<![CDATA['Flight Through Eternity' - 'Blog']]>Tue, 26 Jan 2016 14:22:40 +0000Weebly<![CDATA[‘Whatever it is, by Whatever the means, it is Escapism!’]]>Mon, 06 Oct 2014 22:16:55 GMThttp://mydoctorwhojourney.weebly.com/blog/whatever-it-is-by-whatever-the-means-it-is-escapism Proper Doctor Who? What is that? And what is canon? Just what is Who exactly? There’s so many questions! Can I provide any of the answers? No, I can’t. Not really. All I can offer is an opinion, my opinion, on what I believe Doctor Who to be. I have, in my time, read a lot about that particular question - what is proper Doctor Who? The television episodes themselves are canon, without a doubt, so I‘m told. But where do you fit in Dimensions in Time (I love it! Yes. I actually do …), The Curse of Fatal Death (quite brilliant!) and Time Crash (nostalgic fun!)? Where on earth do books, audios and comics come in? The Cushing movies? Stage plays? Board games? I’ve never really cared that much about canon to be honest. It’s not something that I find worth worrying about, and I definitely don’t lose any sleep over it. If truth be told, it’s those television episodes that matter the most to me, they’re just that extra bit special. Doctor Who is something that I enjoy most when it’s performed. And yes, I count those bold, bright, psychedelic movies with Cushing amongst those visual performances, I really do. I love them as entertainment. The Daleks are so close that you can feel their terror, in vivid colour.
    Doctor Who is so much more than a mere television series, of course. And it would be silly to dismiss everything else entirely. Wrong to deny so much that is wonderful. I love many of the books and audios. The book Killing Ground shows the tragic truth and horror of the Cybermen, in a way that few of the television episodes ever managed to capture. It makes the Cybermen really frightening. And the audio Spare Parts captures the roots of the Cybermen, giving them the best origin story that you could ask for. Their roots are humanity becoming inhumanity. The Cybermen were born out of good intensions and a struggle for survival, both ultimately corrupted by an abuse of power and a lack of emotions. Best of all, the books, audios and comics have given the Eighth Doctor an era. And however you dip into his era, it has been of such importance, to give such a deserving Doctor so much more (I’ll happily admit it, I have a soft spot for The TV Movie. It helped me to become the fan I am today!). The romantic adventurer is my Doctor, in many ways. I do have a soft spot for the audios. Audio drama is perfect escapism. You can turn off the lights, lie back (even close your eyes) and escape into the world of the Big Finish audios. It’s an amazing experience.
    Doctor Who is pure escapism. It can be serious or silly, and dark or funny, but as long as it’s enjoyable, it’s good fun, and it takes me away from the stress of the real world (as long as it cheers me up!), then that’s all that matters. Whatever it is, by whatever the means, it is escapism. Pure and simple. That is what Doctor Who is in a nutshell. And not just for children, but for adults too. A good story is a good story. An adventure is an adventure. A trip of a lifetime, is an experience of a lifetime. I’m on a journey of my own (as you are too!). It’s been by television, book, audio, movie, comic strip, computer game, and board game. It’s even been interactive and personal, when I visited The Doctor Who Experience, and when I made my Pilgrimage to Aldbourne, one sunny afternoon in August 2011. It’s also not been in any order! (I travel by Type 40,  which is as rickety and unpredictable as it is fun!). It doesn’t all hang together perfectly. But I’ll tell you what it has been, and what it still continues to be today - a whole heap of fun! And if you can’t be childish sometimes (even when you’re a ‘grown-up’), and watch and enjoy a children's show, then just what is the point of living?! There is so much about this show that is special, it hardly seems to matter what is canon or what isn’t canon. If it’s been part of what I’ve enjoyed, then it's part of my adventure. I’ve missed bits, certainly, just because there is so much in the world of Doctor Who (or sometimes, I’ll admit, it has been through my own choice). But that doesn’t mean they’re unimportant or not canon, it just means that they’re not part of my personal adventure. They exist for sure, and they’re an important part of someone else’s tale, and someone else’s adventure, they’re just not a part of mine. And that’s fine with me, with Doctor Who there’s something there for everyone to enjoy. Make your Doctor Who journey your own, make it as unique as the show is itself.
    Doctor Who should always have a moral core, and the ability to educate, while being fun escapism along the way. When it loses that moral core, and when it becomes far too serious (or, more to the point, things surrounding it become far too serious!), then it stops being fun. That's when it stops being a part of my adventure (and only then). There really is nothing else like Doctor Who (well, for me there certainly isn’t!). It’s something special, to so many people, and in so many different ways.
    So, how would I answer that question, ‘what is proper Doctor Who’? I would answer by saying, ‘whatever it is, by whatever the means, it is escapism!’. That’s what it is. It is unique to each and every one of us, each of us enjoying it in our own little way. Our own personal escape from the boredom, and the stresses, of the real world. Never take it too seriously. Just find your own inner child, let your hair down, and have fun!
<![CDATA['An Unearthly Child']]>Mon, 22 Sep 2014 22:12:39 GMThttp://mydoctorwhojourney.weebly.com/blog/an-unearthly-child "If you could touch the alien sand and hear the cries of strange birds and watch them wheel in another sky, would that satisfy you?" - The Doctor
 "Have you ever thought what it's like to be wanderers in the fourth dimension? Have you? To be exiles ... ?" - The Doctor
Twitter Who

(If you'd like to just read my full Tweet Review, then you can do just that. I've collected all of my tweets in one single paragraph, for ease of reading. Although, as my tweets were all composed individually, it will read as something that's somewhat disjointed! Wibbly-wobbly and all that. If you'd prefer to just glance at my original tweets, then they're included below the paragraph, so you can do that too. Either way, I hope you enjoy my twitterings ... )

The First Doctor (William Hartnell)

Season One (1963-1964)

'An Unearthly Child'

'A junkyard. A blue Police Public Call Box. A white haired old man. And an unearthly child. Two school teachers are about to make a discovery, one that is beyond their comprehension ...'

"Fear makes companions of all of us, Miss Wright." - The Doctor

An Unearthly Child - Atmosphere. A foggy street, a junkyard, creaking doors, a Police Box that hums & a peculiar child. Stunning stumble into the TARDIS control room. The first takeoff is all amazing visuals & sounds. The Doctor is so alien here. Unearthly. Mysterious. Arrogant. Sinister. Frightening. Those eyes ... Love the first cliffhanger. Simple & effective. A man's shadow stands, towers over sand & TARDIS. The Cave of Skulls -
That theme tune. An iconic opening to adventure. A flight across eternity. Forever & beyond. Great speech - "If you could touch the alien sand and hear the cries of strange birds, and watch them wheel in another sky - would that satisfy you?" You hear those cries! Doctor Foreman. "That's not his name. Who is he? Doctor who?" A mystery. The oldest question. I like the caveman episodes. It's a power struggle, an arms race, around the discovery of fire. The Doctor softens. Shows compassion for Ian. Shows remorse for their predicament, his fault. The final scene in the cave is very visually effective. The chilling imagery of skulls split open. The Forest of Fear - After the titles fade, an ominous shot of a skull, just sitting there, a gaping hole in it's top. It's amazing how unlikeable the Doctor is. He's pessimistic. Selfish. Argumentative. Aggressive. Yet, he tries to help. Talks of hope & fear. "Fear makes companions of all of us, Miss Wright.". We have Doctor Who's first forest, yay! Eerie sound effects. Strange animals & birds. Impressive. Barbara's compassion is a key facet of Doctor Who. They are savages, but they are still human.  The Doctor picks up a rock, and he is so willing to kill Za. A shocking moment. Is this our hero? I've loved all of the cliffhangers. They make it back to the TARDIS - it's surrounded by cavemen. The Firemaker - "This knife shows what it has done. There is blood on it." A sign of a strong & good leader? Morality? Kal killed the old woman for spite. Za killed to survive. A good leader knows when it's wrong to kill. "They are a new tribe. Not like us. Not like Kal." Even in adversity - 'Friend'. Our 4 time travellers. Firemaker's least important, everyone can make fire. Strength is 'all' together, with a strong leader. Kal & Za's fight has stunning direction. Cuts away. Close-ups. Always moving. Outcome brutal, shocking.  I like that Susan finds the solution. Haunting imagery of a skull with fire burning inside it. Ghostly. "Well, I got you away from that other time, didn't I?" Flight to the TARDIS. Escape. To home? To where? Our first shot of an alien jungle! Danger? I'm full of excitement & anticipation! 'The Dead Planet' ...

My Story Revelation -
This isn't the Doctor that we know. He is at his most alien. He's unearthly, mysterious, arrogant, sinister, and frightening. Just look at his eyes. But Doctor Foreman isn't his name. Just who is he, Doctor who? A mystery, and the oldest question in the universe. I was amazed by just how unlikeable the Doctor is here, I've never really taken that on board before. He's pessimistic, selfish, argumentative, aggressive, and he is more than willing to kill, if he believes that it's right to do so. Is the Doctor almost on the brink of being barbaric? Maybe. Maybe not. He definitely softens over the course of the story, showing compassion, and showing remorse, taking responsibility for their predicament, which he says is his fault. He tries to help and make amends, and he talks about hope and fear. I think it is the Doctor's own fears that he is facing up to in 'An Unearthly Child'. In the first episode, he is literally running away from fear. His fear. He is running away again, because that is what he has always done. He runs. In the beginning, he ran away from his own people and he is an exile now. What did he fear? What does he fear? And why did he run?
    This is all a testament to William Hartnell. It is his character creation (as much as the writer, the director and the producer, none of whom should be forgotten). He creates the Doctor, through his immense skill and ability as an actor. And what an actor he is here. Watch him. It's all the 'little' things that make the difference. Those little gestures with his hands. Very slight movements of his head. His delicately thought facial expressions. And such precise movements of his eyes. This man can act! (not something that I've ever doubted).
    There is a very good quote in 'The Forest of Fear' (Doctor Who is full of great quotes!) -
  "Fear makes companions of all of us, Miss Wright." It is fear (and concern, on the parts of Ian and Barbara) that has thrown these four people together under such unlikely, and such fantastic, circumstances. Thrown together, for life's ultimate adventure. A flight through eternity, through the eyes of forever and beyond. Beyond the Sun, beyond even space and time itself.
'An Unearthly Child'
I have made many observations already while watching this first story. Chief amongst them is this - I am actually writing just as much over a series of small tweets. As much as I would when writing a proper full review. Well. Okay. That is an exaggeration. It's not really quite as much as that, but it does feel like it's rather a lot. I obviously have a great deal to say, even in tweets. Situation normal for me then. Which is all well and good, because all of this is turning out to be such great fun.

And that leads me to my next observation -
"I'm really enjoying watching Doctor Who with no preconceptions! Well, as few of them as possible anyway. Vworp! Here we go again ..." Which really is true. I am trying to come to each episode as fresh as I possibly can. Trying to push any of those annoying preconceptions to the back of my mind. It is helping me to come to a number of startling revelations about the show. As far as I am concerned, I really am back in 1963. I am putting myself in the place of a first time viewer. It is bonkers, and it is brilliant, and it is fun!
Whilst I was viewing the third episode, The Forest of Fear, a realization came to me - the importance of your imagination, when it comes to Doctor Who. It's not something that I've never been aware of, but it did hit home to me again, nonetheless. Whatever shortcomings there might be (and there are actually many, many strengths in Doctor Who's visuals and sounds), the void is always filled by your own imagination. It is true today, and it was even more true in the very early days. It is also one of the reasons why I love this show so much. It inspires your imagination, in a way like no other - "In early Doctor Who the screen is a stage, of visuals & sounds. Then your own imagination envelops you, and places you in a different world.". The stage is set. The screen is magic. Your imagination takes you to a whole new world, of dreams and nightmares ...
Next episode in Doctor Who, we visit 'The Dead Planet' ...
<![CDATA['Twitter Who']]>Sun, 21 Sep 2014 19:31:53 GMThttp://mydoctorwhojourney.weebly.com/blog/twitter-who I have long intended to have a marathon watch of Doctor Who. It has always been on the cards, as I have never experienced the 1963-1989 era of the show in order before, viewing has always been completely out of order for me. A little like travel by the TARDIS. So now that I have all of the DVD's, and all of the soundtracks for the 'missing' episodes, it just seems the right time for me to do this. To embark on my Doctor Who journey in chronological order, for the first ever time (outside of the TV Movie, and the relaunch of the show in 2005). Especially since the new Peter Capaldi Era has just started on television too, and is shaking things about a bit, rebooting everything in a way. It is time to go back to 'the Beginning', to how it all originally started. So on twitter last week, I decided that this is precisely what I would do this weekend -
The weekend of my Doctor Who marathon has now arrived. My mission - to watch every episode from the start. For the 'missing' episodes that will include soundtracks, animations and reconstructions. I'll also throw in the odd extra episodes where I see fit - things like Dimensions in Time (it's controversial, but I like it!), The Curse of Fatal Death, Scream of the Shalka, and the two new series animations, The Infinite Quest and Dreamland. I might even throw in BBC audio and radio plays, like Exploration Earth, The Pescatons, Slipback, The Paradise of Death, The Ghosts of N-Space and Death Comes to Time. You will just have to wait and see. The Big Finish version of Shada is certainly a must though. I'll definitely be listening to the Big Finish Eighth Doctor Audios for Paul McGann's era too. Who knows where else I will add little surprises?

Something that has always hindered me starting a marathon run of Doctor Who is the time that it takes to write my reviews. I always have so much to say! I just can't stop writing! So I have hit upon a novel plan, to help me to limit myself, to keep my comments brief and on topic. I will write a Tweet Review of each story, once I have watched it, in about four tweets (or a few more for longer stories, like The Daleks' Master Plan). (Edit - my first revelation, I might have to use more than four tweets, I may just have to use whatever number I need!) Once I have completed a season, I will collect all of those relevant tweets in a seasonal blog (so if you miss any, don't panic!). I set my mission, and my ground rules, on twitter below. Welcome, to Twitter Who!

Let the sounds of dum-de-dum, and the swirls of black & white howlround, wash over your eyes and ears ...
<![CDATA['Return to Nerva - Return to your Childhood!']]>Sun, 03 Mar 2013 18:02:25 GMThttp://mydoctorwhojourney.weebly.com/blog/return-to-nerva-return-to-your-childhoodDESTINATION: NERVA

Tom Baker joining Big Finish - it really is something rather special! Big Finish itself is something special. They display a deep affection, and a deep respect, for Doctor Who. A brilliant company to do business with. At their heart, you see, they love stories. And I love listening to stories, storytelling positively warms my heart. Me and Big Finish - it's a mindbogglingly perfect match!
    I always hoped that Tom Baker would eventually join the brilliance of Big Finish. That too seemed like the most wonderful, perfect match to me. Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Paul McGann, continue to add the most beautifull of tales to their eras of the show. Expanding and transcending them even. Tom Baker was the only Doctor from the classic era that was missing. And that was a crying shame. Despite having spent SEVEN whole years on television, with the Fourth Doctor there is always a new adventure to tell. And audio is a whole new angle in which to convey it.  Latterly, though, I had started to fear that that new angle might never happen for Tom's Doctor. Something I'd have accepted, grudgingly (there are more important things in life), but it would still have been tinged with the utmost sadness.
    How delighted I am then, that it finally, truly, has happened! I'm happy and grinning, from ear to ear (a toothy grin, you might well ask?!). It's better late than never, (and I'm late to this particular party!). I have joined the ride of the Fourth Doctor Adventures on Big Finish, and what a great ride it is! Laughs, thrills, genuine scares ... Destination: Nerva has all of these, and more!  It's Philip Hinchcliffe Doctor Who in bucketloads, with (dare I say it?!) a little Graham Williams too, and something touchingly modern. It's the Fourth Doctor's era. A transcendental arena for storytelling. How splendid to lie back and pretend that you're back in that era. You really can time travel with Doctor Who, and it is as much about your own memories, and experiences, and who you are, than it is about the show itself and which year or Doctor you're hearing (or watching). I try not to list my favourites in Doctor Who, because I honestly love something along every point of Doctor Who's 50 year journey, but Tom Baker's era is definitely is one of my favourites. Hinchcliffe, Williams, the epilogue by JNT, and now Big Finish. What a glorious Doctor Tom Baker is. Thank you so much Big Finish, for giving us even more adventures with him, to experience and cherish!
    Destination: Nerva is a special story. I wasn't sure what to make of it all at first, but following the cliffhanger, and well into 'Part Two', I was hooked. In many ways, Nerva was the perfect place to go, the perfect place to begin. It takes us right back to the start of the Fourth Doctor's era, while also taking us somewhere new. I went through so many emotions. I grinned as I felt a connection to a memory from childhood, I laughed at a funny piece of witticism, I developed a lump in my throat in one particular scene in 'Part Two' (shh ... spoilers!!) and I was genuinely touched, and moved, by the final scene, and speech, from the Doctor. Following on from The Talons of Weng-Chiang is just perfect.
    I have always been intrigued by the dynamic that exists between Leela and the Fourth Doctor, the young savage and the wise teacher. It's comparable to the roles of 'Henry Higgins' and 'Eliza Doolittle' in Pygmalion. And I love Pygmalion. It's my favourite play; it has been since I read and studied it at school. I love that it's being referenced here. Of all the attributes about Leela and the Doctor, I love their Pygmalion style relationship. In many ways, it's the same idea that they used much later on in Doctor Who, with the Seventh Doctor and Ace - the professor and the student. Without spoiling any of the key speeches, or any of the key scenes, it is conspicuous and at the forefront of the storytelling here. In the original analysis, I always felt that Leela's character reached her peak in The Talons of Weng-Chiang, and was then more or less wasted in Season 15. Which was a crying shame. It's a dynamic that offers so much drama - seeing how the instinctive person, and then the learned person, reacts to events and bounces off each other. So, to return to that original concept of Leela, and her relationship with the Fourth Doctor, is a definite plus point for me, and one which I'm looking forward to following through the rest of the series. They are quite my favourite pairing (well, one of them at least!), done great justice by the script, which affords them plenty opportunities to display Leela's more savage and tribal instincts, alongside the Fourth Doctor's calmer and wiser musings. It is helped by Tom Baker (almost as though he has never been away!) and Louise Jameson (slipping straight back into her character!) both being on fine acting form. Proper drama comes out of character, and Nerva does that for me. It's a small scale story (of bigger implications to imagine), with a small cast of characters. Characters that I can relate to. The heroes, and the innocents, who I care about, due to the little details that make them human, family, and friends, and workmates. In the villians, with their egos, and their power, and their ultimate corruption (the dark side of humanity), I feel revulsion at. Yet, and this is a powerful accomplishment in drama, I still feel some pity for them. They are currupted humans, but they are still humans.
    This story could only be told by Doctor Who. What other series could take you from an historical and alien mystery in Victorian London ( think The War of the Worlds), through a journey into space and the space opera of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and on to a final confrontation of horrors reminiscent of Alien? That is Doctor Who, and it is fully encapsulated in Destination: Nerva.
    For so many fans "it's Saturday teatime in 1977 all over again" really will be what this is. And that is such a wonderful, heartwarming thing for people; to capture the feeling of when you were young. For me, listening to this story has evoked a different time, but one with no less meaning. For me, "it's Sunday afternoon in 1994 all over again", when I rushed to the television to watch and enjoy Tom Baker in Pyramids of Mars, and that was a very innocent, relaxing and enjoyable time in my life. It was a somewhat poignant moment, to close my eyes on a Sunday,  to lie back and listen, and to really feel like I was back in 1994 once more. It is a memory unique to me, but then, all our reminiscences are unique to ourselves. I will say this - enjoy your childhood as much as you can; those days are some of the best of your life, and if you are given an opportunity to relive them, GRAB it! I am more than happy, to be able to travel back in time to those days, while not forgetting to look forwards too. The Fourth Doctor Adventures are nostalgic, in certain ways, but they are also ruthlessly modern, pointing the way to the future and a brave new world. We're all a part of that - the past, the present, and the future: it's our lives.
    Doctor Who has always been about beginnings, and endings. Final endings and new beginnings. It's about jumping on points. It's one big adventure. You can join at the start and work forwards. Join at the end and work backwards. Or join in the middle (like I did!) and work back and forth. You can journey with the Doctor in order or out of order. It doesn't matter. Make the adventure your own! There are so many possible jumping on points - especially since Doctor Who reinvents itself all the time. There's An Unearthly Child, Spearhead from Space, The TV Movie, Rose, The Eleventh Doctor and, more recently, The Snowmen. There are many other ways to jump into the fun - with a Target novelization, a Virgin New Adventure or a BBC Book, or (and this is a good one!) a Big Finish audio. There are plenty of stories to jump in, with Big Finish - The Sirens of Time, Storm Warning, Blood of the Daleks and now, to add to that list, Destination: Nerva. Don't just take my word for it (well, actually, please do!), head here and find out for yourself - Destination: Nerva. Remember to check out the rest of the Big Finish site too, while you're there, there's a lot of great audios to find! Discover one and jump right in - anywhere you like, anytime you like, that's the great thing about it: it's your adventure. I jumped in to Big Finish at the end of 1999, and the beginning of 2000, and it's very much taken me back to my childhood (if I ever grew up, and away, from it in the first place!!). It's an amazing ride, and you'll never regret it!

"Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It's only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They've survived flood, famine and plague. They've survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They're indomitable. Indomitable."
<![CDATA['You and Who' - 'Celebrate, Regenerate!' from 'Behind the Sofa']]>Tue, 29 Jan 2013 22:16:11 GMThttp://mydoctorwhojourney.weebly.com/blog/you-and-who-celebrate-regenerate-from-behind-the-sofaWe're now in the 50th Anniversary year of Doctor Who, which will culminate on the 23rd of November 2013, and we're seeing as much enthusiasm, and as many great fan projects, surrounding the series as we ever have. What a glorious year we are going to make it!
    It is my intention to celebrate three of those projects here. All three are inspiring, displaying a love for Doctor Who and beyond, and each deserves a mention, so here we go ...
'You and Who'

It is December 2012. Winter. I've arrived home from work, on a cold, dark evening, and there's a package waiting for me. Inside it - three copies of something beautiful and special. The book that is pictured on the left - 'You and Who'. It fairly warmed my mood, after a tiring day, and touched my heart, and (if you've not yet read it!), it will have the same affect on you! I found it amazing, as I finished the introduction and read through the first essay. The years, the stories, and the circumstances might have been different, but the experiences were more or less the same. A memory of my own that related would quickly pop into my head or, better still, a new thought of inspiration would! Then, as I made my way through more and more of the essays, I would find something within one that related to an earlier essay, one that I'd read only a dozen or so pages before. By a different person ... from a different time, a different place, from different circumstances, and of a different age. The similarities are actually astounding. So many of these tales relate so vividly, and that is remarkable.
    Even if you're not a fan of Doctor Who, this is a book that you can most definitely relate to, just for being a human. It is a narrative of childhood and growing up; of becoming an adult, and developing a sense of the world. We don't all start in the same place, or take the same route, and we don't all end up at exactly the same point; but 'life' is a journey that we all share, and just as much as we can join together in our similarities, we should embrace and cherish each other's differences too. That is the best sense of morality that Doctor Who has taught me, and it is fully incapsulated in 'You and Who'. This is a story about people at heart (the most memorable tales always are, whether they're real or fiction). People from different times and places. People with different backgrounds, experiences and opinions; yet people who ultimately have a great deal more in common, than even they (or I!) might have realised. A love for Doctor Who. And a love for truth, justice and hot tea (or hot chocolate in my case!).
    When I first saw the idea for 'You and Who', on an internet forum, my immediate thought was ... "Bingo!" (although, being a fan of Doctor "Eleven", it may well have been "Geronimo!", actually!). It seemed like such a brilliant idea - I knew at once that I had to contribute! I have so many fond and poignant Doctor Who memories, and it's amazing that I've been given the opportunity (and a little kick of inspiration!) to finally share them. It's even more brilliant to read the beautiful memories of others. This is a unique and special book - it really is! There have been lots of books about Doctor Who, but nothing quite like this. It's transcendental, much like the programme. Doctor Who transcends above being just a mere television show, to being about memories and experiences. The Dalek army in Planet of the Daleks wasn't frozen in an ice cavern on Spiridon ... it was frozen in the corner of my kitchen, coming to life, while I braced myself backwards in my chair in terror - it's that vivid and frightening a memory to me (especially to a child, but it's a fear that this 'big kid' still relates to today!). But ... this is not the story about Me and Who, it is the story about 'You and Who', and it's one that's transcendental. It transcends even the people who have written the essays; it transcends into something extraordinary, and something really quite special.
    You can find out more about 'You and Who' (and it's sequels!), and get yourself a copy, here - You and Who. You'll flick through it at first, then you'll start reading it cover to cover, and then you'll flick through it again. You'll keep doing this, and you'll relate to something. Something big. Something small. You will be entranced. And you will be enthralled. By a book that is pretty special - it is the tale of 'You and Who'! Geronimo!

'Celebrate, Regenerate!'

In the Summer of 2012 I found out about something exciting - a collection of celebratory reviews to mark Doctor Who's golden year. 'Celebrate, Regenerate!' is set to be one of the best, and most brlliant, books of the 50th Anniversary. What better way is there to celebrate this momentous occasion, than with a book of reviews, of every single story that has ever been shown, up to those that continue to be shown?! Not just any old reviews either - these are the reviews of our fellow Doctor Who fans, looking at our favourite show from a unique and positive perspective. I haven't been able to read any of the contributions yet (I simply can't wait to!) but the finished article will, dare I say it, be brilliant! It will be made up of the memories, thoughts and experiences that have shaped each of us as people (down to the words of every contributer, as well as the editor). The pictures will have been shaped in much the same way. Art (and books like this are definitely art!) can not help but display who we are as people. Writing and drawing (and all the rest) always bears our soul, sharing a little of our inner being with the rest of the world. And art is something that works best as a shared experience. That is the joy of something like 'Celebrate, Regenerate!' The chance to share and relate with each other. Not just as Doctor Who fans, but also as people. We can learn so much about each other, and ourselves. For one thing, I've learned a remarkable thing about my own writing ability - it is an asset to have deadlines, and word counts, and the need to edit! It makes your writing all that more stronger. I'm age 30, and still writing, and still learning ... and 'Celebrate, Regenerate!' is another of the wonderful projects that has allowed me to do that. It brings a smile to my face in so many ways.
    Why will the finished product be brilliant? It's because there is one thing that I have seen overwhelmingly linked to this project. It's not unique to just this book, but it does shine through so brightly, and really make it stand out - it's enthusiasm!! There is so much excitement and joy, and an enthusiasm, to create something brilliant. I'll be proud to have contributed to this project, and to have helped it any way that I can, because the enthusiasm it shows for our beloved programme is fantastic. I know that the response to take part has been overwhelming (rightly so), as I have read about it, and the artwork that I have seen already is simply stunning. I simply can not wait to have the final completed copy, in my hands, so that I can thumb my way lovingly through it. To find out more, and have a chance to get your name in the book, visit here - Celebrate, Regenerate! When the book comes out I know that I, for one, am going to 'Celebrate, Regenerate!' and you can too! Isn't that fantastic?!

'Behind the Sofa'

Every now and then, a truly special and meaningful book comes along. 'Behind the Sofa' is one of those books (as are the two books above). And like those two books, it transcends the television series itself. I found some of the story behind the book's conception sad and poignant, but, at the same time, hopeful and happy. The fact that 100% of the royalties are going to Alzheimer's Research UK more or less speaks for itself. I have never felt more happy to purchase a book before it;s even been published, and know that I will definitely receive it. My copy duly came along, including a PDF version in advance, and, I have to say, it is the most wonderful book. It is put together with love, and for the most meaningful purpose. It is packed full of the most vibrant and readable memories, from names that you will most probably recognise, and it features the most beautiful of artwork. It is a lovely book, and it deserves a pride of place on any book shelf. All I can say is this - if you are able to get a copy, then do! It's all for such a worthwhile cause, and such a fitting tribute to the editor, Steve Berry's, mother.
    All of these books, 'Behind the Sofa' and the two above, involve memory, the very thing that Alzheimer's takes away. Anything that can help fund further research, and possible treatments, is a good thing, and I would really like to say well done to Steve Berry, for his strength and determination in getting this book published, and to offer my very best wishes. You have truly done your mum proud!
    I'm always quite reluctant to write a review, and offer lots of spoilers, so I'll keep it short and to the point with 'Behind the Sofa'. There is one moment in the book that actually really touched me. I found myself agreeing with Michael Grade, in a certain sense (with hindsight, and in retrospect) that he made the right decision back in 1985. I have enjoyed, and love, many of Colin Baker's and Sylvester McCoy's stories (a number of them are among my favourites) and I don't dislike either of their era's, but the decisions made back then ultimately allowed for the show to have the long break that it needed (hard as it was). And that allowed the renaissance of 2005 to happen. That's a controversial view (I'm sure!) and it's not one that I even expected to come to myself, but there you go. It happened. The memories within 'Behind the Sofa' will do that. They will make you think about so much. It is, in the end, a book of love. A love for Doctor Who, and also a love for so much more. It is a triumph of a book.

More details are available here - 'Behind the Sofa'

I hope that I have done each of these three books justice, 'You and Who', 'Celebrate, Regenerate!' and 'Behind the Sofa', for each of them truly deserves it.
    Finishing, and in keeping with the art theme, I will quote one of my favourite Eleventh Doctor sayings, from Vincent and the Doctor, a quite beautiful story, where he met the artist Vincent Van Gogh ...
"The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant. And we definitely added to his pile of good things."
<![CDATA[First Post!]]>Fri, 21 Sep 2012 21:31:39 GMThttp://mydoctorwhojourney.weebly.com/blog/first-postI have finally got around to writing my first blog entry on Doctor Who! I've been meaning to do it for a while, and I really need to get back to updating all the pages here too. I must apologise, to anyone who reads my fledgling young site, for the sporadic updates. I seem to start and stop. I give myself too many writing projects at once, and then they all simmer about in my head. The Fifth Doctor once said 'the trouble with time travel is, one never seems to find the time', or thereabouts. Well, for me, I have plenty of time, and yet never seem to find the time to bring any order to my writing! Perhaps this is more than appropriate, as I am an 'out of order' Doctor Who fan after all. I never know where I'm going. The TARDIS always takes the Doctor to where he needs to go though (if not necessarily where he wants to go), and my writing always takes me to where I need to go (eventually anyway!). I hope the Doctor would be proud of that. If you're feeling a bit confused, in any way, don't worry - I'm often a confusing person!
    I don't think there has ever been a better time to be a Doctor Who fan - 2013 will be a special and spectacular year. The 50th Anniversary is looming, and I have decided to embark upon my very own countdown. A televisual feast, and more besides, to celebrate this 'Golden' event. As I took the first steps of my trip, I found myself falling in love with this amazing show all over again. This isn't unusual. It happens to me all the time. Just once in a while Doctor Who reminds you, of the reason why you find it so wonderful.
    I lost track on my original countdown journey, for one reason or another. So I've decided to restart it from the beginning - to let my hair down, to have fun, and to see where it goes! My mission - to watch two stories from each Doctor, to travel from William Hartnell through to Matt Smith. To make it personal & unique, I'll be viewing those stories that matter the most to me. And it won't all be in chronological order either, not entirely. That's how I became a fan and that's how I enjoy Doctor Who. It's more fun that way! It feels like I'm capturing a little of the early days of the show, the excitement of not knowing where the good Doctor will take you (aside from into danger & trouble, most of the time!). I love to mix it all up a little bit. The past, the present, the future or sideways - hopefully that's where my path down memory lane will go. And to keep it out of sequence, I will end at 'The Beginning' - somehow that seems the most appropriate place for my voyage to take me. I'm not going to witter on and on about each story, this is supposed to be lighthearted and snappy! So I'll restrict any postings to a summary - 100 words or less, about why I enjoy the story in question. Hopefully that will keep everything quick and enjoyable. And readable. Here then, is the list of stories that I'll be watching. Anything else Doctor Who related, that I encounter along the way, I'll write about too. Best wishes, and stay tuned!

The Chase
The War Machines
The Ice Warriors
The Invasion
Planet of the Daleks
The Daemons
Pyramids of Mars
The Talons of Weng-Chiang
The Awakening
The Trial of A Time Lord
Remembrance of the Daleks
The Curse of Fenric
Doctor Who - The Movie
The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances
The Christmas Invasion
Human Nature/The Family of Blood
The Eleventh Hour
Vincent and the Doctor

The Five Doctors
An Unearthly Child
The Daleks
The Edge of Destruction

*LATE UPDATE - I eventually lost track of this countdown. Life got in the way (as it so often does!), and, in the event, it all transpired rather differently. I watched The Chase and The War Machines as I had originally planned. Then I watched The Ice Warriors, Planet of the Daleks, Pyramids of Mars, The Awakening, and The Two Doctors, all in rapid succession (and all favourites!), before ending with Remembrance of the Daleks. Remembrance of the Daleks has always been the 'Fan' 25th Anniversary story in my eyes, and that made it an appropriate place to end, 2013 being it's own '25th Anniversay' and all that. Time flies, at least aboard the TARDIS it always does, journeying from 1963 through to 1988, and then on to 2013 (with all the bits in the middle, and even beyond). (I should say here - I'm not dismissing Silver Nemesis at all, I'm actually pretty fond of the 'Official' 25th Anniversary story, wobbly bits and all!). There is a whole new story in all of this, and the rest of my 50th Anniversary experience to tell, a tale that I very much hope to relate to you all, one day. Time will tell. It always does in Doctor Who.