Mission (to the Unknown) Statement

Fandom has always sought an outlet for their enthusiasm. The rise and rise of the internet led to an explosion of fan opinion which changed the way fans spoke to each other. Instead of a measured discussion via letters to fanzines, opinions began to be shared in real time, allowing for heated debates to spring up that raged for days, as antagonists took pot shots at each other via message boards or forums.

The evolution of fandom has followed the evolution of the internet. Cheaper access to faster broadband has allowed fandom to move to the next level – podcasting. Opinions and reviews are now disseminated via the spoken word, taking advantage of the widespread uptake of smartphones allowing people to listen to podcasts as they go about their daily lives.

The number of podcasts devoted to Doctor Who is remarkable. A brief glance at the Doctor Who Podcast Alliance reveals well over 100 active podcasts! The relative cheapness of microphones, the ready availability of free recording and editing software coupled with increased internet speeds has made it easy to take up podcasting. The quality varies but there is no mistaking the enthusiasm of all involved.

The reasons for taking up podcasting boil to getting your voice heard in a crowded market. Internet forums are essentially swamps, where it can be hard to start a decent conversation amidst the crosstalk. Blogs are going the way of newspapers; a tiny minority remain worthy, the rest, not. Podcasting demonstrates a level of commitment that goes beyond staring at a computer screen in your bedroom with the blinds drawn and a half empty bowl of M&Ms for company.

Before setting up the ‘cast, we were devotees of the medium and listened to a number of podcasts regularly – obviously Doctor Who, but also others devoted to movies, music and politics and writing. All of the Doctor Who podcasts devoted a significant chunk of their releases to reviews – too many in our opinion.

So, in revolt against endless reviews, 42 to Doomsday was born! We were in agreement when we discussed what we wanted out of the podcast – abandon all reviews and try and engage in a discussion about a single topic. We wanted it to be like the conversations we had with our mates down the pub, swapping thoughts, challenging opinions, and generally having a fun time that hopefully gave the listener the sense that they too were part of the conversation.

As the show has evolved, we’ve gradually developed a format. Admittedly, no episode retains its topicality for long, as Doctor Who is a show which constantly moves forward. That said, we do discuss the most interesting item of news, before moving on to the main topic.

So there you have it. While the next logical step is for fandom to move into internet TV, via platforms like Youtube, podcasting will remain a vibrant forum for fan discussion for a long time to come.

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