How did you get into the world of Model Making?
Simply, Thunderbirds and my father. Thunderbirds totally captured my
imagination, as a child, and has stayed with me ever since. I was always
aware that I was looking at models and would try to recreate them with
whatever was at hand... usually Lego. My father often built us kids wooden
toys from scratch and I loved watching him do it. When he built me the
Thunderbirds from solid blocks of wood, it all clicked and I have been
building models ever since.
You of course worked on the amazing Lord of the Rings Movie. Were you a
Tolkien fan before starting work, and what did you think about the way your
models ended up looking?
Well, actually, I never read the books...(sorry LOTR fans... I’ll lay low
until this blows over). I was very aware of the stories and loved the magic
of it and looked forward to having the opportunity to work on it... but this
guy did films with lots of brains dripping down the walls!!! But when I was
shown what was happening I was amazed and consumed by the work Weta were
doing and wanted to be part of it. It is always a buzz to see my work up
there on the screen but this one had more, the energy, passion and creative
enthusiasm that went into those films made seeing my work even more
rewarding and I got a cool T-shirt. The miniatures film crew got more out of
the miniatures than we thought possible.
How long have you been a fan of Doctor Who?
Ever since it started, yep!.. all ten Doctors have been my Doctor and this
also relates to question 1 as part of the inspiration that got me into this
business. Doctor Who had a magic and creativeness about it that allowed me
to imagine and dream (not just the nightmares). Even for its low budget it
allowed me to be inspired and lost in the stories enough to not see the
wooden sets and seams down the backdrops. There was a great deal of
television at that time, that inspired a generation of special effects
technicians (me included) with Thunderbirds and Doctor Who at the top. A
great deal of that inspiration disappeared from our screens, until now with
the new series which I am enjoying even more than I ever did... One is never
too old to be inspired.
What are your earliest memories of Doctor Who?
Having the crap scared out of me watching a Dalek approaching the terrified
Barbara, actually it was just the sucker arm that was approaching Barbara. I
don’t remember anything from the caveman story but remember a lot from ‘The
Dead Planet’. I would watch the stories in absolute terror and fits of
shaking but could not stop watching. I was mortified if we had to go out and
would miss an episode or would go and bug the neighbors if our TV broke down
(which was often).
What is your favourite episode and why?
This is a tuff one as I do not have anything that I could hold up and call
my favorite as so many things inspire me. With Doctor Who I prefer the
monsters and robots to the period stories but there is no specific one that
I put above the others, I enjoy a great deal from so many of them.
Were you excited when Weta landed the license to make Doctor Who replicas?
Is there a particular Doctor Who replica that you are most proud of?
Out of the statues, the Dalek and out of the helmets, the Cyberleader. With
this, though is a great desire to be able to do more of them. and I guess
that this would be going into the next question...
What can we expect in the future from the Weta Doctor Who range?
Well, we are really hoping the fans will like this initial range. We’d love
to hear any feedback and suggestions from them. I’m bursting to do more and
would hopefully do a range of characters from all the Doctors... a little
vague but more details later, if we move on with this.
Is there a particular item that you would love to re-create from the Doctor
Not one but many, this relates a little to question 5 in the sense that I
don’t have one favorite. I’m like an excited kid in a candy store.. “that
one… no, no... that one, no… oh.. ah... oh… that one!!!” But this is not the
question you asked, trying to narrow it down… I’ve always enjoyed the
Quarks, as quirky as they are and would have fun doing that one if I can get
enough reference, the tuff part is getting enough reference. Perhaps that
should be another question...
Finally, if you could have One round trip in the TARDIS, anywhere in
and space, where would you go and why?
Oh boy!.. arrg!!... there is so much to see.. The big bang, could our minds
handle witnessing such an event?... The dinosaurs, who hasn‘t wanted to go
back and look at dinosaurs... A hideaway on the Moon to watch Apollo 11
(“the Eagle has landed”)... I would love to see, close up, the ‘Horse Head
Nebula’ and the ‘Pillars of Creation’... What about travelling straight out
for 500,000 light years and looking back at our Milky Way galaxy and our
home, so tiny, amongst its mass... Go out to where the Voyager Spacecraft
are and float a Coca Cola can past the camera, that will confuse the boffins...
Na! None of that, I would go back to watch those missing episodes of Doctor
Who, no need to explain why.
** If you would like more information on Weta's Doctor Who range, check out
the Weta Collectibles -