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Interview: Miles Booy

Ahead of the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who we have caught up with our Who Watching authors to ask a few questions about the significance of the milestone. Opening things for us is Miles Booy, author of Love and Monsters, who, amongst other things, calls for a return of Peter Davison.
So Doctor Who is turning 50. Is this actually a big deal?

Yes, not least because I’m only four years behind! If you want to feel really old, tell yourself it’s the thirtieth anniversary of ‘The Five Doctors’

Less glibly, the comparison with the twentieth anniversary shows how well the current production team/BBC know how to handle the long history of the programme, and to make that engaging to an audience rather than an obstacle for them.

The bigger deal is the fact that the reboot of the show is so successful. Sometime, this version of the programme will be cancelled, but it’s been such a success that there’ll be another version. DW will continue after we’re all long and gone.

Who would you like to play, or have seen play, the Doctor?

I really don’t have an answer to this, and never really have. Except to say that Peter Davison is a better actor now than he was in the eighties (and he was good then; that’s not a jibe, but simply acknowledging that lots of people get better at their job with age) so ‘re-verse-regeneration’ or whatever – bring him back.

What directions do you see Doctor Who going in the future?

I have no idea. In 1968, you’d never have foreseen the UNIT/exile-to-Earth set-up. Whilst watching ‘Masque of Mandragora,’ you’d never have guessed The Key to Time was only 24 months away. If in 1987 you’d tried imagining what would follow ‘Dragonfire’ you couldn’t possibly come up with ‘Remembrance of the Daleks

What is your favourite episode?

In the early 1980s, I decided it was 1976’s ‘The Masque of Mandragora’ and I have stuck with this answer ever since. My feelings about the question have changed, but that’s the answer I always give. I have no idea what my criteria was back then. probably, it was something in the novelization. Producer Philip Hinchcliffe spoke highly of it in an interview around the same time, so I may have just pinched it from there! Since collecting DW on video, I think the stories which I have rewatched the most are ‘The Keeper of Traken’ and ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.’ Maybe they’re my real favourites.

Jon Pertwee’s famous catchphrase was ‘reverse the polarity of the neutron flow’. Can you explain how this is done?

Polarity flows from top to bottom in a neutron, so just turn it upside down. Easy.

Daleks vs Cybermen: who should really win in a head to head confrontation?

The Daleks are the ultimate DW foe. Nobody but the Doctor can take them down (which is why they never appear in Torchwood or Sarah Jane). ■

Love and MonstersFrom the twilight of Tom Baker’s years to the newest Doctor, Matt Smith, Miles Booy’s Love and Monsters is the first historical account of the public interpretation of Doctor Who, and explores the shifting meaning of the series across the years.


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This entry was posted on November 18, 2013 by in Who Watching and tagged , , , , , .

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