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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Stephen from the original Tomorrow People joined us for Cult TV 2005, courtesy of Fantom Films ...


Peter Vaughan Clarke is most famous for taking the role of Stephen in the first four seasons of the Thames TV cult classic The Tomorrow People.

Born in 1957, is first television appearance was in a Marmite commercial in 1972, and he then went on to play Ronnie Page in Dora for London Weekend TV. He appeared in the film "A Touch of Class" in 1973. He also featured in the pantomime "Peter Pan" with Lulu, where she gave him the nickname 'PVC'.

Peter played Jamie in The Duchess of Duke Street episode "The Bargain" in 1976. Later in his career he featured as the rent boy Pierre in the film "The Stud", and played Fred in the Shoestring episode "The Mayfly Dame" in 1980.

PVC now works as a chief electrician in a major West End theatre, working on various musical productions. He recently returned to play Stephen Jameson in two Big Finish CD audio plays of The Tomorrow People. Peter's appearance at Cult TV 2005 was made possible thanks to Fantom Films.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Musician and star of The Monkees joined us exclusively for some fun at Cult TV 2005 ...


Peter performed as a folk musician in Greenwich Village and Los Angeles before passing the auditions for the TV series The Monkees. During his time with the group, he made 58 episodes and a TV special, six albums, and the movie "Head".

The most accomplished musician in The Monkees, even as a young boy, Peter showed musical talent and could play the guitar and banjo. He now plays twelve different instruments. While producers Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart admired Tork's playing, Peter was almost never given lead vocals on any of the Monkees records. That said, Boxed-Set and CD bonus tracks from the 1980s and 1990s include several rarely-heard Peter Tork songs and vocals.

Peter was the first Monkee to actually play an instrument on one of their records , on the track "Papa Gene's Blues", after Michael Nesmith insisted Peter be allowed to add a guitar part.

In the early 1970s, Peter played guitar for the group Osceola, and for a year and a half was a social studies, mathematics and music teacher for a California High School. In 1976, Peter rejoined messrs Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart onstage for a concert on their tour. Following on from this, they all recorded a new Christmas single for that holiday season.

In the early 1980s, Peter formed The New Monks and released a single, "Peter's Back”. The Peter Tork Project followed shortly afterwards, but in 1986, his solo career was put on hold when The Monkees reunited for a 20th Anniversary Celebration. This successful reunion lasted until the end of 1989. Although Peter was the first to leave The Monkees, he never released a solo album until 1994 when "Stranger Things Have Happened" hit the shelves. Also in 1994, Peter formed Shoe Suede Blues with Tadg Galleran and Michael Sunday. Peter has performed with them on and off ever since.

1995 saw Peter making a guest appearance the big screen "Brady Bunch Movie" as well as having several guest spots in the TV series Boy Meets World as Jedediah Lawrence. He has made appearances in many television series since, including the role of Surf Guru in California Dreams, a Band Leader in The King of Queens, and Chris in 7th Heaven. At the movies, he had an uncredited cameo in 1997’s "Groupies", and played a Band Manager in 2001’s "Mixed Signals".

In 1996, more new music was forthcoming from Peter, when he and James Lee Stanley recorded "Two Man Band". In 2001, they collaborated on their second album, "Once Again" before Peter re-joined Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones for tours that took up most of 2001. Soon after, he went back to Shoe Suede Blues, and in 2002 the band released a follow-up to their debut album, "Saved By The Blues".

Peter joined us for the 2005 Cult TV Festival, performing in our Sunday evening cabaret as well as talking about his career and signing autographs. We were delighted that he agreed to join us.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The past leader of The Tomorrow People ...


Both an actor and an agent, Nicholas Young is best remembered as John, the leader of a group of Homo Superior teenagers in The Tomorrow People. Gifted with special powers that included telepathy and teleportation, they saved the world from alien aggressors using non-violent means.

Intended as ITV’s answer to Doctor Who, The Tomorrow People became one of the most successful shows in children's television. Broadcast between 1973 and 1979, the series was sold to over fifty countries around the world where it captured the imaginations of a generation of viewers.

Working in an agency when Thames Television put out their casting call, Nicholas forwarded one of his photographs. Meeting with Roger Price, the show's creator, he was offered the part of John without having to audition. Along with Philip Gilbert who voiced TIM, the talking biotronic computer, Nicholas appeared in every episode of The Tomorrow People.

Prior to the role, Nicholas appeared in the television plays Alma Mater, starring Ian Carmichael, and Wine of India written by Quatermass creator Nigel Kneale, and an episode of Upstairs, Downstairs. During production of The Tomorrow People he guest starred as Peter Rockwell in the second season of Space: 1999, one of the crew of the Superswift in the two-part story "The Bringers of Wonder".

After the final episode of The Tomorrow People, John appeared in Kessler, a sequel to Secret Army starring Clifford Rose as the former Sturmbahn-Fuhrer trying to escape prosecution for war crimes. Cast in an adaptation of Shakespeare's Cymbeline alongside Richard Johnson and Helen Mirren, he also guest-starred in Pulaski, written by Roy Clarke.

Having begun his career in the film "Eagle Rock", he played a Passport Officer in "The Day of the Jackal" and appeared in "Three for All" and "Eskimo Nell", both directed by Martin Campbell. Though not involved with the revival of The Tomorrow People during the 1990s, Nicholas returned to play John in the first six of seven audio adventures produced by Big Finish.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart was brought to life by this actor with a wide range of series on his CV ...


The son of a British diplomat, Nicholas Courtney was born in Egypt and spent his early years in Kenya and France. After his National Service he enrolled at the Webber Douglas Drama School for two years before leaving to work in repertory theatre in Northampton.

His early television work included roles in The Avengers, The Champions and Jason King, as well as the Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) episode The Ghost Who Saved the Bank at Monte Carlo, alongside Roger Delgado.

Nicholas Courtney began his long association with Doctor Who in 1965, playing Space Security Agent Bret Vyon, opposite William Hartnell in the twelve-part story The Daleks' Masterplan.

Three years later he reappeared as Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart during Patrick Troughton's tenure, helping defeat the Yeti and the Great Intelligence in London's Underground in The Web of Fear.

The following year, battling Cybermen in The Invasion, the character had been promoted and was in charge of UNIT, the military and scientific organisation that would play an integral part in the adventures of Jon Pertwee's third Doctor during the first half of the 1970s.

Playing the Brigadier on and off for 23 years, Nicholas Courtney made his last appearance during Doctor Who's final year in 1989. Appearing alongside every incarnation of the Doctor during the series, bar one, after returning to the role in the spin-off video Downtime, he finally got to work alongside Colin Baker as well as Paul McGann on the Big Finish series of audio adventures.

Outside of Doctor Who, as well as guest-starring in episodes of Minder, Yes, Prime Minister, Only Fools and Horses and The Bill, he played Lieutenant Colonel Robin Witherton in Then Churchill Said to Me and The Maquis in French Fields, the sequel to the sitcom Fresh Fields, starring Anton Rodgers and Julia McKenzie.

On CD he plays King Turnidus, the elephantine, fashion conscious ruler of Voltarabia in Soldiers of Love, the comedy science fiction audio series from MJTV. Honorary President of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, Nicholas Courtney published his autobiography, Five Rounds Rapid, in 1998.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

One of the stars of UFO and Special Branch, as well as numerous other cult series, joined us for one of his last ever appearances, at Cult TV 2005 ...


When in 1968 George Sewell was cast as Eurosec security chief Mark Neuman in Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's "Doppelganger", he did not realise that this would lead on to the Cult TV role that arguably most appreciators remember him for – that of Colonel Alec Freeman in UFO.

Born in London, George left school at 14 and followed his father into the printing trade as an apprentice printer. He served with the Royal Air Force during World War II. When demobbed, he took a series of jobs before joining the Merchant Navy and serving as a steward for the Cunard Line aboard the Queen Mary, the Queen Elizabeth and the Carionia on Atlantic crossings to New York. Feeling in need of a change, he resigned his commission. For six years he was a courier for a coach holiday tours company, a job which allowed him to explore Europe.

George had never considered joining his brother Danny in the acting profession until a chance meeting with actor Dudley Sutton in a pub. Sutton suggested that George should go and see Joan Littlewood who was casting a production of "Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be" and was looking for someone with George's features. Sutton impressed upon George that Littlewood didn't like using actors in her productions, so George's lack of training would prove ideal. George accepted Sutton's challenge and he was given a role in the production. At the age of 35, George made his acting debut in the West End and even appeared on the original cast album recording of the show.

This role was followed by another in Joan Littlewood's "Sparrows Can't Sing" and then as Field Marshal Haig in "Oh, What a Lovely War", which went on tour to Paris and Broadway. These three roles for the Theatre Workshop were George's training in the theatre and paved the way to his career in TV and film, with cinematic roles in "This Sporting Life", "Deadlier Than the Male", "Kaleidoscope", "Robbery ", "Up The Junction" and "The Vengeance of She".

On television, he made guest appearances in episodes of Man in a Suitcase, Mr Rose, The Man in Room 17, Gideon's Way, Redcap, Z Cars, Softly Softly, The Power Game, Public Eye, and the original Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased).

Following his role in UFO, George moved on to recurring parts in ITV's Manhunt and the BBC's Paul Temple (1969), and was a guest star on the likes of The Adventurer and Dixon of Dock Green, and had a further guest role on Public Eye too.

His role as Con McCarty in "Get Carter" led to the starring role as Detective Chief Inspector Craven in the later seasons of Special Branch. He also appeared in Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon", and went on to guest in episodes of The Sweeney, Minder, Callan, The Gentle Touch, CATS Eyes, Bulman, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense, Tales of The Unexpected, The Chinese Detective, and with Sylvester McCoy in the Doctor Who story "Remembrance of the Daleks".

George has played plenty of comedy over the years, too - he co-starred with Jim Davidson in the sit-com Home James!, and the comic casting continued when he played the boss to Jasper Carrott and Robert Powell in the The Detectives. He has also featured in Rising Damp, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, Don't Forget To Write and The Upper Hand. He also featured as 'Huggy' Bear in the children's series Harry and The Wrinklies.

Towards the end of his career, he was seen in The Bill, Heartbeat, and Doctors. We were delighted that George agreed to be with us for Cult TV 2005.

George died peacefully in 2007.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Famous to fans as Blake in Blake's 7, Gareth has also been a host of other Cult TV series ...


Trained at RADA, where he is now an Associate, Gareth Thomas has worked extensively in television, theatre, film and radio.

Following guest appearances in The Avengers and Public Eye, his first major television role came in 1972 as the Welsh policeman sent to police the 1913 Cornish clay miners' strike in Stocker's Copper.

It earned Gareth his first BAFTA nomination and led to roles in the legal drama Sutherland's Law, and adaptations of David Copperfield and How Green Was My Valley.

After playing Lord Beresford in Edward VII and astro-physicist, Adam Brake, in the mystery serial Children of the Stones, he starred as resistance leader Roj Blake in Terry Nation's Blake's 7.

Although he would return for the season three episode Terminal and the final show, Blake, Gareth left the series after two years to play James Tayper Pace in The Bell and Dr. Philip Denny in the period medical drama The Citadel.


He earned a second BAFTA nomination portraying the Welsh hill farmer in Morgan's Boy. After appearing as one of Cromwell's soldiers in By the Sword Divided, he played another futuristic rebel leader in Knights of God.

In the 1990s Gareth played a drunken bigot in We Are Seven, the fire brigade area commander in London's Burning, and Nathaniel Clegghorn in Heartbeat, followed by guest roles in The Strangerers, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and the comedy Baddiel's Syndrome. More recently he appeared as Blaze in Merlin - The Legend, and Reverend Denis Thomas in the docu-drama Shipman.

His stage performances have been just as prolific with roles in everything from Shakespeare to Chekov. Recently he played Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, publican Michael James Flaherty in The Playboy of the Western World, and the Holocaust refugee in Moving Objects.

Featured on several CDS, Gareth plays Kalendorf in Big Finish Audio's Dalek Empire series, and the villainous megalomaniac Arran Arkenstein in the comedy science-fiction audio series Soldiers of Love from MJTV.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Voice artist and actor from the likes of Thunderbirds and Timeslip joined us for Cult TV 2005 ...


David Graham is a British character actor and voice artist, whose work may be more familiar than his name. He trained as an actor in New York but has worked mainly on British television series.

Fans of the work of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson will know that he voiced Parker, Brains, Kyrano and Gordon Tracy in the original Thunderbirds. A role in an episode of Martin Kane, Private Investigator originally brought him to the attention of Mr Anderson. From that point on, David was a mainstay of the Anderson productions, from Four Feather Falls (Grandpa Twink and Fernando) through to Supercar (Doctor Beaker, Mitch the Monkey, and Zarin), Fireball XL5 (Professor Matthew Matic, Lieutenant 90 and Zoonie The Lazoon), and Stingray. He also featured in the Anderson B-Movie “Crossroads To Crime”.

Thunderbirds was the last series that David worked on for the Andersons in a ‘full-time’ capacity, although he did provide voices for the feature films "Thunderbirds Are Go" and "Thunderbird Six", as well as guest roles in an episode of The Secret Service. However, he did provide many of the voices in Roberta Leigh’s marionette series Sarah & Hoppity, as well as The Moomins and Dominion Tank Police.

David played many parts in Doctor Who, notably the Dalek voices in the 1960s stories "The Daleks", "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", "The Daleks' Master Plan", and "The Chase" (where he also provided Mechanoid voices). He played the barman, Charlie, in "The Gunfighters", and Professor Kerenszky, a foreign time-travel scientist, in the 1979 story "City of Death".

David also had an association with the fondly remembered Timeslip. He played Controller 2957, a future projection of lead character Simon (Spencer Banks). Mr Graham has also appeared in Callan, Danger Man, Out of the Unknown,So Haunt Me, The Saint, Owen MD, Softly Softly, When The Boat Comes In, Casualty, The Bill, and The Avengers (in the 1963 Venus Smith episode "Man In The Mirror").

Over the years, David has used his voice to supply accents including American, Russian, French, Italian, Middle European, German, Spanish and Hungarian. He was also a member of the BBC Radio Drama Company from 1975 to 1977.

In 2004 he played Grandpa Pig in Peppa Pig, the animated children's series. We were delighted to welcome David to the 2005 Cult TV Festival.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Barry Lockridge from Land of the Giants ...


Stefan is best known for his role as Barry Lockridge in the Irwin Allen series Land of the Giants. Stefan has also starred in several movies including "The Way West" with Richard Widmark and Robert Mitchum, "Class of 1984", "Fear No Evil", "Strange Days", "The Final Cut", and the 2005 version of "The Fog".

Before landing the co-starring gig in Land of the Giants, Stefan had guest roles on the small screen in the likes of The Defenders, Gunsmoke, T.H.E. Cat, Combat, Dragnet and The Virginian. Later on, roles in Switch, Police Story and TJ Hooker would cement his television credentials.

In recent years has appeared in the likes of Highlander ("Courage"), The Sentinel ("Payback"), The X Files ("Terma" and "Tunguska"), Poltergeist: The Legacy ("Ransom"), Viper ("Stormwatch"), Millennium ("Thirteen Years Later" and "Goodbye Chris"), The Crow: Stairway To Heaven ("The Road Not Taken"), 7 Days ("The Dunwych Madness"), Special Unit 2 ("The Eye"), UC: Undercover ("The Seige"), Cold Squad ("True Believers"), Da Vinci's Inquest ("Wash The Blood Out of The Ring" and "Dizzy Looking Down") and Dead Like Me (the pilot episode). He also appeared as Shire Reeve in "The Legend of Earthsea" mini-series.

Stefan is a very accomplished musician. He had a band called "The Knights of The Living Dead", in Los Angeles from 1986 to 1993. The band was offered several deals, and signed with Capitol Records. Unfortunately, the president of Capitol was fired that same week, and the new president dropped all the new bands that were signed but had not gone into the recording studio.

The band did get money to make a demo with Dave Jerden (Jane's addiction, Rolling Stones, etc) as producer. But by the time everything was done, the band was breaking up. Stefan and his partner Roland Devoile continued to make music until the 1994 Northridge earthquake, when his girlfriend, now wife, Dawn, decided it was time to leave Los Angeles. They moved to Vancouver, Canada later in 1994. Stefan also helped his sister (Alison Arngrim) get one of her first roles on the series Room 222, who went on to fame as Nellie in Little House on the Prairie.

Stefan won The Science Fiction Film & Fantasy Award "Best actor" for "Fear No Evil" in 1981, and was recently Nominated for a Gemini Award in the category "Best supporting actor" for "The Life" in 2005.

You can find out some more background about Stefan by visiting his website at www.stefanarngrim.com.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Having played Iolaus, the side-kick to Hercules, Michael is also a terrific director! ...


Co-founder of Auckland’s Watershed Theatre, Michael Hurst was born in Lancashire and emigrated to New Zealand with his family at the age of seven.

After acting and directing at school, Michael was accepted into a two-year training programme at Christchurch’s Court Theatre before joining Auckland’s Theatre Corporate.

On television he appeared in two episodes of The Ray Bradbury Theatre before taking the role of Iolaus in Hercules and the Amazon Women. When the TV movies spawned the series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys he stayed on as Hercules’ loyal sidekick.

On the show Michael played variations of the character as, after sacrificing himself, Iolaus is inhabited by the demon Dahak, then appears as a cowardly double from the Netherworld before his eventual resurrection.

He also played the dancing Widow Twanky, under the pseudonym Edith Sidebottom, and writer Paul Robert Coyle, in the contemporary episode Yes, Virginia, There Is a Hercules. With the spin-off show Xena: Warrior Princess filming concurrently, Michael appeared as Iolaus in cross-over episodes and took on dual roles of Nigel and Charon in You Are There.

From the third year Michael directed the first of six episodes, including Faith, the show in which Iolaus dies. He also stepped behind the camera for a further six episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess, in particular A Day in the Life which has a three minute, single camera take of Xena and Gabrielle bathing together.

He directed the pilot for Amazon High, written by Robert G. Tapert. When it failed to be picked up the footage was recycled into the Xena: Warrior Princess episode Lifeblood.

After appearing as Captain Nardo da Vinci in Jack of All Trades starring Bruce Campbell, he directed the episode The Morning After, and was recently reunited with Kevin Sorbo in the Andromeda episode The Knight, Death and the Devil.

After directing the television movie, Love Mussel, Michael played Riff-Raff in a theatrical run of The Rocky Horror Show in New Zealand.

He has appeared at the Cult TV Festival in the UK twice, in 2001 and 2003.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Rising in rank over the years in Doctor Who ...


Keen to become an actor even though he had no formal training, while working in a menswear shop John Levene found himself serving Telly Savalas and asked his advice.

Getting his Equity card he found every variation of his real name, John Anthony Woods, in use and chose his professional alternative after boxing promoter Harry Levene.

Best known as Sergeant Benton in Doctor Who, his first acting job on the series was in 1967 as one of the Cybermen in the adventure The Moonbase. A year later he played a Yeti in The Web of Fear before being cast as Benton in The Invasion. Between 1970 and 1975 he regularly appeared on the show, acting alongside first Jon Pertwee then Tom Baker, until UNIT was gradually phased out of the story-lines.

Having previously appeared as an Interceptor Pilot in UFO and a policeman in Z Cars, John made guest appearances in The Adventurer, Callan and Space: 1999 before returning as Benton in Reeltime Picture’s spin-off, Wartime.

He formed Genesis Communications, directing audio visual presentations and live events for clients such as British Airways and Revlon then after working as MC on cruise ships, relocated to America in the mid-1980s and took his mother’s maiden name to become John Anthony Blake.

Now producing celebrity charity shows and other events, as well as doing corporate voice-over work, John recently played Lord T.N. Crumpets in an episode of Big Bad Beetleborgs and appeared in the independent movie Cannibalistic.

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