Hello Cameron, thanks for agreeing to the interview. Blogtor Who has been going since 2008 and is one of the most popular Doctor Who sites on the internet. Why do you think it has been such a success?
Blimey. Good question. At the time when it started it there were so many sites but all copying one another and not really offering anything new. The big thing that helped, I s’pose, was getting footage out there for people outside the UK to see (not actual episodes, I should point out – just trailers and interviews). The UK audience for the site was less than the rest of the world so it was quite an international lot that visited. I was also pretty quick getting stuff out there (I was a student at the time so had a lot more free time than I do now).
And a lot of sites were quite negative. I try to focus on the positive and, in the beginning, it was entirely all news. So it was opinion-free for a long time – just the facts.
When did you start watching Doctor Who?
My earliest memory, and I can still see it in my mind’s eye (to quote Mary Whitehouse), is the cliffhanger from part one of City of Death – the reveal of Scaroth. Absolutely horrified me. Though I do also have memories of Destiny of the Daleks, so technically it must’ve been that one. Season 17 is embedded on my memory; Erato, the Mandrels and the Nimon all scared and scarred me no end. Still do, but for different reasons… 😛
You have interviewed Matt Smith and other stars of the show. How does it feel for a self-confessed fan to be so near to the heart of the show?
Oddly, I was introduced to Matt by writer Tom Macrae in a bar in Cardiff whilst the official convention was on earlier this year. And since then I’ve met and interviewed him a few times. So with Matt, it’s a bit different ‘cos we started off just as two “guys” as opposed to me being the fan interviewer. Last time we chatted, we shared the bond of both being a “Scorpio”; he asked if I was a passionate lover. (For the record, I am.)
Murray Gold was great too. We’d become chatty over Twitter and then met up in France (there was a convention on in Paris) along with Caro Skinner, Toby Haynes, Ed Russell and Chris Chibnall. Chris was great, we talked about Star Wars most of the time!
Likewise, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Russell T Davies who was aware of the site, which was incredibly flattering. When you do a site, sometimes you just think you’re shouting into the air – you don’t actually think the people you’re writing about pay attention or even care about you thoughts.
Everyone I’ve met involved in Who (and there’s been quite a few) has been great and easy to talk to so, as a fan, it’s incredibly pleasing to know that the show is run by such nice people.
I think I wasn’t the only person annoyed when the BBC decided not to continue the audio commentaries (released straight after an episode aired) when Series 5 kicked off. Even the box sets don’t have commentaries for all the eps. I got the idea after I started getting access to episodes early and saw a gap in the market, as it were. Our first commentary was The Impossible Astronaut and proved a hit from the get-go. I think we got something like 5-6,000 downloads in the first week and we ended up at No. 2 on the iTunes TV & Film audio chart. People are still downloading them every day so it’s rewarding to see that we’re getting new fans.
Ideally, we’d hoped that someone at the Beeb would notice and get us on the DVDs. But, sadly, no one has ever asked. I’m still waiting for the call. [Laughs]
When did you decide to create the Blogtor Who site?
Back in 2006 I started a blog for a University computing course. It was just a simple little thing looking at stuff I’d seen on television – it was called Stuff On TV (it’s still out there if you’re bored). As I continued with it, I realised that I was mainly writing about Doctor Who so I decided just to concentrate on Who purely in a different blog. I kept the other one for a wee while but it got dropped eventually.
The name is something a lot of people like and comment on, which pleases me massively.
Blogtor Who has been going for about five years now. What do you think the future of the site is?
Hhmm, that’s a toughie. Next year is gonna be big so I expect to be quiet busy with Series 7 Part 2 and then the 50th Special. But there’s also all the other stuff going on around it. But after 2013? I’m not planning that far ahead. Though, ideally, I’d like my own Blogtor Who TV show. #smirk
What are your plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who on the site?
The celebrations actually start very soon (Sat 15th Dec). I’m counting down my own personal favourite Top 50 Doctor Who stories (which I think might upset a lot of “people”) – there’ll be one every week till the big day in 2013. I’ll also be posting some “List” type articles, but not the sort you’d normally see – stuff like “Best Trousers” and “Strangest Use of the Word ‘Troubadour'”.
Also, depending on what I get up to next year, there could also be some other fun stuff. I’ve been invited to take part in some events so we’ll see what happens.
Thanks for talking to us Cameron, it has been a pleasure.
The pleasure was all mine. Many thanks, it’s most flattering.