Saturday, 21 September 2013

Dr Who author Mark Wright event, Brighouse Library

Took my son Lucas (pictured above in the green with author Mark Wright and Lucas' friends Stanley and Frankie) to this event this morning and what a fascinating time we had.

We started by 'learning to speak' monster - this involved saying Doc-torrrrrr in a very terrifying way, because of course, no monster ever talks to the Dr in a normal voice.

Mark gave us his background as a fan of Dr Who, his start in writing and plenty of facts about all things Dr Who.  Mark still finds it hard to believe that when he was little, when his Mum sat him in front of the television to see the new Doctor, it started him on his journey to his fandom and becoming a writer.  If someone had told him at that age that he would be writing books for Dr Who, he would not have believed them.

The television show was the first time that merchandise was available for children to buy (i.e. Daleks) and as shows were not repeated in those days, the only way to revisit an episode would be to buy the books that were published in conjunction with the programme or the comics.  Dr Who has one of the oldest comic strips and the magazine has been going for over thirty years.  Now available in audio books as well, this was his introduction to realising that he could get a job as a writer.

He first worked as a writer on Inside Soap Magazine, but moved to working on Dr Who magazine, comics, books and audio books.  He brought along some of the work he has done through Big Finish Productions and others, including merchandise for Blake's 7 (he was once in a room with all the cast of Blake's 7 which myself and the other adults in the room were quite envious of).

Mark talked us through the various incarnations of the Dr (William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, John Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Ecclestone, David Tennant, Matt Smith and the new doctor, Peter Capaldi) and gave us some background information on their character and some of the most iconic episodes.  He explained which of the actors were also Whovians and revealed that Peter Capaldi wrote into the BBC age 15 about Dr Who, so he is a true fan in the same way as David Tennant (David became an actor with the wish to one day play Dr Who).

We were each given a piece of paper with an outline of a man and asked to design a costume for the new Dr (as it has not been decided yet what type of outfit Peter Capaldi will be wearing) and some fascinating designs were produced from super-hero inspired capes, through Quatermass inspiration, to a sinister-looking Mr Ben.  It would be great to think that as Mark was taken with some of the designs, that it may have input into how he will look come the new episodes.

Mark then asked us to come up with words that encapsulated a monster, as our new doctor needed a new foe.  Ours was slimy, had 72 heads and eight eyes upon each head, could spit acid and poison with it's fangs, smelled foul but had the ability to emit attractive odours to lure in it's prey, has the ability to flay the skin of it's victims to wear as a disguise and is known as the MP of Death.  A lot of fun for the boys.

When Mark opened it up to questions, we found out that the ice warriors are likely to make a comeback (one of Mark's favourite new season Dr Who episodes), his favourite master is the original one played by Roger Delgado and his favourite aliens are the Weeping Angels.  His favourite episode was The Seeds of Doom featuring a carnivorous plant and that David Tennant will feature in a special episode to be aired in November.

The event finished with photographs and book signing.

To find out about future writing events run at the Library:

#DrWho #MarkWright

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