And this, in which TV's Doctor Who does battle with the, ahem, 'Sontans':
According to my mum, I "never stopped writing". There are books and books of these Doctor Who tales, all of which feature the word "suddenly" quite a lot. I still find myself deleting the word "suddenly" from second drafts of things all the time. It's an affliction which affected me suddenly, over time.
Those books eventually led to the lovely headmistress and English teacher at my middle school conspiring to have my stories put together in a couple of bound volumes and placed in the school library. Halfway through my teens, rock journalism swept me off on a violent side current, but it always came back to stories of one form or another.
Ultimately, Doctor Who and the dreams it spawned have led me, via a fairly circuitous route, to write fiction for a living. I've written prose for the Fourth Doctor, audio adventures for the Fifth, Seventh and Eighth, and came bang up to date with the Eleventh Doctor for the BBC audiobook Doctor Who: The Gemini Contagion and The Brilliant Book Of Doctor Who 2012.
My first produced feature film Stormhouse (2011) rightly drew the odd Doctor Who comparison from reviewers - it was, after all, essentially about a terrible entity in a cage and fit the show's classic 'base under siege' template. Stormhouse had its world premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival, its London premiere at Leicester Square's FrightFest and its US premiere at the Los Angeles Screamfest. Lionsgate Home Entertainment bought it for US distribution and cut a trailer which I still love greatly for its Classic Sinister Trailer Voiceover. There's no doubt that I can thank Doctor Who for a great deal of all that stuff.
Then came the deal with Orbit Books. My forthcoming novel The Last Days Of Jack Sparks, my first for Orbit, definitely employs a few Doctor Who elements, some of which it would be spoilery to identify. I can say, though, that Doctor Who instilled in me a fascination with bodily possession which would be intensified by the cinematic likes of The Exorcist. There's a fair deal of possession in this novel, including two very different exorcisms (the first of which you can witness in the first chapter of the book.)
Why am I quacking about all this? Because it's important to stop, take stock, and never forget where your career really began. In my case, hunting for the Master in our old house.
I've so much to thank Doctor Who for, beyond the considerable entertainment it has brought, and continues to bring me.
You see, Doctor Who isn't just a show you watch. Doctor Who isn't just for Christmas.
It's a show which combines with your DNA, coils tendrils tightly around it and informs your entire creative life.
You'll never be the same again. Thank God for that and thank God for Doctor Who.