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Questions for Roger Marshall
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Darren
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 1784
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mousemeat wrote:
Rodney wrote:
The Removal Men was not intended - from the writer's perspective - as the last ever Venus Smith episode. My father recalls that the idea for the character was lifted from a lot of Warner Bros American shows where it had become a standard format to have a blonde night club singer in a main role. My father did not mind the Venus Smith character and remembers that the production team would simply state that Blackman was unavailable for said episode so please use Venus, or vice versa.


interesting...yet, venus did have a 'charm' of her own...sadly, many fans of the show, have ignored her etc..


ITV3 have been repeating Carry on Cleo a lot recently where Julie Stevens has a guest role as a slave girl to Kenneth Williams' Caesar. It took me a while to recognise her with the long hair with she has a really charming, likeable quality.

Quote:
My father was always invited - in the Gale era - into the studio by Hammond and Leaver to offer his imput. This was not feasible when the show moved onto film with lots of location shooting. However, while he knew Hammond well, it was Leaver and O'Hara who he socialised with and who he continues to see regularly. Richard Bates encouraged dialogue between writers and directors and this continued until he was replaced by Clemens.


Thank, Rodney. It's great to know that there was a real sense of community to the videotape days. I think that that can only be a healthy thing.
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Borgus Weems
Have Fingers... Will Type!


Joined: 03 Jan 2009
Posts: 396

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodney wrote:
One of my father's regrets with the show is that everyone - including him - followed the party line in terms of comments in the press and books and on 'making of' sections of dvds. The truth has rarely been revealed about key moments in the show's history e.g. why Liz Shepherd was axed. He hopes that one day all can be revealed!


Have ya'll ever broached the subject of putting out your own version of the story of making The Avengers? I would imagine there would fan interest in such a book.
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

we are trying to put something together but finding the time is the main problem.
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Frankymole
A Touch of Brimstone


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 4023
Location: Carmadoc research establishment

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mousemeat wrote:

interesting...yet, venus did have a 'charm' of her own...sadly, many fans of the show, have ignored her etc..
I am sure she did, but it is difficult to get close to it through the caterwauling...
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Little Wonder


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 118
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodney wrote:
we are trying to put something together but finding the time is the main problem.


I would love to hear your father's memories of Peter Hammond.

Peter said he just didn't socialize. Actually, he said "we never socialized" I presume meaning he and his wife.

Mr Hammond had 2 lives: work and home and he appears to not have let the two mix.
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

many writers and directors are like that. It matches their choice to write - a solitary profession - or a career behind the camera.
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Charlie Parker
Little Wonder


Joined: 08 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not really an Avengers question but, after the disagreements between Brian Clemens and your father regarding the direction the Avengers was taking in the colour seasons, did your father have any reluctance to work for Brian again on the Professionals?
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My father wrote the episodes for Gerry O'Hara as a favour due to the mess the Professionals was in. "We need a couple of episodes... yesterday!" My father and Clemens nearly worked together again on the gardeners' detective show with Felicity Kendall - I've forgotten the name - but my father hated the whole concept so refused to sign up.
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frank
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Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that Rosemary and Thyme? I know a show by that name is on PBS right now
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Boswell
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Joined: 10 Sep 2008
Posts: 59
Location: Norwich, England

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodney wrote:
My father wrote the episodes for Gerry O'Hara as a favour due to the mess the Professionals was in. "We need a couple of episodes... yesterday!" My father and Clemens nearly worked together again on the gardeners' detective show with Felicity Kendall - I've forgotten the name - but my father hated the whole concept so refused to sign up.


Don't blame him!
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helenofirvine
Winged Avenger


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
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Location: Lives in Fear of Mods Who Fear BBC

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodney wrote:
we are trying to put something together but finding the time is the main problem.


One word, Rodney: PODCAST

Do a series of audio interviews with your father, with questions we pose, and, using Skype on the Internet, or in person with an MP3 audio recorder, create a series of podcasts.

Don't wait for the time. Sometimes times has a way of passing us by. Make the time. (Just a gentle suggestion)
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Boswell
Thingumajig


Joined: 10 Sep 2008
Posts: 59
Location: Norwich, England

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another non - Avengers question - How did your father feel his Survivors episode turned out? It's one of my favourites despite one OTT performance that rather swamped the piece. I loved the way it opened in all tranquility with a nice stroll along the canal and ended up in carnage.

And did he ever have a hankering at taking a stab at Doctor Who?
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My father remembers the episode fondly because he had always wanted to write something canal-based. He visited the Stoke Bruerne museum near Northampton for research and then set his Granada series Travelling Man exclusively on the canals. He was never a Doctor Who fan, unlike me. I think the dark, ironic Blake's Seven would have suited him better. As it was, the sci-fi film Invasion was his sole adventure into the genre. It was generally well received, I think.
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Boswell
Thingumajig


Joined: 10 Sep 2008
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Location: Norwich, England

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, of course, elements borrowed for that Doctor Who Spearhead From Space a few years later. I remember seeing that film one Saturday afternoon way back in the 1980s and thinking 'That's familiar...' Very creepy that fillum.

Thanks, Rodney. Parasites was a shocking episode. The bit that got me (and I didn't know it had been edited by UK Gold), was the murder of the community's padre who had recently 'come out' as a curate or something in a previous episode. It is certainly a more exciting episode than some of the ones that preceded it.

One more question though: did your father ever have any dealings with Terry Nation? I know he was after Roger's time on The Avengers but all the same?
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My father never met Terry Nation, even when he wrote The Survivors episode.
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Little Wonder


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
Posts: 118
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodney wrote:
My father never met Terry Nation, even when he wrote The Survivors episode.


Gosh, I've met Terry Nation, several times, and I didn't write nuttin.
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I didn't sell out. I bought in.

I made you a Soul but I ate it.

Science isn't a Belief, it's Understanding.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alfuso/
http://blogs.delphiforums.com/alfuso/start
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry Nation was a great ideas man, but not a great writer. The scripts for the first season of Blake's 7 are fantastic, all 'written' by Nation but in reality rewritten by the gifted script editor who added depth and wit to Nation's initial ideas.
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Allard
The Ministry


Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry Nation once recycled a Saint script as a Baron script, I believe it even became news in the sixties when people noticed, whole parts of dialogue were the same in both episodes.
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Rodney
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And most of the witty comments in series 1 of B7 were lifted from other sources, not that it prevented them from being enjoyable. At one point Michael Keating's character comments that he intends living forever or dying in the attempt. Wonderful, but lifted from American writer Joseph Heller. I think Nation was a great idea's man, though, and Take-Over remains the greatest 'straight' Avengers episode. IMO. Too serious but great drama.
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Charlie Parker
Little Wonder


Joined: 08 Sep 2008
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whilest not ovetly good at writing dialogue I've always though Terry Nation had a good idea about structure and pacing, I've never found anythings he's written dull.... corny sometimes but never dull. However in prose I thought he was quite good, I enjoyed the novel he did named after his daughter very much.
Always thought it a shame Robert Holmes never wrote for the Avengers, I think it'd of suited him to the ground.

Back on topic, did your father ever have any disapreements over the casting of some of the charaters in his scripts?
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