In a textbook case of “life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans,” I started a Twitter #dwtop5list thing where I was going to give a different top 5 list a day until the release of Red White and Who: The Story of Doctor Who In America on August 21. I posted two days’ worth of Top 5 Lists and then life got in the way. (Weather, new cats, family things, you know how it goes.)
I still feel the lists to be valid, so I thought I would offer up the first week’s worth of lists here– with added commentary! Oh the excitement!
Top 5 Things I Searched For In the Dealers Room– 1980s
5. Fifth Doctor Merchandise. I am and always will be a big supporter of the Fifth Doctor.
4. Target hardcovers. Mostly because Larry (of Larry’s Comic Book Store fame) rarely carried them.
3. Fanzines. Back in the day, we didn’t have the Internet, so we had to rely on fanzines to get our fan fiction fix. (And I miss those days, because stories back then were somewhat curated, as opposed to the slop that permeates fanfiction.net, ao3, and With A Teaspoon….
2. John McElroy photos. Official BBC photos, you know. Crisp and color accurate, great for cosplay references.
1 Cheryl Duvall buttons. If you were a fan back in the day, you’d know the artwork. Cartoon buttons of Doctors, companions etc with quotes from the show and humorous quips. Cheryl also sold stationery with her art, and was actually licenced by the BBC to sell her stuff. (Read more about it in Chapter 7 of the book.)
Top 5 Things I Searched For In the Dealers Room– 2010s
5. Special editions of Doctor Who Magazine. I have a digital subscription to the magazine proper, but like to have hard copy of the specials. And am usually too lazy to try to find them at Barnes and Noble.
4. Things Not Available from Amazon/Think Geek/Hot Topic. In other words, unique things, like….
3. Handcrafted do-dads. I like dolls and statues and things like that.
2. Buttons. Still a sucker for them. (Aka “badges” in the UK.)
1 Jewelry. Especially earrings. Usually with a DW theme but not necessarily so.
And, yes, the book has a chapter on merchandising. (Chapter 18, to be precise.)
Top 5 Fave Costumes I’ve Made
5. Peri’s jacket from “Mysterious Planet.” I had to figure out how to cut on the bias to get the stripes to go right, so it was trickier than anticipated. Nicola Bryant approved of it, though, so it must have turned out all right.
4. Nyssa’s Traken outfit. Both the original fairy skirt and the trousers variant. I had no idea how to draft the leg-o-mutton sleeves in the jacket but it somehow turned out brilliantly. I made the skirt twice, mostly because the first time I got the fabric weight wrong. I spent a lot of time with it and I still love how it turned out.
3. Ace’s jacket. I had few fusses to give regarding getting all the patches and pins right, so my version of the jacket is a melange of NASA mission patches plus patches that meant a lot to me, including Peanuts patches (that was a big deal to get, since they were a Butternut Bread promo), a Sgt Pepper patch, and one from Hawaii from my good friend Bruce. The “Ace” on the back was another experiment that worked, so I really love how the jacket turned out.
2. Tegan’s air hostess uniform. First attempt at tailoring, and modifying a pattern, and it turned out great.
1 “Black Orchid” fancy dress. I made all four outfits: Adric, Nyssa, Tegan, and the Doctor’s, and I had no idea what I was doing, but it all worked out brilliantly in the end.
You can read about the history of Doctor Who cosplay in chapter 11 of the book.
Top 5 Bucket List Costumes to Make
5. Twelveth Doctor’s Regency Gear. Because Regency. (Also, as a sidebar, I want to do the 11th Doctor’s season 7B look as Regency, because it’s one of my fave historical eras for costuming.)
4. Sarah’s striped dress/sweater combo from the Sarah Jane Adventures pilot. It’s a cool look for SJS and one she didn’t duplicate in the series proper.
3. Amy’s Victorian gown from “The Power of Three.” Mostly because it’s pretty.
2. Tenth’s Doctor ensemble. I look forward to the challenge of making both suit and duster. I have 10 yds of appropriate fabric for the suit stored away waiting for the day.
1 Eleventh Doctor’s purple frock coat. I love frock coats! And I love purple! And I most especially love the 11th Doctor. So– win-win-win.
Top 5 Episodes I Like That Most Don’t
5. The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe. How can people hate an episode where the Mom saves the day????? Being a mother myself, I totally identified with Madge. (I wrote about the episode in Outside In 2.)
4. The Visitation. It moves slowly, but I adore the banter between Tegan and Adric, and Nyssa and the Doctor, and I like that Nyssa saves the day.
3. Almost People/The Rebel Flesh. I enjoyed the moral dilemma thoroughly, loved there being two Doctors, grooved on the switcheroo, and gasped the first time at the ending.
2. Mawdryn Undead. The Brig! Turlough! The Black Guardian! Time anomalies! So many boxes checked.
1 Black Orchid. Perfect period piece.
Top 5 Episodes I Loathe That Most Don’t
5. The Daemons. It’s ok, I guess. But not amazing.
4. Curse of Fenric. I see too much child abuse going on in it. (What the Doctor does with Ace.)
3. Blink. Good story, but not enough Doctor, and hardly any Martha, and, really, the Weeping Angels went downhill after it.
2. Caves of Androzani. Too dark. Too murderous.
1 Human Nature/Family of Blood. None for me, thanks. It mostly squicks me. Grates on me.
My Fave Fanfic Things in the 1980s
5. Fourth Doctor/Romana I. One of my fave combos, and underserved.
4. Fourth Doctor/Sarah/Harry. I love this threesome.
3. Sarah in anything. Because Sarah. My favorite companion still, and the character that really brought me into the show.
2. Fifth Doctor in anything. Favorite Doctor, underserved, so..
1 Female Doctor. There was a story in an issue of Dimension 4 with an alt.universe where everything was the same except the Doctor’s sex and I read that story over and over and over again because it was so good. (And, really, at the time, I would have loved to have been the female version of the 4th Doctor.)
There! We’ve caught up! Tomorrow I will attempt to resume posting the bare-bones list to Twitter… and adding commentary to the list du jour here.