Sunday, 30 March 2014

Resurrection of the Essex Whovians

Sixty Whovians packed into Loughton Library for a great Essex Books Festival interview session with Mark Campbell, author of Doctor Who: The Complete Guide. Mark had some really interesting answers to my questions — we had comfy chairs and a microphone, so it almost felt like Parkinson — including his views that Jon Pertwee was brilliant and his Carnival of Monsters was filmed partly on the Essex marshes, Matt Smith has become a caricature of himself and The Day of the Doctor was great but The Name of the Doctor was a huge disappointment.

We also learned that Campbell projected images of Doctor Who on to his house in March 2005 when the new series returned after 16 years, and that his marriage somehow survived after his wife forgot to record the last episode of The Curse of Fenric. The audience was a mixed age group with both Peter Capaldi-age and teenage Whovians, and it was great to see so many interesting t-shirts (Time Traveller from Gallifrey, Daleks, Rose and even a renegade Star Trek one) and hear kids defending Colin Baker and Attack of the Cybermen. Lots of interesting questions in the Q&A session too (silence did not fall when the question was asked) and a nice anecdote from the man who said none of his schoolmates would go to the shops after Spearhead From Space was broadcast and those shop dummies came alive. And thanks to my wife Nicola and daughters Lola and Nell for attending. Despite being 'not-we' Nicola even discovered that she understood a lot of what people were talking about through a curious process of Whovian osmosis.

Good signing session afterwards where my book The Joy of Essex was also on sale, complete with Doctor Who references in the Colchester chapter. Doctor Who: The Complete Guide is a great tool for any Whovian, covering all 26 classic seasons and new Who Series 1-7. Having watched every episode of Doctor Who ever made, Mark is now starting again and is currently up to William Hartnell's The Rescue. Now there's a man who knows his timestream…

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