Behind the Scenes of Planet of the Dead - Part Five
Excerpts from Benjamin Cook’s set report in DWM 408:
On Valentine’s Day in the desert, what could possibly be more romantic than an oversized fly waving a gun at a lady in a catsuit? It’s hard to think of anything, isn’t it?
It’s our final day filming in the UAE [United Arab Emirates], and veteran Doctor Who monster performer Paul Kasey has arrived to play Sorvin the Tritovore. “The head is operated by remote control,” he explains, “which Neill [Gorton, prosthetics designer] is operating off camera.” Isn’t that disconcerting for Paul? “You get a sense of what’s happening. Over the years, I’ve begun to recognize the different motor sounds.”
So, Sorvin marches the Doctor and Christina, at gunpoint, toward his crashed Tritovore spaceship - presently a green screen pinned against the double-decker bus. “Can you still see where you’re going, Paul?” asks James [Strong, director]
But he can’t. “There’s your mark, Paul,” says David [Tennant], guiding his captor. “HEY, PAUL?!!!”
Meanwhile, just out of shot, Daniel Kaluuya [who plays Barclay] is relieving himself on a tuft of shrubbery. “I know I shouldn’t look,” giggles Victoria Alcock [who plays Angela], “but I can’t help it.”
“I’m letting it grow, man,” insists Daniel. “Giving it a chance. They’ll call this the Kaluuya tree.”
David is more focused on his shades. “I’ve had my sunglasses on again,” he tells make-up man Steve Smith. The specs leave a slight mark on the bridge of his nose, requiring a retouch.
“Not again!” sighs Steve.
“Well, it’s bright,” David grins, “and I look cool in them.”
However, the sun soon starts setting. James wants to squeeze in one final shot: David and Michelle running down the hill, carrying the clamps from the Tritovore spaceship. On the take, Michelle trips, tumbling arse over tip. “Sorry, sorry, sorry,” she flinches, getting up and dusting herself down.
“She managed to make even that look dramatic and well-handled,” David points out.
“Phwoar, I wouldn’t mind being the sand beneath Michelle,” mutters someone who will remain nameless.
“I can’t believe how fast David runs,” Michelle admits, “but then I’m Lady Christina; the Doctor should be a bit faster than me. I guess she’s a fantasy figure, with her catsuit and backpack, but also she’s real in that she’s not flawless. She’s not Wonder Woman.”