Bill Baggs on Minuet in Hell

Minuet in Hell was definitely recorded in my parents dining room in Southampton.

Basically, I think I was the emotional one, any audience member who can get wrapped up in emotion, they're going to like the stuff I produce or direct. Minuet in Hell's like that. I didn't have a clue what I was doing, but I knew I wanted to drag some emotion out of it.

The woman in it was Nick Layton's girlfriend.

The guy who played Gideon Spoonbill, also played another character called Wilkes.

And Michael Wisher was in it as well as Lord Sandwich. He was excellent.

That was good fun I remember enjoying that, that was the first one that Nigel Fairs was in. He had written to us, because he had produced his own stuff, before, his own Doctor Whoie type thing, that he sent to us and said he was a huge fan.

I think Nick had spoken to him, and I had spoken to him, we invited him on spec to be this part, and he came along, and it was from there that we got on with him very well, and the relationship and the idea of him doing Truman, and writing stuff came from. So that was his first involvement, and he loved it, and he was completely mad and it was great fun.

Obviously I'd worked with Michael before, but I hadn't met the other guy either. He stayed Saturday night at my parents house, and he was worried that the curtains weren't thick enough, and he'd put this big blanket over the windows.

David Sax provided additional voices again, which is really Nick.

I did the voice of the creature, in Minuet in Hell.

The breakdown in Minuet in Hell was a one off thing, it didn't effect the doctor's attitude in other stories.

After Minuet in Hell, we were keen to create a character (Truman) for Nigel Fairs.


Nick Briggs on Minuet in Hell

Your first historical tale was Minuet in Hell, was Alan Lear's inspiration taken from 'The Devil Rides Out'?

I've no idea where Alan's inspiration came from. Great script, though. Minuet in Hell was very strong.

Did Alan W Lear just send you scripts, or would he meet up with the rest of you?

He just sent scripts. He did come to visit during Planet of Lies.

Michael Wisher returned for Minuet in Hell, did he enjoy himself?

Michael always enjoyed himself. He loved acting and I think he loved being the experienced old hand. He was always very supportive and encouraging to me.

How did Nigel Fairs become involved with the AVs? I have heard that he produced some plays himself, before coming to you?

Nigel wrote to us and said how great our plays were. I remembered his name as being that of a little boy who, in 1975, had appeared on a BBC South programme called HEY LOOK THAT'S ME doing his own Doctor Who audios.

I wrote to Nigel and said, 'Was that you?' Embarrassed, he confessed it was. He said he was an actor now, so we got him along. We instantly got on with him. He's a lovely guy with a great sense of humour. I loved working with him, because he has a great imagination and really loves Doctor Who.