With his first Doctor Who appearances, 1966 film Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D and the 1965’s Dr Who and the Daleks released on DVD and Blu-ray last month, British entertainment legend, Bernard Cribbins OBE has been discussing his Doctor Who experiences with Graham Norton on his radio show.
After his 60’s contribution, Cribbins then made a return to the world of Doctor Who in 2006 when a photograph of him at a wedding appeared on the BBC’s tie-in website for the episode “Tooth and Claw”.
In January 2007 he had a guest role as glam rock promoter Arnold Korns in Horror of Glam Rock, a Doctor Who radio play for BBC Radio 7, then in December the same year he appeared as Wilfred Mott in the Christmas television special, “Voyage of the Damned”.
Since then he has appeared in a recurring capacity as the same character for the 2008 series, as the grandfather of companion Donna Noble, before becoming a Tenth Doctor companion himself in The End of Time, the two-part 2009–10 Christmas and New Year special.
Cribbins’s role as Mott makes him unique, as he is the only actor to have been featured alongside the Doctor’s enemies, the Daleks, in both the TV and cinema versions of Doctor Who, and as he has explained to legendary comic, his return to Doctor Who was quite a surprise:
“Yes, it was wonderful actually. I did a Christmas Special playing this old gentleman who was selling newspapers and had a little scene with David (Tennant) who was the doctor, and Kylie Minogue so it was nice to meet her and we thought that was the end of it.”
“Then a short time later a gentleman whose name escapes me, the man who was playing Catherine Tate’s father, passed away and Phil Collinson who was producing at the time said we need a male figure in the family so can we get Cribbins back as the grandfather, so that was how that came about.
“I did nine or ten episodes I think and it was lovely to become the companion and get back in the Tardis again.”
On the subject of how Doctor Who fans consider him a legend, he continued:
“They must think ‘oh, it’s not him again, is it?’. The funny thing with David was we were doing a scene where I had to be taken in to the Tardis for the first time, it was in a stable block, and we walked into it and he said ‘right, in you go’ so I go in and said to him after the scene, ‘do you know the first time I was in one of these was 1966?’ to which he replied ‘I wasn’t even born then’!”
When asked how he had found die-hard fans reaction to the show, Cribbins replied:
“Extraordinary. We did a signing thing the other day and there were four David Tennant lookalikes in the suit and the raincoat and everything, there was a Colin Baker, there was a Patrick Troughton and a John Pertwee and two female versions of them as well, it was quite extraordinary. “
And, considering that he has been featured in film versions of Doctor Who, Cribbins says the attention he has received from his TV work on the show has been much more intense:
“Definitely TV (has had more fan reaction), there are some of the older ones who like to come up to me and talk about the films but generally the TV stuff gets more interest.”
Finally, in answer to the question on everyone’s lips, is he involved in the 50th anniversary episode?:
“At the moment I don’t, but I am told to standby in case something might happen.
“I think there may be things going on around the 50th anniversary but I do know that the actual show has already been shot so at the moment I am not involved but I do want to be and if anyone down in Cardiff is listening ‘I want to be, I want to be, I want to be!’”
Watch a clip of Bernard Cribbins in action below: