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Who in Rotorua and a promotion? I'm keen!

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Another actor pins hopes on a Jackson-helmed Doctor Who, writes

An army of mud monsters will emerge from Rotorua's primeval mud under Sir Peter Jackson's direction to be defeated by Doctor Who backed by an army, if one of the Doctor's longest serving companions gets his way.

John Levene, who played United Nations Intelligence Taskforce Sergeant Benton alongside the Doctor between 1968 and 1975, is backing Doctor Who lead Matt Smith's campaign to film episodes in New Zealand following the show's 50th anniversary next year.

Levene wants to get involved after Sir Peter, one of the show's Wellingtonbased writers Neil Cross, and Cardiffbased producer Caro Skinner added their support to Smith.

"My choice would be something that dissolves into the earth to make it really fearful," Levene said.

Levene, who worked with the legendary Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker who played the third and fourth incarnation of the Doctor, is proposing his character be promoted to brigadier to replace the late Nicholas Courtney's character from the show's early days.

"I still look reasonably dashing in a uniform. The desire to see Benton as the brigadier is so powerful."

He would love to add working with Matt Smith, whom he met on set in 2010, to his CV.

"Matt is one of those wonderfully creative actors," he said. "The moment I walked onto the set Matt came up and said, 'Oh hello, nice to see you' and he said 'any advice' and I said 'just enjoy, and do the best you can, and treat the fans with respect and dignity' and then that was it."

A string of Doctor Who and Star Trek actors want to be in the production.

"Every man and his dog is going to want to be in it," Levene said.

"The reason we'd like to be in a Peter Jackson production is because of the depth, the meter, of his thought process which creates the magic at the end of his eyeballs. It doesn't matter if any of us get the bloody part, the thought of him just waving his magic wand, his hobbitorientated wand, over Doctor Who, it doesn't matter if you were in it, just having been attached to it, there's a little bit of glory in that."

Benton was not Levene's first appearance in Doctor Who. He played a yeti and a cyberman in different Patrick Troughton stories. After Doctor Who he worked as a private detective in London before heading to Hollywood where he worked for Robert Wagner.

Levene, who guested at the Armageddon Pop Culture Expo in Hamilton this year, is keen to return to New Zealand to visit his son Jason who lives near Wellington. He is also looking for a producer for his one-man comedy show which he hopes to take on tour in New Zealand on his next visit.

Meanwhile Levene, who was recently celebrated in a documentary on the release of the classic Who story The Claws of Axos, is looking for a writer to work on a World War II screenplay.

"I am trying to get seed money from the company involved, I can't tell you who it is because he's so big," he said.

CAPTION: All for it: Doctor Who actor John Levene, pictured in Hamilton, wants to return to the show as Brigadier Benton under Sir Peter Jackson's direction. He played Sgt Benton alongside the legendary Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker between 1968 and 1975.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Gardner, Chris (2012-12-17). Who in Rotorua and a promotion? I'm keen!. Waikato Times p. 4.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Gardner, Chris. "Who in Rotorua and a promotion? I'm keen!." Waikato Times [add city] 2012-12-17, 4. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Gardner, Chris. "Who in Rotorua and a promotion? I'm keen!." Waikato Times, edition, sec., 2012-12-17
  • Turabian: Gardner, Chris. "Who in Rotorua and a promotion? I'm keen!." Waikato Times, 2012-12-17, section, 4 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Who in Rotorua and a promotion? I'm keen! | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Who_in_Rotorua_and_a_promotion%3F_I%27m_keen! | work=Waikato Times | pages=4 | date=2012-12-17 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=3 July 2022 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Who in Rotorua and a promotion? I'm keen! | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Who_in_Rotorua_and_a_promotion%3F_I%27m_keen! | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=3 July 2022}}</ref>