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Bessie

Started by galacticprobe, Feb 05, 2014, 07:31 pm

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domvar

Or "give" the midget to the girlfriend then she won't complain when you buy the Siva and you still get to drive the midget :)

galacticprobe

Feb 19, 2014, 06:55 am #31 Last Edit: Feb 19, 2014, 06:56 am by galacticprobe
When I was reading through the thread on the whereabouts of the Whomobile I saw this again:
Quote from: markofrani on Feb 08, 2014, 02:20 pm
This might be of interest. This chap has made a lovely job of a CO scale model Bessie...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TjQ8KkGLwU

and thought it would be a good addition to this thread... for as long as that link stays live.

And here it is for anyone wanting to watch it from here:


Thanks for finding that, markofrani!

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

rmef2

Here are a couple of picts I took when she was here in Denver for a promo for our local PBS channel.  John Nathan Turner was also present along with a traveling museum  of some costumes and props.  She looked great then... around 1986 ish.  Syvester McCoy had just been chosen as the next Doctor and JNT was giving a presentation on the upcoming new doctor.Bessie Back.jpgBessie Side_0002.jpg

galacticprobe

Feb 23, 2014, 07:23 am #33 Last Edit: Feb 23, 2014, 07:24 am by galacticprobe
Those are some pretty photos! Interesting that she's still wearing her "WHO 1" plates, which makes me wonder whose idea it was - and when - to give her "WHO 7" plates in McCoy's "Battlefield" story. Probably John 'Watch-me-run-Doctor-Who-into-the-ground' Nathan-Turner's (and that was someone else's Facebook comment on JN-T from some years back, not mine, but it stuck with me because, well, it sort of fit at the time).

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

Volpone

Heh.  It is funny.  Back in the day I *loved* JNT.  The production values improved so much in so many ways.  The control room took on a consistent appearance, the console was so much better, the TARDIS exterior was much cooler than he Newberry prop.  The monsters and FX were much more convincing (by no budget '80s TV standards).  But now that I'm older and more mature, the stories were painful compared to the earlier stories.  And the Doctor's clothing became a costume to the point of absurdity (poor Colin Baker!).  Yeah, I agree with your putative Facebook friend's assessment. 
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.

galacticprobe

Feb 24, 2014, 05:39 am #35 Last Edit: Feb 24, 2014, 05:45 am by galacticprobe
I admit that JN-T did some good things with the production (the look of the console room, like you mentioned, for one). The Davison Years were pretty good and had some great stories. When you look at the Doctor's clothing in the JN-T years, Tom Baker's change to a basically monochrome color with a cumbersome coat and that scarf made it look like his clothing got in the way at times (one of the reasons why Baker said he'd left). The scarf was no big thing as it was just about as long as the "Shada" scarf, which was pretty much the Season 17 scarf. But that huge overcoat Baker had to wear was too much.

Davison's outfit was on parr with Troughton's and Pertwee's in that it "could" be regular clothing, but at the same time a bit out of place. The same could be said about Sylvester McCoy's outfit once he got that brollie with the "?" handle (but I loved that brollie!). In fact, McCoy's outfit was about the closest thing to "normal" clothing any of the Classic Doctors came. And you're right about Colin Baker's outfit - all JN-T's idea, according to what Colin Baker said at Timegate. The costume C. Baker wanted - according to him - was very similar to what Christopher Eccleston ended up wearing. Baker didn't go into detail about how close it was, but he did say he wasn't happy that JN-T totally threw his input "in the bin".

JN-T also fiddled with the format too much. I remember a PBS interview he gave after Davison took over the role. He said he wanted to remove all of the comedic elements that Tom Baker had been giving the show. Davison's stories reflected that, even though there was still some rare comic relief. Colin Baker's stories had very little comic relief (not counting his costume). JN-T gave another interview (again shown on PBS) after McCoy had taken the role and said the show needed to have some comedic elements put into it because it had gotten too serious and knew that McCoy would be able to do that. (So, exit Tom Baker because the show had comedic elements to it, then bring in McCoy because the show needed to have comedic elements added to it. JN-T may have stayed as producer a little too long because now he was contradicting himself!)

He started out with some good ideas, but as many fans back then said at the Cons we went to, JN-T should have left when Davison did and let someone else take over as producer, and those sentiments grew throughout Colin Baker's short time in the role. By McCoy's final season, with disjointed stories (like no real explanation of how or why the Doctor and Ace appeared to fight things in "Ghostlight" and "The Curse of Fenric" - they just show up as though there was a missing episode), while fans eagerly awaited the Season 27 that never came, they also even more eagerly waited for JN-T to step down.

Now, with the way Moffat is splitting up the show into Series 6 and 6b/7 and 7b, and the lengthy delays between Series, fans I meet are grumbling that it's time for Moffat to pass the reins to someone else; they feel he's more "into 'Sherlock'" and letting 'Who' take a back seat.

And now **************<adjusting Drift Compensators>****************

Back on topic... This is Bessie's thread. Anyone else have more photos to add? (Taken in person? Screen grabs?)

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

kert gantry

Quote from: volpone on Feb 09, 2014, 05:44 pm
Great photos.  I always thought the wheels looked a little...odd.  These photos show that they are regular wheels with yellow custom "spoke" hubcaps on them. 


The faux-spoke caps went missing for a time. Check out Robot and you'll see the one on the spare wheel has already gone.

I used to have a photo, circa 1981, of her taking part in a procession down Blackpool's Golden Mile (Aggedor in the front passenger seat!).  All the spokes are missing and the Ford Popular wheelcaps underneath are painted silver rather than black. A slightly later pic has her parked outside the Blackpool DW Exhibiton entrance with fake spokes simply painted over the wheel hubs. The spokes we see now are replacements, made (I'm guessing) for the Five Doctors. 

Seems she's looking a little better now than she has for a while. Would be nice if someone could find a replacement for the missing rainhood, and re-paint the black linear detailing on the sides of the seats. 

galacticprobe

Feb 25, 2014, 06:06 am #37 Last Edit: Feb 25, 2014, 06:07 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: kert gantry on Feb 24, 2014, 07:40 am
Would be nice if someone could find a replacement for the missing rainhood, and re-paint the black linear detailing on the sides of the seats.


I'd like to see the black pin-striping come back as well. That's how she started out, and kept the striping until she appeared in Season 26's "Battlefield" without them. That's also about the time she lost the seat covers that overlapped the seat frame (if that's what you call it) at the tops. The overlapping looked nicer as well.

Replacing the pin-striping would be easy enough; a decent auto-detailer could have the job done right in a day. The recovering of the seats would be bothersome (expensive) and time-consuming. I have no idea what it would take to replace the rainhood, but dare I say she still looks good "topless"? ;D

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

kert gantry

Feb 25, 2014, 05:48 pm #38 Last Edit: Feb 25, 2014, 05:55 pm by kert gantry
Quote from: galacticprobe on Feb 25, 2014, 06:06 am



Replacing the pin-striping would be easy enough; a decent auto-detailer could have the job done right in a day.


Hey, I'd happily do the job for free if they'd let me.  I'm pretty handy with a brush and as you say, it wouldn't take long.

Thanks also, Dino, for starting this thread. Being old enough - just - to have started on Who with the Pertwee years, I tend to think of Bessie as the Doctor's 'second TARDIS'. That letter you have from JP is wonderful.  

One of my treasured memories is seeing Jon make his grand entrance through the Longleat 20th Anniversary event, cape billowing (well, he managed to make it seem like it was billowingt!). On his way to the interview tent he caught sight of Bessie parked nearby, went over and gave her an expansive,affectionate pat on the bonnet. All for the fans' benefit, of course, but priceless.

galacticprobe

Feb 26, 2014, 05:28 am #39 Last Edit: Feb 26, 2014, 05:33 am by galacticprobe
I'm sure Mr. Pertwee did that for the fans (though there may have been a little bit of nostalgia in that gesture as well). He was all about the fans: very approachable. When we got to meet him at one of the Doctor Who Conventions in Valley Forge, PA back in 1985, the one Friday night had so few people there that it was pretty much a one-on-one between fans and Mr. Pertwee (and Colin Baker, Anthony Ainley, Nicola Bryant, Elisabeth Sladen, Janet Fielding, and - well - JN-T). Everyone was more than willing to just sit around and talk to the fans, but Mr. Pertwee was definitely the most genial (though Anthony Ainley was very much more than willing to pose for a photo with one of the fans dressed as the 4th Doctor, with Ainley sporting his famous Master smile while pretending to strangle a 4th Doctor sporting a very convincing Tom Baker face of 'You know... there's something not right here...").

That was the day Mr. Pertwee had some fun making our son - who was six months old - laugh until he eventually threw up. (Our son, not Mr. Pertwee; and as usual I was the vomit receptacle. Thankfully I was not wearing my scarf at the time!) Of course that turned into a vicious circle: Pertwee trying so hard to apologise while laughing just as hard, which made our son laugh even harder and throw up on me again. That cycle happened three times before my wife was able to compose herself enough to take the barf cannon out of the area, and after the laughter subsided and everyone wiped the tears from their eyes, Mr. Pertwee made me an honorary Doctor, saying that I'd been covered in enough slimy slobber to qualify for the job. (Fan boy mode was in full swing after that. ;D)

And before people started drifting off to call it a night, Mr. Pertwee handed out little cards to everyone, telling them that was his agent's address, and if anyone wanted to write to him any time to just post the letter to that address with his name on it, and once his agent gave him the letter he would reply as soon as he was able. I've met several US actors over the years, and while they were friendly enough, only one of them was super friendly like that (Claudia Christian - Commander Ivanova from 'Babylon 5', who just about kept both our kids with her all weekend at the "For the Children" Charity Convention in Charlottesville, VA - that's a whole other story), even she didn't tell fans how they could write to her.

Needless to say that when we learned of Mr. Pertwee's passing it was like a kick below the belt to us, and I'm sure many others from that night, and probably loads more fans around the planet. So for all those fans I'm more than happy to share that letter we received from him about Bessie and what she was like to drive. (A copy of that letter is now posted on the Bessie Web Site: link in my first post in this thread. That site's owner was kind enough to let me post that link here, and as we got to e-mailing the letter came up in conversation, so when he asked if he could have a "first hand" bit if info on Bessie I just couldn't say no.)

And you're more than welcome, Kert. I was very happy to start this thread as I knew there had to be 'just a few' Bessie fans amongst us. (And you're not the only one that started getting into 'Who' when Jon Pertwee was in the role; I've commented on how I stumbled across his episodes on those obscure UHF channels back in the mid 1970s.) I'm just happy that people are having so much fun with this thread. Bessie was certainly "eye candy", and still is!

Oh, and in case anyone is interested, the Siva that was on eBay sold for £3,049.00 ($5,070.79). There was a bidding war (38 bids) between two people, but a different bidder snuck in at the last minute or so and landed the highest bid. (Now all he has to do is return her to the original yellow color she was before her previous owner - the one before the person that put her up for auction - had her painted green. Ew-yuck.) Even if the V. A. had given me the retroactive disability they still owe me, while it would have let me afford a try at this one, I think just the shipping to get her from the UK to the US would have been twice that (not to mention the Customs fees!). I wouldn't be able to drive her anyway: bad leg, vertigo, and those meds... big "NO DRIVING!!!" on record for me. And one word comes to mind over that... Frack!

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

Volpone

So.  Say money is not an option and you want to do a Bessie.  How do you do it?  Do you go to make it screen-accurate?  Or do you try to "improve" on it?  It has been a long time since I saw her introduction to the series, but given that the Pertwee era episodes are supposed to take place in 1970s England, it would be much more likely that UNIT was able to get ahold of a Silva for the Doctor to ride around in, rather than an actual, antique Edwardian roadster.  Still, I'd be tempted to "improve" some things, like actual spoked wheels. 

At any rate, it is amusing, in this day and age, how little there actually is to this car:  A frame to mount the axles and engine on, some fenders, some seats, a cowl over the engine, a couple lights, and a windshield.  Bessie has more in common with a motorcycle than it does with a car--really the bare minimum of parts and pieces required to get someone around.  Quite elegant, really.
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.

galacticprobe

Feb 28, 2014, 06:02 am #41 Last Edit: Feb 28, 2014, 06:16 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: volpone on Feb 27, 2014, 02:13 pm
So.  Say money is not an option and you want to do a Bessie.  How do you do it?  Do you go to make it screen-accurate?  Or do you try to "improve" on it?

Screen accurate? That opens a can of worms! Just read the history of Bessie on the Bessie web page and see how she changed from her first appearance in "Doctor Who and the Silurians" to her final (canon) appearance on screen in that thing known as "Dimensions in Time". Literally dozens of versions can be called "screen accurate"! (It's mind-blowing.) For me, being a purist - yet not a "rivet counter" - I would go for how she looked originally, or as close to that as I possibly could get.

As to improving on her? Well, after what Mr. Pertwee said in his letter about her gearbox, that would certainly be one area that I would remedy: give her a gearbox - even a modern one (let's face it; no one will see the gearbox) - so she would be easy to get moving and shift gears. Second - and again no one would really see this unless you showed them - her engine. To go with her new gearbox I'd go with something a little more powerful than an 80hp motor: the largest/most powerful thing that would fit under the original "short" bonnet is what I would give her. And of course, brakes to match. (And this paragraph all hangs on that "money is no object" issue.)

I would probably stick with the spoked wheel covers as they would be far easier to maintain than actual spoked wheels; just pop the covers off, give them a washing, and pop them back on again... washing actual spoked wheels and repainting them when needed is a real PITA. Other than that, I would just make sure she had lamps and turn signals that were easily replaceable when they burned out.

Quote from: volpone on Feb 27, 2014, 02:13 pm
It has been a long time since I saw her introduction to the series, but given that the Pertwee era episodes are supposed to take place in 1970s England, it would be much more likely that UNIT was able to get ahold of a Silva for the Doctor to ride around in, rather than an actual, antique Edwardian roadster.  Still, I'd be tempted to "improve" some things, like actual spoked wheels.

No doubt. While UNIT let their budget run for the Doctor to work on his TARDIS, they probably pinched pennies and got him a Siva - a "close enough" for that fancy car he stole from the hospital. Spoked wheels - see above.

Quote from: volpone on Feb 27, 2014, 02:13 pm
At any rate, it is amusing, in this day and age, how little there actually is to this car:  A frame to mount the axles and engine on, some fenders, some seats, a cowl over the engine, a couple lights, and a windshield.

Simplicity at its best! ("The more you overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.") When I looked under the bonnet of my old 1966 Plymouth Valiant - WOW! What room to work in! Easy access to everything. Home repairs? Not a real problem unless it involved tearing the engine down completely. Fast forward 20 years to 1986 and I look under my Chevy S-10 Blazer's bonnet and say, "Whoa... workable, but not as easy to get at things thanks to all those extra emission control hoses." Still, I was able to get at all her plugs, rotor, alternator, even replace her radiator myself when I had to (and when I was able to). Fast forward again to 2004 and my current 2005 Dodge Caravan. Look under the bonnet and you'll have a faint! IF I tried to - really hard - I could get at three of her six plugs; the other three are inaccessible unless you pull all sorts of other parts off of her engine. Even more emissions control stuff crammed into that engine compartment... I couldn't replace her radiator myself if I had to. Simplicity: I love it.

Quote from: volpone on Feb 27, 2014, 02:13 pm
Bessie has more in common with a motorcycle than it does with a car--really the bare minimum of parts and pieces required to get someone around.  Quite elegant, really.

True, but I would equate her more to a "dune buggy" than a motorcycle, mainly because of the shape and the four wheels (suspension system not withstanding). She really was, and still is, very elegant. (The closest thing I've seen to her in the States is a 1910 Buick, and even that's a little on the large side when compared to Bessie.)

So with money being no object, getting my hands on a Siva I would certainly do the yellow paint with the black pin-striping, and upgrade the motor, gearbox, brakes, and lights to get her running. Everything else, I'd probably leave as is, and only alter what I had to for it to look like Bessie did in her first showing. (Of course, I'd throw in some cosmetics, like her "Super Drive" panel, and her "Anti Thief Device" panel. (I might even build the 7th Doctor's "Turbo Booster" to stick in the center of the steering wheel, but then that would be a separate project as it's not an actual "integrated" part of Bessie.)

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

the pioneer

Hi Guys. Love reading this thread on Bessie. One point I can't let go before it gets established as fact. The 'black pin-striping' was in fact red! Check out various photos from Ambassadors, for example.

galacticprobe

Feb 28, 2014, 07:40 am #43 Last Edit: Mar 02, 2014, 08:10 am by galacticprobe
The Pioneer! If you've got some photos of that please post them! So far all the photos that we've been able to find from when Bessie had pin-striping make the striping look black. And later photos don't have the striping at all. So if you've got some photos showing the pin-striping as red, please (grovel-grovel) post them!

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

davidnagel

Bessie also made an appearance in the fan film "Gene Genius" by The Projection Room and cameoed Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred as their respective TV characters. However I do not believe this was a TV used Bessie but a very good recreation, or original car that was painted up to look like Bessie. We could always enquire about that in terms of technical details?
Kind Regards,

David

www.spiffinglyniceguy.co.uk