Firing Loose Canons: Back in the Saddle

Sometimes the stars align. Mostly though, it’s sheer blind luck.

It’s been too long since I wrote one of these columns. Mostly because I’ve not made much progress on Loose Canon of late. Mostly because life happens. I met someone last year. Someone interesting enough to drag me away from my word processor and alternate Doctors. Someone so interesting that I find myself preparing for a wedding in the next year or so.

Of course, about the same kind of time I met the future Mrs Shaw, my computer also blew up, taking a lot of my research with it. And I do mean a lot. Some stuff I was able to reclaim as I’d saved it to my Google drive, but there was a lot left stranded on that hard drive.

But I was a little too distracted to spend much time with it. I’d accidentally moved out of my house and the little time I was there, I was looking after my kids. I love my kids, I really do, but they’re just not conducive to a peaceful writing environment.

One of the things I missed most was my previous work for Kasterborous Towers. In particular, An Infinite Number of Doctors (which you’ll be able to read on the DWC shortly) and my interview with Lee Sullivan regarding the ginger Doctor he drew for Peter Anghelides. I’d arranged for my content to be deleted when I moved from the K to the Doctor Who Companion – and guess where the back ups were stored?

As it turns out, Christian Cawley, my former editor and still an occasional writer for the DWC, had copies of some of my stuff, including An Infinite Number of Doctors, but that still left me needing to trawl through my emails if I wanted to re-read that interview.

And then several things happened at once that thrust me right back into the project. One of them happened to be Lee Sullivan…

One of the frustrations I had encountered previously was that I knew, KNEW, that I’d read about a Doctor Who comic strip starring Peter Cushing’s Doctor at some point, but I couldn’t find any trace of it online for some reason. Then Lee published a link on Facebook to an old comic he’d drawn back in the ’90s and lo and behold, it was the exact comic I had been thinking of. Of course, now that I go back and look at some of my sources, I find references to ‘The Daleks versus the Martians’ everywhere, but it’s easier to find something when you know where it is. It transpires that it was part of a Doctor Who Magazine spring special that claimed to be the complete guide to the Cushing Doctor, so I’ve began hunting for it on eBay, so far with little success. If any of you have a spare copy lying around…

Around the same time, I got drawn into conversation with an old friend on a mutual friend’s Facebook feed. The conversation revolved round alternate Doctors and Daniel was shocked to hear that I hadn’t listened to the new Bernice Summerfield Big Finish release as it had a fairly major implications for at least one alternate Doctor. I was able to get hold of a copy and, apart from enjoying it immensely, I discovered that Daniel was absolutely right.

There was one other incident that rekindled the writing of Loose Canon, but that story will have to wait until February at the earliest. I’ll explain why later.

So here we are. At this point in time, I’m desperately trying to recover my old hard drive. Unfortunately, it came from a computer that my father had given me when my ex-wife moved out and took the PC with her. Sadly, it transpires that the machine was old enough that securing the right cables to transfer my old research over is proving problematic. But at least I’m actually actively searching for a solution. Hopefully, by the time we get to the next column, I’ll be sifting through my old files.