I am a fan of Doctor Who. To my friends and family who are not part of the whole Doctor Who world, I seem a bit mad and eccentric. To the people who inhabit the Whoniverse with all the love, fervour and passion of Doctor Who fandom, I’m probably a bit of an amateur. But I am passionate, and I write weekly episode reviews for a culture ‘zine blog. I’ve also done a couple of reviews of Doctor Who audio adventures for the extremely well-regarded BlogtorWho website. An honour indeed.
As an occasional contributor to the BlogtorWho website, the Blogtor himself (Cameron K McEwan) sent me this book to review. The Dalek Generation is written by Doctor Who legend Nicholas Briggs, who among his many talents provides the voice of the Daleks and the Cybermen in the TV series.
In a recent interview, Russell T Davies, the man who brought Doctor Who back to our TV screens in 2005, admitted that he wished he’d asked Briggs to write an episode when he, Davies, was the showrunner. And so as I read The Dalek Generation I wondered whether Davies’s faith in Briggs’s writing ability was justified.
Well, yes and no, to be honest, although when I submitted my review to BlogtorWho, I did feel as though I’d shot Santa or something equally awful. I loved the way Briggs’s love of the show dripped from the pages of the book, but the story itself felt a bit saggy round the middle (hey, don’t we all! – Ed).
The whole experience, though, was a really positive one and it’s a good thing for me to be trusted by someone I admire and respect to write something for a website that has, until quite recently, been run solely by him. It must have taken a big leap of faith for the Blogtor to trust me and a couple of others to write for his site, and one I hope I’ve done justice.
How good was Light Night? Bloody good, is the answer.
LightNight is Liverpool’s one-night arts and culture festival, which took place on Friday night. Over 50 city centre organisations kept their galleries, museums and venues open until late, staging around 100 special cultural events for visitors of all ages.
This year, visitors were able to enjoy the launch of LOOK/13 Liverpool International Photography Festival, the public reopening of Central Library as part of the In Other Words festival, spectacular light projections, street theatre, and a vibrant myriad of walking tours, open studios, live music, hands-on workshops and much more.
I set off on Friday night with Johny, my favourite plus one, Vickie, and him indoors to see what was on offer.
We started with one of the most amazing things this city has witnessed for a long time. The opening of our magnificent new central Library. A glory of the age, the library celebrated its opening on LightNight. I’d been shown around as part of the press launch, but seeing it with people thronged around it was something else altogether. From the moment I saw one of my eldest child’s school chums doing her biology revision in a little corner, I knew that this place is going to be well-loved and well-used as a place of learning.
From there we pootled over to see Izzy Major from Hope Street Ltd performing the Open Culture commissioned “Bookworm.” Izzy was surrounded by books and positively encouraged audience participation, even getting Johny up to read from The Wizard of Oz to the delight of everyone who watched, if not Johny himself.
We headed over to the Baltic Creative to see Made Here, a pop-up shop selling locally made artwork and spent a lovely bit of time talking to Andrew Beattie of Give Me Soul Ltd about the upcoming Liverpool Craft Beer festival (more to follow on that one!) and Doctor Who. Always good to meet a fellow fan.
We then headed to cafe 51 just in time to see the wonderful Kaya Hersted Carney of the Science of the Lamps performing a fantastic acoustic set. With time running out to see more, we headed round the corner to Arena Studios, where Paul Bywater’s Sergio Leone inspired exhibition was on show. Pencil drawings of spaghetti western-style characters adorned the gallery’s walls, but were well out of our budget!
Arena always embrace Light Night and we’ve never left empty handed, and this year was no different. Johny won a trophy playing the rather existentially titled “Mystical Duck Portal of Fate” game, or “Duck Chuck” as my young Arena chum, Flynn calls it. then we had a blind portrait done by Arena artist Carol Ramsay, where I ended up with a rather fetching goatee, which Carol insists was my scarf!
We set off to Camp & Furnace and saw images from the LOOK/13 photography exhibition, including images form my Threshold chum, Michael Kirkham, who is the second most Googled Michael Kirkham on the planet, fact fans.
Edging our way past Camp & Furnace’s enormous bouncers, we sat down for a well earned rest and a little tipple while we listened to some good, old-school dance tunes. It was most definitely a night to remember.
Enormous thanks and congratulations go to everyone who pulled their guts out to make this year’s Light Night so, so good. You are all heroes in our eyes.
With apologies for the quality, here’s some pictures of the night. Can’t wait for next year.
A jam-packed programme of cultural events will illuminate this city on the night, but I hope to illuminate my stomach first at the…. mouth watering-mix of culinary delights on offer in the restaurants, bars, hotels, and coffee shops from the Commercial District BID, hosting their Food and Drink Festival at Exchange Flags Square.
This will be my first stop to replenish the parts…..after a busy week, then there will be entertainment by RARE Studio and choirs singng from the balcony of the Town Hall to serenade all the connoisseurs of good food.
After last years LightNight travels, I’ve found that to reap the delights of the night, you need to be well planned and well timed in the events to enjoy it to the full.
The Black-E, Great George Street hosts carnival time with the fun loving Movema, Airborn and Brazuka, bringing you Brazilian samba drumming, acrobatic tricks and dance moves from around the world.
I might even throw in a ‘memory’ at the Transition of a Memory Workshop, if I remember.
A quick trip to the Candle-Lit-Labyrinth at the Anglican Cathedral will be relaxing before the next hike.
Next, a trek down Seel Street, through China Town and on to meet ‘Bookworm’ at Art House Square (near Fact) then into Fact for a glass of wine and a quick chill and another exhibition.
After a breather there, onto Wolstenholm Creative Space for ‘Drop the Dumbells’ then to The Bluecoat to enjoy all the free art offerings for the girls to upskill on.
Finally, we will end the night as always with an exotic coffee at Lunya and some Catalan fusion deli, washed down with a Spanish cava and a late night brandy with excellent conversation about the nights offering.
We always meet old friends and end up networking on these nights so if you are around….follow us on this night of adventure and ‘Do something different on a Friday night’