Well, just a quickie. I’ve been pretty busy doing a couple of things I can’t talk about yet (a DVD commentary or two plus an episode of a TV series – but no, not Doctor Who or any of its spin-offs). I’ve already written about them for this blog though, so when the time is right I’ll cut and paste and hopefully there’ll be something of interest for anyone really desperate to find something to distract them from work.
It’s been my absolute pleasure over the past few weeks to pop into BBC 7 and record the links for their fantastic 7th Dimension* sci-fi hour, introducing such eclectic delights as Mark Gatiss reading The Devil In Amber, plenty of spooky tales heralded by the gloriously arch tones of Edward De Souza’s Man In Black on Fear In Four, and of course, Journey Into Space. Oh, how I thought that would be clunky, slow, frightfully poised and naive, and how wrong I was – it’s brilliant. The characters are all great, there are no easy solutions to the jeopardy (each problem is solved with practicality and invention), it has an extraordinarily bold imagination and there are some genuinely creepy moments. I’ve become thoroughly hooked. Thanks to Nick Briggs for vacating the seat for a couple of months whilst he excels in Doctor Who Live**, and for recommending me to his producer, the most amiable and accommodating man in the media, Martin Dempsey. With Martin’s encouragement, I’ve thrown in the odd obscure reference for aficionados of sci-fi, but hopefully not so as to (excuse the pun) alienate passing listeners. Like Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, I want to spread the joy equally to lovers of the genre and those who may have only the most superficial interest. So if you spot that lyric from the theme to Star Cops, enjoy the occasional Quatermass reference or smirk on Speak Like Pip And Jane Baker Day, all well and good; but if you don’t notice them and they don’t mar your enjoyment as I bounce through the hour, that’s fine too.
I’ve even been asked to host the whole of an extended shift over Halloween, which has a fantastic and eclectic line up of spookiness. Loitering in Broadcasting House has its advantages too: I’ve already spotted David Starkey and Ian Botham, and finally met David Tennant face-to-face, and was able to thank him for lending his support and vocal talents to Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf. What a thoroughly nice man he is.
So listen out for the 7th Dimension, from either 6pm or midnight, every day, for the next couple of months. I’m rather enjoying it, and getting better as the weeks go by I think.
* Beware, the picture on the website makes me look like I have a stupidly shaped head.
**And before accusations of jobs for the boys, I think I’ve met Mr Briggs twice, maybe three times.