Tag Archives: Doctor Who

Stepping away from the norm

Farah Fawcett

Candice: There are things a foot in my world at the moment.  Nothing I can go in to in detail in the blog world but things may be changing in the world of work over the next few months.

To be honest its kinda messing with my head, making me tired and in need of a break.

So last Friday I stepped away from the world of marketing and put my other head on by being an SA (Supporting Artist or Extra to those not in the know) on a new BBC drama called ‘Danny and the Human Zoo’.  Set in the 1970’s the story is based on Lenny Henry’s real life experiences of being a black comedian in the era where was still unusual to have famous black people.

So I spent a day in a theatre in Coventry applauding things that weren’t there and laughing hysterically over and over again.  The day lasted for 12 hrs and I got paid a lot less than I usually do, but as always it was good fun.

The first part was having my hair and make up done.  When you do present day work you don’t often get this, they just say ‘wear what you are wearing’ but when you have a historic piece they do a lot to make it look right.  There were 55 of us being primped and preened for a scene that will probably last 3 minutes. Once I’d been tonged within an inched of my life with a Farah Fawcett Flick then it was off to pretend to be watching the show.

You spend a lot of time sitting around as an extra, and it means you often end up having random conversations with people that start and end depending on if you get called to set.  The majority of people on this shoot were full time extras so they all had stories of what they had been on.  I met a lady who had a regular role as a member of Unit on Doctor Who and a chap who is in the next Star Wars film.  Coventry seemed like a bit of a let down for them ! But when you talk to people like that, and then spend a day where the most important thing is remembering your seat number it does help you put things in perspective.

I have a busy job trying to make people buy things, and spend a lot of time in meetings discussing the ins and outs of things that would seem trivial to any one else.  So spending a day like this just helps to put things in context.  Hey, I’m not a heart surgeon and the world doesn’t end if we don’t get one more customer. It helped me have some perspective on what is going on which I am trying to hold on to this week !


Filed under Candice, Writing

Why can’t I click on the page?

From: Clients from Hell.net

Client: I love the flyer you sent! It’s clicky!
Me: Great! So we’re done now?
Client: No. When I print out the flyer, the links aren’t clicky. Can you make them clicky?
Me: I don’t understand.
Client: I want to be able to go to our website … when … um, when I …
Me: You do know that a piece of paper can’t be interactive, right?

WGTPhil: I read (on-line) the posting above at the same time as I was reading (on-paper) “Who Goes There – Travels through strangest Britain in search of the Doctor” by Nick Griffiths, and it struck a chord.

I enjoy travel books. Sometimes they make me want to go and see the places described. Mostly my traveling is vicarious but none the worse for that. I also love Dr Who. Put the two together and we should have a winner – right?


Even once you get past the stream of consciousness writing style (it calms down after the first few chapters) and the lack of capital letters in the title (Grrrr) there is a fundamental problem with the book. The author keeps referring readers to his website so they can see photos of the location he visits.  That’s lovely but I was reading on a train and so constantly being pointed at a web page was a reminder that I was missing out on a good chunk of the fun to be had from Griffiths travels.

To compound matters, he keeps referring to Who episodes that I don’t remember. I mean, I love classic Who, but I don’t have an encyclopedic memory of a TV show I watched when I was 5 or even one from before I was born. I’m nerdy, but not that nerdy. Thus, I often have no idea what the location being visited looks like ‘cos I’ve not seen it on telly or on the web.

Frustrating. Very.

But, Candice and I were chatting about this over tea and squash earlier in the week, more and more people are reading on eBooks. Travel on the tube in that there London and you’ll hardly see the traditional paperback. It’s all iPads and Kindles now.

These are perfect for a book like this. If I want to see the picture, I can click on a link and assuming I’m not in a signal-free tunnel, up the photo will pop. If licensing were possible, even a clip from the show could be included. All this makes writing a rather more involved job than traditional, but it creates a very different type of book/website hybrid that could be very exciting.

None of this works (for me) on paper but it does beg a question. If the eBook/website hybrid is the way things are going, has this book about a time traveller fallen back through a wormhole from a few years in the future?


Filed under Books, Phil

Life’s too short

Candice: I’ve been struggling to think of something to write for this blog.  I haven’t read anything new – apart from Grazia magazine and the ScrewFix catalogue (an occasionally the Mothercare catalogue but that is too scary), so I can’t blog about that.  I’ve not read anything writing related in the news I can comment on.  I’ve been to see Doctor Who at the cinema, but that was over a week ago and I don’t want you to be put off by too much Doctor Whoing in this blog.

However, I woke up on sunday morning and read something shocking on Facebook (the source of all information these days).  The star of a film franchise I enjoyed, had been killed in a car crash.  I’m sure you all know who I mean – Paul Walker from the Fast and  Furious series.

For those of you out there who are big fans, don’t rip my head off, but he wasnt the worlds greatest actor, and these weren’t Oscar winning films.  But, and I say this about the last one in particular, they were good fun!  I really enjoyed Six as it had its tongue firmly in its cheek and had a story, some puns and some fun (though not enough topless men in my book).  So I was surprised to read that he had died in a car crash, somewhat ironic considering how he had made his money.

This isn’t an obituary, I didn’t really know anything about the guy apart from the fact he was a reason to go to see a film as eye candy, and I usually enjoyed films he was in.  Reading Wikipedia he had his hand in other things including a charity.  Good on him. In fact it makes me laugh the people who posted comments after he died that made it sound like there were best mates but could only know him as I did.

However, the guy was only 40.  1 year younger than me.  And now he’s not around any more.  Phil and I know we have both been crap recently with writing.  He’s got a fancy new job and I have been drowning in house and baby stuff.  But its times like this that you think,  I might not be around tomorrow.  So come Jan 2nd when I have a potential three weeks of free time I’m on a mission.  In between painting sessions I’ll be pushing my writing mate to get those submissions out to Agents and seriously looking at self publish.  Else it will be this time next year and we still wont have done it!

And that’s a promise.  And I might just consider slowing down in my car too…


Filed under Candice, Writing

Searching for inspiration

Candice: I have to admit to not feeling inspired today while trying to come up with ideas to blog about.  Keeping it fresh for our lovely readers each week means that by Friday I’m starting to rack my brains for ideas, looking for news stories and by Sunday really dredging through anything to come up with something interesting to write about.  You guys don’t want total tosh, you want something about writing!

I have to admit I have quite a good excuse this week.  On Friday I had a last minute call to see if I could do Casualty on Saturday, down in Cardiff.  Without checking the weather forecast I said yes.  I havent done any extras work this year so fancied a day out.  Anyway, got up at 5.30am on Saturday to find my car 3 inches deep in snow.  Off I went for my 110 mile drive, let us just say there were points where my heart was in my mouth as the traction control kicked in when I was slipping on snow.  After all that rushing, they didn’t use me until 5pm!

Had an interesting lunch break though, as they are currently filming Doctor Who at the same studio, so we lunched with some weird and wonderful creatures.  I shall look forward to seeing that episode!

Anyway, that plus now having a lovely cold means that my head is not in the right place for inspiration.  However, its got to get there by Friday as Phil and I have booked a writing day, utilising the Easter weekend and the fact the other half is not around.  And we plan to use it to tackle ‘The Book’.  Obviously said novel has been languishing in the back of a cupboard, and our minds, for over a year while we try to find inspiration to work out how to make it from good to great.  Once done we can start sending it out to Agents again, but we need to knuckle down to it.  Both Phil and I have ideas floating around in our heads but we need to sit down with a blank sheet of paper and give it one more go.   I’m excited by the prospect but also daunted as this is the ‘big’ thing, the thing that we think might get us somewhere, but is just frustrating as no one has picked it up yet.  Patience is not one of my virtues.

So here’s to lots of Beecham cold and flu tablets and hopefully a clear head on Friday.

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Filed under Candice, Writing


ImageCandice: I was lucky enough to get a stint on BBC Casualty last week, down in Cardiff.  It happened to be the day after the Doctor Who Experience opened, shame because the day before I could have been hanging out with Cybermen.

Anyway, after a rather early start and 104 miles under my belt, I found BBC Cardiff.  Lets just say I had to sign a disclosure to say I wouldn’t take photos or tell story lines so I can’t tell you much, but its a nice place.  To be honest I don’t watch Casualty and I was only on set for 1 hr so I have no idea what was going on, but I’m keeping stum.

However, I met some very nice people on the day.  There was loads of extras, and in talking to them I found that alot of them were regulars.  And when I mean regulars, I mean people who have been doing it for 15 years!  One lady had started off bottom of the food chain, like me, and worked her way up to Doctor Someone (not Who – same building different extras). And another whose job it was to “meander” ie loiter in the back of shot as a Paramedic. These guys are the meat of a show like this, and you might not recognise them week in and week out, but they make the whole thing look real.  However, now I’ve met them I am sure I’ll be spotting them left right and centre.

I was a lowly visitor in waiting room, but I might get a nice shot if I’m lucky.

Part of the point of this day is to meet other people who expand my horizons, and on Friday I did.  I ended up spending most of my time with Scott, Paul and Steve, who entertained me greatly in those long hours between 9.30am (when we left set) and 5pm (when we were signed out).  We even ended up playing hang man out of boredom!  But the stories I get told are just as interesting as the day and I like to lodge them away for future writing ideas.

However, I had competition as there was another writer in our midst.  Paul, who writes articles and stories for a magazine called StarburstNow he was a proper “whovian” and we did have a nice chat about who was the best Doctor.

So, Phil and I might have to tackle SciFi at some point, because we might have a route to a publisher!

On a final note, as I was leaving, Russell T Davies drove past.  Now that was rather cool.


Filed under Candice, Writing

Its all in the networking!

Candice: Having spent another long day on set – this time on a slightly lower budget and local BBC production, I have come home to realise that I have completely forgotten something important.

You meet alot of interesting people doing this extras work, or Supporting Artiste to be correct.  (In fact on a slight aside here, I was actually a “Walk On” today which moved me from general background to someone with a purpose, and also increased how much I got paid, bonus!)  Anyway, having hung out with the group today, once we got past the who’s been on what bit, then we got to talk about the book.  It wasnt a deliberate ploy per se, however my two days on Casualty card got trumped by the man who is Matt Smith’s double on Doctor Who and has been a cyberman, so I needed to throw something else into the mix.

Also, Phil has been hassling me for ages as he’s rewritten the synopsis and I am tasked with the covering letter, but he wants comments.  Being battered by text too many times I thought today might be a good opportunity to do some editing between takes.  Normally on these things there is alot of hanging around and not alot of acting, hence loads of time for scribbling. 

However, today, the BBC wanted their two peneth worth so was on my toes all morning being a Surgeon; lots of walking and pensive looks.  After lunch, in the lull before round two of the scenes, I got pad and pen out.  But, this generated a flow of questions and I sat there trying to do the fated elevator pitch to the other SA’s, badly. 

At this point I realised that I was missing my main form of communication, the business cards that Phil has been referring too.  Um, I think I have filed them somewhere safe at home……time to start looking.

But, in the midst of this conversation a nice man piped up, “I know a publisher, would you like me to give you their details.”  Restraining myself from jumping down his throat, I said yes please.  And the promptly got signed out of the job and totally forgot about it.

So I am hoping that some of my new friends from today may log on and see what I’ve been up to, and then contact me with the publisher details.  Fingers crossed.

I also forgot to take the obligatory muffin shot to go with my post, though someone did have a rather lovely large chocolate one at lunchtime!


Filed under Writing