Monday, June 24, 2013

Dr. Who's Cathy Munroe Talks with TV STORE ONLINE about The Horns Of Nimon

Actress Cathy Munroe from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, THE SHINING, and THE KRAYS talks with TV STORE ONLINE about working with The Fourth Doctor Tom Baker on Dr. Who

TV STORE ONLINE:  How did your involvement in Dr. Who come about?

CATHY: Well, I worked on three Dr. Who shows.  I worked on two with Tom Baker, and then on one with Sylvester McCoy.  The two I did with Tom Baker were "The Horns of Nimon" (1979) and then "Full Circle" (1979) and then I worked on "Ghost Light" (1989) with Sylvester McCoy     I actually couldn't use my real name when I worked on Dr. Who because there was already someone in Actors' Equity with a similar name, so I began using the name Katy Jarrett, and that's how it appears in the episodes of Dr. Who that I worked on.

When I was cast on Dr. Who I had already done a couple of films.  I played one of the bounty hunters in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980) and I also had a part in Stanley Kubrick's THE SHINING (1980).  So by the time that Dr. Who came up, I already had an agent and I got asked to go into the BBC and audition for it and I got the part.

TV STORE ONLINE:   What was your experience on the Dr. Who "The Horns Of Nimon" set?

CATHY:   It was fun, but it was very cheaply made at the time.  You can see it when you watch it now and look at the sets. In fact, the director [Anthony Read] would scream at us "Don't Touch The Walls!"  Because when you'd running down these corridors on the set the walls would wobble.   It was quite humorous because when we did those scenes in those corridors they didn't have enough money to build the full sets, so we'd have to run down these corridors then they would stop shooting, move to camera to the other end of the corridor and they we'd run by the camera again so it looked like we were going down a different corridor...laughing    It looked like we were running down endless corridors but it was really just one single corridor that they just kept shooting over and over again with us.

Tom Baker (L) and Cathy Munroe (Right/Center) and Cast in
"The Horns Of Nimon"  Dr. Who (1979)

When it first aired I can remember just how tacky and cheap I thought it was...I had just done THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK where no expensive was spared on anything.   

The sets on THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK were just fantastic, so I couldn't quite believe how cheap the sets were on Dr. Who.   

I was told once that "The Horns Of Nimon" was voted one of the worst episodes of Dr. Who of all time.  I'm not sure how much truth there is in that but I guess it figures.   Then I was told that this was a good thing because it makes the episode more memorable to the fans...laughing

TV STORE ONLINE:  What about working on the episode "Ghost Light" of Dr. Who?

CATHY:   I just remember that was all set in Victorian England.  Sylvester McCoy played The Doctor in the show.  I just had a small part in "Ghost Light" where I was all throughout "The Horns Of Nimon".  I played a maid in the episode, and I just remember that all of the characters had to be ushered out of this house before nightfall, and I remember having to go down these stairs.   

Cathy Munroe (L)  Dr. Who (1979)
Photo Courtesy
TV STORE ONLINE:  How was your time working with Tom Baker?

CATHY:  He was very quirky.   He wasn't overly friendly, but I liked him a lot.  He was also a very kind and generous actor.  He was nice and he would approach you to talk about the scene. I liked him a lot, and I have always had quite a bit of respect for him.   He was always in conversation with the director and he always seemed to be very deep in thought.   It was a great experience to work with him and I was quite thrilled to be working with him because I had a been a fan before I got to meet and work with him.

TV STORE ONLINE:   Why do you think that the show has developed such a following over the years?

CATHY:  I honestly couldn't tell you.  Probably because it's been a part of so many generations.   I can remember watching it as a child myself growing up.  I really liked John Pertwee as The Doctor but I think the new series is wonderful.

TV STORE ONLINE:  So you're watching Dr. Who as a fan these days?

CATHY:   Yes I am! I enjoy it. I try to watch them whenever I have some time.  I quite enjoy the new series.   It really makes me laugh when I watch the new series and I see how wonderful it is and then I think back at how low budget the shows I took part in were. My whole Dr. Who experience was wonderful.  Everyone got along well, I was really young, and it was a job and I got paid, so it was overall a fun experience.

TV STORE ONLINE:   Do you have a favorite Doctor?

CATHY:  I do.  Tom Baker would be my favorite.  He was just brilliant.

For more with Cathy Munroe please visit her official website HERE:
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