Happy New Year! Welcome to the first entry of the Phile for 2010 and the first for a decade. Last year was a big year for the Phile and this year will be better. I have a really good entry for you today, with a very special guest. Terry Molloy, an actor who has appeared in one of my favorite TV shows ever... "Doctor Who". Yes, I said "Doctor Who". My geekdom is coming out! Rush Limbaugh was in the hospital. He said he had chest pains and I thought, "Oh, he's just trying to get some of those painkillers." Tiger Woods is staying in New York at the Trump Hotel. The Trump Hotel is a lot like one of Tiger Woods' girlfriends, really. Tall, flashy, and 1200 bucks a night. A new study shows that more and more children are reaching the age of three before they learn how to talk. Even weirder, their first words are usually "dude, just text me." This is just insane. A woman in Ohio was arrested after she punched out the drive-through window at a McDonald’s when she couldn’t order chicken McNuggets. Now she's facing 4, 6, or 10 years in jail, plus a choice of dipping sauce. Dubai opened the world’s tallest skyscraper — at 2,640 feet tall. When asked how many elevators it has, the guy who built it was like “Ahhhh crap. Elevators!” And finally, a man in Italy said he stole candy from a store last week so he could spend New Year’s Eve in jail instead of with his wife and her family. The judge called it a shameful, embarrassing... actually, pretty brilliant plan. Where did you spend your New Years Eve? I spent mine at Epcot trying to crowd control 80 thousand people. Yes, I am still alive. Anyway, like I said, it's 2010, and I cannot believe it. There are some signs that you live in 2010. I haven't played Solitaire with real cards in years. I bet you only stay in touch with your friends if they have a screen name. I'd rather look all over the house for the remote instead of just pushing the button on the TV. So, did you get any Christmas cards this past year? I think Christmas cards are a dying breed, thanks to Facebook and e-mail and stuff, but I did get a card from Tiger Woods which surprised me. LOL. Take a look.
Okay, for months I have been showing you different motivational posters, and I found this one which cashes in on Avatar.
Speaking of movies...
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
Chipmunk legal guardian Jason Lee breaks every bone in his body and winds up in one of those free French hospitals while his rodent children run amok in high school. Then bad guy record producer David Cross rustles up another batch of rival female chipmunks, the Chipettes, in the hopes of destroying Alvin, Simon and Theodore. This, of course, backfires, creating a coed chipmunk mega-alliance. There's also something going on with a singing competition to raise money for the high school's music program. The Chipmunk/Chipette supergroup sweep the whole thing. Sorry to ruin the ending for you. So, yeah, nothing here makes any sense at all. Like the Chipmunks are big rich pop stars but they also have to go to high school and fight for popularity. In real life there'd be a private tutor. Then they have to worry about this singing competition for some reason, even though if they wanted to they could just cancel it and save the high school's music program themselves because of being big rich pop stars. They also have to worry about high school jocks wanting to beat them up. And finally, the Chipettes start out as their rivals, become their first sexual awakening crush-objects and finally turn into their sisterly comrades, which is a pretty bizarre relationship trajectory for this or any movie. How much you care will depend on your age. For example, it would help if you could figure out how to become 10 years old or less. And further confusion, can anyone explain the need for celebrity voice casting with these characters? It's all sped up so it's not like you can tell Justin Long from Amy Poehler here. I don't get it. In fact, for all we know, the singing voices are the same for both the male and the female chipmunks. I don't plan on hunting down a real explanation. I'm just sort of wondering aloud. I suspect the answer will make as much sense as why squirrel-like creatures have to go to high school. How much parents will hate it? Not much. It's inoffensive, harmless silliness. Kids will only ask the questions I just did when they go off to college and see it on TV somewhere, sit down to look at it again because they loved it as children, then realize that it's the dumbest thing they've seen in forever. Thats also when they'll finally crack up at the line where Alvin threatens to crawl inside a bad guy and build a nest. To its credit, the movie doesn't dwell on the implications of this. It just bounces along. I give this movie a 6, and will not be buying it on Blu-Ray or DVD.
Two buses of pilgrims collide south of Manila, Philippines, killing 83 in the worst traffic accident thus far.
The Yorkshire Ripper, murderer of 13 women, is arrested. Peter Sutcliffe concentrated mostly on hookers, but still managed to terrorize mainstream England in the late 1970's and early 1980's.
Connie Chung broadcasts Kathleen Gingrich's opinion of Hillary Clinton: bitch. We suspect it's merely a case of the pot calling the kettle black, and you can include Connie Chung in that.
In Gaza, Israeli intelligence agents blow off the head of terrorist Yahya Ayyash, The Engineer, with a remote control cellphone bomb using plastic explosives. Ayyash purportedly ran the Hamas military wing, and was a proficient bomb maker; 100,000 people attended his funeral.
Congressman Sonny Bono dead from blunt force trauma to his head after a direct collision with a pine tree at Heavenly Valley Ski Area. He is survived by his lesbian daughter Chastity and three other children.
The 4th book in the Peverett Phile Book Club is...
It's available on Amazon and in fine book shops anywhere, so go out and buy it. And Alan Dean Foster will be a guest on the Phile in two weeks.
On television, he is perhaps best known for his role in the long-running science fiction series "Doctor Who" as the mad scientist Davros, the creator of the Daleks. Please welcome to the Phile... Terry Molloy!
Me: Hello, Terry, welcome to the Phile. So, how are you?
Terry: Fine, thank you, Jason.
Me: You're the second "Doctor Who" celebrity to be a guest on the Phile, the first being Mary Tamm. Did you read her book?
Terry: I haven’t had the opportunity as yet because I have recently been very busy and am now preparing for a theatre tour in the New Year, but I understand that it is very good and shall look forward to reading it as soon as I can.
Me: What about you? Any plans on writing your own autobiography?
Terry: I have been nagged by various friends and family over the last few years to put my life down on paper and I will be pursuing that course during 2010 - though I’m not sure the book I want to write is the one most people will want to read!
Me: Terry, where in England do you live? Are you from that part?
Terry: I live in Norfolk on the coast of the East of England, but originally come from Newcastle upon Tyne, which funnily enough is also on the East of England coast but much further north.
Me: Not only are you known for being on "Doctor Who", but you must be well known for being on "The Archers", right? You've been playing the same character on that show for years. Do you ever get bored with it?
Terry: In 1971/2 I had done a few Radio Plays for Antony Cornish, the then head of Radio Drama at BBC Pebble Mill in Birmingham and he suggested me to Tony Shryane – the editor of the programme – who was looking for an actor to join the cast and play a new character, ‘Mike Tucker’, the herd manager at Brookfield Farm. I did an audition and was offered the part for what, I was told, was to be for just 5 weeks… 37 years later and “Mike” is still there – now the curmudgeonly Ambridge milkman!
Me: Most American readers of the Phile probably don't know what "The Archers" is, so would you care to explain what the radio show is about? It's been on for years, hasn't it?
Terry: It is the longest running radio drama programme in the world as it has been continuously broadcast everyday since 1951, so in a years time on January 1st 2011 we will be celebrating our 60th anniversary! The programme is called “The Archers” because it is based on the lives of an active farming family now headed by David & Ruth Archer within a fictional rural village community (Ambridge) in the heart of England. It was originally set up to provide farming information from the Government to English Farmers post World War and has over the years very accurately and entertainingly presented the realities of day to day life within a rural community, to the point that has become a British Institution. Anyone who wants to check it out can listen to it via the BBC website - http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/archers/
Do I ever get bored doing The Archers? Never! It is a little pool of sanity in my otherwise insane life!
Me: Let's talk about your infamous "Doctor Who" character you've played... the one and only Davros, creator of the Daleks. You're not the first to play that role, so how did you get the part?
Terry: I had just finished recording a series for TV - “Radio Phoenix” directed by Matthew Robinson and he was about to start on "Resurrection of The Daleks" when the actor who had played Davros originally became unavailable so I was put in the frame for the part.
Me: Did you know much about the character before hand?
Terry: When Matthew first asked me to play Davros, I had little idea of who the character was. Yes, I knew of the Daleks as I had watched "Doctor Who" as a fan in the early Hartnell and Troughton days, but after that ‘I got a life’ as an old girlfriend once rather archly put it! To bring Davros back in "Resurrection" it was most important to have Michael Wisher’s creation of the character as a reference and starting point so I watched the tapes of "Genesis of the Daleks" to try and analyze his approach. It was never the intention to do a carbon copy of Michael’s performance – that would have been mere caricature – and the truth of the character lost in the process. My aim was to re-create the essence of Davros to the best of my ability retaining those essential elements of the original conception and then building on that as the script demanded.
Me: Was Davros a fun character to play?
Terry: I don’t know if ‘fun’ is the right word for an intergalactic megalomaniac, but I certainly enjoyed the challenges the character has provided over the years.
Me: You have played him in three stories on TV right, with Pater Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy... I won't ask you who your favorite Doctor was, unless you want to tell me, but what was your favorite story line? "Resurrection", "Revelation" or "Remberence"?
Terry: "Revelation" was a true delight to do! A fantastic script from Eric Saward – dark and gothic on a grand scale, with more double crosses and twists than a box of corkscrews. It really gave us an opportunity to begin to stretch and develop the character of Davros beyond the mere ranting of an interplanetary Hitler, by discovering the dark humour and naked ambition and ego that he possessed. I was delighted to don the mantle again and go head to head with Colin Baker, who by now had become a good friend. Add to that a superbly rich and talented cast and the dynamic direction of Graeme Harper and "Revelation" had to be a winner!
Me: Have you played any other characters in DW apart from Davros?
Terry: Yes, invited me back after "Resurrection" to play a ‘human’ undercover detective in “Attack of the Cybermen”, where I got bumped off at the end of the first episode!
Me: Do you have any Davros items or toys at your house?
Terry: Yes, I have the mask and hand that I wore, leering down at me from the top of the filing cabinet in my office!
Me: You also played him on some Big Finish "Doctor Who" audio shows. Does it feel weird playing Davros without the mask? When you record those shows are you sitting?
Terry: Radio is, and always has been, my favourite medium to work in and I tend to either stand or ‘perch’ on stool when I record. It was a true delight to be asked to revisit Davros for Big Finish with Colin Baker in "Davros" and "Juggernaughts" with Paul McGann in "Terror Firma" and most recently and finally with David Warner as the 'Unbound' Doctor in "Masters of War". It gave us an opportunity not afforded in the TV series to explore more fully what lay behind the mask. In ‘I, Davros’ I think we really produced the definitive cannon of Davros’ early life and the factors that influenced him on his journey from boy, to man, to ‘monster’ and contains what I think is without doubt some of the best writing for and about the character to date – bar none – within a truly creative medium. As so much of the character resides in his voice, audio has been the perfect way to return Davros once more to his fans. Let’s face it... the pictures are always so much better on radio!
Me: What is that thing called Davros sits in? A bath chair? Chariot? What do you call it?
Terry: A chariot.
Me: I have to ask you about the play "The Trial of Davros". You only did that play once or twice for charity I believe. How did that play come along, and will you ever do it again?
Terry: "The Trial of Davros" was originally produced for a Hyde Fundraisers convention back in the 90s with Michael Wisher in the role as (having been initially asked) I was not sure at the time whether I would be able to make the convention dates. As it turned out I did get there to watch the show and met Michael for the first and only time. In 2004 I was contacted again by Hyde asking if I might be prepared to assay the role on stage for one night only in 2005 as a charity performance for ‘Children in Need’. This I agreed to do and eventually ended up directing the show as well. With the help of a determined team of hardworking and enthusiastic Hyde members and with the professional expertise of guest artists such as Peter Miles reprising his role as Nyder, Katerina Olsen as Shan, Brian Miller as Wiston and Hylton Collins along with John Leeson and Michael Wisher’s son Andy as the prosecutors, we all surmounted what on the face of it, appeared insurmountable odds and on the 16 July 2005 after just 3 days rehearsal, delivered a piece of theatre that will live long in the memories of all those involved and the 1000 plus fans who packed the Thameside Hippodrome. Physically it was so much more taxing than doing it on television, not only were the mask and chariot very restrictive of one’s spatial awareness in the theatre, but having to deal with the heat of the mask and costume on stage for almost a solid 2 hours nearly had me passing out with dehydration and exhaustion several times during the show. The fact that the entire inside of the chariot was thickly coated in salt crystals at the end of the evening from the amount I had sweated was testimony to the physical rigours of the performance. But it was all in a good cause, and a lot of money was raised for ‘Children in Need’ by our combined efforts.
Me: Have you been watching the new series of DW? What do you think of Julian Bleach's Davros?
Terry: Yes, I was intrigued when the series returned and have watched a lot of the new episodes over the past 4 years. My favourites have been "Dalek", "The Empty Child", "The Girl in the Fireplace", "Blink", and "Silence in the Library" as they seem to me to most explore and highlight that special un-unnervingly dark quality of "Doctor Who" which marks some of the best and most memorable of the programme’s many episodes both past and present.
Me: Okay, let's talk about something other then Davros. You used to be in a band in the 60's, and played sax, right? What was the name of your band?
Terry: The Big T-Bunkum Band - a seven-piece soul band. I played Baritone and Tenor Sax.
Me: And you played at the fame Cavern Club! I bet that was very cool. Were you a fan of the Beatles back then, or were you more of a Stones fan?
Terry: We played many of the clubs in Liverpool in the mid 60s including the ‘Cavern’, the ‘All Fours’ and ‘The Blue Angel’ along with various other venues. I liked both the Stones and the Beatles, but was more into soul music at the time along with The Who and Cream as well as groups like Chicago Transit Authority.
Me: Recently you played Eric Clapton, right? How did that happen?
Terry: I had an episode of the BBC TV series "Casualty" broadcast recently where I was playing an MS sufferer, and Harry Hill’s office phoned my agent the day after to say they thought I looked the ‘spit’ of Eric Clapton and wanted me to do the ending of "Harry Hill’s TV Burp" that week dressed in a hospital gown with an intravenous drip, as Clapton - playing "Layla" on guitar and segueing into the "Casualty" theme tune.
Me: Have you ever met Clapton?
Terry: He was/is my rock God and I only ever got near to him as a member of the audience at one of the farewell performances Cream gave! I never ever thought I looked like him, but apparently…
Me: I bet Harry Hill was fun to work with. Believe it or not, I met him once at Epcot. Was he a cool guy?
Terry: Harry is a very funny, talented and intelligent comic who has a most surreal way of looking at things!
Me: Okay, I promised I would mention The Exterminators convention. When is it and what is it?
Terry: It is a one day event on Sunday 10th January at the GEORGE IV Public House & Comedy Club, 185 Chiswick High Road, London W4 2DR. A day of mayhem and memories of all things Dalek driven and destructive! Doors Open at 10.45am, First Panel starts at 11.30am. Check out their site for more details. http://www.fantomfilms.co.uk/events/theexterminators/exterminatorsmain.htm.
Me: Do you like doing conventions and meeting fans?
Terry: For years I have attended conventions large and small all over the country as well as abroad, and I have always been struck by the obvious passion and delight that ordinary fans take in organising their own conventions and events for their fellow fans to attend. All this usually for no actual realisable profit or, if there is any it is usually donated to a local or national charity. In the process they create an atmosphere akin to a family gathering of people from all walks of life with a shared delight and interest in a particular programme. I know from my experience running the Archers fan club, that it IS the feeling of being part of the same extended family with a shared programme history and experience, be it in front, or behind, the cameras and microphones, or as simply a keen follower of the programme, that makes these events so special and memorable and thus cherished by both the fans and the attending guest artists.
Me: Are you friendly with any other DW folk?
Terry: I have over the years made and maintain friendships with a large number of DW folk, both artists and fans – too numerous to mention by name, but they know who they are!
Me: Terry, sir, I hope you enjoyed is interview and I didn't ask to many lame questions, or too many period, and thanks for being on the Phile. You are welcomed back any time you want, sir.
Terry: Thank you for inviting me Jason, it has been a pleasure - and do keep in touch with what I am doing via my website www.terrymolloy.co.uk.
That's the entry, pholks. Thanks to Terry Molloy for a great interview and to Dex from Fantom Films for hooking itup. Thanks also to Wikipedia, Letterman and Fallon. The Phile will be back next week with a new look as Jan. 8th it's the 4th anniversary. Yes, I've been doing the Phile for 4 years. Next week's guest next Tuesday is musician Matt Manzo. So, until then, spread the word, not the turd. Bye, love you, bye.