Thursday 2 February 2017

BBC Radio Cymru interview with Aled Hughes, 02/02/2017

“Who will be the next Doctor Who? Al Hughes chats with Arfon Jones."
It's been just over a fortnight since I featured on Aled Hughes's BBCRadio Cymru (Radio Wales) show and oh my giddy aunt I've been on again! This time in my professional capacity as a Uber Geek and Doctor Who fsuperfan/ know it all. I was invited to the studio to discuss Peter Capaldi's shock announcement that he will be leaving the show at the end of the year. Our conversation has been posted on the BBC website but I thought I would translate it for the benefit of all you non-welsh speaking readers!

(Doctor Who theme plays)
Aled:Well there has been quite fuss this week, like no other. Peter Capaldi, the actor has announced that he will be leaving the role of Doctor Who. After this years' Christmas special I believe. Someone who knows much more about this than me is Arfon Jones. Good morning Arfon.”
Arfon: “Good morning Aled.”
Aled: “You've watched them all, a huge fan of the series. Was this announcement a surprise to you?"
Arfon: "It was rather, I did think that Peter Capaldi would have done more BUT there is a tradition within Doctor Who that the actor only does three years.”
Aled:Explain this to me, I was saying just before we switched the microphone on. James Bond, a new actor is selected and then the production team will announce that they are ready for a new actor for the role, in Doctor Who it seems as though its the actor that announces that he's had enough and quits. Each time.”
Arfon: “Well this goes back to the 1980's, the story goes that Patrick Troughton, the second Doctor took Peter Davison (the Doctor at that time) to one side and advised to him to only do three years in the part. That was his advice, to safeguard that he get other work afterwords.... So that is the 'tradition', three years for each actor." 
Aled: “Its regular work, you are known to millions yet, its seems as though the actors are scared off by it half way through."
Arfon: “It is strange, because Peter Capaldi is such a fan of the show I thought he would have stayed for a bit longer- Like Tom Baker - and stayed for as long as he could. But no, it would seem that he too has decided to go after three years.”
Aled: "yes indeed, after Christmas and the Bookies have already opened the books. Helena Bonham Carter, Olivia Colman are two favourites to win. What do you make of that idea?”
Arfon: "I need to be careful in what I say next..."
Aled: "Oh-oh! What are you going to say!?”
Arfon: "Unfortunately, I (personally) don't want to see the character being played by a woman....”
Aled: "Oooooooooohhhh.”
Arfon: "I know I won't be too popular after saying that...”
Aled: "Why not? Its 2017 explain yourself Arfon Jones!”     
Arfon: "errr... It's to do with the character. Right, two years ago they brought back the Master. This character has been in the series since the 1970's. He's been a man throughout, but when they brought him back in the new series they turned him into a woman. I felt that I was watching a completely different character. I didn't feel it was the same 'person' that I had been watching all this time. BUT that's my preference. Its nothing to do with sexism or anything like that! It just so happens that with Doctor Who, I would rather if he remained a man.”
Aled: "But a woman would add a little something to it, a new angle? Having a woman leading cast and crew would make the production interesting.”         
Arfon: "I've dug myself a hole here haven't I?”
Aled: "I think so! I'm just asking a question, don't you think so though?”
Arfon: "Well, yes it would certainly make it different. But its just that I've been a fan from the start and I don't want things to change.”
Aled: "I think that Doctor Who is like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. What is it about it, that grabs you? A time traveller that travels to different worlds and galaxies, what is the appeal?”
Arfon: ”There is a lot to it, it sounds like a simple premise but at the end of the day you can go to ANY time and ANY planet... anywhere. SO its not going to be exactly the same each time.”
Aled: "Stepping into a blue police box and travelling. Does it not sound somewhat old fashioned these days?”
Arfon: “Well, they introduced it the first time round so I guess its within their right to keep it that way. But they did try and change it a little in the 1970's by having him stranded on Earth, Jon Pertwee but that was because of their budget.”
Aled: ” yeah”.
Arfon: "But they have tried changing it in the past...”
Aled: "But in this day and age, sci-fi blockbusters where we have ideas that weren't around in the 1970's is the Doctor old fashioned now?”
Arfon: "I don't think so, I think it would continue on if it had their budgets.”
Aled: "Is this new ground then? an important milestone for the Doctor following on from Capaldi's decision to leave? Where will they go next? Do they need to think of something fresh?”
Arfon: "I'm sure they will think of something. (after all) there is a new production crew lined up along with a new actor... or actress!”
Aled: "There was a gap wasn't there in the 1980's when the original series was cancelled?”
Arfon: " Yes, it ended in the 1980's. They (the BBC) decided to stop making any more. They tried it again in America in 1996, they tried it as a pilot but sadly it wasn't picked up and we had to wait until 2005 for it to get a new series.”
Aled: "So its been as long as that since it had its second breath. People were apprehensive back then.”
Arfon: ”Yes. But we had been saying for years that it was worth bringing it back.”
Aled: "And then there's all the things that surrounds it. I've been to your home and seen your collection, we had a chat about it a few weeks back. The Daleks... there's a brand around the name 'Doctor Who'.”
Arfon: "Yes, even when the series had ended, these things were still being produced and the fans kept it alive.”
Aled: "Who is the best Doctor?” 
Arfon: "hmmmmmm.... Id say that its a matter of taste. I would say, Tom Baker will be remembered as the best. But William Hartnell was the first. So its difficult, it depends who you grew up with. Its happening now, there are children out there that watched David Tennant first and not aware of the others.”
Aled: "would you recommend that they watch the originals?”
Arfon: "yes, undoubtedly.”
Aled: "So have you a name? Who do you think should the next Doctor Who be?”
Arfon: ”I would like to see... I've given this some thought, Alan Davis. As the Doctor.”
Aled: ”Has he not been in it before?”
Arfon: "No.”
Aled: "Alan Davis, who was in Jonathan Creek?”
Arfon: "Yeah, I would say that he would be a great one.”
Aled: oooh, that's interesting. The Bookies haven't got his name. They think Tom Hiddleston.”
Arfon: "Right. I wont argue with them”
Aled: ”But then usually they know something we don't. 
Arfon: "Well, I'm always wrong so.... Don't hold me to it!”
Aled: "No not all, but that's an interesting name".
Arfon: "But that's just me. That's who I would like to see in the part. I would like to see him
Aled: "And the last question, who's the worst Doctor Who ever?”
Arfon: "no-no! I'm not going to answer that one!”
Aled: "Arfon...Arfon! Who made the least impression on you, work wise? ”
Arfon: ”I wouldn't say that... my own preference... I'm not as big a fan of... What with the comments made about women and this I wont be able to leave the building! Errr, Peter Davison isn't MY favourite... I will say that much, I wouldn't say he was the worst but I find that I don't go back to his stories as much as I would the others...”*
Aled: "Interesting, Hey you were honest I couldn't ask any more of you! Arfon Jones talking about Doctor Who, thank you very much.”
Arfon: "You are most welcome”

There you go, if you do in fact understand the language of the land of my fathers you can hear the interview here, be sure to tune in and catch Aled's show on BBC Radio Cymru

*As is often the case, I had more time to think about my answer and in hindsight I should have said Christopher Eccleston.

© Arfon Jones 2017. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.  


  1. I don't want a female Doctor either - as you say, it would change the character too much. I'd rather give new, exciting female characters their own shows and their own chances, and keep the Doctor as he is.

    (On which note, I'm still ticked off that Agent Carter got cancelled...)

    1. I haven't seen that (so you recommend it then?) It's frustrating when they cancel your shows. One of my all time favourite sitcoms is a little known comedy from the 80's called the 'Duck Factory', about a run down animation studio and the animators. Never made it beyond the first series so there was never a conclusion to it. Anyway, the guy playing Skip Tarkenton a young guy called Jim Carrey went on to do other things.... I always said that if I became super rich I would get a movie made that wrapped up that series!

      Im glad I didn't offend any women with that comment, I have been extra cautious since being called sexist for not wating to see the new Ghostbusters movie!

    2. All that PC sh*t really annoys me, AJ. If someone said that Agent Carter should be a man, or Modesty Blaise, there'd be a right stink-up among the feminists, but it's not okay, apparently, to say that we'd prefer Dr. Who (or James Bond, yes, it's really been suggested he should be a woman - named Jane) to stay a man? As for The Master, nothing was served by changing him to a woman - as you say, he/she/it seems like a completely different character, so why didn't they just make her one? PC sh*t, with a gay, lesbian and trans-gendered agenda at the back of it.

    3. I've been fortunate so far in nobody (directly) arguing against me that the Doctor being played by a woman (case in point Mim) which pleases me.
      As for the state of things, I read somewhere that 'the Moff' had intended for Missy to be the Rani, but as soon as word got out that she was going to feature in the story he decided to make her the Master... If this is true, then anyone that behaves like that should not be in charge of a show like Doctor Who. I am delighted that he's going, as a writer he's great (ish- if not for his constant need to have scary monsters that repeat themselves over and over again... e.g. “are you my mummy?” and “hey who put out the light?”) but he is awful as a producer. I imagine him of a night cackling away as he paints himself into a corner on the latest finale, giggling away about how he can annoy fans next and mess with the continuity of the show. Limitless regeneration, funny shaped Daleks, boring non threatening Cybermen, female Master... go home already! If any of that had been submitted as fan fiction it would have been thrown in the bin! (oh he created Sherlock Holmes too you know?) The only good thing he did was give us Capaldi, I only wish Capaldi stuck around a little bit longer just so we can see him with a new producer! Arrgh, how frustrating.



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