Frazer Hines talks Agatha Christie, Doctor Who and Emmerdale
An all star cast has been lined up for the theatrical version of one of the most beloved stories by Agatha Christie.
And Then There Were None stars Just Good Friends’ Paul Nicholas, former Blue Peter presenter Mark Curry, Colin Buchanan from Dalziel and Pascoe and Doctor Who’s Frazer Hines.
It sees 10 guests on an island brought together on an island.
But their host is missing and a recorded message accuses all of them of having a secret. It’s then the bodies start piling up.
Talking about his part Frazer said: “I play Rogers the Butler and I can not say whether the butler did it or not. He’s estuary English, and a little cockney and he’s a very happy man.
“When I originally came on there was some gloomy music and I said to the producer, can I whistle a happy tune and he heard and really liked it so it stayed in which was lovely.
“I was in America doing a Doctor Who convention and Bill Kenwright phoned me up and said I am doing And Then There Were None. I wasn’t familiar with the play so I asked him to send it through and I read it and couldn’t put it down.
“I then found out that Mark Curry was going to be in and he’s a good friend, we have known each other for years. But it is the first time that we have ever worked with each other.
“There is going to be someone who people will know and really like. If you don’t like me, there’s Paul Nicholas. If you don’t like him, there’s Mark Curry. Or Colin Buchanan or Verity Rushworth or Susan Penhaligon.
“The tour has been going really well. We started rehearsals in December and was supposed to finish in Newcastle but have stayed on a bit longer because the show is coming to Leeds just after that because of the Yorkshire connection.
“I would say that if you want to come and see brilliant actors at the top of their game then come along and see this.”
It will be a return to Milton Keynes Theatre for Frazer who had a rather unfortunate time on his last performance at the venue.
Frazer said: “I have performed at Milton Keynes before. I did The Unexpected Guest back in 2010 which was another Bill Kenwright picture.
“I remember not being able to find the theatre for the opening night. I was sat in a Travelodge car park and phoned the company manager and he had to direct me through all of the roundabouts.
“The one thing you do remember is the digs, so if you have a tour list, I’ll have a look and then get a list of good digs. You remember those places rather than the theatres.”
While he had been a familiar face on television from a young age but for science fiction fans, he will always be associated with the part of Jamie in Doctor Who appearing alongside Patrick Troughton’s second Doctor.
Frazer said: “Patrick was still very much finding his feet as the Doctor. I remember when we filmed my first story, co-stars Anneke Wills and Michael Craze came out wearing t-shirts saying ‘Come back Bill Hartnell, all is forgiven.’
“I don’t think Patrick was impressed as he was nervous about taking on the part.
“He was a sensitive man. I remember when we filmed The Enemy of the World, where he played a doppleganger, Patrick put on a Mexican accent. Debbie Watling said, you’re not going to play it like that and I said, ‘Is Salamander meant to be from Pakistan?’ He was upset but we reassured him that we were only teasing.”
Considering he made his on screen debut in 1966, I asked Frazer if he could have ever forseen it.
Frazer said: “I never expected that it would have the kind of legacy it has. We are talking nearly 50 years ago and it is still going strong.
“It was a job that I enjoyed every minute of. A lot of the time, you think I hope so and so is a good mood, or they haven’t had a row with their partner. There was never that feeling on Doctor Who, it was always such a happy time.”
Frazer’s affection for the show is infectious and he talks about the recently recovered episodes, the aforementioned The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear.
“The shows still stand up very well. I watched the recently recovered The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear and I thought they stood up so well. You could put them on to television today and no one would bat an eyelid.
“I’ve always thought that since the show was bought back. They should repeat one story from each Doctor for the classic era. I was told the BBC wouldn’t put black and white stories on repeat but they have done it with old episodes of Dad’s Army, why wouldn’t they do it for Doctor Who.
“When I do the conventions, you have little children come up and say my grandad watched it, my dad watched it and now I am. And they love the black and white episodes, they say it is scarier.
“The conventions take place all over the world. It has taken me from Long Island, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Sheffield. Sheffield is the most glamourous.”
Frazer also spent more than 20 years on the soap opera Emmerdale, but it is safe to say that he doesn’t have the same level of enthusiasm for it.
“With Emmerdale, you had to get up first thing in the morning and film the scenes of milking cows right at the start. Then your next scene could be right at the end of the day. I loved the people I worked with such as Freddie Pine and Chris Hornby, but the locations we used were not the best.
“I broke off doing Emmerdale to film a return to Doctor Who in The Two Doctors. I am sure if I had of said I was going to leave Emmerdale and have asked producer John Nathan-Turner if I could return to Doctor Who as they didn’t have a male companion, I would have been able to just like that.
“I’ve managed to work alongside Colin Baker in some of the Big Finish audios we do, as well as playing Patrick Troughton’s Doctor which have been good fun.”
And Then There Were None runs at Milton Keynes Theatre from Monday July 20 to Saturday July 25.
Tickets are available from £19.50. They can be booked by calling the box office on 0844 871 7652 or visit www.atgtickets.co.uk/miltonkeynes.