Colin Baker makes a statement about the Doctor Who Magazine controversy

6th Doctor Colin Baker was recently interviewed in Doctor Who Magazine. There had been some controversy over it on Twitter. He’s made a statement on his website on the matter. I’ve pasted it below to amplify it / just in case anyone needs to link it directly.


Colin has done so much for the fans and has tirelessly stood up for the creatives in the industry. He isn’t afraid to speak out when necessary and that’s one of the reasons us here at (Re)Generation Who HQ love him so much.

Kindness is important.


I am on the cover of the latest Doctor Who magazine because after several years of declining to be interviewed by them, I was persuaded by Big Finish that it would help them if I overcame my reluctance and did an interview. I owe so much to Big Finish for providing me with the opportunity to drag old Sixie from the mire of the 80’s where he was firmly embedded in some viewers’ minds into the audio sunlight of the Doctor Who range they produce. Suddenly great scripts, great love for the show, great directors and producers combined to breathe life into the corpse of the Sixth incarnation beyond ‘carrot juice’, the ending I had been given before we knew that it would be precisely that – an ending.

My long reluctance to talk to DWM was based solely on the fact that the magazine has persisted for years in having polls and then publishing the results in full. Not just the name of the favourite doctor or companion (as if that was worthy of noting anyway) but details of who came lower in the ‘who’s best’ listing – all the way down to least favourite.I have never been that sure about the need to do this, felt by some people, but had never realised until I was a part of it myself quite how dispiriting it can be to the less loved. When you are at the bottom of the list with the wonderful William Hartnell – whom most of those who voted had probably never seen – trust me – you feel a tad gutted. We are supposed to shrug and to move on; to pretend we haven’t seen it; to pretend we don’t care; to affect a lofty indifference. I have always found it difficult to do that. When I was told my services as the Doctor were no longer required, I was offered the chance to give an anodyne reason for my departure. I preferred to tell the truth. I have always found that easier in the long run, if not the short.

So when it happened to me again with that list of the popularity of the 200 stories to date and Peter’s last story was voted the most popular ever and my first story languished forlornly below the other 198, how could it fail to be like an hammer blow to anyone involved with that story. Could we not perhaps have just listed the top ten favourites? That would have hurt less, as my complete absence from that list would have at least been shared with the actors, writers and crew of the other 190. Once I had realised the potential for hurt in these lists, I constantly noticed the wounds inflicted on other creative people and hated it.

Anyway, when Big Finish told me that my re-generation episode’s release would be greatly aided by some coverage in DWM and that Nick Briggs had been asked to interview me for the magazine and that my exact words would be quoted, I eventually consented. I have known Nick for centuries it seems. He is as honest as the day is 24 hours long, we share a sense of fun and he is talented, clear thinking and a good man as well as being a superb writer. I warned them that I would talk about my quite strongly held views about their polls.

So wind forward a few weeks. My copy of the magazine containing my interview arrives. I read it and it does indeed reflect what I said exactly. No complaints. Nice picture on the front. Nice editorial.

I then started to read the rest of the magazine. I turn over four pages and see the DWM 2014 Season Survey. Favourite Story – listed from 1 down to 12. How can the writer of that story believe other than that the fans considered his story – the only one he wrote for that season – not as good as all the others? The same writer is also last in the Best Writer’s Poll with 1% of the vote – the winner getting 56% – lovely for him, but really unkind to the No 8! Best Director? There are six of them and one – with 1% is last. How is she supposed to feel? Why, oh why, does DWM feel the need to publish that. If they really like these polls why not tell us who came out on top without exposing those who did markedly less well to the ignominy of a negligible vote.

Lists that don’t identify individual human beings as least best are less pernicious. When it’s people who might be hurt – just name the one with the most votes. Open ended ones are less hurtful – like when ‘Others’ are given 30% for instance.

But DWM please remember that there are people reading these who may not wish to learn how unloved they are!

And then there is the twitter storm I have unleashed by trying in 140 words to make this point.

Because the original aversion to elements of these polls was started by my own low standing in the favourite Doctor list, many kind followers on Twitter are telling me they love me and say nice things about my Doctor. Grateful though I am of course for such kind outpourings, it was truly not why I tweeted my sadness and disappointment with DWM. It’s not about me and Old Sixie any more.

It seemed to me to be disingenuous at best to pretend that the juxtaposition of my very long interview (when I explained my dislike of the polls) and the 2014 season poll might be coincidental. Might a thoughtful editor have seen the potential for that being misread if it truly was a coincidence. My first thought from the Baker bunker was that I was being put in my place. ‘Don’t like polls eh? No pensioned off Doctor is going to tell us what to put in our magazine!’ While that may indeed be DWM’s right, it might have been more tactful in the circumstances to delay either the poll or my interview?

Various reactions on Twitter of course. One even accusing me of double standards because I appeared on I’m a Celebrity where the public vote leads to eviction – and suggesting that my lofty anti-poll standards were compromised in order to get paid. I struggled to understand that one – after all that is the point of that particular programme.

The editor responsible for publishing the poll and interview together asked me on Twitter to stop airing my views in public and talk to him privately – as if that would change anything. If he wants to say that the juxtaposition was coincidental – why not say so publicly? I like openness.

But to reiterate.

It’s not about me. I am heartened that people want to reassure me that Old Sixie is loved but I really do care about the new wounds being inflicted on today’s professionals by a magazine that should be protecting them. I am prepared to accept that they may be collateral and not intended victims, but now it is clear – or should be – that seeing in print that only 1% voted for you might just perhaps be less than pleasant and therefore worthy of a different presentation.

I guess I’m asking for the usual journalistic standards be nudged in the direction of kindness for a magazine whose sole purpose is to celebrate a television programme with those who watch it.

Colin Baker

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 Evolution is hard

Oh man, I am in one of those interim states where I want to work on a creative project but don’t know exactly what to do.

I’ve always identified as an artist. My first calling was music but I didn’t have the resources to be able to do that. I did comics instead. I did them too long. I became bitter with the politics in that scene and the high amount of work that it takes to produce one.

I spent about 10 years getting only 4 hours of sleep per night because of the labor required. I feel like I never want to draw comics again. Just looking at a sketchbook causes me to get queasy. I’m beyond burnt out right now. The only thing I enjoy is studying my guitar.

So I feel lost because I am not actually producing anything.

Yes, I am producing conventions. BTW, have you registered for Intervention yet? It’s in 2 weeks and going to be a hell of a lot of fun.) That’s something I love but not the same thing as a personal creative project.

I feel like I am at a crossroads, unhappy, and not sure what to do. TL; DR you can have a huge amount of success and still be unhappy.

Oh, and I’m slightly losing my sight until I get an eye surgery so making art also sucks for that reason. I find out on Wednesday what’s going on. More on that later. I hope the doctors can help easily.

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 Makeup Forever partners with transgender model Andreja Pejic

There’s been a lot of talk about transgender issues because of Caitlin Jenner and the amazing new campaign by Makeup Forever starring Andreja Pejic. If you haven’t seen the latter, here you go:

In my personal world that I’ve created none of this is an issue because we have a diverse mix of all genders in my organization. More than once I’ve been approached and told that it was very positive and remarkable that any gender issues were a non-issue. What I mean by that is that they were immediately accepted and not negatively questioned no matter who they were or how they identified. We are quite proud of our positive atmosphere.

That’s how I roll. Accept people or GTFO. I’ve been marginalized many times in life due to not fitting in. I sure as hell will not allow any of that to happen to anyone else on my watch.

I have no time for people who define themselves by what they don’t like or reduce themselves to fearing what they don’t understand. There’s a lot of things in life that I personally don’t care for and wouldn’t do myself. For example I’d never tattoo my face. That doesn’t mean someone who does can’t have my full respect.

Even if you don’t understand someone it’s not your business to make it your issue. You accept people as important human beings and that’s the end of it. People are important. I don’t care what race/class/gender they are. You don’t have to be “this tall” to have my unconditional friendship, so to speak. I am pretty sure we all read the Dr. Seuss book about the Star-bellied Sneetches. That’s some first grade shit there.

I had intended to write more here but I will follow up this post later with a more personal post on the topic. In the meantime I think I’m gonna schedule a makeup session with MUFE in advance of my next photo shoot.

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 5 things to know about getting Invisalign – a review at 6 months (ish)

My readers will know that I do not love the company that makes Invisalign. However I have received many questions about my Invisalign treatment and how it’s working. I’ve had these for almost 6 months so I feel that I know enough about them to speak clearly on it.

Invisalign is an alternative to metal braces. They are clear trays that you wear over your teeth for about a year. Every 2 weeks or so you simply switch to a tighter tray. If you are awesome with it like I was and wear it 21 hours a day or more your dentist may tell you to switch to 10 days instead of 14. I am on the accelerated plan and should be free of these things by November which would be less than a year. I had the awful metal braces as a child and they didn’t work which is why I am back to doing this as an adult. I was breaking teeth and in danger of breaking my own jaw on the daily. It was either do this or probably get jaw surgery.

Invisalign may have it’s flaws and their company may annoy me to no end but it’s far better than the alternatives. I would recommend it to anyone who can afford the +- 4k cost. They really are the only good option. I can’t imagine dealing with metal braces again as an adult. You might say “people shouldn’t judge you by your appearance”, but if you truly believe that this is what happens you are living in a fantasy land. I’m currently going for a VP position in a big company and occasionally do TV and magazine media. I can’t really see a planet where I would be taken seriously for this type of job with metal braces.

When I had the metal ones as a child it was brutal. I was always getting cut or stabbed and I had to go in every week or so for adjustments. Invisalign required 3 adjustments for me total. The dentist basically files down my teeth in the back so they can move to wherever it is they are going without shattering my skull.

I totally made that sound more heavy metal than it is. But that’s how I roll. \(^^)/

I had a few trays that were sharp. I was able to file them down with a nail file. The rest of the trays have actually been fine so far but I also have reports from some of my readers that they got sharp trays as well. I have no idea why it seems random that you’ll get a razor blade in your mouth, but apparently that happens.

At just under 6 months I can see a huge difference in my teeth. It’s definitely doing what it says it does. I’ll have to update on that further when I am done with the treatment.

Without further ado, here are the 5 things you should be aware of before you get these. I don’t think that too many people are posting the Real Talk about what these things are like to live with:

1. Heavy staining: You can’t have curry, red wine, or anything that stains your teeth. They have to install “buttons” on your teeth to hold the trays in place. For some reason, the bonding they use for these buttons absorbs stains like a sponge. One meal of curry will have you looking like a Halloween pirate with the yellowest, nastiest teeth you ever saw. No you can’t remove it at home to my knowledge.

2. Bleaching sort of helps: I gave up curry but I cannot and will not give up coffee. Coffee stains the bonding but far less than the curry. It seems that after about a month I need to bleach. To bleach just use Crest Whitestrips (or whatever it’s called) once every month or as needed. It removes the coffee stains in 30 minutes. The curry stains mentioned above were so bad that it perplexed my dentist and he had to blast me with some high powered baking soda. I’m not testing the whitestrips with curry. That traumatized me too much.

3. You’ll need to carry a toothbrush everywhere: Say goodbye to small purses until this is over. You need to brush, floss, and clean the trays when you eat anything ever.

4. You can drink smoothies and coffee with these in but beware: You can do this, but you run the risk of having epic amounts of blueberry or whatever stuck in the trays. This actually totally happened to me. I try and keep my mouth really closed until I can get to the bathroom upon arriving at work since I like to drink my morning smoothie in the car. If you drink coffee, make sure it’s not hot enough to warp the trays.

5. Wear these shits for at least 21 hours a day or more: Seriously, just do it. Why would you want to lengthen the amount of time you have to have to fuss with this? The 2 week time frame is designed assuming that most people are lazy and won’t wear them. Wear the hell out of these and GTFO in 10 days instead of 14 and on with your life.

TL; DR: At about 6 months in I recommend Invisalign. It’s annoying and I can’t wait to be done with them but it was the right decision for me to get them. They are a lot less awful than the alternatives.

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 Review: The Record Collector in Bordentown, NJ could be an amazing vinyl music store but fell short

The Record Collector in Bordentown, NJ is just a block or so away from Randy Now’s Man Cave (which also sells vinyl plus vintage toys) so it’s a good idea to do both of these on the same day. Read my review of Randy Now’s Man Cave over here.

the record collector

Image credit: The Record Collector’s website.

The Record Collector is dedicated more toward just vinyl and CDs with some collectible books and DVDs thrown in for good measure. This isn’t a bad thing. They also have a stage in the back of the shop for bands to play on. This is all a great recipe for a music store.

Unfortunately we had issues with this store.

My problem with the store wasn’t the focus – it was the implementation and the person staffing it. I’ll explain.

I felt that the selection of rock/pop/metal was poor and disjointed. It was almost as if someone who had no knowledge of these genres assembled the range of albums they had for sale. It didn’t feel curated and it certainly didn’t even cover the basics that most vinyl stores would offer.

Perhaps they aren’t focusing on these genres in favor of jazz, 50s, and country, but I wouldn’t be able to say because I do not have any expertise in those genres.

The layout of the shop does it no favors. It feels disheveled and doesn’t lead the customer’s eye toward what they should be looking at. They have plenty of space but they are not optimizing it. Your eye might fall on a roll of duct tape, crumpled papers, wires, and boxes of supplies just sitting out rather than an item you can buy. I felt they failed to make good usage of the space and especially the sales space up front at the register. Many record shops are crowded due to lack of space. They actually have the space here – they just aren’t using it.

The vinyl selection was small when compared with the size of the shop (Metal was a 2ft section on a shelf) and the CD collection was larger than I feel it should have been and presented in an awkward way that took up the largest footprint it could have. Let’s be real – who buys CDs anymore? I buy vinyl in person and CDs used on Amazon because vinyl can easily get damaged in shipping.

We spent 4 hours buying things in Randy Now’s Man Cave down the street and just 1 hour in here even though this shop was larger. I was actually ready to jet in 15 minutes but Harknell took much longer than me to look through everything. This was the first vinyl store I’ve been in that literally didn’t have anything that I wanted to buy in stock. I normally am a stupid big spender every time I enter a vinyl shop.

A compounding factor is that the prices were about $3-$5 higher on everything than every other store. The CDs were priced at 3 or 4 times higher than what you’d pay for them online and significantly higher than other physical stores.

From the perspective of a vinyl collector – I am not paying $12 for a CD. My mindset is that I’d pay up to $30 for a vinyl album without blinking, but if I also have to buy it on CD I am not OK with CD prices that fell out of the 1990s. I’ll pay $5 and under for a CD to go with my vinyl and that’s it. Why? Because I can buy it for that online. Customer purchasing habits have changed.

That said, I am one of those people who will pay more for better service. I could have written off the higher prices as a non-issue if the service was there.

The service was not there.

The employee who was working was bizarre. She was over the top friendly in an almost alarming way but completely unhelpful. Every question we asked her was deferred and left unanswered. At every vinyl store I’ve shopped at in the country the people working there generally seemed like they at least enjoyed music and wanted to help the customers get the items they were seeking. It did not feel that way here.

For example, if we asked for a specific album we were searching for we were told to go home and go on their website. Now, I’m not a genius, but if the biggest competition to a record store is the internet, why would you tell customers to go to the internet rather than helping them in your shop?

It gets better. If we asked for the price of an album on the wall she’d just say “those are $50 and up”.

That wasn’t what I asked.

No shit, Sherlock. The albums on the wall are the expensive ones. DUH. I do not give a shit if they are $50 and up. I want to buy this particular item on the wall please tell me how much it costs. I have money.

Nope. She would not tell me how much it cost and I sure as hell was not going to ask her a second time to do her job. They lost what probably was a pretty good sale from me. Thank you for the unhelpful information.

My honest opinion is that this place is good for a look if you are looking for a rare album that you haven’t found elsewhere. The fact that it’s near the amazing Randy Now’s Man Cave makes it a no-brainer to check it out, too. I was not impressed with the poor selection and service that urges customers to go online to check their catalog rather than helping them in the store. At that point you may as well just shop online somewhere else instead of coming here.

The Record Collector could be a phenomenal store if they re-evaluated how they are presenting and pricing items toward their customers, made more of an effort to have knowledgeable people curate the vinyl selection in the shop, and made sure their employees actually helped people in the store rather than sending them to the internet. Unfortunately the only way I’d return to this store is if I had time to kill after shopping at Man Cave.

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