Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Robbie Williams was nearly Doctor Who

Popular human male "singer" Robbie Williams nearly played The Doctor back in 2003. A documentary on the DVD for the online Doctor Who story Scream of the Shalka (full details HERE) reveals that the Take That performer was interested in the role, and the production team were just as interested in having him play the Time Lord.

Speaking on making-of documentary Carry On Screaming, producer Muirinn Lane Kelly said: "We got word that Robbie Williams was interested in playing The Doctor. We all sat around wondering, 'Is this a good idea? Is this a crazy idea?' Although, when it all shook down it turned out he wasn't available and it wasn't that possible."

Shalka writer Paul Cornell added, "Because we were reaching for the mainstream I actually thought he's one of the most famous people in Britain. It would actually get us an enormous kick of attention"

Producer James Goss stated, "Think about it, if you really wanted to bring Doctor Who to a whole new audience, it would have been the most popular, talked-about thing the BBC website ever did."

Older readers may remember that Richard E Grant would eventually play the role of The Doctor in the story.  Scream of the Shalka is released on Sept 16 in the UK and Sep 17 in North America. Pre-order it HERE.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm glad that didn't come about then.

Anonymous said...

Though, I could see him as Captain Jack

Elle J said...

That's just too crazy for words...

Anonymous said...

He's a half-decent singer, but can the guy actually act? If you go on the IMDb, his only real acting credit before Shalka was made was as "Man Using Queen Vic Telephone" in 1995 episode of EastEnders. I think Grant trumped him in the acting experience department!

DJ Rob Cyberman said...

What amazes me, is why this couldn't be released on bluray. Its a cartoon made using vector graphics (which means, its infinitely resizeable)all they need to do is re-output it from the source files at a higher resolution.

Shining Love Pig said...

Is it in poor taste for me to compare this to the Cuban missile crisis? Terrible disaster for the world, narrowly avoided...

badblokebob said...

Oh God, I'm an older reader because I can remember 2003?!

Anyway, I sort of agree with Mr Cyberman above that it's a shame they're not releasing this in HD. Equally, I can't say it amazes me they're not - I can imagine them being concerned that an animated online out-of-continuity curio won't generate enough sales to justify a DVD release, never mind a pricier Blu-ray one!

I've always had a soft spot for Shalka though, so I've been awaiting any kind of disc release for a very long time (since 2003, in fact, when I remember it was first promised).

Skip said...

Just to answer Rob Cyberman (and, oh god, to confess that I'm shamelessly googling "Shalka" rather than doing proper work)... we did look into the feasibility of Shalka in HD for Dan Hall.

Sadly, time is a terrible enemy. A lot of the assets from the Cult site have sadly gone (or maybe lie in a forgotten cupboard somewhere in White City). I found most of the raw flash files on an old DVD-R. But... they were for the 12 fps webcast. So worryingly useless.

I approached Steve Maher, the lead animator. As Cosgrove Hall is long gone (indeed, he sadly watched the building get bulldozed) the files don't exist there, although he thinks he may have the odd file on a hard drive somewhere - but is it his? Or Cosgrove Hall's property?

If we'd had a full set of files at the right frame rate, then the expense of rendering out an HD master may (just) have been justified. As it was we were only able to go back to Dan with technical and legal problems.

And, re the Robbie news story - you do miss a lot of context by just reading a text transcript of those comments!

And now, I'm going to prove I'm not a robot. And then unload the dishwasher.

James