WHO WATCHING

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Interview: Andrew O’Day

Andrew O’Day is editor of Doctor Who – The Eleventh Hour.
So Doctor Who is turning 50. Is this actually a big deal?

Yes it’s a very big deal. I’ve written a piece called The Time Beetle for Dene October. It’s a take on the episode ‘Turn Left’ (2008) where we see what would have happened to the world had companion Donna Noble turned right instead of left and never met the Doctor, except in this case I examine the influence Doctor Who has had on my life and what my life would have been like had Doctor Who never been made. And in some scenarios I fare very badly. So I think that’s the ultimate tribute that can be paid to the programme and we must all think of the activities we’ve engaged in as fans, the friends we’ve made through being fans, and the way the programme may have impacted on our careers, and raise a glass to the Time Lord on November 23rd.

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

Being very egotistical I’d quite like to see myself play the Doctor. I’m waiting for that phone call from Steven Moffat but it just isn’t coming. On a more serious note, I do think it’s high time we had a Black or female Doctor. I suspect we’d be there by now if Russell T. Davies had stayed on longer but maybe it will be Lucky Thirteen.

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

The thing about Doctor Who, which I address in my Introduction for The Eleventh Hour, is that each new production team ushers in a different type of style. After 50 years so much has been exhausted but I’d quite like to see more Who like Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ (2011), which had trippy and weirdly nightmarish feel about it. I think Doctor Who has a bright future ahead and in 50 years’ time fans will be celebrating 100 years of the Time Lord. I hope to still be around for that.

What is your favourite episode?

Very impossible question; there are so many great episodes, so many different styles of storytelling. If pressed I’d probably be very unoriginal and say ‘The Caves of Androzani’. Part 4 to be precise with that amazing cliff-hanger ending: Davison’s Doctor resolutely stating that nothing can stop him as he is going to die soon anyway. Grits teeth. And then it’s fast-paced exciting action to the end of a brilliant era.

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

I’m at a loss. Who writes these questions? I mean really. Jon Pertwee had his own unique way of doing things so we’ll have to ask him one day when we are all reunited at that Doctor Who convention in the sky.

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

Well they finally did that one in ‘Doomsday’ (2006) and the Daleks won. As someone who has co-written a book on Terry Nation I probably shouldn’t say this but ever since I was 9 years old and saw ‘Earthshock’ I’ve had a special fondness for the Cybermen. So I think it’s perhaps time for a re-match between these iconic monsters, this time with the silver giants finishing on top. ■

Doctor Who - The Eleventh HourDoctor Who – The Eleventh Hour is the first book devoted solely to the Steven Moffat/Matt Smith era is written by experts on the Doctor. It is wide-ranging and varied in viewpoint and explores such issues as the performance of the Doctor, the gothic and fairy tale genres, the portrayal of history on screen, gender and sexuality, and the phenomenon of Christmas television.

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This entry was posted on November 22, 2013 by in Who Watching and tagged , , , , , .

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