I want to rewind a little bit. In hindsight the first part of this "Who...or What..." entry came off a little impersonal. I don't think I really succeeded in conveying how much I enjoy Doctor Who, or what it's meant to me. The song in the video above, "Doctorin' the Tardis" by the Timelords (aka the JAMs, aka KLF) was huge for me! My first copy was on a cassette single...I wore it out! It combined my love of Doctor Who and music...and opened me up to the whole Glam Rock scene of the 70's (the song samples from Gary Glitter's "Rock & Roll", and Sweet's "Blockbuster" in addition to the Doctor Who theme song). Without Doctor Who, and this song, I may not have stumbled on T-Rex (one of my favorite bands!) and Slade (who I "discovered" after looking into Glam after hearing "Doctorin' the Tardis", and who's "Merry Xmas Everybody" has been featured in several Who episodes since its return in 2005). This song, and the Doctor, are partly responsible for some of my closest friendships too. While in school, one friend and I showed up to class on Halloween dressed as the Doctor! (He was Doctor #2 Patrick Troughton, and I was #5 Peter Davison, of course). That convention I mentioned last time? Went to that with one of my best friends from school. So when the show was cancelled during Sylvester McCoy's run, it was kind of like losing a friend.
I read some of the Target Books novelizations and new adventures, comics, and picked up Doctor Who Magazine from my local store to get my fix. I watched Paul McGann's all too brief onscreen appearance in role for the made for TV movie, and then quickly tracked down a convention bootleg so I could watch it again.
It was a few years before the show made it's return in 2005 that I had begun searching the Internet for whatever I could find...fan fiction, behind the scenes stories and info, anything! And that's when I discovered Big Finish! Big Finish is a company that has been releasing audio adventures of the Doctor since 1999. Even better? They hire the actual cast whenever possible. So, if you want to hear a 6th Doctor adventure...you get Colin Baker in the role. You want the 5th Doctor and Peri? You get Peter Davison and Nicola Bryant. When I was in middle school, I had a teacher who gave us a project about old time radio. I don't remember why, but I do remember it (like the Timelords' song) opening up a whole new world to me. I asked my mom and grandmother about these shows. What did they listen to? What was it like? Where could I find more? My mom helped me track more and I was hooked! Abbott & Costello, the Shadow, the Lone Ranger...even the Blue Beetle (look at that, even when I go off topic there are still paths that lead back!) and I was hooked. "The theatre of the mind", and now that cast included my favorite time traveler. The real treat, for me any way, was listening to Paul McGann. Before these audios I only had the TV movie to judge him on...and it was decent (I think the 2005 series owes a lot to that movie, especially the increased production quality)...and was left wondering what could have been? With these audios I now had an answer. He has whole "seasons", new companions, new adventures...he is fully fleshed out as a character and the results are brilliant!
Some, but not all, of my Big Finish collection
To wrap up this post, and to bring it full circle, I want recommend the Big Finish story "Horror of Glam Rock". It's an 8th Doctor/Paul McGann story set in the 1970's during the height of...yup, you guessed it, glam rock. The story has some serious credentials too! Paul Magrs is the writer, and he's done several Doctor Who novels, short stories, and audio dramas for both the BBC and Big Finish, the late Stephen Gately (of the Irish pop band Boyzone) plays one of the leads, Tommy Tomorrow of the Tomorrow Twins, and sings a catchy glam tune, and the band is managed by Bernard Cribbins who went on to co-start in the TV series as Catherine "Donna Noble" Tate's grandfather "Wilfred Mott" alongside David Tennant, Doctor #10!*
I have one more of these "Who...or What..." posts planned, but before then I'll see you next week with more Blue Beetle goodness!
*If I can recommend another audio...check out "Medicinal Purposes". It's a Colin Baker/6th Doctor adventure that features the infamous body snatchers Burke & Hare, and an audio appearance by David Tennant!