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Interview Extracts - Michael Keating

Excerpt from ConFederation, October 1988

During Michael's panel he was asked the question "Is it true that you were considered for the role of the seventh Doctor?" by (I think) Jon Preddle.

He replied... "I'd have loved to play the Doctor. I'd play him with a monocle and a James Mason voice. But no, I was never up for it. I mentioned it to my agent but apparently they wanted somebody else, so I wasn't in the running for it at all.

"But strangely enough, I did do Doctor Who. I was in The Sun Makers with Tom Baker. The director of The Sun Makers was a man called Pennant Roberts, and he was one of the directors on Blake's Seven. He put my name forward for the role of Vila and that's how I got it. So, I have a lot to thank Doctor Who for, as well as Pennant Roberts."

And on the subject of working with Tom Baker...

"I loved working with Tom Baker, I really liked him, some people don't, but I thought he was a great guy. He actually poured me into a taxi one night after we had been rehearsing and got me home. So, he's not all bad.

"Tom always used to say that the only difference between Doctor Who and Blake's Seven was that he wasn't in Blake's Seven. I think he was just jealous! In fact, we often said that he should appear with Blake, suddenly in one of the corridors on the ship. You know, sort of; "Morning, Doctor", "Morning, Blake", but unfortunately he never did appear on Blake's Seven.

"With the episode with Doctor Plaxton in the fourth season, we wanted to have the ending where they were going to say "What about the Doctor?"; "Doctor who?", but unfortunately they cut it.

"So, no, I was never in the running for Doctor Who. That was a rumour that went all round the United States, still the BBC didn't take it up. They should have done, but they didn't. Have you seen the latest Doctor, Sylvester McCoy? I don't know him, but I think he's very good. He does a very good job."

This item appeared in TSV 13 (May 1989).

Reprinted in: The Best of TSV 1-20, TSV: The Best of Issues 1-20