Queers Dig Time Lords, edited by Michael Damian Thomas & Sigrid Ellis – A Celebration of Dr Who by the LGBTQ Fans Who Love It.
A book by geeks talking about a television program is not the most attractive proposition for a good read, when those geeks, nerds, weirdoes and freaks start to gush, psychoanalyse, confess and bleat about how important, innovative, passionate and life changing that TV show is then I start to look for a suitable furnace to hurl the book into, and when the TV show is a Sci-Fi then my leaden heart start to weep as I slowly haemorrhage enthusiasm for life, unless, that is, the book is about Dr Who and the geeky freaks are Queers in which case I take up the book with delight, skip and whoop, read it in one go, nodding and agreeing as I turn page after page and end up enlightened, enchanted and elated to have some academic and intellectual gush on this most important and seminal piece of British Broadcasting which is now hurling towards it’s 50th Anniversary. Good old Dr Who.
This is a collection of essays from around the world and around the corner too, crisscrossing the timelines and plot lines of the Dr Who universe and holding up characters and stories to the bright pink light of queer perspective and seeing what shines through. Mostly it’s insight and curious reflections of the nature of this televisual institution and sometimes a deeply moving personal story of hope and change reflected in the endlessly regenerated eponymous Dr. There’s a thick dollop of nerd running through this book too, but not so much as to put off the casual reader and it’s so warmly written with a fun, confessional and engaging style as to make each essay a delight to read.
Each of the authors of the essays goes to great length to prove their Dr Who credentials in an almost baroque and rococo way, sometimes intentionally as with the delightful Martin Warren’s tongue in cheek reading of the polymorphous perversity of his own interpretation of years of peeping behind the sofa before bounding out, and other times, as with Melissa Scott a more measured, intellectual deduction of their personal immersion in the depths of the Dr Who universe and it’s profound effect on their life and loves.
There’s a great sense of fun in this book and allowing such a wide range of authors to contribute their thoughts, ideas and experiences of quite what Dr Who has meant to them and how it affected them is a great way to celebrate this most treasured of evening serials. Some of these experiences are really quite funny, others touched me deeply and one or two are simply brilliant. Susan Jane Bigelow’s use of the Dr to describe transitioning to a straight mate made me smile all day.
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It could have done with a tighter proof reading but that’s a small criticism of such a entertaining book. It’s a mixed bag of goodies but not a dud among them so like the best compendium you can always find something to amuse, if you’re LGBT and a Dr Who fan then this book is a MUST for your bookshelf or e-reader, if you’re a Dr Who fan then the book offers a curious, funny and engaging perspective from devoted fans which can only enrich your understanding of this cultural phenomenon and if you’re not queer or a fan of Dr Who then buy it for your darling friend who has always bemused you with their passion for the odd man and his blue box, you might just make their day.
Local folk produced this book too, so you’ll be supporting local talent if you buy it, and that can only be a good thing. I read it in one go, then put it down and have picked it up to flick through each day since. I might even check out a couple of the suggested episodes too and may, just may, attend a fan convention on the strength of some of the testimonials – just to snigger you understand – and then get the BF to wave his sonic screwdriver around when he’s drunk.
Out now £11.51
Available on all good online bookstores.
For more info see the publishers website here: