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Today sees the release of a major milestone in Toby Hadoke's interview quest - and the completion of a project he began back in 2013!
In 2013 Toby began a celebration of fifty years of Doctor Who, with the momentous task of interviewing someone from every single Doctor Who story.
Feeling Doctors or companions are a bit too easy, he travels the country meeting legends of the show's history both in front of and behind the camera, and chats to them about both Doctor Who itself and the lives his interview subjects have led since (and, indeed, before).
These interviews are shared as podcasts from the Big Finish website, which you can download or stream here, or subscribe to on iTunes. All episodes are free, so if you've enjoyed Toby's chat, all he asks is that you give a donation to a charity nominated by the interview subject.
Now, 150 podcasts later, Toby is pleased to be releasing his final interview from his initial 2013 marathon – the seventh and final part of his in-depth interview with former Executive Producer Russell T Davies. And while there are still many more interviews recorded (and more to be recorded!), we thought it was right to take this chance to commemorate Toby's journey so far. Here are a few words from the man himself:
‘It's quite funny that the last one is number 150. It's almost as if I had a plan. I never have a plan. And if I do it never works out how I'd imagined. When John Keeffe (whom I had never met at this point) challenged me on Twitter to "interview everyone from Doctor Who" to celebrate the 50th year and I suggested instead that I get a first hand anecdote from every story I thought I'd be able to call in a few favours from the Frazer Hineses and Katy Mannings of this world and do it that way. Only when I chatted to the brilliant Kevin McNally did I think that maybe this could be of interest beyond Doctor Who. The internet helped of course, with the likes of Lisa Bowerman opening her Big Book of Actors' Contacts and Jim Bradshaw from BAFTA making overtures to members and giving me a bit of kudos by association. Suddenly I found myself timetabling in two or three interviews a day - fitting then into my travels around the country performing stand-up comedy, writing radio plays and getting divorced.
150 podcasts later and I've interviewed boom operators, Voord, make-up ladies and leading actors. The biggest hit has been the Russell T Davies interview so it's only fitting that he headlines the climax of the 2013 interviews. I actually thought that getting him was a bit of a cheat: he practically knocked off the whole of the new series for me in one go! I also thought that because he was such a game contributor to Doctor Who Confidential that people might take him for granted a bit. Wrong! The editions with him have been hugely popular and of course he is a witty and candid and engaging subject and I was so lucky to have a whole day with him. I think it was the only interview he gave about Doctor Who in 2013 and, most importantly, his charity (The Terence Higgins Trust) actually contacted him to say that there'd been an upsurge in people making donations : people who all cited the Who's Round interview as the reason for their pledge. So thanks listeners: I'm glad that people pay attention and oblige the entirely optional charitable element of the podcast.
I could have ended it here, but there was the odd person whom I had tried to secure in 2013 who for whatever reason hadn't worked out. So I squeezed them in. And then I found other people. And so it went on. Plus, when Capaldi's first season aired it turned out that I knew someone involved with every episode! So I haven't confined myself to the stories that go up to 2013 - there are interviews in the can that relate to the very latest ones. So to come there are a few writers and actors from 2014-15, some more classic series contributors and some people who have been involved with key elements of the show who've not been interviewed before. Indeed as I speak I am off to interview two people, both of whom were married to important people connected with the show, both of whom have voiced iconic monsters, and both of whom were on hand as a new Doctor was ushered in by an old one. And I've not seen or read interviews with either of them anywhere.
I hope Who's Round will stand as an oral history of certain aspects of the entertainment industry over the past 50 odd years. I've spoken to people who knew Pinter, worked with Olivier, and met Ivor Novello. I've uncovered a fact about Meglos, drunk wine with Brian Croucher and Skyped people in New Zealand, India, Canada and the USA. I've been shown such generosity and hospitality from people from all walks of life who are all united by having crossed paths - sometimes very briefly - with Doctor Who. Highlights? Milton Johns and myself in obligatory collar and tie in the Garrick Club and him giving me a guided tour: every nook and cranny with its own anecdote elegantly rendered by Mr Johns; John Moreno's extraordinary story about being court-martialled; Geoffrey Bayldon's unprintable phone conversation with me. And so many more.
I guess that's why I'm still doing it. I don't get paid, in fact each one costs me, but I consider it to be a hobby which just happens to produce a product that hopefully entertains and informs others, and one testifies to the skill and dedication of the many very talented individuals who made a silly programme about a time traveling police box something rather special.’
Further episodes will be available in the New Year – and the previous 149 episodes remain available to download here, listed with their nominated charities. Please take the time to donate if you have enjoyed an interview.