Worst Acting Performances in Classic Who

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ericthehalfabee
 
 
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WildcatMatt wrote:
ericthehalfabee wrote:
jezt42 wrote:*cough* Matthew Waterhouse.
I was wondering whether to include companions, however...
I see your Adric and raise you Melanie Bush.
On that front, am I the only one who finds Adric far more tolerable in Season 18 than afterward? I've always wondered whether Tom Baker's ego somehow kept Matthew Waterhouse in check or whether Chris Bidmead's script editing simply gave us a tighter version of the character.

I also think Mel became slightly less grating by the end of her tour where Adric went in the other direction. Bonnie Langford also had the misfortune of timing in the show's history. I think Jackie Lane got even more of a raw deal but neither of them were particularly fleshed out.
Actually I’ve never really been sure why Adric gets such a hard time at all. I’ve never found Mel tolerable - far too pantomime... and that’s not Bonnie’s fault - she’s just not a dramatic actress.

Jackie Lane may have got a raw deal, but Dodo is all over the place accent-wise. She goes from Northern lass to over-enthusiastic Blue Peter presenter in weeks! It’s weird, especially when stacked next to solid performances from everyone who preceded her.
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jezt42
 
 
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ericthehalfabee wrote:
jezt42 wrote:*cough* Matthew Waterhouse.
I was wondering whether to include companions, however...

I see your Adric and raise you Melanie Bush.
“I’ll see your Bush”... no, no, no, just wrong. I fold, you win!

To be fair, Matthew Waterhouse’s acting never really bothered me when watching as an 8 year old. I just loved being swept along by the stories. Only viewing his episodes in later years was the acting more of a distraction. A shame Varsh didn’t die and stow away instead, IMO.

The problem with Mel was not so much one of acting from Bonnie, but a poor initial character outline from JNT (“irritating”) and her being written accordingly. Might have worked if any irritating comments from Mel had been met with a withering put down from Colin’s Doc.
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WildcatMatt
 
 
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ericthehalfabee wrote:
WildcatMatt wrote:
ericthehalfabee wrote:
jezt42 wrote:*cough* Matthew Waterhouse.
I see your Adric and raise you Melanie Bush.
On that front, am I the only one who finds Adric far more tolerable in Season 18 than afterward? I've always wondered whether Tom Baker's ego somehow kept Matthew Waterhouse in check or whether Chris Bidmead's script editing simply gave us a tighter version of the character.

I also think Mel became slightly less grating by the end of her tour where Adric went in the other direction. Bonnie Langford also had the misfortune of timing in the show's history.
Actually I’ve never really been sure why Adric gets such a hard time at all. I’ve never found Mel tolerable - far too pantomime... and that’s not Bonnie’s fault - she’s just not a dramatic actress.
Adric in the Davison era is just annoying. Some of it is definitely the writing, but a lot of the time (in medium/medium-long shots especially) it's clear he doesn't know what to do with his hands and so he kind of fidgets with a nervousness that doesn't match the moment the character is in.

I agree regarding Bonnie simply not being the type of actress that should have been cast in the role to begin with. And some of it may be that most of my Mel-watching is from The Ultimate Foe or else Dragonfire but I thought by the end the panto aspect softened just enough to make her come across as a character just totally out of her depth and not really knowing what to do about it.
ericthehalfabee wrote:
WildcatMatt wrote:I think Jackie Lane got even more of a raw deal but neither of them were particularly fleshed out.
Jackie Lane may have got a raw deal, but Dodo is all over the place accent-wise. She goes from Northern lass to over-enthusiastic Blue Peter presenter in weeks! It’s weird, especially when stacked next to solid performances from everyone who preceded her.
From what I've read, Dodo's accent was one of the (many) arguments between John Wiles and the BBC and that management demanded she use RP.

It's funny because only a couple of months later Innes Lloyd was able to bring Ben and Polly on board as "swinging sixties" characters as well as recast the Doctor (something Wiles was denied also). I've read suggestions that the BBC management really did change that much that fast in 1966 but one wonders about how much of that belongs on Wiles' doorstep.
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Miss Cathcart wrote:Well, as I said, he is fine in everything I've seen him in, apart from Inferno.
That bit where he jabs the coolant hose at the Primords is quite funny, certainly :)

As for the other bad performances, most have been covered but I'd like to mention most of the extras over the years, particularly the ones that die.
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Mr C Baker in The Twin Dilemma. Probably seemed worse after the heights of Androzani but prompted my dad to comment "Is that spray-painted turd supposed to be Doctor Who?"
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Everybody in the Horns of the Nimon, but particular mention to Malcolm Terris as the Pilot.

His acting is so bad it makes his pants split!

Some people may include Graham Crowden, but personally I find his immense overacting rather amusing.
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Graham Crowden is superb, whatever he's in. I particularly liked his turn in an episode of Callan as a de-frocked doctor doing medical work under the counter for villains.
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ericthehalfabee wrote:
The Ogrons always reminded me of poor old Terry Nutkins (he of Animal Magic fame). Think it's the hairstyle...
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Bonnie Langford.
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ericthehalfabee
 
 
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The Ginger Cat wrote:
ericthehalfabee wrote:
The Ogrons always reminded me of poor old Terry Nutkins (he of Animal Magic fame). Think it's the hairstyle...
Well I’m never gonna unsee that!!! :lol:
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The Ginger Cat wrote:
ericthehalfabee wrote:
The Ogrons always reminded me of poor old Terry Nutkins (he of Animal Magic fame). Think it's the hairstyle...
Thankfully I have no idea who that is. :D
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Caligari71
 
 
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jezt42 wrote:*cough* Matthew Waterhouse.
Oddly enough, when watching an episode with Matthew Waterhouse in it, I'm often left wishing Adric would 'ck off too!
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Miss Cathcart wrote:The standout worst acting performance for me in classic Who has to be Derek Newark's in Inferno - yes, Inferno. Great story, of course, but Newark's contribution is a real fly in the ointment - over-acted, hammy and way too loud. I've always found his acting in other things to be fine but he just had a wobbly in this as if he didn't quite know how to pitch the part of a Lothario in a "kids'" programme.
I think he's absolutely fine! He plays the sexist Australian boor perfectly!
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Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred in pretty much every bloody scene,
although particularly awful ones that make me shudder are "Curse of Fenric" scenes like "couldn't even pass a chemistry test" / "evil, evil since the dawn of time" ... "there's a wind whipping up, I can feel it through my clothes" ... and "Ghostlight" where White kids came and blah blah blah

I actually LIKE Darrow in Timelash, and wish JNT hadn't toned him down!!


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Servorobot wrote:Everybody in the Horns of the Nimon, but particular mention to Malcolm Terris as the Pilot.

His acting is so bad it makes his pants split!

Some people may include Graham Crowden, but personally I find his immense overacting rather amusing.

A class comment sir! Graham is filling the void of a poor script...
When plywood and polysterene don't cut it....when the script has plot holes bigger than the size of the creature in the pit..., when the same supporting actor dies four times in Episode one.......
Overacting is our only way out....
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