On the ninety-second edition of Reality Bomb, we’re talking about Russell T Davies’ return to showrunning Doctor Who, what that means and the challenges ahead, with Evan Teng, Head Over Feels’ Kim Rogers and Guardian writer Martin Belam. We travel back to 2003 to talk about the original announcement that Russell was coming to Doctor Who with Lisa Gledhill, Jim Sangster and Nick Abadzis. And KatyBeth Schmid plans to break into the Gallery of the Underrated with Time Heist. Plus a conversation with one’s self from 2010!
2 thoughts on “Reality Bomb Episode 092”
I too was hyped by the announcement of RTD’s return. But something has been troubling me throughout all the celebrations. It was only this year that we were discussing the actions of Noel Clarke and John Barrowman on the sets of RTD’s shows. There’s no doubt that at the time, Russel had, if not endorsed, known full well about Barrowman’s behaviour, even having it feature in his leaving video. While I have faith that the on set environment will be very different these days, it troubles me how little this aspect of his tenure has been discussed. The effect his show running had on Christopher Eccleston, for example, echoes through my mind.
Anyway, great episode, but now that the dust has settled, I would love this part of the news to get some focus.
Thanks so much for this episode.
I was familiar with the classic series from our local PBS station, of course. I even saw the new Doctor — Colin Baker — and JNT at a Doctor Who convention in Columbus, OH, in the mid-’80s, which was my one and only Doctor Who con experience.
I did not get on board with the new series till 2010 or so, when I discovered Doctor Who on Netflix and watched all the Eccleston and Tennant episodes I could to stave off death by grad-school. As a result, I really only got on board in real-time when Matt Smith and Steven Moffat arrived, so I consider Matt *my* doctor and Moffat *my* showrunner.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I was so taken aback and moved by the interview with Lisa Gledhill, Jim Sangster, and Nick Abadzis on their mix of excitement and trepidation about Russell T Davies relaunching Doctor Who. It was one of the most emotional and powerful pieces Graeme has done; I listened to it again just to hear those rich, emotional stories and be with them all as they re-experienced what it was like to be a Doctor Who fan at that time and place.
Listening to their stories — particularly Lisa’s about watching “Rose” at her parents’ house, knowing her family was watching her as much as the show — it struck me how the real power of Doctor Who is in the nostalgia. Where were we when we first saw that episode? What was happening to us? Were we watching the Doctor to enjoy the story or to escape from whatever was dogging us? Doctor Who as a marker of our journey on Spaceship Earth, notching where we were and who we were.
Even Graeme’s memories of the time are awash with excitement and anticipation — we fans seem to love remembering and talking about the circumstances surrounding our watching of a given episode, even beyond talking about the episode itself. We can’t just see the Doctor and Rose — we are seeing ourselves as we were when we saw them, traveling in our own mental time machine back to when we saw it, who we saw it with, what we did after we saw it, how we felt before, during, and after. Do other fandoms cherish their shows and hold them close in the same way?
As I heard Lisa, Jim, and Nick reliving that time, it made me relive my times, my memories, and my sitting in a condo in Florida at Christmas, in front of my black MacBook, putting off that research paper on how information management can impact decision-making and risk analysis because who cares, really, when there is so much more Doctor Who to watch.