As some of you know I was in the UK and whilst I was in the UK I was involved in the Doctor Who fan scene. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of Doctor Who and if you know the right people in London there’s a lot to do and numerous people to meet. In my six months there I met fans, I met actors and I had a wonderful time, but the only personage of Who fan that I meant and was impressed by was Lawrence Miles.
For those of you who are asking ‘Who?’ well, read on.
Lawrence does not cut a dashing figure of a man but nor is he typically fan-like. Indeed, he looks like your everyday citizen of London, someone who doesn’t lok out of place on the tube or in a pub. Which is hardly here or there. Lawrence is a writer, comedian and outspoken critic of genre (right down to not liking the word genre, which I’m happy with). His main claim to fame is the numerous New Adventures and BBC Doctor Who books he wrote and now he is working within his own story paradigm, Faction Paradox as well as setting up a comedy club in London (which, hopefully at some point, I will get to go and visit).
None of which I have any experience of whatsoever (well, aside from the comedy; he is funny). I’ve never read a single one of his books and I only know of Faction Paradox via the short-lived comic series. Yes, I was a ‘bad’ fan during the years that Who wasn’t on our screens. I was also a poor student, which partially explains it. So why did Lawrence impress me?
Well, at first he didn’t. I actually met him the first day I hooked at with the Temporal Renovators and Lawrence oiled in late in the proceedings. I knew him by reputation (I did read book reviews during the drought) and, being naturally unimpressed by any form of celebrity (well, usually) I took one look at him and thought nothing further. It was a month later when I got into conversation with him at the Shakespeare’s Head that I realised that he wasn’t just a Doctor Who author but someone who liked Doctor Who for the freedom it gave him as a writer. There really isn’t a genre that Doctor Who fits into and Lawrence seemed to explain that much better than I could. It helped that in the midst of some conversation on the merits of the later episodes of X1 of Doctor Who that he told someone to quiet down because he liked hearing what I had to say.
Nothing ingratiates a man like being told he’s clever.
Lawrence is currently ‘doing’ lots of things; setting up Club Sabbath, working on audio dramas and books, pitching a radio series. He really is the perfect example of a writer making the most of his craft. Frankly, I feel somewhat inspired by him. Even though I’ve done very little writing since I got back from the UK (my new thesis-writing regime makes me feel somewhat apathetic to doing more writing after a long day philosophising) everytime I do think ‘I should be writing’ I think of Lawrence and then think ‘But I am really that passioned?’
I was goning to write more but I’ve now realised that I want to go write a Captain Corrin sketch. For Lawrence (and the upcoming Rationalist’s talk I’m helping with).