IT HAD BEEN five years since Davy Jones left the world of Doctor Who when the first series ended.
In that time with his wife Lin, they had continued to earn admiration for their make-up and special effects work on television and films.
But when the Who call came earlier this year, he had no hesitation in heading down the motorway to Cardiff again.
He said: “Neill Gorton had designed the Silurians and he asked if I could go on set and apply it for a two-part story. I was happy to, especially as I had worked with one of the actresses playing a Silurian, Neve McIntosh, before too.”
Despite returning to his old stomping ground and seeing many familiar faces, Davy said he didn’t want to go on about the old days too much.
“I was last week’s news really and although I knew the crew, there was a whole new team of actors on the show,” he remembered. “I would have felt funny marching up to Matt Smith for instance and saying I did the make-up on series one!
“As it turned out he came over to me when I was applying the make up and said it looked fantastic and we got chatting. I was able to tell him that I had been talking to Chris Eccleston recently, who said he’d seen Matt in a couple of plays and thought he was a great choice for Doctor Who.
“He was quite blown over to hear that Chris thought he was good. Having seen him up close I share Chris’s views, although all the Doctors have been excellent since the show came back, in their own ways.”
Davy added: “Then Karen Gillan came over and I had only just worked with her on a web serial called The Well. I did the make-up to turn her into a hag, so it was great to see how well she was doing.
“In no time it felt like I’d never left!”
Meeting the next generation on Doctor Who was quite apt for Davy, as he had already turned his thoughts to helping the next generation of make-up artists get a leg up into the profession by starting his own special effects and make-up school.
Davy offers a range of classes lasting between fourweeks and four months, where students will learn a range of skills from the basics of make-up to how to create prosthetic wounds or body casts from scratch, all using industry standard materials like clay, resin and silicone. Click here to visit Davy’s website to find out more.
It is based in Davy’s workshop in Liverpool city centre, which is a cross between Frankenstein’s lab, Dumbledore’s office and Captain Nemo’s Nautilus – in short, an amazing place to spend some time.
Davy said: “I started off on my own and learned as I went, with help from Lin, and of course I have been very lucky and got to do some wonderful things.
“The school is a way of passing some of that knowledge on to people who have an interest in this field. We look at areas like fashion or bridal make up, as well as prosthetics and special effects or moulding.
“Once they have the skills, what the students do with it is up to them – for instance they might want to make moulds for furniture or ornaments.
“I challenge anyone not to fall in love with the special effects and prosthetics side of things, like I did!
“Of course you have things like Avatar now, but the beauty of prothetics is not only that they are much cheaper than CGI, but that they are real.
“I want actors to see my work and have a reaction to it, to prod and poke it and say how gross it is. That is better in my eyes that having to look at a green dot and pretend.
“Hopefully my students will feel the same way and as I got my start doing bits and bobs on Brookside, the school can help new people get their start too.”
Davy’s first class has just started, while the school has also had enquiries from events companies and led to work for the NHS and the Ministry of Defence.
“I never expected anything like this,” said Davy. “Although I have never expected anything really – it has been bizarre how things have turned out.
“I left school thinking about working in a hospital, then went to Brookside not really knowing what would happen.
“I never thought I’d work with make up or have my own school. It just evolved that way and I have been lucky.”
He added: “They say luck is when hard work meets opportunity and that is what happened with me – and will hopefully happen for my students now.
“If you are prepared to work your socks off and are good at what you do, eventually someone will see that and then anything can happen.”