Stop! This is Louise Jameson! She played the character of Leela in 1977 and 1978.’ He had it all in his head. Then someone gave him a yo-yo which he started playing with and then he went, ‘Photos. I must have a photo!’ he said. So we had photos, which was lovely.

Then I met Jenna, which was great. What a sweet woman she is. Really lovely.

Then as I was leaving he went, ‘Hey, would you like to be in this?’ I went, ‘Would I?!’ It’s like, is the Pope Catholic? Yes! And then said, ‘Ahh, I’ll see what I can do.'”

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