The 1990s might be sore point for many – specifically to Doctor Who fans; I don’t mean anyone averse to denim (then again…) – but equally, a lot of good came out of it. Just think of all the books, the audio stories, writers like Gareth Roberts, Mark Gatiss, and Paul Cornell given their first chance to play with the toys – and without the hiatus, Russell T. Davies wouldn’t have ushered in a new era!
Now, Obverse Books is celebrating the so-called Wilderness Years – the period between 1989 and 2005 – in Downtime: The Lost Years of Doctor Who, written by Dylan Rees with a cover by Blair Bidmead.
Following Survival, it fell to the fans to safeguard the legacy of the show. By licensing individual characters and monsters and hiring actors – including all the surviving Doctors and many of his companions – who had appeared on the show, the likes of Bill Baggs, Alan Stevens, Nick Briggs, Mark Gatiss, and Keith Barnfather created something more than ersatz Doctor Who: a whole industry which kept the Who flame – sacred flame; sacred fire – alive when it might otherwise have died completely.
With 40 new interviews with key members of the teams behind such companies as BBV, Magic Bullet, and Reeltime, author Dylan Rees investigates and analyses every Who-linked unofficial release from War Time all the way to The Minister of Chance, and speaks to all of the major creative talent involved in each project. Rees says:
“The book is really the story of fan ingenuity and creativity, and the careers that were forged or failed through these productions.”
Downtime is Rees’ first book, but he’s previously contributed articles to Celestial Toyroom, You and Who Else, and Breakin’ Point Magazine. Outside of writing, he is a freelance Production Manager and Producer within the film and TV industry.
Downtime is out now, with paperback and electronic versions available directly from Obverse at discount prices.