That’s one of those phrases, isn’t it. “Where do we go from here?” I can’t say those words any more. I have to sing them, in the style of the Buffy musical episode. It’s a bit like “who you gonna call?” … and now you will have the Ghostbusters theme in your head all day. You’re welcome.
Just over a year ago Mike and I set out to write an article about every Doctor Who story, and not just one article but two, giving both of our views on each story. Yesterday, after somewhere in the region of half a million words, we completed that task. Half a million words written about Doctor Who in a year – that has to be some sort of a record. Actually, knowing Doctor Who fans, it probably isn’t.
It has been an amazing journey, and the “across the pond” aspect of it has been fascinating. My biggest worry has been the times where it seemed like we had colluded. The honest truth of the matter is that we never once discussed what we were going to write in advance, beyond the writing schedule, and never once read each other’s articles before writing our own. Some extraordinary coincidences cropped up. There were times where Mike’s sounded like it was written as a reaction to mine, and there were times where mine sounded like a critique of his opinions. On a couple of occasions I would attempt to dismantle a common fan opinion about a story, only for Mike to go with that exact opinion for his article, making mine sound like an ill-natured dig at my friend. But we were always true to ourselves and to the process, and let things stand as they were.
Before we move on to new things, I want to take this opportunity to thank Mike for joining me on this journey, and also all those who added their comments. Keep commenting! At the top of the screen, below the banner, you will see links to each Doctor and there you will find all the previous articles. There is also a search facility in the side bar on the right of the screen if you are looking for anything in particular.
So to return to the big question, where do we go from here, we are not going to just fade away. As we enter “phase two” of the blog we’re getting bigger, expanding out into the wider universe beyond Doctor Who.
Doctor Who will still be the heart and soul of The View from the Junkyard. Tomorrow we officially complete “phase one” with an article summing up “what Doctor Who means to me”, and next week onwards we will have plenty of articles about Doctor Who from both of us. I expect Mike will give a run down of his plans himself, but for my part I will be continuing a few ongoing series, including What is Who? and my articles about the Doctor Who cliffhanger endings, and I am sure we will both come up with plenty of new ideas as well. I will write about some more of the Doctor Who annuals, although the ones I have to look at from now on are mostly hideous, but that never stopped me from writing about The Caves of Androzani. We will also be making an effort to continue the “across the pond” flavour, with some collaborative articles. More on that soon. And of course we will both be writing about the new episodes of Doctor Who as and when, although not necessarily immediately. Ironically for a Junkyard, we go with quality here, not rushed click bait, so those articles will appear when we are ready to do them justice.
I think for the rest of the year at least Mike is planning to stick with Doctor Who exclusively, but I will be branching out straight away into other areas. Starting on Monday, I will be writing about all the Studio Ghibli films worth watching, on a weekly basis, including all the fan favourites such as Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, and then moving on to some other amazing anime films and television series you might not have heard of but really should: Journey to Agartha, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and the highest grossing anime of all time, Your Name. Ever heard of A Silent Voice? Probably not, but you need to. It’s a stunningly good film. I’ll be explaining why, when we get there.
And that’s just the start. Sci-fi/fantasy is obviously our main remit, as a blog that springs off from Doctor Who, but we’ll be going far wider than that with articles. Films, books, television, even music. OK, probably not sport. Definitely not politics.
But the thing is, Doctor Who was never just about sci-fi. Frequently as I have tried to argue in my articles, it is not sci-fi at all, and often uses sci-fi as a veil for other things. If there’s one group of fans who can apppreciate wider interests beyond sci-fi, and have minds open to new possibilities, it’s Doctor Who fans.
If something’s not your cup of tea, don’t worry, there will be something else completely different the next day, and you never know, you might just spark off a new interest. Ever wanted to know what all that eye imagery is doing in 80s pop videos? No, me neither, but I’ll investigate anyway. Fond memories of a television show or book from your childhood? Me too. We’ll talk about some of those. We’ll soon be into October, and we’ll have some scary stuff in the lead up to Halloween, and of course December will be Christmassy in the Junkyard.
Thank you to everyone who joined us in the Junkyard for our journey through Doctor Who. It’s not the end. And the moment has been prepared for.
If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood…
Oh, we might as well listen to it now. RP
The view from across the pond:
It’s the end, but the moment has been prepared for…
In 2006, I started communicating with a guy who lived in another country simply because, by pure chance, I chose his website on which to post my thoughts on David Tennant’s time as the Doctor. When the site was shut down, that, as they say, should have been that. But not with fans of Doctor Who. The universe is full of strange and wonderful quirks and that website started a friendship that is going strong to this day. We continued to talk for years and became great friends. In the summer of 2017, the same summer we met for the first time at the Doctor Who Experience, Roger asked me if I wanted to revisit the idea of a website. I was thrilled, but was also terrified because, holding a full time job at a startup company and being back in school meant there was no chance I could re-watch all the episodes. Luckily I’d seen them enough times that I was able to work from memory on almost all of them, and only had to do research on the lost stories to complete the task. The result? The View from the Junkyard. The craziest thing, looking back on it, is that Roger and I wrote separately; we never knew what the other was going to say. And yet, now I am amazed how well our pieces played off the other. It’s been a labor of love and it took us just over a year and we’ve done it. We have completed every televised story of a 55 year old TV series, and then some! And you know what? We’re not done yet. But where do we go from here? Maybe we’ll regenerate…
Is this death?… Going soon… it’s time to say goodbye. … I might regenerate. I don’t know. Feels different this time…
We knew this day was coming. We knew we’d exhaust our source material long before we’d be done loving it. But a junkyard is full of strange and amazing things. There’s no telling what we might find in a junkyard; just ask Ian and Barbara. We are going to look into other corners of the universe to see what else is hiding there. I may continue the Top Ten series but my main focus right now is a season by season guide looking at how Roger and I rate the episodes. It will be a link to the “across the pond” dual approach you’re used to. Then I want to look at other series. Like our Six Degrees articles, these will investigate other series that inspired us that perhaps don’t have any connections to Doctor Who. And of course, we will tackle Jodie’s time in the TARDIS once that starts. I’m planning on being at the New York ComicCon on that day, so I may be able to talk about that as well. And we’d love to hear from more of our readers. Any ideas you want us to cover? Let’s hear it. There will still be plenty to talk about. But the main point of it all is simply this:
It’s far from being all over!
My own online sharing of SF show and film reviews began with SciFiWeekly, which is how I found my penpals.
When I first found your original Dr. Who Review site, Roger, I began to share reviews starting with McGann’s Big Finish era (thanks to its availability on BBC7) and gradually I shared my reviews on all the Dr. Who classics I was familiar enough with.
I think one of the best things for me about your new site is that I don’t really worry anymore about my tendency for grammar errors seen in my comments. Because even though with your first site you were always happy to let me correct them, it was becoming something of a strain for me and so I found comfort realizing that my grammar glitches, small-enough as they are, should be easy enough for readers to see through. I know that many including particularly one penpal I had way back, but had somehow lost contact with, can have this problem in one way or another. So I can intuitively appreciate the common ground of looking beyond the unavoidable imperfections. And naturally enough, Dr. Who fandom can teach you that if nothing else.
Thank you both for this new article-page because I agree it’s very important.
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Thanks Mike, and I hope you enjoy tomorrow’s conclusion to phase one, and our journey into phase two next week!
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You’re welcome, Roger. If you had to delete those two other penpal names from my comments for a good reason, I think I understand why. Thanks.
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Yes, it’s something that I felt would require their permission first, but it was easily fixed so don’t worry about it 🙂
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Time has no limit. And neither do you. Go get em’ big bro. I know you guys will come up with more great material.
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