90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
‘Doctor Who,’ Neil Gaiman And The Triumph Of ‘Intellect Over Brawn’
This morning, the amazing Neil Gaiman joined us in the studio to talk about the new prequel to his “Sandman” series and his incredible career as a writer.
 Nicole — a listener from Attleboro, Mass. and a fan of Gaiman’s work — made note of one accomplishment in particular: his stint as a writer on the long running British sci-fi series “Doctor Who,” which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary this past Saturday. Nicole called in, still recovering from the emotional anniversary special that featured not one, but three doctors (well, four if you count a cameo by the fourth incarnation of the Doctor, Tom Baker, now almost eighty,) including fan favorite, David Tennant.
Three incarnations of the Doctor (Courtesy BBC Television)

Three incarnations of the Doctor (Courtesy BBC Television)

Gaiman’s contribution to the long-running series started with the award winning episode “The Doctor’s Wife,” which aired back in 2011 and featured the current (at least for one more Christmas special!) incarnation of the Doctor, played by Matt Smith. For those who have not had the pleasure of seeing it —  the episode gives a voice to one of the stars of the show, who for almost half a century remained voiceless — the Doctor’s beloved time machine, the TARDIS (or, “Time and Relative Dimension in Space.”)
The TARDIS (Courtesy BBC Television)

The TARDIS (Courtesy BBC Television)

 The TARDIS’s claim to fame — besides being a magical, blue police box that can travel through time —  is that it is “bigger on the inside.” When Gaiman finally gave her the chance to speak, the TARDIS quite poetically wanted to know if the same could be said for people, an insight that tugged fans’ heart strings, and resonated with our listener Nichole.
Gaiman, a lifelong Whovian (the affectionate moniker for fans of the show), remembered discovering the show back in his kindergarten days, when his peers turned milk bottles into Daleks (which as he kindly explained to host Tom Ashbrook as, “These little robots that look like pepper pot shaped, hatey, metal death machines, with eye stalks and toilet plungers as weapons.”)
A Dalek (Courtesy BBC Television)

A Dalek (Courtesy BBC Television)

“I would go to my grandparents and watch episodes of ‘Doctor Who,’ and I would watch them from behind the sofa so that the things couldn’t get out at me,” Gaiman said.
And like many in the century since the show’s introduction, Gaiman fell in love with the odd man traveling through space and time in a little blue box: “The joy of ‘Doctor Who,’ was that it was always about intellect over brawn. Nothing was ever solved in ‘Doctor Who’ by somebody being bigger or stronger than somebody else, it was always about being smarter… That was what hooked me. I loved it.”
“Getting to write episodes of doctor who, was my dream job.” Gaiman admitted. (It’s a sentiment shared by fellow life long ‘Doctor Who’ fan, actor Peter Capaldi, who will step into the role on Christmas Day as the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor.)
Happy Fiftieth Anniversary, Doctor Who!
- Emily Alfin Johnson
Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Aug 21, 2014
In this November 2012, file photo, posted on the website freejamesfoley.org, shows American journalist James Foley while covering the civil war in Aleppo, Syria. In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded Foley — and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say. (AP)

An American is beheaded. We’ll look at the ferocity of ISIS, and what to do about it.

Aug 21, 2014
Jen Joyce, a community manager for the Uber rideshare service, works on a laptop before a meeting of the Seattle City Council, Monday, March 17, 2014, at City Hall in Seattle. (AP)

We’ll look at workers trying to live and make a living in the age of TaskRabbit and computer-driven work schedules.

RECENT
SHOWS
Aug 20, 2014
In this Oct. 21, 2013 file photo, a monarch butterfly lands on a confetti lantana plant in San Antonio. A half-century ago Monarch butterflies, tired, hungry and bursting to lay eggs, found plenty of nourishment flying across Texas. Native white-flowering balls of antelope milkweed covered grasslands, growing alongside nectar-filled wildflowers. But now, these orange-and-black winged butterflies find mostly buildings, manicured lawns and toxic, pesticide-filled plants. (AP)

This year’s monarch butterfly migration is the smallest ever recorded. We’ll ask why. It’s a big story. Plus: how climate change is creating new hybridized species.

 
Aug 20, 2014
A man holds his hands up in the street after a standoff with police Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, during a protest for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. (AP)

A deep read on Ferguson, Missouri and what we’re seeing about race, class, hope and fear in America.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Your (Weird? Wonderful? Wacky?) Roommate Stories
Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014

We asked, and you delivered: some of the best roommate stories from across our many listener input channels.

More »
1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web (August 15, 2014)
Friday, Aug 15, 2014

On Pinterest, Thomas the Tank Engine and surprising population trends from around the country. Also, words on why we respond to your words, tweets and Facebook posts.

More »
Comment
 
Nickel Creek Plays Three Songs LIVE For On Point
Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014

Nickel Creek shares three live (well, mostly) tracks from their interview with On Point Radio.

More »
Comment