Thomas Stewart Baker is an English actor. He is best known for his portrayal of the fourth incarnation of the Doctor in the science fiction series Doctor Who from 1974 to 1981, a longer tenure than any other actor, for the narration of the comedy series Little Britain. Baker's voice, described as "sonorous", was voted the fourth-most recognisable in the UK. At the age of 15, Baker began study as a religious brother, he lost his vocation and at 21 he left religious life and undertook National Service in the Royal Army Medical Corps. On leaving the army, he served in the Merchant Navy and became an actor, joining the Royal National Theatre under Laurence Olivier. Baker was in his thirties when his professional acting career began, his first major film role was as Grigori Rasputin in Nicholas and Alexandra in 1971, when he was 37, he went on to play the villainous Prince Koura in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad in 1973, which led to his casting in Doctor Who. During his period as its star, the series was distinguished by high viewing figures and many stories which became regarded as classics.
He remains one of the most recognisable incarnations of the character. It is Baker’s incarnation of the Doctor that has most appeared in The Simpsons, he continued to win regular roles in TV in his career, most notably in the series Medics and Monarch of the Glen. In addition to performing acting roles, Baker has narrated commercials, video games, radio plays and television series. Married three times, the second to Doctor Who co-star Lalla Ward, Baker has two sons from his first marriage. Baker was born on Scotland Road in Liverpool, his mother, Mary Jane, a cleaner, was a devout Catholic, his father, John Stewart Baker, was a seaman. Baker attended Cheswardine Boarding School. At 15 he became a novice religious brother, with the Brothers of Ploermel in Jersey and in Shropshire, but left the monastery six years after losing his faith; as he wrote in his autobiography he realised he wanted to break each of the Ten Commandments in order and thought he should get out before he did something serious.
He did his national service in the Royal Army Medical Corps, serving from 1955 until 1957. At the same time, he took up acting, studying at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama, Sidcup, in 1956 where he met his first wife, he went on to become a professional actor in the late 1960s. After his marriage ended in 1966, Baker eked out a living in provincial rep theatre, he had his first break in 1968 whilst performing in a late-night pub revue for the 1968 York Festival. His performance was seen by someone with the National Theatre who encouraged him to audition for the company headed by Laurence Olivier. Baker was offered a contract. From 1968 to 1971, he was given small parts and understudied, one of his bigger roles being the horse Rosinante in Don Quixote. Baker's stage work led to work on television where he won small parts in major series such as Dixon of Dock Green, Z-Cars, Market in Honey Lane and Softly, Softly. Baker had his first big film break with the role of Grigori Rasputin in the film Nicholas and Alexandra after Olivier had recommended him for the part.
He was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards for his performance, one for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and another for Best Newcomer. Baker appeared as Moore, an artist whose paintings are imbued with voodoo power, in The Vault of Horror and as Koura, the villainous sorcerer, in Ray Harryhausen's The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. Baker appeared in Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1972 version of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales as the younger husband of the Wife of Bath. In 1974, Baker took over the role of the Doctor from Jon Pertwee to become the Fourth Doctor in the BBC TV series, he was recommended to producer Barry Letts by the BBC's Head of Serials, Bill Slater, who had directed Baker in a Play of the Month production of Shaw's play The Millionairess. Impressed by Baker upon meeting him, Letts became convinced he was right for the part after seeing his performance in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. Baker was working on a construction site at the time, he was dubbed "Boiler Suit Tom" by the media because he had been supplied for a press conference with some old studio set clothes to replace his modest garments.
Baker made the part his own, viewing figures for his first few years returning to a level not seen since the height of'Dalekmania' a decade earlier. His eccentric style of dress and quirky personality, as well as his distinctive voice, made him an recognisable figure and he caught the viewing public's imagination. Baker played the Doctor for seven consecutive series, making him the longest-serving actor in the part. Baker himself suggested many aspects of his Doctor's personality, but the distinctive scarf was created by accident. James Acheson, the costume designer assigned to his first story, had provided far more wool than was necessary to the knitter, Begonia Pope, intending for her to choose a suitable colour. However, due to miscommunication Pope knitted all the wool, it was Baker who suggested that he wear the ridiculously long scarf, which he did once it had been shortened a bit to make it more manageable. The Doctor played by Baker is regarded as the most popular of the Doctors. In polls conducted by Doctor Who Magazine, Baker has lost the "Best Doctor" category only three times: once to Sylvester McCoy in 1990, twice to David Tennant in 2006 and 2009.
Many of the stories from his era are considered to be classics of the series, including The Ar
Delta and the Bannermen
Delta and the Bannermen is the third serial of the 24th season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, first broadcast in three weekly parts from 2 to 16 November 1987. In the serial, aliens called the Bannermen track down the Chimeron Queen Delta to a Welsh holiday camp in 1959 so they can kill her. On an alien planet the genocide of the Chimeron by the merciless Bannermen led by Gavrok is complete; the last survivor, Chimeron Queen Delta, escapes clutching the future of her species. She reaches a space tollport where the Navarinos, a race of shape changing tourist aliens, are planning a visit to the planet Earth in 1959 in a spaceship disguised as an old holiday bus, she stows aboard, meeting Mel, while the Doctor follows in the TARDIS. The Doctor and Mel won the trip as a prize for arriving in the Navarino spaceport in time to be declared the ten billionth customers; as the tourist vehicle departs, the Bannermen arrive to hunt down the fugitive, they kill the tollmaster.
The holiday vehicle from Nostalgia Tours collides with an Earth satellite and is diverted off track, landing at a holiday camp in South Wales rather than Disneyland. They reach. Delta's egg hatches into a bright green baby; the Chimeron Queen supports this development with the equivalent of royal jelly given to bees. Delta captures the heart of Billy, the camp's mechanic, to the chagrin of Ray, who loves Billy herself. Ray confides her situation to the Doctor, they stumble across a bounty hunter making contact with the Bannermen to tell them of the Chimeron's whereabouts. Gavrok and his troops soon arrive. Delta and Billy head off for a picnic while the Doctor busies himself coordinating things back at the camp. Meanwhile, the Bannermen have destroyed the Navarino bus with all its passengers. Two American CIA agents and Weismuller, appear on the scene, tracking the missing satellite. Gavrok booby-traps the TARDIS in an attempt to kill the Doctor. A battle ensues with Gavrok and his Bannermen against the Doctor and his crew: Ray & Billy, Goronwy, Mr. Burton and the two CIA agents.
The Bannermen are foiled by honey, Goronwy's bees and by the amplified scream of the Chimeron child Princess – a sound, painful to Bannermen. Goronwy explains to Billy the purpose of royal jelly in the lifecycle of the honeybee, provoking the mechanic to consume Delta's equivalent that she has been feeding her daughter, in the hope of metamorphosing into a Chimeron; as Gavrok and the Bannermen attack Shangri-La, the amplified scream of the Chimeron princess traumatises the attackers, including Gavrok, who becomes so stunned that he falls into the booby-trap he placed on the TARDIS and is killed. Delta and Billy leave together with the child, the two agents watch on with surprise and Goronwy winks knowingly as the Doctor and Mel slip away. Working titles for this story included The Flight of the Chimeron; the eventual title is a reference to the British band the Bunnymen. The character Ray was created as a new companion for the Doctor as Bonnie Langford had announced she would be leaving the series at the end of the season.
The serial, with the working title, The Flight Of The Chimeron, was scheduled to end the season. However, as the serial neared production, Langford had not decided whether she would leave at the end of Season 24 or during Season 25; that fact plus the rescheduling of Delta and the Bannermen to earlier in the season and the decision by script editor Andrew Cartmel to create another replacement companion named Alf, led to the abandonment of the idea of Ray as a new companion. The scenes at the Shangri-La holiday camp were shot on location at Butlin's Barry Island in Wales; the soundtrack of this serial contained. The songs featured in the serial were: "Rock Around the Clock". McCoy can be seen wearing his glasses in certain long shots of him riding a motorcycle; the motorbike itself a Vincent, made by British manufacturer Vincent Motorcycles. The guitar McCoy is seen hugging at the end of the story is a Squier Stratocaster by Fender, although the model is not one available at the time the story was set.
Features guest appearance by Ken Dodd, Don Henderson, Hugh Lloyd, Richard Davies, American stage and screen actor Stubby Kaye. Morgan Deare played Senator Waldo Pickering in the audio play Minuet in Hell and Arthur in the new series episode, "Rosa". Simon Brew of Den of Geek thought the story was "fun nonsense." Paul Cornell, Martin Day and Keith Topping enjoyed the serial, describing it as "confident and hugely enjoyable from beginning to end". They praised Bonnie Langford's performance, found Ken Dodd to be "OK" but thought Don Henderson played it too straight. David J. Howe and Stephen James Walker found the serial to be more whimsical than the preceding story but more successful, "all in all, a enjoyable romp." Radio Times' Mark Baxton declared: "It’s mad as cheese and about as scary as an episode of Play Away. It doesn't feel like Doctor, but just once in a while the show can afford to go mad."In 2015, Steven Moffat endorsed the fan theory that Goronwy is a future incarnation of the Doctor, said that the idea fit well with the Doctor's line about retiring to become a beekeeper in "The Name of the Doctor".
A novelisation of this serial, written by Malcolm Kohll, was pu
Colin Baker is an English actor. He became known for playing Paul Merroney in the BBC drama series The Brothers from 1974 to 1976, he played the sixth incarnation of the Doctor in the long-running science fiction television series Doctor Who from 1984 to 1986. Baker's tenure as the Doctor proved to be a controversial era for the series, which included a hiatus in production and his subsequent replacement on the orders of BBC executive Michael Grade. Colin Baker was born in Waterloo, England, he moved north to Rochdale with his family. He was educated at St Bede's College and studied to become a solicitor. At the age of 23, Baker enrolled at the London Academy of Dramatic Art. Baker's numerous television roles in the early 1970s included a supporting role in a 1970 BBC adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre's trilogy The Roads to Freedom, a leading role as Count Steinbock in their adaptation of Cousin Bette the following year, playing opposite Margaret Tyzack and Helen Mirren. In 1972 he played Anatole Kuragin, opposite Anthony Hopkins in the BBC adaptation of Peace.
His regular television work continued and in Fall of Eagles, Baker appeared as Crown Prince Willy of the German Empire. By far his most prominent role to date came in 1974, playing the ruthless banker Paul Merroney in the hugely popular BBC Sunday evening family series The Brothers. Baker joined the series half-way through its run, as Merroney became one of the leading characters over 3½ series from 1974–76. After The Brothers, although he worked in theatre, his television work dried up for several years, although he guest-starred memorably as Bayban the Butcher in a 1980 episode of Blake's 7; this led to further TV guest roles and in 1983 he featured in a BBC production of A. J. Cronin's The Citadel. Baker made his first appearance in Doctor as Commander Maxil in the story Arc of Infinity. Producer John Nathan-Turner described Baker's performance as being "a little sassy. Maxil was one of the few characters to shoot the Doctor played by Peter Davison. At the time of Baker's casting as Davison's successor, he was the only actor portraying the Doctor to have appeared in the television series as another character prior to taking on the leading role.
When Baker was cast to replace Davison, many fans cited that shooting scene in Arc of Infinity, prompting Baker to say jokingly that he got the part of the Doctor by killing the incumbent. He is no relation to Tom Baker, who played the Fourth Doctor in Doctor Who. Baker's first appearance as the Doctor occurred at the final minutes of The Caves of Androzani, where he delivered his first few lines; the closing title sequence for episode four features Baker's face instead of Peter Davison and credits him as the Doctor before Davison's own credit. This was the first time that the new lead received top billing in the final story of an outgoing Doctor. Baker made his first full story debut the following week in The Twin Dilemma, it was the first time since 1966, only the second time in the series' history, that a new leading actor's debut story was shown before the conclusion of the previous lead's season. Baker's era was interrupted by an 18-month hiatus, announced in February 1985, midway through transmission of his first full season.
The Controller of BBC1 at the time, Michael Grade, criticised Doctor Who, saying that the programme had become overly violent in 1985. Grade admitted that he "hated" the series, which he described as a "very clunky studio show". One new Doctor Who story, was produced for radio during the hiatus, which starred Baker and his regular television companion Nicola Bryant. Doctor Who returned to television for its 23rd season in September 1986; the season featured a reduction in episodes, was made on video for location scenes for the first time since 1975's The Sontaran Experiment and was produced as a 14-episode-long serial called The Trial of a Time Lord. This serial was a meta-textual reference to the fact that the series itself was "on trial" at this time. In 1986 Baker told an interviewer, "Tom Baker did it for seven years.... There's a part of me. I would like to think that maybe I'd still be doing it in eight years' time." However that year Michael Grade agreed to commission another series, on the condition that Baker was replaced.
The BBC's Head of Series, Jonathan Powell said that the BBC was looking for "one last chance saloon, for an actor who would take off with the public."He was removed from the part after starring in only eleven stories and just short of three years in the series, including the hiatus, making his tenure as the Doctor the shortest at that point. After his sacking, Baker refused to return to record a regeneration sequence. Instead, his replacement, Sylvester McCoy, played the fatally injured Sixth Doctor in a blonde wig as he regenerates in the opening minutes of Time and the Rani, his face hidden by video effects as the regeneration process occurs. On 4 September 2011 at Riverside Studios, London, Baker accepted the presidency of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, held by Jon Pertwee and Nicholas Courtney. Baker was elected following an online poll of the society's members where he won more votes than all the other candidates combined. From 5 June to 19 August 1989 Baker agreed to appear as the Doctor once more, in the stage play Doctor Who - The Ultimate Adventure, taking over from original lead Jon Pertwee who had fallen ill.
In 1992, Colin Baker became the first
Robert Falcon Scott
Captain Robert Falcon Scott, was a British Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery Expedition of 1901–1904 and the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition of 1910–1913. On the first expedition, he set a new southern record by marching to latitude 82°S and discovered the Antarctic Plateau, on which the South Pole is located. On the second venture, Scott led a party of five which reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912, less than five weeks after Roald Amundsen's Norwegian expedition. A planned meeting with supporting dog teams from the base camp failed, despite Scott's written instructions, at a distance of 150 miles from their base camp and 12 miles from the next depot and his companions died; when Scott and his party's bodies were discovered, they had in their possession the first Antarctic fossils discovered. The fossils were determined to be from the Glossopteris tree and proved that Antarctica was once forested and joined to other continents.
Before his appointment to lead the Discovery Expedition, Scott had followed the career of a naval officer in the Royal Navy. In 1899, he had a chance encounter with Sir Clements Markham, the president of the Royal Geographical Society, thus learned of a planned Antarctic expedition, which he soon volunteered to lead. Having taken this step, his name became inseparably associated with the Antarctic, the field of work to which he remained committed during the final 12 years of his life. Following the news of his death, Scott became a celebrated hero, a status reflected by memorials erected across the UK. However, in the last decades of the 20th century, questions were raised about his competence and character. Commentators in the 21st century have regarded Scott more positively after assessing the temperature drop below −40 °C in March 1912 and after re-discovering Scott's written orders of October 1911, in which he had instructed the dog teams to meet and assist him on the return trip. Scott was born on 6 June 1868, the third of six children and elder son of John Edward, a brewer and magistrate, Hannah Scott of Stoke Damerel, near Devonport.
There were naval and military traditions in the family, Scott's grandfather and four uncles all having served in the army or navy. John Scott's prosperity came from the ownership of a small Plymouth brewery which he had inherited from his father and subsequently sold. Scott's early childhood years were spent in comfort, but some years when he was establishing his naval career, the family suffered serious financial misfortune. In accordance with the family's tradition and his younger brother Archie were predestined for careers in the armed services. Scott spent four years at a local day school before being sent to Stubbington House School in Hampshire, a cramming establishment that prepared candidates for the entrance examinations to the naval training ship HMS Britannia at Dartmouth. Having passed these exams Scott began his naval career as a 13-year-old cadet. In July 1883, Scott passed out of Britannia as a midshipman, seventh overall in a class of 26. By October, he was en route to South Africa to join HMS Boadicea, the flagship of the Cape squadron, the first of several ships on which he served during his midshipman years.
While stationed in St Kitts, West Indies, on HMS Rover, he had his first encounter with Clements Markham Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society, who would loom large in Scott's career. On this occasion, 1 March 1887, Markham observed Midshipman Scott's cutter winning that morning's race across the bay. Markham's habit was to "collect" young naval officers with a view to their undertaking polar exploration work in the future, he was impressed by Scott's intelligence and charm, the 18-year-old midshipman was duly noted. In March 1888 Scott passed his examinations for sub-lieutenant, with four first class certificates out of five, his career progressed smoothly, with service on various ships and promotion to lieutenant in 1889. In 1891, after a long spell in foreign waters, he applied for the two-year torpedo training course on HMS Vernon, an important career step, he graduated with first class certificates in practical examinations. A small blot occurred in the summer of 1893 when, while commanding a torpedo boat, Scott ran it aground, a mishap which earned him a mild rebuke.
During the research for his dual biography of Scott and Roald Amundsen, polar historian Roland Huntford investigated a possible scandal in Scott's early naval career, related to the period 1889–90 when Scott was a lieutenant on HMS Amphion. According to Huntford, Scott "disappears from naval records" for eight months, from mid-August 1889 until 26 March 1890. Huntford hints at involvement with a married American woman, a cover-up, protection by senior officers. Biographer David Crane is unable to clarify further, he rejects the notion of protection by senior officers on the grounds that Scott was not important or well-connected enough to warrant this. Documents that may have offered explanations are missing from Admiralty records. In 1894, while serving as torpedo officer on the depot ship HMS Vulcan, Scott learned of the financial calamity that had overtaken his family. John Scott, having sold the brewery and invested the proceeds unwisely, had lost all his capital and was now bankrupt. At the age of 63, in poor health, he was forced to take a job as a brewery manager and move his family to Shepton Mallet, Somerset.
Three years while Robert was serving with the Channel squadron flagship HMS Majestic, John Scott died of heart disease, creating a fresh family crisis. Hannah Scott and her two unmarried daughters now relied on the
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, was an English actor and director who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson, Peggy Ashcroft and John Gielgud, dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century. He worked in films throughout his career, playing more than fifty cinema roles. Late in his career, he had considerable success in television roles, his family had no theatrical connections, but Olivier's father, a clergyman, decided that his son should become an actor. After attending a drama school in London, Olivier learned his craft in a succession of acting jobs during the late 1920s. In 1930 he had his first important West End success in Noël Coward's Private Lives, he appeared in his first film. In 1935 he played in a celebrated production of Romeo and Juliet alongside Gielgud and Ashcroft, by the end of the decade he was an established star. In the 1940s, together with Richardson and John Burrell, Olivier was the co-director of the Old Vic, building it into a respected company.
There his most celebrated roles included Sophocles's Oedipus. In the 1950s Olivier was an independent actor-manager, but his stage career was in the doldrums until he joined the avant garde English Stage Company in 1957 to play the title role in The Entertainer, a part he played on film. From 1963 to 1973 he was the founding director of Britain's National Theatre, running a resident company that fostered many future stars, his own parts there included the title role in Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Among Olivier's films are Wuthering Heights, a trilogy of Shakespeare films as actor-director: Henry V, Richard III, his films included The Shoes of the Fisherman, Marathon Man, The Boys from Brazil. His television appearances included an adaptation of The Moon and Sixpence, Long Day's Journey into Night, Love Among the Ruins, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Brideshead Revisited and King Lear. Olivier's honours included a life peerage and the Order of Merit. For his on-screen work he received four Academy Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, five Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards.
The National Theatre's largest auditorium is named in his honour, he is commemorated in the Laurence Olivier Awards, given annually by the Society of London Theatre. He was married three times, to the actresses Jill Esmond from 1930 to 1940, Vivien Leigh from 1940 to 1960, Joan Plowright from 1961 until his death. Olivier was born in Dorking, the youngest of the three children of the Reverend Gerard Kerr Olivier and his wife Agnes Louise, née Crookenden, their elder children were Sybille and Gerard Dacres "Dickie". His great-great-grandfather was of French Huguenot descent, Olivier came from a long line of Protestant clergymen. Gerard Olivier had begun a career as a schoolmaster, but in his thirties he discovered a strong religious vocation and was ordained as a priest of the Church of England, he practised high church, ritualist Anglicanism and liked to be addressed as "Father Olivier". This made him unacceptable to most Anglican congregations, the only church posts he was offered were temporary deputising for regular incumbents in their absence.
This meant a nomadic existence, for Laurence's first few years, he never lived in one place long enough to make friends. In 1912, when Olivier was five, his father secured a permanent appointment as assistant rector at St Saviour's, Pimlico, he held the post for six years, a stable family life was at last possible. Olivier was devoted to his mother, but not to his father, whom he found a remote parent, he learned a great deal of the art of performing from him. As a young man Gerard Olivier had considered a stage career and was a dramatic and effective preacher. Olivier wrote that his father knew "when to drop the voice, when to bellow about the perils of hellfire, when to slip in a gag, when to wax sentimental... The quick changes of mood and manner absorbed me, I have never forgotten them." In 1916, after attending a series of preparatory schools, Olivier passed the singing examination for admission to the choir school of All Saints, Margaret Street, in central London. His elder brother was a pupil, Olivier settled in, though he felt himself to be something of an outsider.
The church's style of worship was Anglo-Catholic, with emphasis on ritual and incense. The theatricality of the services appealed to Olivier, the vicar encouraged the students to develop a taste for secular as well as religious drama. In a school production of Julius Caesar in 1917, the ten-year-old Olivier's performance as Brutus impressed an audience that included Lady Tree, the young Sybil Thorndike, Ellen Terry, who wrote in her diary, "The small boy who played Brutus is a great actor." He won praise in other schoolboy productions, as Maria in Twelfth Night and Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew. From All Saints, Olivier went on to St Edward's School, from 1920 to 1924, he made little mark until his final year, when he played Puck in the school's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. In January 1924, his brother left England to work in India as a rubber planter. Olivier missed him and asked his father how soon he could follow, he recalled in his memoirs that his father replied, "Don't be such a fool, you're not going to India, you're going on the stage."
In 1924 Gerard Olivier, a habitually fru
Kenneth Victor Campbell was an English writer, actor and comedian known for his work in experimental theatre. He has been called "a one-man dynamo of British theatre."Campbell achieved notoriety in the 1970s for his nine-hour adaptation of the science-fiction trilogy Illuminatus! and his 22-hour staging of Neil Oram's play cycle The Warp. The Guinness Book of Records listed the latter as the longest play in the world; the Independent said that, "In the 1990s, through a series of sprawling monologues packed with arcane information and freakish speculations on the nature of reality, he became something approaching a grand old man of the fringe, though without discarding his inner enfant terrible." The Times labelled Campbell a one-man whirlwind of surreal performance. Michael Coveney, in an obituary in The Guardian, described him as "one of the most original and unclassifiable talents in the British theatre of the past half-century. A genius at producing shows on a shoestring and honing the improvisational capabilities of the actors who were brave enough to work with him."
The artistic director of the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse said, "He was the door through which many hundreds of kindred souls entered a madder, brighter and more complex universe." Campbell was born in Ilford, the son of Elsie and Anthony Colin Campbell, a telegrapher. He staged his first performances in the bathroom of his childhood home: "I was three years old and helped by my invisible friend, Peter Jelp, I put on shows for the characters in the linoleum." He was educated at Chigwell School and studied at RADA before joining Colchester Repertory theatre as an understudy to Warren Mitchell. In 1967 he became resident dramatist and acting company member at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, he soon began writing and directing his own productions, including working with director Lindsay Anderson. After seeing the American Living Theatre at The Roundhouse in the early 1970s he was inspired to found The Ken Campbell Roadshow, a small theatre group that performed in unconventional venues such as pubs.
Members included Bob Hoskins and Sylvester McCoy. Campbell was invited by John Cleese to appear with his Roadshow team in the first Secret Policeman's Ball in June 1979. In 1976, he and Chris Langham formed the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool in order to stage Illuminatus, a nine-hour cycle of five plays by himself and Langham based on the cult trilogy of avowedly anarchist science fantasy novels of the same name by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. Starring Campbell and Langham themselves, the production featured Neil Cunningham, David Rappaport, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy and Campbell's future wife Prunella Gee, it moved to the National Theatre, where it opened the new Cottesloe Theatre in 1977. Sir Peter Hall, director of the National at the time, writes of Campbell in his Diaries, "He is a total anarchist and impossible to pin down, he more or less said it was a crime to be serious." The Warp, based on the real life experiences and adventures of author Neil Oram, is a dizzying trek through the nether reaches of gurudom and tireless post-sixties mind-expansion, directed by Ken Campbell, opened at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts in January 1979.
It was spawned by the encounter between Oram and Campbell after Oram gave his acclaimed performance as raconteur at the ICA. Campbell commissioned the cycle of ten plays after hearing Oram; the cycle's inordinate length when it is played together, 22 hours, rendered the 9-hour Illuminatus! A mere bagatelle by comparison. For the first two weeks the performances were of one play per night, after which the impetus for a marathon performance, a real challenge to actors and audience, became irresistible; the success of this remarkable effort by all concerned led to three full marathon performances at the ICA. Five marathon performances followed at the Roundhouse in London in November 1979 directed by Ken; the most remarkable, in terms of the ethos of the author and the work, the most attractive event in this episode was the five marathons that were performed, against the wishes of an army of local officialdom, during a squat of the Regent Theatre in Edinburgh during the Festival of 1979. The Scottish audiences were as enthusiastic as the London crowd.
After one performance at Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire, a further performance was given at Liverpool Everyman Theatre in a ten-week run from 29 September – 6 December 1980. Cult status was established giving some credence to the publicity material - "The world may soon divide into those who have been through THE WARP and those who have not" More the cycle was revived in the 1990s in a production directed by Campbell's daughter Daisy. In May 1979, again at the ICA, the company presented the first stage version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. One eye-popping aspect of the production was that for each set change the entire audience was wafted 1/2000th-of-an-inch above the floor aboard an industrial hovercraft; the cast cavorted on various platforms. The craft's carrying capacity meant. Langham was Arthur Dent, Richard Hope as Ford Prefect and narration of The Book was split between two usherettes; the problem of how to portray Zaphod Beeblebrox, the Betelgeusian blessed with three arms and two heads - not an issue in the original radio series - was assailed in typical Campbell fashion by putting two actors inside one large costume.
Audience-carrying capacity was not a problem at London's vast Rainbow Theatre where Campbell mounted a yet more grandiose version of The Hitchhiker's Guide in July 1980. The v