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Yee Jee Tso - Reece Goddard, Cyber expert.
Memories of Who
Did you watch Doctor Who when you were younger?
We did have it in Canada, but it wasn’t as big a thing over there, obviously. When I was a kid I was raised by the television. I watched TV when I was doing my homework.
So I knew about Doctor Who, but I never followed it episode to episode. It was just in the background and I know bits of it. The unfortunate thing is they don’t actually do reruns of it very often in Canada. I haven’t seen it on television in Canada for years and years. I like the show.
History of Who
Could you tell us how you initially became involved with Doctor Who and how you became involved with this project?
That’s a long story.
We had an open casting call for the Doctor Who TV movie with Paul McGann. They were filming it in Vancouver which is where I’ve been a professional actor for nine years now. Then they did the call-backs, [and] it was between two or three of us.
It just so happened that something terrible had happened and I was late for the audition by about an hour and a half. I found out later from [producer] Philip Segal that that’s precisely why they hired me. They wanted the Chang Lee character to have this ‘I don’t care’ kind of attitude, and I guess me showing up really late for this huge casting call was the ‘I don’t care’ attitude they wanted.
[Director] Geoffrey Sax had mentioned to me something about how I was going to have these repercussions happen to me and that I might be doing conventions and stuff. Eventually that did end up happening to me. I hooked up with different conventions here and there and ended up doing the circuit [in North America], and then everything died down for a while.
Then I went on a Doctor Who sea cruise a couple of months ago, and hooked up with [independent producer] Keith Barnfather from England, so came over here to do a UK tour. I knew Gary Russell from him writing a book about the TV Movie. We saw each other and he just said, "Hey, let’s do this thing" and we did. It’s like a long circuitous [route].
Can you tell us about the character you play in Real Time?
In this [story] one I play Goddard. He’s supposed to be a Cyberman expert, this young, naïve, kind of scared Cyberman expert that has been brought on as part of the team to discover what’s gone on on this planet with possible Cyberman involvement.
As it turns out he’s actually this technologically super advanced Cyberman that has rebelled against cyber-technology and has come back through the aeons to this particular point in time - the Nexus of the Cybermen taking over the world. He wants to stop this, and it turns out there’s a big twist in the end. It’s quite a complicated script actually, but I like it, I think it’s compelling.
Back to High School
There’s a lot of time travel going on in Real Time. If you had the chance to personally go back in time what would you want to change in your life?
There’s a lot of things that I’ve thought about changing.
If could go back to High School with the knowledge I have now I’m sure I could be a real ladies’ man, or I could get straight A’s without having to go to class. Or maybe I would have stuck in there and gone to college.
There’s a lot of things, but then at the same time I have to say that I’m not necessarily unhappy with my life. I have a good relationship now and I’ve done well for myself in doing something that I like, so if I go back and screw around with any of those things, there’s a possibility, as we know, that something might change in the future. I could be hit by a truck, or lorry as you guys call it. I could maybe not even be around right now, so I think I’ll just leave it alone.
It’s often said that Cybermen have the strength of 10 men. If you had 10 men or women at your disposal what would you have them do?
If they were interesting people, I’d throw a great big party I guess. Sit around, get drunk with them, chat and have fun.
Either that or I would get them to do things for me, so that I could simultaneously be at 11 places at once, and I could really play a lot of fun jokes on my friends.