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Sylvester McCoy talks The Hobbit and Doctor Who projects

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The seventh Doctor talks Radagast and long-term work for The Hobbit...

Sylvester McCoy - heading to NZ for 'The Hobbit'

In the service of the launch of the excellent Doctor Who audio spin-off The Minister Of Chance (check back here for a review on the 17th of March), the seventh Doctor himself, Sylvester McCoy, was kind enough to have a chat with us today, which will be up on the site very shortly. The Scottish actor also talked at some length about his pending role as the wizard Radagast in Peter Jackson's much-delayed New Zealand production of The Hobbit - and clears up fairly definitively whether the character is just making a brief cameo, referring to his involvement in 'two films' for the project and responding to a question about the duration of his stay down under with:

Oh, six to eight weeks, the first time, and then I've got to go back another three or four times over the next three years.

The character of Radagast was not included from the source novels in the original Lord Of The Rings movies (2001 -2003), and McCoy commented on how the role is being woven into The Hobbit, in which book Radagast has very little presence:

There were bits of Radagast in the original books; there were bits of him in The Hobbit and some bits in Lord Of The Rings. They didn't use him in the film, so they're taking bits from there. Also there were later writings in the 1960s, I believe, in which Radagast was mentioned.

McCoy also spoke of re-uniting with 'Gandalf' actor Ian McKellen after their extensive tour of King Lear in 2007, and of his original involvement with the LotR trilogy and his near-casting as Bilbo Baggins. More on those matters, and more Hobbit talk in the interview shortly.

In addition McCoy, who was the last actor to portray The Doctor in the regular TV show before the 2005 reboot, talks of having just finished an 'exhausting' flurry of work for Doctor Who-related projects over the last week. Though not willing to be drawn into excessive detail, McCoy talks of several projects which have found him either doing audio or studio work recently.

I was doing some stuff like that yesterday. Working with a green screen background, I had to recreate the inside of the TARDIS - and it wasn't there...Good fun, and all very silly!

Amongst the Who-related projects mentioned were Downtime, for which the actor has recorded 'lots of dialogue' - even though the original project was a 1995 video-release that didn't feature the Doctor himself; Search Out Space, which was a special episode of the science series Search Out Science featuring McCoy's Doctor, Ace (Sophie Aldred) and John Leeson's K9 (and was included in the extras for the DVD release of Survival); Destiny of the Doctors, which appears to be related to the 1997 Doctor Who video game on which McCoy shared voice-acting credits with Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and the late Anthony Ainley and Nicholas Courtney; and The Dark Dimension, the abandoned thirtieth anniversary Doctor Who script which was ultimately shelved because of conflict with the pending Paul McGann Doctor Who TV movie - and this is the one that seems to be getting turned into a cartoon-format, as Sylvester McCoy was filmed recording the dialogue to register the movement of his mouth whilst speaking.

Check back shortly for the full interview!

Update: the full interview is now up here:

Interview: Sylvester McCoy on Hobbit, Minister Of Chance, Who

See also John Bensahlia's review of Sylvester McCoy's Doctor Who debut:

Doctor Who complete reviews: Time And The Rani

Read more Doctor Who articles at Shadowlocked


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