Today, it’s The Doctor Who Companion‘s fifth birthday!
That’s right: it’s been half a decade since we officially launched, although the transition from Kasterborous to the DWC had been a long process and we’d posted teasers since mid-February 2016. Since then, a lot has happened. But it still feels like early days for the DWC. At least, it does to me. I’m hoping that we’ve settled into a nice little groove, but that there still feels plenty to explore, plenty to do.
It’s odd, though, that this year also marks 10 years since I joined Kasterborous. 10 years since I emailed Christian Cawley out the blue and asked whether he’d be interested in a news article from me. It’s doubly odd, then, that this past Wednesday (24th March 2021) was the first time we’ve actually spoken. Christian offered to interview me about my upcoming book, 100 Objects of Dr Who, on the PodKast With A K. Of course, we’ve chatted continuously by email, instant messenger, et al., but this week was the first time we’ve heard conversed in a semi-traditional manner (albeit still via digital platform).
I never knew he was Northern; he didn’t know I’m Welsh.
That’s a joke. He’s Northern, of this I have been long aware (whippets and cobbled lanes are frequently mentioned); and I’ve never even seen Gavin and Stacey. You’ll be able to hear this podcast in time. After Christian has edited out all the scandal.
Nonetheless, this got me thinking about this community. We talk a lot about communities. Mostly in woolly terms. “They were there for me”, and all of that. Sometimes, when you see people doing that on Twitter, you feel an overwhelming urge to tell them to get over themselves. It can be mawkish, particularly right now, during lockdown, when half the people extolling the virtues of checking on elderly neighbours also can’t be bothered to pick up some shopping for them. And yet.
I received a lovely email the other day from a contributor. Actually, I received many. I’m afraid I have started to drift away from Doctor Who somewhat, something I never thought I’d actually do, but these kindly folks pull me back. So too do messages from other editors and publishers. And comments. And actually, it’s not so much that I’m magnetised by Doctor Who: it’s the people.
Without that silly little show, I wouldn’t know any of you, and you wouldn’t know me, and I wouldn’t be writing this. This is getting very Inferno, isn’t it?
Look, I’m normally a bit quiet about stuff I’ve been working on, but I’m really proud of the DWC. That’s because it’s not solely me. Far from it. We’ve got a thriving mass of writers and commenters, and each brings their own thing to the site. It means that we’ve got something for everyone, that we can offer something a bit different, that many voices can be heard.
That’s important to me. Always has been. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing and it pains me to see not only civil liberties leaking away but also the shocking number of people who are fine with that, or, even worse, who see it as somehow liberal.
So yes, we have differing opinions here and that works just fine for most of us. If there’s an opinion you don’t agree with, that’s cool – another opinion will be along shortly.
We do have lots to come. Across the Easter holidays, we’ve got plenty of features and reviews lined up, alongside your standard helping of news.
For instance, Elliot Wood concludes his reviews of Big Finish’s The Fourth Doctor Adventures: Series 10. We’ve a collective feature on Revolution of the Daleks. Peter Shaw recalls discovering a missing Doctor Who story (sort of). Rick Lundeen questions whether Doctor Who should really enjoy a “shared universe” like the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). And Colin Burden mulls over immortality.
Oh, and we’ve a very special interview incoming…
And lots more!
So thank you for indulging this brief fancy. Today is a good day to celebrate. Half a decade: thank you to everyone who has worked to make the DWC what it is.
Anyway, yes, the DWC has been my longest project to date made with the intention of getting Karen Gillan to notice me. Five – years – and – counting…