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Fandom Files #9: Test your Doctor Who knowledge against the living encyclopedia

Dec 18, 2018, 2:00 PM EST (Updated)

Simon Guerrier is a lifelong Doctor Who fan, and quite literally — his first memory is of watching an early ‘80s episode of the classic BBC series when he was 4 years old.

“My earliest memory is of the cliffhanger of episode one of 'Full Circle' from 1980," Guerrier tells hosts Jordan Zakarin and Emily Gaudette on the latest episode of The Fandom Files. "And what I remember vividly is Tom Baker and K-9 crouching in some leaves, watching Marshmen emerge from a swamp. I would have been 4 when that was on, so I was watching with my elder brother and sister, and probably my mom and dad as well. And I was hooked. It was the most terrifying, completely incomprehensible adult TV show that I was somehow allowed to watch. And I still feel a bit like that."

So it was total blackness straight to Doctor Who, and his life has largely continued down the path set by that first moment of full consciousness. Guerrier wrote his first fan fiction as a small child, a response to a call for Doctor Who stories for the novels that continued the saga when the show went off the air in 1989. It was, admittedly, a poor mishmash of ideas spun off from old episodes, and scrawled in a grade-schooler's handwriting, destined for the pass pile. But a generous rejection letter from the editor, with pointers about how the story might be improved, was all the encouragement Guerrier needed to keep going.  

Now Simon Guerrier is a full-time writer and has gained his greatest prominence writing official novels, magazine articles, audio dramas, and encyclopedias, as well as directing documentaries, about the Doctor and his adventures through time and space.

In this episode of The Fandom Files, Guerrier outlines the details of his path from young fan to accomplished writer, and relays what it’s like to live the dream of not only covering his favorite show for its official magazine, but also working with the Doctor Who creative team to create new stories for all kinds of media. He also weighs in with his thoughts on the Steven Moffat era, which ends with Monday’s Christmas special, and shares his excitement about the new Doctor, Jodie Whitaker. You can purchase Guerrier's books at Amazon.


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