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Audio Review: Call Me Jacks - Jacqueline Pearce in Conversation

Call Me Jacks Jacqueline Pearce in Conversation

Review by Jackie Emery


Interview by Nicholas Briggs
Sound Design and Music by Toby Hrycek-Robinson
Cover by Mark Plastow
Recorded on 2nd November 2015


Jacqueline: "I think conversations of this intimacy require alcohol, darling!"

No subjects are off limits in this latest release from Big Finish's range of actor interviews, as Jacqueline Pearce chats to Nicholas Briggs over a bottle of champagne. Responding to his questions, she speaks with wry humour and disarming honesty about her life and work: an unconventional childhood, troubled adolescence and a promising career that was blighted by mental ill health and depression.

Jacqueline talks frankly about her personal life; family, lovers, husbands and life-long friends. She describes the different places she has lived and how much she now loves living 'Oop North' in a village near Bolton. Tales of the parts she has played on stage and screen, and the famous actors she has worked with over the years, are interspersed with stories about other jobs she has taken over the years, which most recently includes working in a vervet monkey sanctuary in Africa.

In her 2012 autobiography From Byfleet to the Bush, Jacqueline barely mentions Blake's 7, due to her reluctance to revisit what had been a difficult period in her life. However, in Call Me Jacks, under Nick Brigg's gentle questioning (and possibly the champagne?) she now seems happy to talk at length about the series, her fellow actors and her role as Servalan.

She also reminisces about working on The Two Doctors, and we are brought up to date with her delight at continuing to work for Big Finish on their audio ranges of Blake's 7 and Doctor Who.

Jacqueline has a gorgeous voice, and her stories are by turns outrageous, hilarious, profound and deeply moving, punctuated by her wicked laugh and exclamations of "Darling!" Despite having heard her speak at numerous conventions, this interview contained surprises and anecdotes I had not heard before.

The production values of this audio are good, with crystal clear recording of the voices. I like Toby Hrycek-Robinson's music that serves as intro and outros, although it did make me jump when it crashed in at the end of the first disc, following quite a serious discussion of Jungian and Freudian psychoanalysis.

Included with the interview CD or download is the latest issue of Big Finish's Vortex magazine, which has an additional interview of Jacqueline by Kenny Smith.

Call Me Jacks comes with a warning that it contains strong language and material unsuitable for younger listeners ("...or those with a nervous disposition," adds Nick, after Jacks has recounted a particularly eyebrow-raising anecdote). I can add that it's not safe to listen to at work or on public transport! However, I can highly recommend this interview for all fans of Servalan and the woman who portrayed her.

Call Me Jacks is available from Big Finish Here.
Catch up with her appearances as Servalan in Big Finish's range of The Liberator Chronicles and as Cardinal Ollistra in Doctor Who: The War Doctor with John Hurt.

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