3rd November 2001
JC is Jackie Clark.
SW is Sammie Winmill
I met Sammie at her home in London, England on Saturday 3rd November 2001. I found it very easy to chat with Sammie and this meeting, like the one with Elizabeth, became more of an informal discussion than a formal interview. But despite this I feel that I got to see the real Sammie and hope you enjoy reading her responses.
Questions 1 - 9 'In the beginning...'
1. JC: What do you do now? Do you still act, or something different?
SW: Lots of things… Yes I have been making another attempt at the acting side of things again. I've pussyfooted around a bit over the past few years. I'm putting one hundred percent into it right now. In April I wrote a one-woman comedy show and performed this in Islington for an audience of about one hundred people. It went down very well, it was all for charity. The show was based on stories from my life; they all had a message to put across one about humility and one about courage. It was all done through humour… I want to get someone who's good with comedy scripts to help me with my next script.
I've done some sci-fi scripts for CD's as well. In one particular CD I played a robot who was terribly innocent. He had been reprogrammed and had completely destroyed the human race by mistake. (Both laugh)
I also want to work with two or three other people and write short plays. I'm currently writing and performing in a little cameo drama where we all play a different part of the same person. One is the female. Another the woman, you know the woman who has to do everything, juggle everything, keep up with the Jones' etc. The third part is the lady, the quieter one who sees everything, is quite wise and has a purpose to follow. This comes from my studeis in Feminenza, a marvelous organisation that aims to assist in the well being of women all over the world.
2. JC: Are you married with a family?
SW: No to the first, and no to the second.
3. JC: What other shows have you been in?
SW: The Duchess of Duke Street. Doctor in charge, The Professionals. That's all the television. And for theatre I did 'Stand and Deliver' which was a musical. 'The Clandestine Marriage' with Alistair Simm and the opening production of Romeo and Juliet.
The first one I did to open the Redgrave Theatre at Farnham the Princess Margaret and Peggy Ashcroft came to see me. After the first night Peggy came to me and said "Darling you were wonderful but you mustn't wear that wig!" (Spoken with a wonderful accent. Both fall about laughing)
4. JC: What did you think when you first heard about the premise for the show?
SW: I was very excited about it. From an early age I've always been asking questions to myself like what's beyond the sky? What's infinity? Why am I here? What is so special about this planet? When you look at it we're offset, not even central to the galaxy. Knowing also that humans haven't reached…I know that we're capable of so much more than what we use. To me it's like training. You see a man or a woman training and their muscles start to grow I believe that you can train to become clairvoyant and to use healing powers, to be telepathic. It's all there but we just got lazy. It appears now not to be a human need. We've got telephones so why do we need to be telepathic! There is something that has made us develop like this… So when I got the part I thought wow this is just right for me because I do believe in it so I can play it for real.
5. JC: What influenced your decision to leave the show after the just twelve weeks?
SW: Ahhh well. I felt that I was becoming a bit of a screaming hmmm…. Instead of feeling the character deepening I actually felt like I was becoming more shallow as a person. I always seemed to be saying 'John look out!' (Said in such a Carol like way that a shiver ran up my spine) and I didn't want to be type cast.
On reflection I did leave too early. They did want to contract me for the next three years but I just felt no. I was then twenty five and needed to broaden my career. I didn't want to get stuck.
6. JC: When you left the TP show after the first season, did you have any idea that it would run for as long as it did?
SW: No. No. Not at all. I didn't used to think in terms like that. I didn't think about it at all. Certainly now I'm completely amazed that there is a fan club. Not just with people interested in it as a show but interested in me… It's mind boggling, it's fantastic because it's helping me to value myself as well.
7. JC: How much of Carol's character came from you and how much was Roger Price's influence?
SW: Oh golly… I'd say that… Roger Price obviously wrote it all but I only allowed one part of my character to come out in Carol. There was a lot more to my character but through lack of experience, lack of confidence, lack of knowing myself, I did not allow the quieter side, the steadier side of Carol to come out. What did come out was me but was only a little part.
JC: To me Carol was very empathic. There was a great strength to the character but by the lines you were given they often didn't allow that side to come through.
SW: Yes. She was always panicking and things…
JC: But in fact she was the rock against John's practical side. She was the feeling side…
SW: Yes definitely… I could feel myself getting into a habit then you see… When I had lines like "John stop it! You'll disintegrate!" (And I get that feeling again like I'm there in the lab with Carol) You know if only I had gone into that stronger side of me it would have been far more powerful and had much more punch to it. I'd have liked to… if I did it again I'd do it that way…
8. JC: . Are there any story lines that you would have liked to see Carol in that would have showed a different side of her?
SW: I would have quite liked it if there could have been a story line where something had possessed one of the TP or someone else. And I would have liked a story where I could have done a heeling and brought them back to themselves…
JC: Then you should have been in the story called 'Heart of Soguth.' There was a drum, which summoned up the Devil and John was possessed… Elizabeth fights it off and at the end they speculate that if there was a devil then there was also a good side and Elizabeth was fighting for good.
9. JC: Carol and John seemed to have such a brother/sister relationship with their occasional teasing of each other. How do you think it would have affected John's character if Carol would have stuck around?
SW: Not necessarily…
JC: In one of the books they explain that Carol goes off to work for the Galactic Federation and marries an alien and has a son called Nova. Some of the fans have written stories taking the characters further than they did in the series. If Big Finish writes a story for you to be in, for continuities sake they would have to have you coming back married to this alien etc.
SW: I always get attracted to weirdoes!
End part one