Exclusive Interview: Rob Lloyd

February 11th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
exclusive-interview-rob-lloyd

Tickets for the brand new production titled The Science of Doctor Who are now on sale!

The show will soon be touring Australia as it takes fans on a journey to discover all the scientific facts that lie behind the timey-wimey fiction of the Doctor’s adventures.

We recently caught up with its presenter Rob Lloyd who told us about the inspiration behind the show, what its attendees can expect and why he can’t wait to get it on the road…

Thanks to Rob for answering our Q&As! Be sure to follow him on Twitter @futurerobby, and check out his official site HERE. Tickets for the events can now be purchased HERE.

Q. Hey, Rob! So how did your involvement with The Science of Doctor Who come about?‬
A. I had worked with RiAus, the company who is working in association with BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand, on a project called Mind Matters in 2010 and 2011. The show toured around remote areas of country Victoria and New South Wales, Australia. I hosted the free event where neuroscientist Anthony Hannan presented a talk on the latest advancements in neuroscience. I was basically the comic relief before the heavy, yet fascinating, lecture. So I must’ve made a good impression because the next time I heard from RiAus they were asking me about getting involved in The Science of Doctor Who.

Q. What can you tell us about the show?
A. Basically, I host with three scientists. We rotate between Dr Martin White, Dr Allie Ford, Dr Alan Duffy and David Jennens to explore the scientific theories and ideas presented in Doctor Who over the last fifty years. I introduce these theories in the context to the Doctor Who universe with a corresponding clip from the show and then the scientists discuss these theories in the context of the ‘real world’ and just how possible they really are.

Q. Have you always been a fan of Doctor Who?
A. I came quite late into Doctor Who, when I was 17, but don’t worry because I am now most definitely a full-fledged, hand-on-my-hearts, card-carrying Doctor Who fan! It was 1996, my first year of University, and it was actually a huge year for Doctor Who with the Paul McGann TV movie coming out and the passing away of Third Doctor Jon Pertwee. One of my closest friends at Uni, Alexander Jones, was dealing with quite a messy break-up so I thought the best way to take his mind off things was to get him to tell me the entire history of his favourite show, Doctor Who. After that five-hour late night chat I knew everything about Doctor Who and I was hooked, and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Q. How much were you involved with the writing and producing of the show?
A. I was lucky enough to be co-devisor and co-writer. When we were first developing the show, I wrote a list of as many of the science-type ideas in Doctor Who. This list was then presented to our scientists who chose the ones they’d like to talk about In the show. While the scientists started working out what they wanted to say, I had the ‘hard’ task of finding what particular episodes these theories were in and then pick an appropriate clip with one of our producers and co-devisors, Ben Lewis, from RiAus. So The Science of Doctor Who is really a group effort. Everyone connected with the show has some significant involvement in the development and writing of ours. The most enjoyable part of the preparation/’research’ for the show was having all of the scientists around at my house having a Doctor Who marathon. During every episode the scientists would be asking me specific continuity and ‘canon’ questions and at the end of each story they would sit around and discuss whether the ideas shown in that story were possible.

Q. What do you think makes the scientific aspects of Doctor Who so appealing?
A. You can’t help but get caught up in the endless possibilities presented in Doctor Who. The show has had so many talented, intelligent people connected to the writing and overall shaping of the show, who were basically allowed to let their imaginations run wild and free. So anything is possible. Star Trek is kind of limited by it’s rigid moral and scientific code. Star Wars sadly lost a lot of its magic when George Lucas attempted to introduce quasi-scientist reasoning behind the force. Doctor Who, however, is always changing the rules, breaking the rules, re-writing the rules, or even creating entirely new ones. That’s what’s appealing, from a science point of view, when watching Doctor Who. It may not make sense or be plausible or even be taken completely seriously, but it may actually be possible.

Q. What can fans attending The Science of Doctor Who expect from the show?
A. Fans can expect to be educated as well as entertained. That’s a difficult balance to get right but I think we’ve managed it perfectly with The Science of Doctor Who. Let’s not forget that originally Doctor Who was meant to be an educational program as well as an entertaining one, teaching kids and their families about history, different cultures and even the odd scientific theory in a very basic form. The Science of Doctor will also be dedicating equal time to both the classic and modern era of the show so no fan will be left out. The show is also appropriate for the entire family and people of all ages.

Q. Will there be any interactive aspects to the show?
A. There will most definitely be interactive aspects to the show. As Peter Capaldi said, “Doctor Who belongs to all of us”, so who are we to deny the audience getting involved? The most exciting interactive aspect of The Science of Doctor Who is that, at the start of the show, audience members will be invited to use their smart phones to visit a specially set-up webpage on which they can vote in real time on certain polls and activities that we’ll be running throughout the show.

Q. What are you most looking forward to about taking the show on the road to venues across Australia?
A. I can’t wait to meet all the Australian fans of Doctor Who to share our mutual love of the greatest show in the galaxy. The most exciting part of touring this show is that this type of show has never been done in Australia before. It’s going to be entertaining and a heck of a lot of fun, but the most important thing is that the audience will walk away with a little bit of extra knowledge that they didn’t have before. That is by far the best part of being involved in The Science of Doctor Who.

Q. Will there be any surprises in store for audiences?
A. Spoilers! All I can say is that we will be exploring time travel, parallel dimensions, regeneration and life on other planets, plus many other things. We will also be giving the audience the opportunity to decide once and for all which Doctor Who monster should rule the universe.

Q. Finally, if you could pick one fictional scientific aspect from Doctor Who to bring into reality, what would it be and why?
A. Ooh, that’s a hard one! Off the top of my head, it would have to be time travel. I mean who wouldn’t want to be able to travel back to the Middle Ages or forward to the 35th century and be back just in time for tea? However, if I really think about it, I would love to be able to regenerate. I mean, I know if was created merely as a plot device to explain changing the lead actor back in the 60’s, but it has evolved into this myth and legend. It’s such a fascinating concept too. Same person only a different appearance and a different personality. It’s kind of like immortality. I love it. So I’d love to be able to regenerate!

Have you got your tickets for The Science of Doctor Who? Let us know in the comments!

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