Doctor Who News Nicola Bryant as Peri with Robert Glenister as Salateen in 1984 Doctor Who serial The Caves of Androzani

Published on April 12th, 2012 | by Christian Cawley

Glenister Feels a 12 Year Old “Burke”

Nicola Bryant as Peri with Robert Glenister as Salateen in 1984 Doctor Who serial The Caves of Androzani

Too late, Salateen reveals his embarrassment…

Well this isn’t something you see everyday – someone regretting their appearance in Doctor Who! While Martin Clunes has previously expressed discomfort with his role as Lon in Snakedance (and let’s face it he did look a little silly, despite being awesome) this is something of a rarity.

However star of Hustle Robert Glenister (brother of Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes star Philip) has revealed to the Radio Times that he hates signing photos of himself as Salateen in Robert Holmes’ last great Doctor Who story – also Peter Davison’s swansong – The Caves of Androzani.

I probably shouldn’t say this, but about 30 years ago I played an android in a Doctor Who story called The Caves of Androzani.  I still get people outside the stage door with that picture of me looking about 12 and I am appalled at myself every time I see it.

I looked like a complete burke and wish I never had to see it again.

Now it might be that Glenister is completely unaware of the passion fans have for this story. Back in the last Doctor Who Magazine story poll, this story of android doubles and lifespan-increasing drugs – with added Phantom of the Opera thrown in for good measure – finished in first place. Thanks to Graeme Harper’s marvellous direction, this is a rather stunning serial which still looks good 28 years later.

But on the other hand, Robert Glenister sounds as though he is dissing a story in which he got to play two parts, that of Salateen and his android double. Better still, he was rather excellent in the dual role, particularly as the android.

Either way, someone send him a copy of The Caves of Androzani!


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

9 Responses to Glenister Feels a 12 Year Old “Burke”

  1. avatar James says:

    To be fair, it would get frustrating having only done one guest spot (probably for the money, so early in his career) and still having to sign pictures of it, even though he’s done tonnes since. But he did say he wishes he didn’t have to see it, not that he hadn’t been in it.

    • Well said, James.

      But then, who is he signing the pictures for? Doctor Who fans. Sounds like he is being at best a bit of a grump.

      • avatar James says:

        That’s true. He should be a tad more grateful that he’s been remembered so fondly for people to ask for an autograph because of his Doctor Who role.

  2. avatar Paddy says:

    I would agree – he may not like the way he looks in the photo but as an actor there can’t be much better than knowing you’ve been in something that people still love 20+ years later.

    If I ever meet him, I’m going to greet him with “Ah, Salateen, I was wondering where you’d been chained up!”, and offer him porridge with green food dye to eat.

  3. avatar Greg C says:

    He’s only saying he hates the way he looks in the episodes, not that he was in them or that people remember him for it. I’m sure many people think they look ridiculous looking back that far!

  4. avatar Mugen Pharoah says:

    I think he should be proud – it’s a great performance in a top-tier Who (my personal favourite)

    So sorry Rob I think you’ll be getting photos to sign for a looooonnnng time!

  5. avatar Krumstets says:

    Maybe we should all contact him and reassure him that he didn’t look a burke and we all love him for being in one of the best Doctor Who stories ever !

    And attach a photo from the show with lots of kisses ….

    ( Anyone know his email address ? )

  6. avatar Andrew says:

    Oh dear. I think some people are mis-understanding him. He isn’t dissing the story, but simply embarrassed at seeing a photo of himself from 27 years ago. Everyone gets brassed necked at old photos. I’m quite sure both Robert Glenister and Martin Clunes would be flattered that they are so well received at something they did so long ago, and both would jump at the chance to be in Who again.

  7. avatar francis cave says:

    Clearly if he was embarassed by being in the story he wouldn’t have agreed to appear in the “Chain Reaction” documentary on the Androzani DVD.

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