Full Interview With Cavan ScottBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 28 April 2015 - Reviewed by Martin Hudecek
Cavan Scott

Which other sci-fi or fantasy shows do you regard in the same league as Doctor Who and why?

That’s a tough question. For sheer longevity, I guess you have to talk about Star Trek, which re-invents itself for each passing generation.

 

For engaging characters, it’s Buffy and Angel, even after all this time.

 

But there’s nothing like Who. The old cliché about the format being infinitely flexible is only a cliché because it works. Nothing is as adaptable as Doctor Who. Nothing at all.

What has made you such a huge fan and eventual contributor to the comic strip medium? 

The comics actually helped me become a fan of Doctor Who. I'd watched the show since Tom Baker was the Doctor but started to read Doctor Who Monthly around the time of the Fifth Doctor. I immediately fell in love with the strip, an obsession that only grew during the Sixth Doctor's tenure. I adored the Sixth Doctor's comic run. Frobisher. Voyager. Sheer brilliance. I was already a comic fan, so they really helped cement my love for Who. And then there was the Marvel US reprints of the Four Doctor strips. I became obsessed with collecting back issues, which lead me into the wonderful world of Doctor Who merchandise and books and underpants and... Basically I was doomed.

 

As soon as I started to write Doctor Who professionally, I knew I wanted to write Who comics, and eventually I've got there.

How did you get involved in this mini-series project for Titan?

I was working with Titan on Adventure Time strips for their UK comic when the news came through that they'd won the licence, so I started asking around until I got hold of Andrew James the editor. He'd read Who-ology so we got talking and it went from there.

What do you regard as the Ninth Doctor's 3 biggest strengths?

Enthusiasm.

Renewed hope.

Straight-talking.

And his 3 biggest weaknesses?

His temper.

Intolerance, at times.

Women (seriously, he is such a flirt)

When Doctor Who was first brought back in 2005 could you really have imagined what a colossal hit it has gone on to become?

I hoped, but had no idea it would be so popular. But I'm very glad it is. One of the best moments of 2005 was doing a signing and seeing so many children at the event. Finally, Doctor Who was back and where it belonged - in the heart of families!

Does the Ninth Doctor regard Rose as anymore than a really close friend - (the TV show could be quite ambiguous at times)?

That's a good question. I think he desperately needed someone like Rose, someone to hold his hand and run. She reminded him of what it was like before the Time War, and I think that, yes, there was something more there, but he was wary of letting himself get too close. And then of course, he regenerated into someone who suited her more, changing himself to become something that might be more appealing to her. How many of us have done that for someone we fancy?

You have Captain Jack on the TARDIS crew in your story. Do you enjoy the slightly uneasy relationship that he has had with the Doctor, and why do you think the tension is there?

I love it! I think Jack and the Doctor see much of themselves in each other. That's why there's so much teasing and banter. They're slightly jealous of each other, not so much over Rose, but about who the other person is.

What was the main inspiration for the mini-series (apart from the lone TV season that featured Christopher Eccleston)?

The Time War. Ever since the show’s return I wondered why no one tried to fill the Time Lords shows. Nature abhors a vacuum and all that. This is the story of someone who tries - and what happens when the Doctor crosses their path.

Why do you think Doctor Who has endured for over half a century, and what makes it so suitable for other mediums than just the television?

It’s the flexibility I mentioned earlier. It can be hard science fiction one minute, whimsy the next. Horror? No problem. Comedy? All in a day’s work. If you don't like stories set in the Victorian age, don’t worry, the TARDIS will be in space next week. Want a silly runaround? An intense character piece? A farce? A thriller? Doctor Who can be all these things and more.

Are the Daleks your favourite monsters, and if not which are// and if so why (delete as applicable)

They are. I know, I know, how predictable, right? It’s because they're the ultimate foil for the Doctor. He's about freedom and self-destiny, they're about control and domination.

 

But the Zygons come a close second in my eyes, because, well, they're awesome. I mean look at them. Suckers. Teeth. Control panels that look like pizza toppings.

Apart from your considerable fictional body of work, you have done some non-fiction. Which of these projects has been the most rewarding for you?

Fiction and non-fiction are different kinds of story-telling. Your job is to take the reader or viewer on a journey, to hook them in, whether its fact or fiction. Working on both keeps me fresh, I hope!