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Old 18-09-2009, 10:12
chuffnobbler
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Watching Terminus last night (terrible, terrible stuff), I was repeatedly struck by something I have noticed a few times in the past:

Sarah Sutton is a very bad actor.

There are a few moments in Terminus when Sarah Sutton's delivery is so awful it almost sounds as if English isn't her first language ("What is this terrible place?"). That got me to thinking that there are other times when she sounds awful ("The Watcher! So he was the Doctor all the time!").

I accept that the scripts are sometimes not very actor-friendly, and there are chunks of badly written technical stuff and exposition, but Sarah manages to get it wrong very often ("I know so little about telebiogenesis").

I have always had a fondness for Nyssa as part of the Tardis crew of my early childhood, but watching it again on DVD has been a shocker.

The character is a bit of a boring cow as well, truth be told. Synthesising enzymes in her spare time? She needs to get out more.
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Old 18-09-2009, 10:16
stud u like
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Sarah Sutton is female and therefore an actress!

Don't forget Sarah was also the youngest actress playing a regular companion.

Don't forget the character is not human. Nyssa is a Trakenite.
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Old 18-09-2009, 11:04
dgembadgemba
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("The Watcher! So he was the Doctor all the time!").
That line still makes me cringe
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Old 18-09-2009, 13:45
Hot Dogg
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All sadly true Chuff..

But that aside...

Nyssa.

I mean... You would, wouldn't you?!!

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Old 18-09-2009, 13:54
tinny
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I liked her and she is an alien the charcter so she wont be perfect , not everyone is a good actor in dr who , kenn dodd totally wasnt and Jackie tyler not really a great actress but does it matter ?

dr who is about travelling in time not about being good at acting well it helps but it helps to have good characters and great scripts

the dr anyway has to be the great being so if the assistant isnt that hot , it should be a big deal

axTeegan and Turlough were the most interesting anyway
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Old 18-09-2009, 13:59
dgembadgemba
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All sadly true Chuff..

But that aside...

Nyssa.

I mean... You would, wouldn't you?!!

Doggy Doggy Doggy *shakes head*
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Old 18-09-2009, 14:04
crazzyaz7
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When I first saw her, I wasn't a big fan....the acting didn't seem to convincing to me....but I was put right, I guess that spaced out look she sometimes carry, or the way she talks with not much emotions sometimes...could be put down to the fact that she is an alien...so I don't mind her to much now....
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Old 18-09-2009, 14:26
chuffnobbler
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Matthew Waterhouse is often accused of being a bad actor. Can this be overwritten by saying Adric is alien, therefore he's giving an excellent performance of an alien?

It seems weird to me that Adric is always slagged off but Nyssa gets away with so much more.

I can't help but think that a lot of the criticism directed at Adric is based on the backstage anecdotes about MW's immaturity and naivete. This meta-information really shouldn't have any impact on how we view the finished product as it doesn't show on screen (unlike Tom Baker's offscreen behaviour which is clearly evident in many of his stories).

The only badly delivered line I can think off from Adric is "Pass the sodium chloride" from Four to Doomsday. Again, that's a very clunky, badly written, unconvincing line, and I am sure any actor of limited experience would struggle with making that sound natural. I can think of Adric's walk across the Tardis console room (State of Decay???) where he is desperately trying not to look into the camera. MW himself identifies this on the DVD commentary.

Sarah Sutton really isn't much cop as an actor(actress), and no-one else seems to have noticed it!

Given that Matthew Waterhouse is so relentlessly slagged off (last month, Tom Baker in DWM said it was sad that he had become the butt of so many jokes), it's about time reassessment was made.

Watching the relevant DVDs, Matthew Waterhouse and Adric are much better than their reputation. Sarah Sutton and Nyssa are much worse than their reputation, and have got off amazingly lightly.
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Old 18-09-2009, 14:27
chuffnobbler
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Sorry, Hot Dogg ... of all the "classic" companions, it would have to be Ben. In the black tshirt from The War Machines.
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Old 18-09-2009, 14:30
darthbibble
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Sarah Sutton whilst far from a great actress she wipes the floor with Janet 'Lets just shout and be stroppy and call it acting' Fielding
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Old 18-09-2009, 14:40
trollface
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I have to agree that Sarah Sutton isn't a good actor, and her Big Finish work shows that she hasn't improved with age. But I have always liked Nyssa, and her acting ability doesn't impact on that for me. I like Adric, too.

I mean... You would, wouldn't you?!!

Yes.
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Old 18-09-2009, 14:50
Talma
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I agree, my fondness for Nyssa and Adric the characters outweighs any failings the actors playing them had. I still prefer them both any day to Tegan who I couldn't stand then and still can't, she just tried to make the Doctor as miserable as possible, questioning everything he said despite the fact he was trying to get rid of her by getting her home
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Old 18-09-2009, 16:24
brouhaha
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Sarah Sutton is female and therefore an actress!
AND an actor (the word originally applied to both males and females who appeared in plays and, in fact, can still be used for either today; "actress" only started to be used much later, from about the 18th century)

Anyway, ahem ... teacher's hat off...

I always thought she was a bloody awful actor, actually (the fainting at the end of Four To Doomsday is just woeful) and the character bored the pants off me.

Still, you tend not to notice too much when she's in a scene with Matthew Waterhouse.
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Old 18-09-2009, 16:42
Sniffle774
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All sadly true Chuff..

But that aside...

Nyssa.

I mean... You would, wouldn't you?!!

Be rude not too..
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Old 18-09-2009, 18:56
briansnail
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I think both Nyssa and Adric were badly written and must have been extremely difficult to act. I think it was a mistake to try and use such young actors, and then cast them as really unsympathetic characters.

Maybe if Adric had been a better character, Matthew's acting would have been more up to the job. As it is, I just had a constant urge to beat him up.

As for Nyssa, I was a teenaged boy - I didn't really care if she could act or not! Actually maybe that's why I hated Adric - jealousy.
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Old 18-09-2009, 19:37
TimCypher
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Watching Terminus last night (terrible, terrible stuff), I was repeatedly struck by something I have noticed a few times in the past:

Sarah Sutton is a very bad actor.

There are a few moments in Terminus when Sarah Sutton's delivery is so awful it almost sounds as if English isn't her first language ("What is this terrible place?"). That got me to thinking that there are other times when she sounds awful ("The Watcher! So he was the Doctor all the time!").

I accept that the scripts are sometimes not very actor-friendly, and there are chunks of badly written technical stuff and exposition, but Sarah manages to get it wrong very often ("I know so little about telebiogenesis").

I have always had a fondness for Nyssa as part of the Tardis crew of my early childhood, but watching it again on DVD has been a shocker.

The character is a bit of a boring cow as well, truth be told. Synthesising enzymes in her spare time? She needs to get out more.
I'm actually with you on this.

Nyssa (along with Adric & Tegan) got off to an immediate bad start as all three were conceived during Bidmead's tenure as Script Editor, which meant that they were condemned to be little more than one-dimensional ciphers.

They were simple window-dressing designed to serve as a backdrop to the 'fascinating' array of computers and other gadgets that Bidmead was more interested telling us all about. In fact, one rather got the impression that Bidmead found introducing characters into his stories to be something of an annoyance!

However, with Bidmead gone, there was a real opportunity to make use of these three planks of wood the Doctor had become lumbered with (no pun intended ). Adric had a fair bit to do in 'Earthshock' and 'Kinda'; Tegan too in 'Kinda' and 'Snakedance', but Nyssa was side-lined completely!

She was absent throughout 'Kinda' until the final scene, and spent most of 'The Visitation' fumbling around with yet more dull gadgets in the TARDIS.

As an actress, Sarah Sutton had a bit to do in 'Black Orchid', but where was the character development? The whole point of giving a character a plot is to create drama and to see how they respond and change.

And Nyssa just, well, screamed a bit. The story took her from point A to, well, point A.

It was no better than the previous season where, having learned that her father, her mother and her whole planet had been destroyed, she just brushed it off, and was giving us a cheery smile just a few scenes later.

?????

By the time the mind-numbingly dull 'Terminus' came around, it seemed a little too late to flesh out 'science girl' into an actual person, but they did try...but, as you say, Sarah Sutton's acting skills didn't really seem to be up to it.

So, maybe that's why they never bothered beforehand?

So, yeah, terrible character (a non-character, in fact!), who perhaps doesn't get slated as she was largely inoffensive. She just stood there, not really saying much, certainly nothing of interest, just gazing into space...

Regards,

Cypher
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Old 18-09-2009, 20:21
Jon Ross
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I've nothing in particular against Sarah Sutton but I don't think many of the 1980s companions were much cop to be honest. I think this was one of the series' problems in its final decade - the companions didn't take off so well with the viewers and there was often a distinct lack of chemistry with the actor playing the Doctor. Most of Davison's companions are totally forgettable (and early on there were far too many of them). Tegan and Peri did nothing except argue with the Doctor. Bonnie Langford was not a great choice either (but I won't dwell on that as it's been covered sufficiently elsewhere). Casting companions was not JNT's strongest suit in my opinion.
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Old 19-09-2009, 01:40
DavetheScot
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I might have been slightly biased, since I had a big crush on Nyssa, but I remember her as OK. And I thought Janet Fielding a fantastic actress.
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Old 19-09-2009, 09:47
Verence
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But that aside...

Nyssa.

I mean... You would, wouldn't you?!!

Too right
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Old 19-09-2009, 10:23
smudges dad
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All sadly true Chuff..

But that aside...

Nyssa.

I mean... You would, wouldn't you?!!

Only after Zoe Herriott and Sarah Jane Smith
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Old 19-09-2009, 10:35
jimbo_bob
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I mean... You would, wouldn't you?!!
I would of then and I probably would now.


Only after Zoe Herriott and Sarah Jane Smith
Ditto.
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Old 19-09-2009, 13:31
Rooks
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Sarah Sutton was and is gorgeous but I agree she wasn't the greatest actress the show has had. She did get better over the course of her run though, but when you compare her to Liz Sladen (circa 1975) then there's no competition.
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Old 19-09-2009, 13:34
Rooks
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I've nothing in particular against Sarah Sutton but I don't think many of the 1980s companions were much cop to be honest.
Generally speaking this is true. The partnership of Tegan and Turlough was probably the best of the bunch with both actors being decent enough. However, the last really good companion was the second Romana in 1979. For obvious reasons Tom Baker and Lalla Ward had great on-screen chemistry.
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Old 19-09-2009, 19:02
chuffnobbler
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Interesting that the little article about Earthshock in this month's DWM says nobody ever comments that Matthew Waterhouse gives a great performance in that story.

I have been quite impressed with Janet Fielding in the Guardian DVDs, and Mark Strickson is unforgettable! He's so over-the-top and manic, he's just brilliant!

Nyssa remains a total wet blanket, with poor delivery of poor dialogue. I'm quite heartened to have had a fair amount of agreement here, too!
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Old 19-09-2009, 19:20
ocox
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I've nothing in particular against Sarah Sutton but I don't think many of the 1980s companions were much cop to be honest. I think this was one of the series' problems in its final decade - the companions didn't take off so well with the viewers and there was often a distinct lack of chemistry with the actor playing the Doctor. Most of Davison's companions are totally forgettable (and early on there were far too many of them). Tegan and Peri did nothing except argue with the Doctor. Bonnie Langford was not a great choice either (but I won't dwell on that as it's been covered sufficiently elsewhere). Casting companions was not JNT's strongest suit in my opinion.
This explains a lot as to why there were so many C**P companions.
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