In this epic science fantasy drama, Michael Gothard was eventually cast as European Space Agency Director, Dr. Bukovsky.

Bukovsky appears in the first half of the film, directing investigations into three transparent caskets containing naked aliens, found on the burned-out remains of the joint US/European Shuttle, Churchill.

In trying to rescue a security guard who is having the lifeforce sucked out of him by a newly-awakened female alien, Bukovsky is also attacked, by “the most overwhelmingly feminine presence” he has ever experienced.

He is later involved in the astronaut Carlsen’s debrief, but - having been drained of some of his lifeforce, and distressed by the loss of control - he never really recovers.

Having announced the arrival of the alien spaceship in earth orbit, he suggests that - like the vampires of legend - these space vampires are bringing their earth with them,
Bukovsky isn’t seen again.

He is later said to have died “like the rest”, though in the absence of evidence, it is tempting to think that he might have just gone for a quiet smoke and a lie down!

The film divides opinion, with reviews ranging from the “so bad it’s good” variety to “flawed genius”, with Jungian and Freudian readings, and suggestions that this was a parable about AIDS.

The film won the 1985 Caixa de Catalunya for Best Special Effects (John Dykstra), and was nominated for the 1986 Saturn Awards for Best Horror Film, and Best Special Effects.


Casting

Michael’s friend Sean McCormick tells of how, when he last saw Michael, “he had just lost the lead role in the Toby Hooper film 'Space Vampires' [released as 'Life Force' on June 21, 1985] to American actor Steve Railsback, and it crushed him. I think it was one of the straws on the camel's back that started his six or seven year darkness.”

Former girlfriend, N.B remembers, “I think there was talk about Michael getting another part in that film Lifeforce. I am pretty sure he talked about the crooked ways in which people (actors) got shuffled about and got made redundant or put to minor roles than was originally foreseen. He was angry, but didn't want to do anything about it. He hated going to places where you could socialise with directors and producers. He wasn't that kind of a person who wanted to ingratiate himself in order to get a job.”

Per an uncredited contributor to IMDB, Anthony Hopkins and Terence Stamp were the original choices to play Colonel Caine. Michael Gothard screen-tested for the role, but after meeting Peter Firth, director Tobe Hooper decided to give Firth the role, and gave Michael the role of Dr. Bukovsky instead.

A.S., the daughter of one of Michael’s close friends, confirms that both roles were supposed to have been on the cards for Michael.

"I don't remember if Michael talked to me about it, or to my father while I was around, but I remember that Michael was supposed to get the role of either the Commander of the mission [a role that went to Steve Railsback] or Colonel Caine [eventually played by Peter Firth], but was shuffled into the less important role of Dr Bukovsky.

He didn't blame the other actors at all, but ‘the business’: the producers, and the fact that actors had to play the political game - 'prostitute themselves', as he put it - to get on. He hated that actors had to go to parties, and stitch other actors up. Michael would NOT play the game. He felt actors should be cast on their merits, but that now they had become pawns, and talent didn't count for much.

I'm only surprised he didn't pull out, but perhaps his contract made that impossible, otherwise he would have no hesitation in telling a producer where to go. I’m sure the disappointment over that film helped push him further away from acting."

~~

Michael had worked with Peter Firth before, on "Arthur of the Britons", where Firth guest-starred as Corin in "The Pupil."

Personal statement

In correspondence with Belsizepark, Mathilda May, who played the alien vampire girl, (and was supposedly embarrassed by the film), says of Michael Gothard: "I remember him as a lovely person; a gentleman ..."

Watch on Youtube

IMDB entry
Distribution

The 24 episodes were broadcast at 4:45 pm on Wednesdays, the first episode being broadcast in the UK on 6 December 1972.

The series was a joint venture with a German company, included some German actors as recurring cast in Season Two, and some of the scenes were filmed in German as well as English.

It was shown in Germany, and all over Europe (including Eastern Europe), in the USA, South America, and Australia, where it was of-cten given repeat showings, though it was seldom repeated in the UK.

Foreign TV networks variously dubbed or subtitled the show as they saw fit.

In 1975, scenes from various episodes were put together to make a film, “Arthur the Young Warlord”, though this was a shadow of the series, and left out most of Michael Gothard’s scenes, as well as the distinctive theme tune by Elmer Bernstein.

The series finally came out on DVD in 2009.

Michael’s former girlfriend N.B., who first met him in 1984, says:

'He didn’t like watching himself. I never got him to show me any movie he had worked in. From what he told me, I think he liked the film “Up the Junction” and “Arthur of the Britons.” And the French one, “La vallée.”'

Cast and crew with whom Michael Gothard worked on other projects.

Peter Stephens, who appeared in the episode ‘In Common Cause’ as Brother Amlodd, just before his death at 52, on 17 September 1972, had earlier starred with Michael Gothard in ‘Herostratus.’ Stephens played the part of the advertising man, Farson.

Brian Blessed: Porthos in in ‘The Further Adventures of the Musketeers’, and Korski in ‘The Last Valley’, and Mark of Cornwall in ‘Arthur of the Britons.’

Mike Pratt: Jeff Randall in ‘When the Spirit Moves You’, and Mordant in ‘People of the Plough’ (‘Arthur of the Britons’ episode.)

Alfie Bass: Charlie in ‘Up the Junction’ and Trader in ‘The Swordsman’ (‘Arthur of the Britons’ episode.)

Peter Firth: Colonel Caine in ‘Lifeforce’ and Corin in ‘The Pupil’ (‘Arthur of the Britons’ episode.)

Patti Love: Tasca in ‘Warrior Queen’, Gladwyn in ‘Rolf the Preacher’ (‘Arthur of the Britons’ episode.)

Peter Brayham: stuntman in ‘The Devils’, stunt arranger for ‘Stopover’ (‘The Professionals’ episode) and ‘Jack the Ripper’, and second unit director and stunt co-ordinator on ‘Frankenstein,’ fight arranger for ‘Arthur of the Britons.’

Watch on Youtube:

Season 1


Episode 1: Arthur is Dead
Episode 2: The Gift of Life
Episode 3: The Challenge
Episode 4: The Penitent Invader
Episode 5: People of the Plough
Episode 6: The Duel
Episode 7: The Pupil
Episode 8: Rolf the Preacher
Episode 9: Enemies and Lovers
Episode 10: The Slaves
Episode 11: The Wood People
Episode 12: The Prize

Season 2
Episode 1: The Swordsman
Episode 2 :Rowena
Episode 3: The Prisoner
Episode 4: Some Saxon Women
Episode 5: Go Warily
Episode 6: The Marriage Feast
Episode 7: In Common Cause
Episode 8: Six Measures of Silver
Episode 9: Daughter of the King
Episode 10: The Games
Episode 11: The Treaty
Episode 12: The Girl from Rome

IMDB entry

Stills from the series can be seen here, and even more here.

.

Profile

michael_gothard: (Default)
michael_gothard

October 2013

S M T W T F S
  1 2345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated 19 Aug 2017 05:21 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios