The following is an interview with Stephen Prescott, the host of the Doctor Who-themed podcast, A Mad Man with a Box. In this interview, Fanboy Comics Senior Contributor Drew Siragusa talks with Prescott about giving Whovians a forum to share their fan love, his own favorite episode, and what he looks forward to with the upcoming 50th anniversary.
This interview was conducted on August 1, 2012.
*Photo by Katharine Forman
Drew Siragusa, Fanboy Comics Senior Contributor: First things first, who is your Doctor?
Stephen Prescott: Well my favorite Doctor is The Doctor. For me it’s not about 4 or 10 or 11 as much as it is about the character and how the character changes and evolves. That said I have a big, old, hetero man crush on Matt Smith. What he and Moffat have done has been simply brilliant.
DS: What first drew you to Doctor Who, and what do you think makes it resonate so well with audiences?
SP: Well, I started watching on PBS when I was a kid, because I was really into science fiction and here was this very strange British show (I’ve always been an Anglophile.) that made little sense to me at the time, but had aliens and a weird lead actor that was not always the same lead actor. I just immediately fell in love. I think that it resonates so well with audiences because of its inherent optimism. As much as people want to be surly and cynics, they just can’t refuse the idea of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism. Also, the show can be anything from space opera to Twilight Zone episode, and that gives it a wide appeal.
DS: Can you describe what your show, A Mad Man with a Box, is all about?
SP: My show is about fandom and about giving fans a place to talk about the show. I was watching the BBC America Best of . . . specials and saw these celebrities talking about Doctor Who, but they were limited to just new era and just the subjects the shows were about. I wanted to open that up and give them an opportunity to let their fan flags fly. Also, selfishly, I don’t really get to talk about the show much in my daily life, so it gives me the same opportunity.
DS: What has been your favorite part of making the show?
SP: Making new friends and hearing from listeners who tell me that they sincerely enjoy the show. That’s just awesome.
DS: Which Doctor Who episodes do you look forward to covering in the future?
SP: Oh boy. “The Doctor’s Wife” is coming up soon if not already up by the time this interview runs. “The Lodger” is another favorite. I wish I could influence someone to pick a 2nd Doctor story even though there aren’t a lot of them are sadly lost.
DS: What do audience members have to look forward to on your show?
SP: I love when I have sort of “big” name Whovians on the show, and, hopefully, there will be some of those coming soon, but I also really love it when it’s just a friend and I having a laugh. I think that’s when the show is the funniest, so I encourage my audience to not skip over those.
DS: What are you hoping to see in Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary next year?
SP: I’m keeping my expectations low, because that’s what I like to do to ensure satisfaction, but I can imagine that this is the culmination of Moffat’s life’s work, so he is going to do everything in his power to make it bada–. Also, there is a rumor that the BBC is going to produce a docudrama about the creation of the show. I really hope that happens, because it could be fascinating. No one does historical drama like the Beeb.
DS: If the Doctor offered you a ride in the TARDIS, when and where would you go?
SP: A better question would be where wouldn’t I go! The first thing that comes to mind is London 1972 to see Bowie as Ziggy Stardust live.