Interview with Tom Richards
Former Sons and Daughters star, Tom Richards,
who played David Palmer for much of the series' run, visited
Europe in late-2001 and spent a few days in the UK. While here,
he agreed to be filmed for a interview for this website. The
filming took place in St. James's Park in London.
There are links, below, to RealVideo clips of
Tom answering the questions, and further down the page is a
full transcript of the interview, which includes one-or-two
bits that aren't included in the video clips. The RealVideo
clips require RealPlayer 8
to be viewed, and the file size and length of each clip is given.
Question 1: How were
you cast as David Palmer? (263Kb, 27secs)
Question 2: Did you get
on with your on-screen family? (123Kb, 13secs)
Question 3: What did
you think of how far-fetched the storylines got at times? (192Kb,
Question 4: Who should
David have ended up with: Beryl or Patricia - and why? (396Kb,
Question 5: You left
the series some months before the end: why was this? (159Kb,
Question 6: You made
an appearance in the very last episode: were you happy to go
back and do that? (150Kb, 16secs)
Question 7: How did you
find working with Belinda Giblin's 'Patricia', compared with
Rowena Wallace's Patricia? (206Kb, 20secs)
Question 8: You're currently
making a documentary about Sons and Daughters. How
did it come about? (238Kb, 25secs)
Question 9: Do you have
a favourite storyline from your time in Sons and Daughters?
Question 10: Do you have
a least-favourite storyline from your time in Sons
and Daughters? (149Kb, 16secs)
Question 11: Did you
ever approach the storyliners with ideas for storylines for
David? (190Kb, 20secs)
Question 12: What do
you think it was about Sons and Daughters that made
it so popular? (156Kb, 16secs)
Question 13: Are you,
or were you, anything like David? (133Kb, 13secs)
Question 14: Can you
really drive a truck?! (247Kb, 25secs)
Website: How were you cast as David Palmer?
Tom Richards: I don't really know, actually!
I mean, Don Battye, who was the man in charge of all that at
the time - I knew Don from other shows, and I guess I was just
brought along to do the audition, and then a selection came
from the executives from Channel Seven. [Aside] Do you want
me looking at you?
Website: That's fine. Yeah, wherever.
Tom Richards. OK.
Website: OK. Did you click and get on
with your on-screen family?
Tom Richards: Oh, I certainly did - we
were all quite friendly. Leila and myself had worked together
many, many years beforehand - but we were all very friendly.
Website: What did you think of the storylines
and how far-fetched they got at times?
Tom Richards: It didn't really worry
me, actually, because, you know, I've since found out that people
could relate to some of them, even though they were
far-fetched. But, at the time, you think, "Well...",
but normally you'd go and do it; part of your work.
Website: OK. Who do you think David should
have ended up with: Beryl or Patricia? Who was best for him?
Tom Richards: Actually, there's a blonde-headed
girl down the road...!!! [Laughter!] I think he... I think he
should have ended up with... probably with Beryl.
Website: Yeah? Why?
Tom Richards: More his type, friendly
Tom Richards: I think he was out of his
depth with Patricia.
Website: What was the attraction, then?
Tom Richards: With Patricia?
Tom Richards: I think it was just her
charm and beauty of that age. He followed her and still liked
her; that type of thing - something he couldn't have; couldn't
control - but really was more related, more of the same level,
Website: You left the series some months
before the end. Why was that?
Tom Richards: I was offered a movie.
Website: Oh, right.
Tom Richards: It never came about.
Website: Oh, right - that's a shame.
Tom Richards: And then I was going to
go back in the show again, and then the movie came back on,
but then it came off again, so... it never happened.
Website: You did make an appearance in
the very last episode, so you were happy to go back and do that,
Tom Richards: Oh, God, yeah. Yeah. Good
Website: Brought the story full-circle,
Tom Richards: It did.
Website: That's good.
Tom Richards: Back to Belinda...
Tom Richards: Belinda Giblin.
Website: Different Patricia, but...!
Tom Richards: Yeah, bit different!
Website: Just out of interest...
Tom Richards: Just as different!
Website: How did you find the
two Patricias - I mean they were obviously very different actresses,
Tom Richards: Didn't worry. I'd worked
with Belinda many years ago...
Tom Richards: And working with Rowena...
so they were just... When you're doing a show; when you're acting,
you don't really get that feeling until you see it on air; when
it's been cut together.
Tom Richards: They're actors, doing their
job, and you're just relating to them all the time.
Website: OK. You're currently making
a documentary about Sons and Daughters: can you tell
me about it; how it came about?
Tom Richards: Mainly because I watched
something on a website! [Laughter!] I felt like something could
have been done with a documentary, because of the show's popularity,
and then I thought, "Oh yes..." and I started... but
it was mainly after seeing a documentary... not a documentary,
a website, in England; coming out of England...!
Website: Right! Do you have a favourite
storyline from Sons and Daughters, either in which
you were involved in yourself, or which you weren't involved
in but would like to have been? So any favourite storyline,
Tom Richards: [Shakes head] No... not
really. Oh, there was one, I think - for some reason I can't
think of the actual storyline, but I went... turned into a...
I think I was drinking a lot - I was worried or something; taking
too many tablets. I don't mind that - I forget that - but that
was later on in the show. I didn't mind that storyline - I can't
remember what it was(!) but I remember that - I just liked the
idea - it was a good bit of a challenge - 'cos there were quite
some nice other areas in there; it was a challenge.
Website: Did you have a least-favourite
storyline - one which you had to act but didn't enjoy?
Tom Richards: No, I enjoyed them all,
but there's only one part I didn't like too much: that's when
I got a slap in the face by Rowena...
Website: Just the one?!
Tom Richards: ...when I was starting
when she told me the twins weren't mine!
Website: I remember that! OK. Did you
ever approach the storyliners with any ideas for stories which
never actually came to fruition (or did come to fruition)?
Tom Richards: They did, actually, but
those storylines I can't remember. Leila... Leila and I actually
went to the script editors and they wanted to have a talk to
us about different things - but mainly myself. The other...
I think the women... the actors; the actresses, did, on a few
occasions, but myself, I was happy to do what they gave me.
Website: What do you think it was about
Sons and Daughters that made it so popular?
Tom Richards: I think it was because...
I think the two families; the two groups of families, the rich
and the poor-type thing... and plus in Australia, the two...
the two different states it was filmed in.
Website: Who was your favourite character
in Sons and Daughters other than your own (if you had
Tom Richards: No... no...
Tom Richards: No - just liked them all.
Website: OK. Are you, or were you, anything
Tom Richards: Oh, I think so, a little
Tom Richards: Yeah, some places I probably
would be. I come from the same type of family [Aside: Tom spots
and points to a squirrel!], and all that, yeah.
Website: OK, last question: Can you really
drive a truck?
Tom Richards: No! Well - I can - not
a big truck, but a fair-sized truck I can. I used to drive those
Tom Richards: Yeah. There's one truck
I used to drive didn't have any brakes! So I used to sit there
with a clutch and a handbrake on, pulling up in the shot. Should
never have been allowed.
Website: Tom Richards, thank you very