DOCTOR WHO

Taken by me, I believe this image provides concrete evidence which should convince the authorities to re-open the investigation into what really caused the fire at Weston-super-Mare's Grand Pier in July 2008.

 

Below, I take the plunge(r) and do my bit to defend the earth from the dreaded Dalek menace!

From a very early age, I've had an interest in sci-fi and spaceships, so it probably comes as no surprise that I am a huge fan of the British television series Doctor Who.

It's relevant to this website, since a parody of Doctor Who was the first book I published. There's more information about that on the Dr U Who book page.

My earliest memory of Doctor Who is of seeing Jon Pertwee's third doctor fighting a Sontaran. This was The Time Warrior, an adventure first screened in December 1973. I also remember being terrified by the now laughable arachnid aggressors in Planet Of The Spiders.

When the BBC started issuing videotapes of Doctor Who stories, I started building up my collection.  I was working for the Bristol Evening Post in 1996, when the eagerly-awaited TV movie, starring Bristol-based Paul McGann, was released. I remember nipping out of the office at lunchtime to secure my copy. I then had a phone call from the paper's feature's desk. They asked me if, since the actor had Bristol links, I would like to review it for the paper, in which case I could claim back the cost of the video cassette. Not only that, but because of the deadlines, it would be preferable if I went home that afternoon to watch it as soon as possible. I didn't need to be asked twice.

A fellow Whovian wrote and planned to direct a low-budget sci-fi film featuring several actors from the world(s) of Doctor Who. I wrote some stories for the paper to promote this. My friend told me if I had any time off, I'd be welcome to visit them filming. The end result was that I spent the best part of two-weeks 'on set', had a small part in the movie, and an on-screen credit as 'gaffer' after I ended up helping behind the scenes. Colin Baker, Wendy Padbury and Carole-Ann Ford were in this film.

I honestly don't know what it is about Doctor Who that captured my imagination, but I remain an avid fan. Like many others, I became disillusioned in the 80s, when sci-fi movies like Star Wars, and the deep pockets of American TV, with the likes of Star Trek The Next Generation, raised expectations to a level that the BBC, then, could not compete with. 

People like me were often teased about our affection for a show which had become a bit of a parody of itself. But we kept the faith, and I think it's fair to say we had the last laugh when Doctor Who made a triumphant return to prime time in 2005, and became a worldwide mainstream phenomenon. All of which provided the inspiration for a story of my own...

Working wordsmith, pitiful punslinger, practising prestidigitator, hapless (hopeless?) hockeyologist
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