“BOOM!” exclaimed Ace, banging her fist down on the table and sending drinks flying everywhere. Of course we all remember that closing scene from Part One of Sylvester McCoy’s “Battlefield”. But Ace could have been describing my own head as it exploded last week, bombarded with wave after wave of incessant Whovian bombshells. Not that I am not complaining. Far from it. The anniversary has been celebrated suitably in style. The Doctor has been done justice. But my poor head! I can’t take any more! At this point might I ask you, dear reader, to gently shake your tablet or smartphone, so we can simulate a shimmer effect as we travel back in time…
I pressed on the buzzer of the intercom. No answer. I waited and pressed again. In that precise moment my trusty Whovian app, WhoNews, went “beep beep”. It was a push notification on my Ipad Mini. So what was up? What was the latest on the Whovian scene? I perused the articles, oblivious to the intercom. WHAT? MCGANN? NIGHT OF THE DOCTOR? I clicked frantically on the link to take me to this unbelievable news! But in vain. I cursed my fingers for being too big for my tablet. Yet with a slightly gentler and more accurate press, I was swept away onto a crashing spaceship. A girl was screaming at her controls. I watched in awe. Then McGann. The Eighth Doctor. Back. After almost twenty years. Oh my god. I wanted to cry! “I’m a Doctor!”, he chirped, “but maybe not the one you are expecting!” I repeated those words out loud to myself, now laughing. “HELLO? Who’s there?” said the intercom. “Not the one you are expecting!” I said again, shaking my head in disbelief. “SORRY?” said the intercom. Fortunately with a peremptory “Hi! It’s me!” all was resolved. I had left my interlocutor, however, with further proof of my fading sanity.
After multiple viewings, or rather multiple multiple viewings, I started to calm down. Or at least I tried. Over the next few days the BBC threw Whovian flotsam and jetsam at me in a brave attempt to shake me out of my now recovered calm and composed demeanour. “The Ultimate Guide” was extremely well done, but I’d seen “talking heads” before. Professor Brian? Mickey, the other one, that cheeky jobseeker from “The League of Gentlemen” played by Mark Gatiss, laughed immaturely inside my brain. We witnessed an excellently delivered lecture, but alas the science did not appeal. As for “The Last Day”, this minisode failed to excite as well. The Time Lords were too macho and the Daleks too Eighties’ video game. But then again what could possibly trump McGann’s triumphant return?
Then came “Adventures in Time and Space”. Yours truly was hooked from the outset. The script was well-paced, performances wonderful and what’s more we got to see classic Hartnell scenes in glorious technocolour! I was in tears watching David Bradley as he portrayed William Hartnell at home, who admitted awkwardly to his wife about leaving the role. But slowly through my sobs came a smile, as Reece Shearsmith, another hero of mine from the “The League of Gentlemen”, sauntered into Tardistown in his tramp-like attire. His quirky take on Patrick Troughton was perfect. His bubbly interpretation contrasted perfectly with that of the stern and solemn Bradley. That scene perfectly conveyed the shock and trauma involved in changing the lead role of a well-established series. It was gargantuan.
Unsurprisingly I was neither calm nor composed when it came to “The Day of the Doctor”. On a personal front, you know, that thing called reality, I was very excited that Litro, a London-based literary magazine, had decided to publish my winning entry to celebrate the Doctor’s fiftieth anniversary. But that of course was not, though it came very close to being, the main event of the day. I paced up and down, looking at the clock, waiting for the anniversary episode to arrive. Time stood still. It was if I was trapped inside my own personal time bubble and the “Evening of the Doctor” would never come. But of course it did.
Tennant, Zygons, Hurt, regeneration, Gallifrey and TOM BAKER! (That was my episode review by the way) The nitro-nine inside my noggin went BOOM! I sat on the sofa, not able to take any more. No “after party” for me. It could wait. I went to bed and for the first time in years, the day after an episode had aired, I didn’t get up early in anxious expectation of ratings news. Something inside told me the episode would do quite well, my boy, quite well. In fact I was scarily confident. I got up at midday and almost casually, if I may say so, switched on my Ipad Mini. Beep beep! Beep beep! Beep beep! WhoNews informed me from at least three different Whovian sites that “The Day of the Doctor” had achieved 10.2 million viewers overnight. So I had breakfast. Corn Flakes. You can’t live off Who, you know. But now it was time to watch the “after party” and I cringed. I watched “The Fivish Doctors Reboot” and I laughed out loud. Our dream had come true. Peter, Colin and Sly were in the anniversary episode after all!
The next day, beep beep! There was casting news about the Christmas episode. I caught the train. Beep beep! I went to work. Beep beep! I felt the nitro-nine in my head starting to smoulder dangerously. Beep beep! I love Doctor Who. But I need a break. It has been the most wonderful anniversary. But I need a Time Lord gun. Not to blast my bleeping beeping Ipad to smithereens, but to carve, Hurt-like, into the wall “NO MORE!” It is less than a month till Christmas. Moffat knows, I can wait. We have waited longer in the past and we will wait even longer in the future. We are hardened to a life without Who. So that when the show comes back, in the words of that girl with the nitro-nine, it cannot fail to be “ACE”!
Best Who app ever! http://who-news.com/
My Litro article: http://www.litro.co.uk/2013/11/doctor-who-the-curse-of-the-celery/