August 2010: Jouni
Q. First off, how did you become a Doctor Who fanatic?
A. For long time, as a sci-fi and soundtrack buff, I was aware that there was this show called Doctor Who, but all I really knew about it was that it involved time travel and had perhaps the best theme tune I've ever heard. But that was it, really. Finnish television had never broadcast Doctor Who in any shape or form. Until 2005. 2005 I noticed that they were finally going to broadcast it and I sat down that Sunday expecting to see classic cult sci-fi from 1960s. Instead I witnessed the most refreshing modern take on time traveling, aliens and whole sci-fi genre as a whole. During the titles I was a bit skeptic - remakes and franchise reboots in general not having such a good track record - but by the end of 'Rose' I loved what I saw. And by the end of 'The End of the World' I had lost my soul. Finnish YLE (our equivalent for BBC) didn't show more than one season. Officially they say the ratings weren't high enough to warrant the price of the show, but in truth they botched it themselves by shuffling the schedule around. Finnish discontinuation lead to me getting the show on DVD. First I promised myself I wouldn't get into classic series - it seemed like a financial suicide - but somewhere between third and fourth series I snapped. The rest is history.
Q. What were your favourite Series 5 moments and why?
A. To that I can't yet answer; I haven't seen Series 5 yet, I'm waiting for the Complete Fifth Series Blue-Ray. More on that later. I've tried to keep myself in as tight spoiler vacuum as I can. Still, I have seen the title sequence and that I love. And here's why. Murray Gold's latest arrangement is his best yet and ranks as in my Top-3 favorite versions of the tune, other being Derbyshire's original and John Debney's orchestral version from the television movie. It's about time the clear electronic elements were brought back, giving Derbyshire's original arrangement was one of the very first massively popular fully-electronic songs ever. It's also eerie and mysterious, something the title theme really hasn't been since Tom Baker era. The title sequence itself is exciting. I love how the time vortex is exactly that; Dangerous vortex with twirls, lightning bolts and turns so sharp only a living TARDIS could survive in it. And big plus for the moment just before the logos; Camera facing the 'wall' of the tunnel in tight turn shows nothing but color-shifting plasma breezing past the screen, echoing the first three original opening sequences. Brilliant!
Q. Which Doctor Who character do you relate most to and why?
A. As a neophyte Doctor Who fan my answer to that is obvious; Rose Tyler. You know, I absolutely fell in love with the universe(s) of Doctor Who - and I got to know that world through Rose, a fish-out-water character to whom everything was as new and mesmerizing as it was to me. I admit I might sound borderline pathetic fanboy-geek here, but I guess the lesson is that you can't fall in love with a world without falling a little bit in love with the character you experience it through. I wonder was it the same with the classic series and the original companions?
Q. If you had your own TARDIS, where/when would you go and why?
A. Anywhere in the future. Let's face it; The future doesn't seem too bright for any of us on planet Earth. If the planet itself won't get rid of us, we will gladly do it ourselves. Bleak, I know; I'm no alarmist or even an full-blown pessimist, but that's the reality of it. If I could see for certain, with my own eyes, that we humans will survive for, say, next 200 years, it would be truly inspirational and motivational.
Q. Is there anything in your life that you would say has been directly affected by Doctor Who?
A. Other than TransMat most of the money from my bank account to BBC? Seriously though, yes, it has. I think current DW Boss Steve Moffatt said it best when he explained that Doctor Who isn't aimed at 8-year-olds, but it makes everyone FEEL like 8-year-old when watching it. It's absolutely right; There is this sense of awe and wonder, the kind that lingers on long since the end credits roll. It's a stimulating feeling, the kind I've found truly helpful as my duties as semi-pro videogame developer. The mindset of the show just somehow seems to trigger the inner child of my imagination allowing me to come up with loads of insane semi-nonsense I wouldn't have dreamed up otherwise. So in a nut-shell; Some artists use drugs - for me it's Doctor Who. Is there such things as Doctor Who overdose?
Q. Who do you think River song is? What is she hiding?
A. As I mentioned earlier, I haven't seen what Series 5 reveals about River Song, but judging by her first appearance in Series 4, I'd say she is either Doctor's future wife - or his daughter ("The Doctor's Daughter") in her future regeneration. Granted, the tension and innuendo between the two in Series 4 suggest romance, so Daughter probably is like out of the question.
Q. This month we've been told loads of information about the new series of Torchwood, The New World. What are your hopes for it?
A. My hopes are high, especially since Fox Television dropped from the project. Let's face it; Their lack of support left 8th Doctor's on-screen adventures short. I've read that many are concerned about half of the team being US CIA now, but it makes sense in the aftermath of Series 3. Knowledge of the aliens is a global fact, not conspiracy, and it's reflected in the show as it should be. My biggest hope is that they keep the show as intimate as it always was. It's The Doctor's job to save the universe an episode at a time in extravagant and explosive ways. Torchwood is there to face both the aftermath and us humans as equally dangerous and evil as the invading grand alien forces. Finally I hope Torchwood doesn't forget its origins. It might be a huge relaunch for an international audience, but it still has its roots deep in Doctor Who mythos. I'm not expecting to see Matt Smith popping up directly in Series 4, but I definitely want the show to acknowledge the fact that the neither institute or Harkness would exist without The Doctor.
Q. How will you be feeding your Doctor Who withdrawal symptoms between now and Christmas?
A. Now that I have finally seen every single Doctor Who story released on DVD, I've have taken a plunge into the world of Big Finish audio plays. Since there are nearly 150 of them (not counting spin-offs), I trust I'll remain occupied until then.
Q. Is there anything else you'd like to say before you go?
A. Like I mentioned, I haven't seen Series 5 yet, I'm waiting for the Complete Fifth Series Blu-Ray. While this might seem 'non-fan' like behavior to some, for me it's totally opposite. I no longer watch broadcast TV of ANY kind. Instead, I support the shows I want to watch directly by getting them on the DVD. Sure, I could pay load of EUR to watch The Doctor on BBC HD, but if I did, my support for The Doctor could be misinterpreted as support for, say, Top Gear, which I don't watch. Plus I can watch shows on DVD at my pace, at convenient time, with non-compromised AV quality, without commercials and without cartoon Graham Norton (though that would make an excellent easter egg). That being said, the wait for the Complete Fifth Series box set borderlines on painful. On multiple occasions I have been on the verge of getting the separate releases, but managed to hold myself back. Let's hope I can continue to do that 'till November.