❉ A new and original audio drama about the final years of famed Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner.
John Nathan-Turner presided over three distinct eras of classic Doctor Who, as the producer incarnate.
But his ability to juggle budgets, actors, and egos brought about his perceived downfall as he struggled to channel his talents after the BBC cancelled the show in 1989.
With his partner, Gary, unwell with cancer, and his own health sliding downhill due to drink, this is the story of the final three acts of John Nathan-Turner’s life as he attempts to write a ‘tell-all’ autobiography of his time on the show that came to define him.
A new and original audio drama about the final years of famed Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner, and his partner Gary Downie, is available for pre-order from AUK Studios.
Written by Stephen Wyatt, who knew them both, and performed with relish by Christopher Guard and Peter Noble, Me & Him & WHO explores the relationship between the two men as John Nathan-Turner struggles with addiction and Gary struggles with cancer…
In a sometimes bleakly comic tale, we see this two-man support network crumble and be rebuilt, with the desire always to be back in the limelight and put on a show. Any show. But the show we hear is the backstage gossip of a fading producer who’s still looking for his final Norma Desmond-esque close-up.
Writer Stephen Wyatt, who penned the scripts The Greatest Show in the Galaxy and Paradise Towers for Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor, says:
“My mum and dad lived close to John and Gary in Saltdean. I used to drop in on them for tea and cake (latterly vodka and orange) and so in the bleak period after John left the BBC, I got to know them quite well. ME AND HIM AND WHO has a sad story of illness and decline to tell but I’ve tried to do justice also to John and Gary’s wit and resilience as well as the deep affection they had for each other behind the squabbling and the bitchery.”
Aside from knowing John and Gary, Stephen made good use of Richard Marson’s biography of John Nathan-Turner (still available from Ten Acre Films, under the title Totally Tasteless). Richard says about the production:
“Stephen has caught the poignancy of John and Gary’s later years without losing the humour. Great performances too. It seems to capture much of their humanity (as well as the egos and occasional hubris) and set it all against the context of the Who history we all know.”
Playing the role of John Nathan-Turner is actor Christopher Guard (who was also Bellboy in Stephen Wyatt’s Doctor Who serial, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy):
“Playing John Nathan-Turner was the latest beautiful twist in my surreal relationship with John and Dr Who. ‘Becoming’ him was at once almost impossible and yet somehow inevitable. In some ways I had nothing in common with John, yet I always felt I understood him. Like me, he had a rebel soul. If someone said you can’t, he invariably would. Feisty, fabulous, fearless JNT. It’s been a privilege inhabiting his wild, wilful, wondrous world.”
Producer/director/script editor, Barnaby Eaton-Jones, says:
“To tell the story of the last few years of John Nathan-Turner’s life, when he didn’t seem to be able to catch a break (and his partnership with Gary Downie appeared to have alienated a lot of his friends), was too delicious a drama not to delve into. Although it is obviously bittersweet, in that JN-T – as he was known – didn’t get the reappraisal and love that he deserved for his time steering Doctor Who’s TARDIS, there’s also that sense of hope that he always had that his next big project was just around the corner. The occasionally toxic mix of Gary’s waspish views and JN-T’s robust rebuttals is played out against the backdrop of a deep need for each other’s support and love, as well as their desire to be the life and soul of each other’s party. Until the drink runs out and the lights get turned off.”
A poignant but witty tale of a proper love/hate relationship, Me & Him & WHO is a waspish and witty tragedy of two men who loved and alienated so many, including each other.
Written by Stephen Wyatt
Sound Design by Joseph Fox
Music by Darrell Maclaine
Artwork by Rob Hammond
Produced, directed, and script edited by Barnaby Eaton-Jones
Executive Producer: Paul Andrews (for AUK Studios)
❉ Produced and directed by Barnaby Eaton-Jones, ‘Me & Him & WHO’ is released in early December 2022 as a limited CD edition. A digital version will be available mid-2023. Pre-order here: https://auk.direct/product/me-him-who/
❉ News source: AUK Studios
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