“At the end of the day Doctor Who and its merchandise are intrinsically linked together. They have run hand in hand for fifty three years now, and there have been many tens of thousands of items produced and released tying in with the show. I have a great many of these items and I enjoy sharing my love and passion for the merchandise with others, so being able to have a permanent exhibition is a dream come true!” - David J. Howe
If you’ve been a reader of this site for any length of time, you’ll know I’m a collector of films, memorabilia, books, comics and have been doing this sort of thing all my life. I attend a few conventions here and there, I write for a magazine, I pretty much live the geek lifestyle to the hilt.
I love meeting other people out there with the same interests. So it was that at the Sci-Fi Weekender a few years ago I saw a guy onstage interviewing Peter Davidson and Frazer Hines. The fifth Doctor Who and The Doctor’s longest running companion to date. The interviewer was David J. Howe and he seemed to have a warmer, closer rapport with his interviewees than you’d normally expect for someone who’d presumably just met them backstage.
I knew the name from Starburst magazine back in the eighties and nineties. Yep, David was a veteran at the same magazine that I write for. The following year, again at the Sci-Fi Weekender, I saw he ran a specialist sci-fi publishing company called Telos (naturally enough, the planet of the Cybermen) and so I plucked up the courage to go and say “hi”.
And that’s where our friendship really began. I was introduced to his charming other half, horror authoress Sam Stone, and we all got to know each other, drawn together by the love of geek culture and formed a strong bond. Eventually, of course David and Sam would hatch the idea of a monthly genre radio show called The Stone Tapes and would invite me along as a regular contributor. They would also honour (and scare the life out of) me by putting me on stage in the Sci-Fi Weekender interviewing writers, actors and film directors in front of a live audience of hardcore geeks. It was one of my fondest dreams that came true when I walked out on stage to introduce my sessions in front of packed audiences.
Much as we all love films and horror and sci-fi and all the other ephemera that goes along with our culture, I soon got to know that David J. Howe’s main obsession is Doctor Who – and his interest in the show and its past is fixed on its target with the intensity of a Dalek lining up a shot with its egg whisk. (Sorry about that one, David – I couldn’t resist.) He is a historian regarding Doctor Who. He has written many of the reference books that fans use with a biblical zeal to this day. Check this out.
Much as I collect stuff – he makes me look like a small-time dabbler. Over the years, he has collected props, costumes, merchandise, discs, books, games, toys, models – just about everything imaginable. He is basically the Forrest J. Ackerman of Doctor Who and has amassed a collection that will surely never be equalled. As Forry Ackerman had his Ackermuseum in the Ackermansion that housed his astounding collectibles, so too is David looking for a permanent home for his.
The plan is that David’s collection be put on display to all of us Doctor Who fans in a Doctor Who Merchandise Museum. But that costs money.
Here’s where YOU guys come in. There’s a crowd funding campaign to raise the money needed for this bold enterprise. If you’re a Doctor Who fan, or just someone mildly interested in the show, or sci-fi in general or even just pop culture, you can help create something worthwhile that might actually outlast us all. If you can spare some cash – that’s fabulous, if you can’t – then you can STILL get actively involved by spreading the word.
If you would like to speak to David about the project, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find the full details of the campaign which runs until the end of 2016 and the perks you can get with your donations at:
So – want to be part of something cool?
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