Of Prose and Cons
Please allow me to introduce myself.
Now, I am not a man of wealth and fame, I am Brian. However, you may know me in the Steampunk Universe as the Rev. Gonz O’Lager and as a correspondent with the Radio Rassilon podcast. I am an actual reverend and I am here to evangelize about a show and philosophy near and dear to my heart: Doctor Who. I’m told I’m a bit of an expert on the subject and, while I don’t want to boast, I think I have a pretty encyclopedic knowledge. But I don’t want to talk about me. I want to talk about a couple luscious tidbits coming up for us who follow the TARDIS.
As you may be aware, loyal readers, we’re gearing and steaming up for the big Voodoo Carnival next Friday at the Redmoor (tickets still available, bring the family, friends, and lackeys). However, those of us of a Whovian bent know that next Friday is also the beginning of the huge, nay, infinitesimally whopping GallifreyOne convention at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott. If you are a true, blue, dyed-in-the-wool scarf Who fan, this is your Woodstock, Lollapalooza, Sturges, and Burning Man all rolled up into a neat, tight little package. If you haven’t gotten a gander at the guest list, you’ll probably be dropping your jaw at the folks GallifreyOne has pulled in for this. Both the Classic and the New Series will be well-represented: Camille Coduri, Mark Shephard, William Russell, Maureen O’Brien, Richard Franklin, Nicholas Briggs… oh, how I could go on.
However, the marquee guests this year features a reunion of the 1996 TV movie with Paul McGann, Daphne Ashbrook, Eric Roberts, Yee Jee Tso, and producer Philip Segal. Yes, Aloysius and I are kicking ourselves at not being able to make it out to see what is, for Al, at least, the ultimate Doctor. Regrets, we have a few.
The other bit of news that really has me excited is the forthcoming publication of Shada by Gareth Roberts. Shada, of course, is the infamous “long-lost” story written by Douglas Adams (he of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, donchaknow?). Originally slated for the last story of Season 17, it was to hail the end of the Graham Williams/Douglas Adams-era of the program. Unfortunately, production was halted due to a strike at the BBC and so it was never completed.
Of course, it was never lost to begin with. Footage from the production was used to cover up Tom Baker’s absence in “The Five Doctors” and even the surviving video & film was released on VHS in 1992 with linking narration provided by Baker, himself. It was adapted by Big Finish for a BBC webcast in 2003, and Adams used several elements for his book, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.
Now, it’s to be released this March. And there was, in my opinion, no better author to tackle this project than Roberts. Although you may know him for his work on the New Series (“The Shakespeare Code,” “The Unicorn & The Wasp,” “The Lodger,” and “Closing Time”) as well as The Sarah Jane Adventures, Roberts was a writer for the Virgin New Adventures and Missing Adventures books back in the 90’s. Of the four books he wrote for the MA range, three of them were set in the Williams/Adams-era of the program: The Romance of Crime, The English Way of Death, and The Well-Mannered War. Although these are hard to find, I implore you to seek them out. Roberts is a dab hand at capturing the spirit of that era.
Until next week, my dears. Chin chin.