‘6 Reasons Why Doctor Who Dodged a Bullet in the 90s’ by Bob Sheppard

This is not a critique of the 1996 Doctor Who TV Movie. In fact, as a one-off adventure, I rather like it; Paul McGann is an excellent Doctor and his sole full-length TV appearance is fun, fast-paced and remarkably cinematic. … Continue reading ‘6 Reasons Why Doctor Who Dodged a Bullet in the 90s’ by Bob Sheppard

100% Cotton*: The Target Novelisations of Donald Cotton

Donald Cotton, an acclaimed TV and radio writer and co-creator of Adam Adamant Lives, only ever wrote two stories for Doctor Who… and neither of them is particularly acclaimed. His first, The Myth Makers, is often overlooked because it is one of those sad cases where 100% of the footage is missing from the BBC archive. Not even so much as a tiny clip exists! His second (and, as it turned out, final) script, The Gunfighters, exists in its entirety, but for a long time was unfairly (and rather inaccurately) derided as the worst and lowest-rated serial in the early years of Doctor Who. This … Continue reading 100% Cotton*: The Target Novelisations of Donald Cotton

Adult Situations: Is New Who More Grown-Up than the Classic Series?

It’s often stated that one of the areas in which the modern version of Doctor Who succeeds over the classic series is that it is more grown up. But is it really? Could it be that two eras of Doctor Who simply wear their maturity in different ways and approach the issue of what it means to be an adult from completely different angles, informed by the society in which they were shaped? The aspects of the modern series that people label as more sophisticated are mostly emotional. The classic series rarely dwelt on open displays of emotion – unless, of course, that … Continue reading Adult Situations: Is New Who More Grown-Up than the Classic Series?

The Doctor: He’s Always Been My Hero and She Always Will Be!

I’ve always wanted to be the Doctor, ever since I was a small child and Tom Baker’s fascinating Fourth Doctor dominated my Saturday teatimes. I mean, who wouldn’t? The Doctor is the ultimate hero – brave, caring, resourceful and although there are sometimes difficult decisions to be made, the end result is always to make the universe a better place to live. When I was 11 years old, I dressed as the Doctor for a school costume party in a Fourth Doctor outfit that my mother made for me. She made the coat from scratch and knitted the scarf. Sure, … Continue reading The Doctor: He’s Always Been My Hero and She Always Will Be!

Look Back in Ginger: Fandom’s Harsh Judgement of Amy Pond

In this classic article from Strange Skins 2013, controversial columnist Bob Sheppard takes a look at fandom’s initially judgemental reaction to the now well-loved Eleventh Doctor companion. The popular shared opinion of fandom is like one of those shoals of shining silver fish that you see on natural history documentaries from time to time. It glides along nicely for a while in one particular direction, and then it suddenly shoots off skittishly at a tangent for no immediately definable reason. This pattern can be seen time after time throughout Doctor Who’s long history; whether it be the sudden change of JN-T … Continue reading Look Back in Ginger: Fandom’s Harsh Judgement of Amy Pond

Most Exciting: Doctor Who & the Daleks on the Big Screen… IN COLOUR!

When I first got into Doctor Who fandom in a big way in the late 1980s, the received wisdom amongst fans was that the two Peter Cushing films from the 60s, Dr Who and the Daleks and Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150ad, were worthless rubbish. Which is strange, because almost everyone that I spoke to would say ‘Actually, I rather like them’ with a sort of guilty pleasure look on their face. Everyone had an incredible fondness for them from watching endless reruns during on a Saturday morning or during the school holidays in the 70s, wedged between episodes of Champion the Wonder Horse, Boss Cat (as the BBC … Continue reading Most Exciting: Doctor Who & the Daleks on the Big Screen… IN COLOUR!

Paul Ferry’s 10 Favourite Doctor Who Fan Films

Listed below are the 10 Doctor Who fan videos that I have found most entertaining, inspiring and impressive over the many years that I’ve been interested in such things. I use the words ‘fan video’ in the traditional sense, meaning dramatic or comic presentations, rather than clips edited to music (which we called ‘scratch videos’ in my day). They’re listed in chronological order, rather than order of merit, because they’re all equally special to me. If you’re lucky, you might find some of them online. DAY OF THE DUSTBINS / ALISTAIR ANORAK INVESTIGATES The West Midlands Whonatics (1987) I’m cheating … Continue reading Paul Ferry’s 10 Favourite Doctor Who Fan Films