Saturday, January 12, 2008

Clive Swift -Tells It Like It Is

Bit of a stir in Who fandom at the moment following the release of Doctor Who Magazine 391.

Put simply, actor Clive Swift wasn't too happy about being interviewed for DWM, and berated the "poor journalist" (who perhaps should have focussed a bit more on Swift's 42 year screen career) as follows:

DWM - "Right, one final question..."

Clive Swift - "I think that's more than enough isn't it? How many pages are you going to have on Mr. Copper?"
DWM - "Well, I was just going to ask....

CS - "There's no reason why I should talk to you at all, so you shouldn't push it. I'm sure you'll write something very nice (stony silence). I know that you all think that this is a big world, this Who business. But it isn't. There are much bigger things than this"

DWM - "Maybe, but it means a lot to a great many of us."

CS - "Yeah yeah. Goodbye"

Rude? Definitely.

Right? Yes. Completely and utterly right. There are much bigger things than Doctor Who, ranging from the works of JRR Tolkien or Led Zeppelin to the hellish state of geopolitics and the obscene ways in which so called democratic governments indulge in corruption and cronyism.

If we can't accept that Doctor Who is nothing more than (usually) very good, entertaining escapism, then we don't deserve to be part of anything other than a civilization that is trundling quickly towards hell in a very cramped handcart.

On the other hand, it could be useful to see that Clive Swift has a point - he has been around a long time, after all - and that Doctor Who is there for us once we've done the important things that need doing in the world.


Mark H Wilkinson said...

It's the most entertaining Who-related interview we've had in yonks. While I'm sure at least some of the many jobbing thesps to heap praise on Who and all that shines out of RTD's nether regions actually meant what they said, it's good to see someone not give too much of a toss over one job.

Swift's given us several decades worth of quality work; I reckon he's earned the right to be an old grumpy.

(Try telling that to some quarters of fandom, mind -- you know, the sort that were up in arms when Eccleston decided not to sign up for a seven year contract.)

Mike Bellamy said...

Well it's certainly true that Doctor Who isn't the be-all-and-end-all of everything; but then the career of an actor, no matter how long and successful it might be, is hardly going to change the world and is largely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

Does he have a point? Well if he does I don't think it's much of one. Doctor Who isn't a "big thing", but then do all interviews have to be about "big things" like global politics? Particularly if the interview is for publication in "Doctor Who Magazine"?

What it boils down to is that, if you play a small part in an episode of Doctor Who and then agree to do an interview for "Doctor Who Magazine" in which all you do is moan about how Doctor Who isn't worth talking about whilst being extremely rude in general... you're an arsehole.

Christian-Mark Cawley said...

Thanks for responding guys, and to everyone else who has visited the blog for this topic, my hits multiplied 10 fold! Normally only get about 5 a day!