The War Machines (BB, 1966)

Gerry Davis (Script Editor)

I wanted a scientific adviser for the show, and I wanted to generate new science fiction-based story ideas, as we had decided to phase out the historical stories. I’d been having meetings with Patrick Moore, Alec Comfort, Professor Laithwaite and the like, with one or two stock questions to see if I could provoke their imaginations. I said to Kit Pedler ‘Supposing something tried to dominate from the new Post Office tower’, and he immediately said ‘Oh, it would have to have a control network, possibly using the telephones, and that’s how ‘The War Machines’ started. Ian Stuart Black was booked to write a script.

Jackie Lane (Dodo)

I think (Innes Lloyd) had definite plans for the series which neither Steven nor Dodo really fitted, and half way through my first year I was told that Dodo was to be written out. I would have liked a dramatic ending and my farewell just two episodes into ‘The War Machines’, and not even on camera but in reported speech, was a bit of an anti-climax. Still, I got my revenge. I now run a voice-over agency and Innes Lloyd once asked me to find him work. I reminded him that he had once sacked me from ‘Doctor Who’ and said a very firm ‘no’!

Anneke Wills (Polly)

I went along for the audition, knowing that it was for a part in ‘Doctor Who’, but not knowing that it was to play the companion. I didn’t know that. And then when they got back to my agent, they said ‘Okay and this is for a regular part’, so then I was over the moon, you can imagine.

I think it was absolutely their conscious decision to have a sort of 60’s chick and I came ready with my own clothes. And with very short skirts. And very long eyelashes batting away. So that was a conscious decision of theirs to say ‘Alright, we want to move the companion into being more of a sexy kid’. Yeah.

I was aware of Bill Hartnell’s irascibility, because my hubby had played the Toymaker before and so I already knew that he was liable to go off on one, so you had to watch him. So there was that element in rehearsals of having to be careful of the old man and having to treat him gently, so that was a little tense.

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