Fri
Apr 22 2011 2:13pm
In Line with Doctor Who Fans: David and Su (Jammy Dodgers and Scarves Included)

David Benedetto at DW Line ConThere were so many Eleventh Doctors at the Doctor Who Line Con. Understandably, of course; the tag of the ad campaign for Series 6 is “Trust Your Doctor,” and Eleven is our Doctor now. So I figured I had to pick one of those cosplaying Doctors out of the line for a quick chat, and went wandering in search of my bowtied quarry.

It was then that I caught sight of Eleven—be-fezzed, be-tweeded and juggling. (Steven Moffat, I hope you’re listening; the Eleventh Doctor can juggle. I’ve seen it, and it better show up somewhere in the show soon.)

So I asked David Benedetto if he would be willing to step aside for a quick interview. Afterward, I caught him walking around with a mop and a jammy dodger. I think I may have squeaked like a small child.

What was your first exposure to Doctor Who?

My older sister got me to watch some Jon Pertwee.

What other types of science fiction and fantasy do you enjoy?

I’m into Stargate. Terry Pratchett, definitely the Discworld series for sure. Oh, and my absolute favorite—Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Favorite Doctor?

Tie between Tom Baker and Matt Smith.

Favorite companion?

Oh geez, no one’s ever asked that before. Uh… no comment.

How about favorite villains?

I really love Jon Pertwee’s Master [Roger Delgado]. That’s my Master.

Is there anything you would like to see them do on the show that they haven’t done?

Well, when he was still alive, I wish they’d had the Brigadier back on, but he passed away. I love the Brig.

What is something that you like about Doctor Who that you think might not be as popular with other fans?

I guess I really like the different portrayals of time travel that there are. There are just a lot of different takes. I think Steven Moffat does a really good job of showing time as another dimension of space, and I really like that.

***

A scarf is an accessory that anyone can appreciate, but no one did it quite so well as Tom Baker, the Fourth Doctor. While there were a few of his scarves in the line, none of them impressed me quite so much as Su Walenta’s—she had made it herself. Her replies to my questions were so wonderfully thoughtful, I felt that she would be the perfect interview to end this little series. I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed speaking to all of these dedicated fans!

Su Walenta and her beautiful scarf at DW Line ConWhat was your first exposure to Doctor Who?

Back in the 80s, Tom Baker was my first Doctor.

What other types of science fiction and fantasy do you enjoy?

Well, Star Wars, you can’t beat that. And I guess I’m a Trekkie from way back. So the original Star Trek.

Favorite Doctor?

My favorite Doctor is Tom Baker, undoubtedly. And a very close second is David Tennant. He really surprised me with bringing something fresh and he really recreated the Doctor. I think he’s on par with Baker in terms of even the longevity. When you look back at the history of Doctor Who, I think his performance and what he did with the character really is equal to Tom Baker. But personally I prefer Tom Baker because he’s my first Doctor.

Favorite companion?

Oh, Sarah Jane. Sarah Jane is my favorite companion.

How about favorite villains?

They’re all so different and they’re all so good. I think the Daleks are unbeatable as a villain because they’re faceless and they’re kind of mechanical yet alive, and they have all these qualities that unnerve people inherently. The way they move, everything about them is off-putting. So I think that they’re the ideal villain. And there’s so many of them.

Is there anything you would like to see them do on the show that they haven’t done?

I really enjoyed the Van Gogh episode very much and the Shakespeare episode, and sort of playing around with human Earth history. Pivotal moments, pivotal times. The Pompeii episode was really good in that way. I think it’s an interesting way for us to look at ourselves and look at our own history on this planet. [The show presents] other difficult times that people have lived through and [has] the Doctor come save the day. I think that’s brilliant. There are some things that are going on today in the world that…it’d be very nice if the Doctor would show up, don’t you think?

What is something that you like about Doctor Who that you think might not be as popular with other fans?

I’m sure there’s someone out there who would like whatever I point to. So it’s very varied. I love the science. I love the mathematics, making the geek the cool kid, that kind of aspect to the Doctor. I don’t know if that’s popular or not. The fact that he doesn’t use a weapon, that he carries a screwdriver—I admire that. He solves things not with violence, but with cleverness, and his knowledge, and his experience and wisdom. David Tennant brought a whole new agility, a physicality to the Doctor. I enjoyed that. I enjoyed that he wore tennis shoes—well, Converse—and moved very well. He was an athletic can-do kind of character.

 

Emily at DW Line ConBefore all was said and done, the Tenth Doctor who had accompanied me during the day had me take a picture in my Rose jacket in front of the Welsh BAD WOLF warning on the wall. Eventually, it was time to go inside and say goodbye that giant city block party, but make no mistake—the fans are what made this premiere. It was such a pleasure getting to talk to so many of them, and they are proof beyond a doubt: Doctor Who isn’t going anywhere. The madman with a box is too well-loved to leave us now.


Emily Asher-Perrin is so glad that the new series starts airing tomorrow night, so she can stop keeping secrets from everyone. You can bug her on Twitter and read more of her work here and elsewhere.

0 comments

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment