I don’t want to embarrass you so I’m writing this in a secret code that only a true Doctor Who fan will understand.
I’ve been posting reviews on fan audio dramas for at least a year now, and after rels of block transfer computation, Argolin mathematics and temporal engineering, have arrived at the realization that I have received an average of naught point naught naught comments on my articles. There was some difficult rounding at some stages, and I had to take into account that at one time the Internet glitched and random characters showed up across the page. There was also some consideration given to the time that I even thought about posting a comment myself to, you know, just get the ball rolling. But in the end even I remained silent, and the result of net comments was a number far below expectations. Yes, that’s right, editorial corrections & comments from the webmaster notwithstanding, not one of you have given the Helmic regulator a twist.
Now cutting to The Chase, I’ve consulted with WOTAN and there’s a general consensus that the problem is that most, if not all of you have simply not set one foot outside of Gallifrey. All your knowledge comes from books at the academy. There’s no real-world experience. Most of you are content to simply observe Doctor Who on your time-space visualizer. You stay at home and play with your celestial toymaker, and when you’re in one of those moments between the now and the now, when there’s no Who on the tele, you boot up your pharos project and complain to galaxy four at large that you can’t wait for the next Solonian summer. Beyond that you do nothing to feed that Androgum side of you, to feed your DW addiction like it was Vraxoin.
Now I may just be a dumb, but I’m pretty super voc about liking fan productions, and I can only speculate why you’re choosing to close your mind like a caveman in 1,000,000 years B.C. I’m here today to put you on the trial of a timelord and try to ascertain as to why you won’t run away in the fan Tardis, hopefully to convince you to visit Voga, the planet of gold.
I can hear them now, all of the reasons you’ve never listened to fan audios. The first argument you have is that if it’s not canon Who, you’re not interested. You’re too much of a grown-up Susan to waste time on such matters. Well that’s just a bit of wibbly wobbly timey-whining. We all know that you’re not entirely thrilled with some of the new series on TV. Sure, it’s great at times, but other times it’s more pre-teen fantasy than the sci-fi drama that you crave. Yet you still tune in every week. You even watch it again when there’s nothing else on, every episode… even that one with the girl and the crayon. Now okay fan dramas are made with semi-professional or amateur actors, and sometimes sport simple scripts that are obvious or incongruous, but at least they don’t have relations with a paving stone, or a baddie whose raison-de-etre is breaking wind. I’m not saying fan fiction is perfect, but everyone involved is there because they WANT to be. As such they take their Time and the Rani very seriously. They try very hard, and on that level the quality can be just phenomenal. Not everyone can be Big Finish, but many are better than you think, and many of them are far more entertaining than that canon experience you both tout there’s no substitute for and berate like a wolf weed at the whip at every turn.
What’s the next big argument? Time and timelord waits for no man? You’re talking antimatter man. I’ve read your posts time and again saying “I’m out of podcasts to listen to”. Stop pretending your precious time is bigger on the inside. You’re just sewing the seeds of doom.
How about, “I’ve got no time for that”. Poppycock! Did you know that most audio dramas are broken into episodes that average between 13 and 22 minutes each? They even take the classic who methodology and do a brief recap from the previous cliffhanger to help you remember how we left our hero hanging from his umbrella in an ice cave. If you have time enough to read this article this far, you’ve got time enough to listen to something far more interesting.
Next excuse? Let me guess, you wouldn’t even know where to begin. Well, dear reader that’s why I started writing reviews about fan audio dramas in the first place. Well, that and for some side money, but that part never really went anywhere, so now I’m concentrating on the former. At the very least check out the synopsis of the stories and see what sounds appealing. Want a cast that sounds like the TV actors, check out “Exhausted Supplies”. Want to repair a bit of TV broken continuity? “Empire of the Daleks” has you covered .“Want a pseudo-historical because they’re not making enough in the real show? Try “Terror of the Arctic”. Wartime? “Faces of the Dead”. Want an anniversary story? Check out “Jubilee” (not to be confused with the amazing Big Finish production of the same name… check that one out for sure). How about re-visiting one of your favorite planets and further exploring the mythology? Try “Marinus Alone”. If you’re into original monsters, delve into “Target Zylon. Unit? “Grave White North”. If you crave an extended tale, listen to the “Dark Journey” series. Or if you’re in the holiday spirit, check out the story behind my very first posted review, “A Cause for Caroling”. How about adventure with a side of comedy? Please tell me you’ve listened to “Operation Pandorica”.
The excuses continue. Sure, people might make fun of you for listening to audio dramas. but you’re a Dr Who fan, you’re used to being made fun of. Besides you have headphones, no one has to know. If they do make fun of you, tell them to look into the un-tempered schism (no, don’t do that, or they’ll make more fun of you).
The truth is, you haven’t done it yet because you’re afraid. You’re afraid you will like it, and then you won’t be able to stop. You’re afraid you’ll crash into pre-historic Earth, but if you don’t try the codes you’ll never know if you were right. So, do it before someone destroys the controls.
Hopefully I’ve reversed the polarity of the neutron flow for you. There’s a whole universe to explore, and you’re missing the adventure of a lifetime. Fan audios are a gift of the timelords and you’re missing your flight to Brisbane out of Heathrow. I implore you to give it a try. If you don’t I’ll come to your house and wrangle Zarbies on your lawn until your neighbors despise you. And when you do finally enter the eye of harmony, please, leave me a comment. I’d love to hear what you think.
Do you wield a Sonic Quill? We're calling all Whovian Scribes who have a voice and are keen to get their ideas out there. Perhaps you write Doctor Who Fan Fiction, essays on the most obscure facets of the Whoniverse, or maybe you want to review the local stage adaptation of 'Blink'. Either way, if you'd like to join the ranks of our WBW Correspondents, get in touch and we'll chat.