Monday, April 14, 2008

New Doctor Who blog is up

And you can reach it here at

If you're one of the people who commented on RT about the last one, under assorted suspicious names like Helena Handcart - surely a member of the Handbasket family who's been through Ellis Island - then thank you.

Page impressions are one thing, comments are disproportionately helpful. Especially disagreement: honestly, get in there and tell me what a daft prat I am, I'll love you for it. Though, please, no swearing: this is a family show.

But anyway, watching Doctor Who for money: what would my teenage self have thought of that?


PS. I don't know why this bothers me especially today, when it's always bothered me, but if you read that Who blog of mine you will see a certain police box spelt as Tardis. It's just wrong. It's the TARDIS, it always has been. But that's Radio Times style. I see the point, all-caps jolt out of the page: I once wrote a PC-DOS manual and sometimes the page would swim with those capitals, but still, this is the TARDIS!


Jason Arnopp said...

I'm with you on the TARDIS issue, sir. It's an acronym, after all! But it can make you look like one of those PEOPLE who use capitals for unnecessary EMPHASIS.

William Gallagher said...


Capitals also have a way of breaking your reading: when it's as you say, erratice EMPHasis then you're slowed down. (Because we read whole words at a time, recognising the entire shape; capitalised words are more blocky and we have to work it out letter by letter.)

But they can also break a page. There is a writer near this parish who will write the odd word of stage direction in capitals. And bold. Sometimes also underlined. Occasionally indented off the margin. How much emphasis can you realistically expect a word to carry?

Anyway, so you're reading the script, you turn the page - and you eye teleports to a direction halfway down the page. You're gone: it's an effort to go back to the top and get back into the flow of the story.

As it happens, she always uses it for directions where we're supposed to see a note. So bold, caps, underline, indented, story-wrecking distraction gets you "JUST ONE PINT TODAY, PLEASE".

I have mentioned this to her on bended knee.


Piers said...

What about a laser? Or Aids? Or scuba gear?

In English, speakable acronyms get unpunctuated as they fall into everyday use. And the Tardis is one of those things that is now in everyday use.

Note it hasn't yet lost its initial cap, though. Laser has, Aids hasn't, scuba is transitioning. That's going to happen to the Tardis too, in time.

William Gallagher said...

Go say this on the Radio Times blog!

Just between us, I am within sight of beating Alison Graham's traffic figures and she's been doing it for a year with a heavy plug in the magazine each week, too.

Go! Shout! Be free! At


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Piers said...

Someone hasn't activated their Magic Word Thing...

William Gallagher said...


Piers said...

Yes please. If you're offering.

William Gallagher said...

No more callers, we have a winner.

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