Q/A David J Howe

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David J Howe, Doctor Who Appreciation Society

What are the best and worst things about Doctor Who fandom?

I've been involved in fandom all my life! The best things are the friendships which have been forged over the years. People I know through Doctor Who, who I first met back when I was a wee nipper, are still great mates today.

The worst thing by far is the sense of elitism which some fans get when they move up from being just a 'humble fan' to having some involvement in some aspect of the show or its merchandise. How they take on an air of superiority and favour (deserved or not). Not everyone suffers from this, and many people involved in the professional aspects today are lovely. It's just one or two who let their disdain for others show a little too clearly.


Should they make a big-screen Who movie?

Why not? They're remaking everything else as movies these days, so why not Who? Just as long as people don't get their knickers in a twist when the TARDIS is a garden shed, the Doctor a 19 year old maths wizard from Corby, and the plot is based around an unused episode of The Big Bang Theory.


Either all of Doctor Who ever or the entire panda species - which gets the bullet?

Pandas just are... they're part of nature. And they eat bamboo. Doctor Who is a creative endeavour, lots of people worked really hard to make it, and it gives pleasure to millions. I've never seen a real panda, so I'm not even sure they actually exist anyway. Doctor Who is certainly real and has affected and impacted more lives than pandas have ... so I guess it's a massive apology to all the pandanistas out there...


Which Doctor would/wouldn't you like to be trapped in a lift with and why?

I'd actually like to be trapped in a lift with any of them.

1: Would berate the security guard over the intercom and rap on the doors with his cane until we were freed;

2: Would open the hatch on the ceiling and escape up to the roof;

3: Would dismantle the mechanism while whistling some jaunty number and fix it;

4: Would use his sonic screwdriver and fix it;

5: Would look all flustered a lot, and then use something from a pocket to cause the lift to start working again in an unlikely manner;

6: Would just break the doors down;

7: Would mutter mysteriously and reveal he was a lift technician sent by the mysterious Lift-mending Gods of Gallifrey;

8: Would use a lock pick stolen from a burglar to fix the lift;

9: Would discuss philosophy while waiting for the lift to work again;

10: Would be rescued by himself, having gone back in time to rescue himself once he was rescued; and

11: He would reveal that the lift was all part of a much bigger picture involving all the aliens he had ever defeated, as well as several Amy Ponds of all ages, and get out of the situation using a satsuma and an old copy of The Beano, while saving a small child from the aliens under his bed.


Have you ever watched The Web Planet twice?

Yes. I may even have watched it more often than that.


Describe Matthew Waterhouse in three words.

Why oh why?


Has a Doctor Who story ever made you cry?

Yes, lots of the new Series ones. Sometimes I hate Russell and Stephen ... they have a nack for creating characters and situations which really tug on the old heart strings. I'm just an old romantic at heart ...


Why is Doctor Who better than Star Trek or Star Wars?

It just is, okay? And if you want to debate it, there's this forum called Gallifrey Base, where there are lots and lots of people who would love to hear your views on that.


Who is the sexiest Doctor Who producer?

What a strange question. I don't find any of them sexy :)


Complete this sentence: Daleks are brilliant because...

...they are always the same? Actually, I'm not a fan of the Daleks. Never found them scary. My monster of choice would be the Cybermen.


Have you deliberately been to a Doctor Who location?



Have you ever thought about Doctor Who during sexual intercourse?



What evidence is there in your home that you like Doctor Who?

Lots. I try to keep it all to one room as far as I can though .. but those Dalek toys and pieces of artwork tend to creep out from time to time.


Give us a hint of the most scandalous behind the scenes Doctor Who gossip you know.

I don't do gossip... mainly because no-one ever tells me anything!



David J Howe, 103, is famous the world over as the former head of the Reference Department of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society (otherwise known as TWATS). As the founder of the Telos publishing company, he has produced many books on Doctor Who, including The Target Book: A History of the Target Doctor Who Books and the recent The Comic Strip Companion: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who in Comics: 1964 - 1979.



Q/A: David J Howe
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