What Is A Whovian?

By Mélissa M Azombo

The fandom is in ruins and this only makes one want to fight for it. Why? There are some, who still call themselves Whovians or Doctor Who fans, who are attacking others, or singling them out.

So, what is a Whovian? Well, plainly speaking, it is a fan of the show Doctor Who or any of its associated programs. But Doctor Who is a show about a time travelling hero, who goes through time & space fighting off the bad guys. At its heart, as shown in the Zygon two-parter of Series 9, is an anti-war kindness.

So, can you be attacking people and still be a Whovian? Well, technically you can. Let’s not forget there are passive watchers of shows. They can enjoy watching a program and that is it. They can then be someone who enjoys watching the show but does not hold the “Whovian values,” so to speak. One thing’s for sure, this type of behaviour does not follow the values of The Doctor or the show.

One more question though. Is being a Whovian knowledge-based? People being accused of not being real fans because they just don’t happen to know who all The Doctors are yet, or who Vicki was, or maybe even The Brigadier, is not new and can be found online. Is this fair?

Well, unfortunately, humans are not born with 53 years of Doctor Who knowledge. There will always be something they don’t know. They will learn things over time. Before they learn those things, they won’t know them. This doesn’t make them any less of a fan if they enjoy the show. They just don’t know as much as others yet, but they’re on their way there, in their own time, and that’s OK.

A Fresh, Epic And Real Start To Class


By Mélissa M Azombo

Doctor Who spin-off Class will be delivered to our screens imminently but what can one expect from it?

It is no doubt that spanning a life-time of almost 53 years, Doctor Who is a household name. It has a global fanbase, proven by the success of the Doctor Who World Tour for the promotion of Deep Breath back in 2014, if it hadn’t already been by the success of the worldwide simultcast of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Episode: The Day Of The Doctor. Whovians (the name for fans of the show) are dedicated to it and what it stands for, so everything Doctor Who related has to be just right, whether a new episode of the main show, a new toy, comic strip or a new spin-off show…

Class, which will be made available to fans and perhaps new viewers everywhere on BBC 3, on Saturday 22nd October 2016 from 10h00 UK time is one of many spin-off shows which have been launched over the years.

In fact, a few weeks before Class had its star-studded London premiere of Episodes 1 & 2 at Rich Mix cinema in London, a screening was also held at Chapter Arts in Cardiff of the first ever episode of other Doctor Who spin-off show, Torchwood. The actual release date of Class will coincide with the official 10-year anniversary of Torchwood.

The spin-off held former Doctor Who showrunner, Russel T Davies as headwriter, while also featuring episodes written by future showrunner Chris Chibnall. The show was last on air with series Miracle Day in 2012, but has since only returned via Big Finish audio books. Despite this, the fanbase remains strong. Just a quick glance on Twitter will tell you that fans want its return.

Other spin-off shows include The Sarah Jane Adventures, which aired on CBBC, as well as BBC One from 2007 to 2011. The 5 series finished after the sad passing of lead actress Elisabeth Sladen on 8th April 2011. The Infinite Quest, K-9 & Company and Totally Doctor Who – the show which enabled John Bell to get an on-screen role in series 3 of Doctor Who – are just a few others. But where is Class placed in this line up?


For one, Class is definitely no Sarah Jane Adventures, as the audiences are not in league wiith eachother. While The Sarah Jane Adventures’ audience was predominantly children, Class focuses more towards a Young Adult (YA) audience. In fact, it can be quite gory. Confirmed by the cast in a Facebook livestream earlier this month, there can be quite a lot of blood. Some have described it as like Torchwood but for a slightly younger audience. What else does the show offer?

Class is created by “A Monster Calls” author, Patrick Ness, featuring a stellar main cast comprising Vivian Oparah (Tanya), Sophie Hopkins (April), Fady Elsayed (Ram), Mr Selfridge’s Greg Austin (Charlie) and Coronation Street’s Katherine Kelly (Miss Quill). It is set at Coal Hill Academy, a sixth form in Shoreditch, tied to a school with history with the show. This, since Coal Hill School featured both, on the first episode of Doctor Who, An Unearthly Child, in 1963 and in 50th anniversary special, The Day Of The Doctor, in 2013.

The main cast have to fight monsters in The Doctor (Peter Capaldi)’s absence. This story telling leaves no time for waiting around. It is fast-paced, with impeccable acting, exquisite direction, high production values and amazing special effects, as well as fantastic music, brilliantly composed by Blair Mowat. In episodes 1 & 2, the audience will learn a lot about the main characters, what brings some of them to Coal Hill and how they come to be the super gang that will fight against monsters. Classmates (The name for fans of Class) will not be disappointed.


Blair Mowat has composed for YouTube Series Doctor Who: The Fan Show, Big Finish audios and now for Doctor Who spin-off Class.

The show also has a great balance of humour, violence and reality. In fact, one of the things viewers will notice about Class, is its true reflection of life, with characters from a range of backgrounds: disabled, LGBT and different races. Show creator Patrick Ness notes “You see yourself on screen,” which many will be able to relate to and allows the show to be and feel like “a true story”. This is how shows should be.

On the note of things being relatable, when asked how people will be able to connect with Class, in the same manner that many deal with main show Doctor Who, Sophie Hopkins says Class “addresses those issues” that one may face in life. Vivian Oparah notes the show includes issues such as “identity and fitting in that anyone [at] any age can relate to.” She added “As black women, it’s super good to see yourself in places you might not think you can get to, because then you’re like “I can do it.” I just think you learnt that things happen, and it’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up for that and what’s important is that you move past it.”

Class, the “Fresh, Epic, Real, Authentic, Exciting” show, as described by the cast, deserving of an A*, is available to watch on the BBC 3 website from 10am on Saturday 22nd October. Classmates, are you ready for Class?

A 1st Class Experience

By Mélissa M Azombo

The BBC very kindly gave some the opportunity to enter their details to have a chance of getting a maximum of 2 tickets to the premiere of Doctor Who spin-off Class. I was one of them.

Upon receipt of my tickets, I was very excited and on the day of the premiere, I set off, not knowing what to expect, but still very excited. I made my way to RichMix in East London, where the premiere was being held, only to be met by Class banners under the rails, visible from the opposite side of the road. I took my lanyard, after having signed in and made my way up to the screen.

Before entering, I was met by a familiar face and tables full of popcorn and water bottles. I was not expecting this but it was a great reception. I then entered the screen and sat on some very comfortable seats. You could feel the buzz in the atmosphere. The 1st episode started. It finished. We left.

It was time for the Q&A: great fun and interesting information revealed, as well as unexpected shout-outs. The Q&A, although amazing, wasn’t where the greatness of the night stopped. There were opportunities to digitally be turned into one of the creatures from the episode. You could have your picture taken against a green screen and a GIF made of you with your pals and have them sent to you.

As if we hadn’t been treated enough, we got to select a book of our choosing – one of the Class books, which will accompany the series. I chose What She Does Next Will Astound You by James Goss because I know he’s a fantastic writer (If you haven’t read Doctor Who: Dead Of Winter, do!)

The warm atmosphere continued throughout the night, accompanied by mini sandwiches, mini burgers and wine.

The best thing was the opportunity to talk to the cast & crew beyond the Q & A and meet a few familiar faces – Whovian pals, everywhere!

Overall, I’d call the Class Premiere a first class experience.

“Changed, my dear… and it appears, not a moment too soon.”

So, it has been a while since I have posted on here. I have been very busy from fighting through my University degree to attempting to get a job as a journalist or science journalist to deciding being an unemployed graduate definitely was not for me and deciding between Universities.

Currently, I am now doing a course which will require me to create new blog posts, periodically. I will therefore be changing the look of this blog site to make space for those and some old posts may be disappearing, simply as they just don’t fit with the new perspective.

As to when I will be posting the Moon Monday, Wild Wednesday and Space Saturday articles again, I am afraid I am highly uncertain. I am currently and hopefully for at least a little while longer working as Radio Cardiff’s monthly Science correspondent.

Unlike the nature of my articles on this site, none of what I report will be astronomy/ space-related, as they already have a brilliant person from, wait for it, The Sky At Night, who does this. Needless to say after that sentence, definitely check out Radio Cardiff.

Nevertheless, all the stories I find will be scientific, so this may open your mind to another area of Science you may be interested in or explore further, one in which you already were.

Furthermore, I have signed up to write for a newspaper and magazine. I also, of course, will need to that old studying thing. So, my time is pressed. Not to mention I probably have a backlog of a 100-odd Youtube videos to edit and upload. I will do what I can and will keep you updated when possible.

So, this is an overall welcome back to my blog. Enjoy course-related blog posts on my Writing page or on my Journalism page, if I add that in, instead. I will also be posting about Science Communication for Techniquest, either on a separate Techniquest page or on a separate sciencewithmels.wordpress.com site. Check both here and over there within the next few months or so. I will let you know if more is added. ‘Til the next time!