Do you know Keith Kelly Topping? We here at TVWriter™ firmly believe you should. He’s the UK’s Munchman – except that Keith very likely was first and definitely is more prolific.
In other words, we’re talking about one of our absolute favorite bloggers, a master of all he discusses…which is pretty much everything related to showbiz and politics in the UK. What we love about Keith most, though, is the way his blog, From the North, unabashedly proclaims his unqualified, overwhelming love for a little series you may have heard of called Doctor Who.
How much does he love Doctor Who? We would be glad to count the ways, but King Keith already has done so. Literally. Like so:
Between now and Christmas (or, whenever this blogger finish, anyway) yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self shall be reviewing every single Doctor Who story – all two hundred and seventy five(ish) of them – using just one appropriate adjective for each. Or one verb if Keith Telly Topping can’t think of an adjective. Or, one noun if Keith Telly Topping can’t think of a verb. You feel me? So, without further ado, dear blog readers …
See the rest of this, the first batch of “Doctor Who: In A Word” on Keith Telly Toppings’ From the North blog HERE
As a writer, I am always fascinated by how and why certain stories ‘catch on’. Why do some films or TV shows crash-and-burn, while others capture the imagination of legions, scoring passionate, die-hard fans?
If the world-wide reaction to the new STAR WARS trailer has taught us anything, it’s that die-hard fans are often life-long fans, as well. But, why? What are the components, what is the magic recipe, for creating a tale that inspires such rabid fandom? And what’s inside the head of a super-fan; and why do they get so attached?
My current working theory is that the younger a person is when they are introduced to a great story (or, one might say, indoctrinated), the more that story sticks with them as they grow older. The UK television hit DOCTOR WHO has rabid, die-hard super fans (called Whovians), similar to STAR WARS and STAR TREK fans. So I thought it might be interesting to interview a young Whovian, a super-fan in the making, and pick his brain about why he loves DOCTOR WHO.
Below is the transcript of my interview with a 10-year-old Whovian named Thomas, about his love for the 1,000-year-old Doctor.
CW: I understand you’re a big fan of the UK television series DOCTOR WHO. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?
THOMAS: I AM ALMOST ELEVEN YEARS OLD. I LIVE IN KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN, AND I AM A FIFTH GRADER.
CW: How did you get into DOCTOR WHO?
THOMAS: I GOT INTO IT BY MY FRIEND, JOSH, WHO’S A GEEK ABOUT THESE SORTS OF THINGS. AND HE TOLD ME I REALLY NEEDED TO WATCH THE SHOW. SO I DID, AND I GOT REALLY INTO IT.
CW: How many seasons of DOCTOR WHO have you seen?
THOMAS: I HAVE SEEN ALL OF THE NEW SEASONS, AND I’M WAITING FOR SEASON NINE, BUT I HAVE NOT SEEN ANY OF THE CLASSIC SEASONS ALL THE WAY THROUGH.
CW: I’ve actually never seen DOCTOR WHO, and I’m thinking about starting to watch. As a newbie to the show, what episode/s or season/s do you think I should watch first?
THOMAS: SO, I RECOMMEND WATCHING SEASON ONE, BUT NOT ALL THE WAY THROUGH. SORRY, CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON, BUT YOU’RE NOT MY FAVORITE DOCTOR. I RECOMMEND WATCHING THE EPISODE “ROSE”, “DALEK” AND THEN I RECOMMEND WATCHING “THE EMPTY CHILD” AND “THE DOCTOR DANCES” AND “FATHER’S DAY” AND, UM, “BAD WOLF”, AND “THE PARTING OF THE WAYS”. AND THEN WATCH THE REST ALL THE WAY THROUGH. ESPECIALLY, DON’T SKIP SEASON 2, OR SEASON 3, OR SEASON 4, BECAUSE THAT HAS MY FAVORITE DOCTOR IN IT.
CW: What do you love most about DOCTOR WHO?
THOMAS: I LIKE THAT HE GOES AROUND IN TIME AND SPACE, AND HE GETS A TON OF FRIENDS, AND HE’S REALLY OLD, AND HE CAN TRAVEL INTO ALIEN PLACES. AND I LOVE HOW HE HAS HIS TARDIS, WHICH IS A BLUE BOX WHICH IS SMALL AND CAN PROBABLY FIT INSIDE YOUR CLOSET, BUT IT’S SUPREMELY BIG ON THE INSIDE.
CW: Which actor so far has been your favorite Doctor?
THOMAS: MY FAVORITE DOCTOR, BY FAR, HAS GOT TO BE DAVID TENNANT, WHO WAS THE TENTH DOCTOR, AND WAS IN SEASON 2 SEASON 3 AND SEASON 4. I JUST REALLY LIKE HIM. HE’S FUNNY, AND HE’S WITTY, BUT HE’S ALSO VERY SMART AT TIMES. HE’S SMART WHEN HE NEEDS TO BE SMART, AND FUNNY WHEN HE NEEDS TO BE FUNNY. I LOVE HIS FAKE GLASSES, TOO.
CW: Who is your favorite companion?
THOMAS: WOW, THAT’S TOUGH. I’M GONNA SAY AMY POND, CAPTAIN JACK HARKNESS, AND RIVER SONG. THAT’S MY TOP THREE.
CW: Apparently people’s opinions vary wildly as to what actor should play the Doctor, after Peter Capaldi’s done. Do you have any opinions about this subject?
THOMAS: NOT REALLY, BUT – I KINDA LIKE THE YOUNGER DOCTORS, BECAUSE THEY SEEM MORE, LIKE, FROLICKY? KINDA CRAZY-ISH? BUT, NO, I DON’T HAVE AN OPINION AS TO WHAT ACTOR SHOULD PLAY HIM NEXT.
CW: Do you think the Doctor could ever be played by a woman?
THOMAS: UM, I DON’T KNOW. I MEAN, LIKE, IT FEELS LIKE THE DOCTOR HAS TO PLAYED BY A MAN, BECAUSE THE DOCTOR’S LIKE, THE DOCTOR. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THE MASTER HAD REGENERATED INTO A WOMAN, AT ONE POINT. SO I DON’T KNOW, IT COULD BE TOTALLY POSSIBLE!
CW: Could the Doctor be played by a kid?
THOMAS: UM, I DON’T KNOW. IF THE DOCTOR WERE PLAYED BY A KID, I FEEL LIKE IT WOULD TAKE THE WHOLE POINT OUT OF HIM BEING, LIKE, 2,000 YEARS OLD. IT SEEMS LIKE 20 YEARS OLD, I THINK, MIGHT BE THE MINIMUM.
CW: The Doctor has never been played by an American actor. Would you like to be considered for the role someday, despite being an American?
THOMAS: I DON’T KNOW. I THINK IT WOULD BE REALLY, REALLY FUN TO BE THE DOCTOR. BUT IT’S KIND OF LIKE HAVING THE LEAD ROLE IN A PLAY. YOU’VE GOTTA PRACTICE EVERY DAY. BUT IT WOULD BE FUN TO BE THE DOCTOR, AS YOUR JOB. LIKE, GOING INTO A CROWD OF WHOVIANS AND BEING LIKE, “I’M THE DOCTOR!” AND THEN PEOPLE WOULD BE LIKE, ‘OH MY GOSH!!!’ THAT WOULD BE PRETTY COOL.
(Side bar: I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say he’d be perfect. Check out this video Thomas made:
CW: Would you like to write for the show?
THOMAS: THAT WOULD BE PRETTY FUN, TOO. BECAUSE YOU CAN CHOOSE WHAT HAPPENS IN THE STORY. OR, LIKE, IF YOU’RE A CHILD, AND YOU MAKE UP ALL THESE GAMES OF DOCTOR WHO, YOU COULD MAKE THAT COME TO LIFE, IN AN EPISODE.
CW: Some grownups talk about seeing the show when they were younger, and it scaring the bejezus out of them. Are there any moments in any episodes that stand out, to you, as being the scariest?
THOMAS: I ACTUALLY CAN SAY THAT THERE IS A VERY SCARY EPISODE: IF YOU ARE GOING TO WATCH WITH YOUR CHILD, I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND SEEING “THE EMPTY CHILD” AND “THE DOCTOR DANCES”. IT’S a TWO-PARTER EPISODE. A GOOD EPISODE, BUT IT IS PRETTY SCARY, IN MY OPINION. I WAS CREEPED OUT BY IT. ALSO, THE WEEPING ANGELS ARE PRETTY SCARY. BUT ALL THE OTHER CREEPY EPISODES ARE, AT MOST, HALF AS CREEPY AS “THE EMPTY CHILD”.
CW: What’s your favorite episode or episodes?
THOMAS: “THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR”, and “A GOOD MAN GOES TO WAR”, and “TIME OF THE DOCTOR”, and “SILENCE IN THE LIBRARY”.
CW: If the Doctor existed in real life, and you could talk to him – what would you ask him?
THOMAS: PROBABLY, “COULD I TRAVEL WITH YOU?”
CW: If he said yes, where would you go?
THOMAS: I DON’T KNOW, IT DEPENDS ON IF IT’S JUST ONE TRIP, OR AS MANY TRIPS AS I WANT. CAUSE, I KINDA WANT TO GO BACK IN TIME, BUT ALSO WANT TO GO TO THE FUTURE. AND I KINDA WANT TO SEE AN ALIEN PLANET.
CW: What character/s in the DOCTOR WHO universe do you love most, besides the Doctor himself?
THOMAS: I REALLY LIKE CAPTAIN JACK HARKNESS, WHO’S INTRODUCED IN SEASON 1, BECAUSE HE’S LIKE, TOTALLY SUAVE AND COOL. AND HE MAKES JOKES A LOT AND STUFF. HE CAN HOLD A SMILE WHILE BEING VERY SERIOUS. AND I LIKE RIVER SONG BECAUSE SHE HOLDS SO MANY SECRETS. THAT’S PRETTY COOL.
CW: What character or characters do you hate?
THOMAS: I LIKE THE MASTER, BUT IN (SPOILER ALERT) THE MASTER’S VERSION OF MISSY, I DON’T REALLY LIKE HER. SHE JUST SEEMS SO RUTHLESS.
CW: I imagine you feel a sense of kinship with the Doctor. What is it about him, do you think, that you identify with? Or what is it about him that you like?
THOMAS: I LIKE THAT HE’S WISE, BUT FUNNY, AND REALLY SMART. I DON’T KNOW. HE JUST SEEMS REALLY COOL. HE’S REALLY NICE, HE’S FUNNY.
Well, there you have it. Everything that makes a Whovian tick. Everything that makes them come back for more.
Special thanks to Thomas, and Thomas’ mom, Sarah, for her assistance with this interview, as well as for the photos / video.
Cara Winter is a Contributing Editor to TVWriter™. You can learn more about her HERE.
It’s been quite a week after our big movie news! Seeing the press response, doing interviews, and spending every spare hour at the computer running the pre-production fundraising campaign. The campaign is going well, but we still NEED YOUR SUPPORT! Even $5 helps, and if you visit the campaign, we have a way you can win free perks even if you don’t have a lot of spare moolah!
But there was at least one big announcement that flew under the radar last weekend! The intrepid space traveler who also travels through time is not only fleeing through the web series and the feature film, but is now fleeing into comic books thanks to the help of The New York Times bestselling author and comic book writer, Tony Lee!!
Tony has written for X-Men, Spider Man, Superboy, Starship Troopers, Wallace & Gromit and Shrek, and received worldwide acclaim for his scripting of the adventures of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors of Doctor Who for IDW Publishing.
“[About two years ago] I said wouldn’t it be nice to do a comic about a space traveler who could travel through time and if you were going to do it, wouldn’t it be nice if I did it?” said Lee during the Inspector Spacetime panel at the Gallifrey One convention this last February.
Then, Tony made a pronouncement that even the rest of the panelists weren’t completely expecting, when he said, ”Hi my name is Tony Lee, and I’m the writer of the ‘Untitled Comic About A Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time’.”
His announcement was met with a thunderous applause.
Travis Richey (“Pretty Little Liars”, “Community”) who serves as Executive Producer and star for “The Inspector Chronicles”, said he was excited to have Lee in the Inspector’s universe. ”Tony is a huge part of the Inspector fandom, having been responsible for the very first Inspector Spacetime panel at Chicago TARDIS in November of 2011! He’s a first-class writer and we are absolutely honored and thrilled to have him on board the series!” said Richey.
Richey said that Lee will give the Inspector a presence in another medium. ”We have so many comic book fans who have helped get our series off the ground that being able to share the Inspector’s adventures in the world of comic books makes a great deal of sense,” Richey said. “Especially since there are no budgetary constraints to storytelling in comics, like there are in a web series or a movie. We can go far beyond what we would otherwise be capable of!”
Lee joins the franchise along with a group of established names such as Sylvestor McCoy (“Doctor Who”, The Hobbit movies), Robert Picardo (“Star Trek: Voyager”), Chase Masterson (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) and Mayim Bialik (“Big Bang Theory”, “Blossom”).
“Inspector fans will not be disappointed,” said Richey.
We’re thrilled to be bringing this to you, and we can’t wait to get started! But, until then:
We know not every fan has more than $5 to give to the campaign (although we cannot stress this enough, even $5 helps), so we created a couple of perks that are really cool, even at the $5 level.
First, we will send every donor of $5 or more an exclusive Inspector Spacetime ringtone! And second, you’ll get a link to see the never-before-seen audition tapes for Carrie Keranen’s screen test as Piper Tate!
THEN, when you log in to Indiegogo you’ll get a customized referral link to the campaign! SHARE THAT LINK and we’ll be able to track how much your referrals give, and the person who refers the most donations will get the perk equal to that amount!
So, if you refer ONE person who gives us $2,000, we’ll give you BOTH an Optic Pocketknife, you’ll BOTH be in the comic book, JOIN us on set in a walk-on role, get all the autographed and swag! Neat, right??