Loving The Alien...
The "new look"
"Peter O'Toole was "unavailable"; luckily there was an hallucinating, copper-topped rock 'n' roll pipe cleaner on hand to play the part of a stranded alien. One disastrous edit, one Roswell incident and over 92 hours in make-up later, The Man Who Fell To Earth was born."
Soon after filming was completed in September 1975, David moved straight on to the 'Station To Station' project, famous for the creation of the emotionally cold Thin White Duke. This character change seemed to take British chat show host Russell Harty by surprise a couple of months later. The sombrely-dressed Thin White Duke was the antithesis of the flamboyant Ziggy who had performed on Harty's show almost three years previously, and indeed David did seem to have been possessed by the character of TJ Newton who he had played in the film.
The David Bowie as witnessed on Russell Harty's show by the British viewing public in November 1975, was perhaps no surprise to Nicolas Roeg, as David explains:
"One thing that Nic Roeg is good at doing is seducing people into a role, and he seduced me completely. He told me after we'd finished it would take me a long time to get out of the role and he was dead right. After four months playing the role I was Newton for six months afterwards."
On a final note, Candy Clark explains in the Q piece why things may not have been quite what they seemed in the finished film:
"I played several characters in the film. I was Mary-Lou on Earth, I was his (TJ Newton's) wife on the other planet, and I even played his part. After the main body of the filming was finished in New Mexico, we had to shoot a scene in New York. At that time, because he had his aversion to flying, there was a scene where David is supposed to be exiting the World Enterprise Building in New York City, but it's really me in a red wig and his clothes. I had my hand up to my chin to cover my jawline, which isn't the same as David's. They set up barriers and I could hear people saying, "There's David Bowie!", so I didn't disillusion them."
I can almost hear you all scurrying away to your VCRs and DVD machines to check this impostor out!