Along with Karen Gillan, another Doctor Who ‘star’ attending the Wellington Armageddon Expo here in New Zealand is Australian actor/comedian Rob Lloyd.
Over the past few years Australian comedian Rob Lloyd (www.roblloyd.com.au) has developed, created and been involved in a number of projects specifically focused on everyone’s favourite Time Lord, Doctor Who. From one-man shows and podcasts, to original fan-fiction audio dramas, comedy-educational shows, and completely improvised original Dr Who stories, Rob certainly has made an effort to offer a wide variety of Doctor Who-based live entertainment.
He even got the opportunity to be part of the BBC America documentary Doctor Who: Earth Conquest Tour where he represented Doctor Who fans in Australia and interviewed other ‘Who Lovers’ at the World Tour event in Sydney.
I am unfortunately unable to attend Rob’s performance in Wellington, but managed to catch the man himself and ask him a few questions about how he got started, his many projects and his passion for the Time Lord.
When did you first realise you were a Whovian?
I came quite late into the world of Who actually. I was 17 and it was my first year of Uni. It was 1996 so Doctor Who hadn’t been on Australian screens for 7 years. I’d always been interested in getting into it but there’s so much history, it can be an intimidating task.
Luckily one of my Uni friends was a huge fan and pretty much sat me down one night and told me the entire backstory. This is the same year as the TV movie starring Paul McGann came out which was very exciting…I’ve been a fan ever since.
Who is your favourite Doctor (Classic and NuWho)? Who was your first Doctor?
My favourite Doctor is Jon Pertwee.
I adore the 3rd Doctor but he is an odd beast. He’s charming yet incredibly serious. I see him as someone bringing down the system from within. He knows how to schmooze and live the diplomatic lifestyle but he is suspicious of all authority and people with power.
Your range of Doctor Who related projects certainly covers a wide range – from One-man shows and podcasts to audio dramas – how and why did you decide to incorporate you passion for Doctor Who into a career?
I’ve only been incorporating Doctor Who into my work for the last 5 years. I always was hesitant towards doing it because Doctor Who-based comedy is very difficult to pull off.
I made a conscious effort to create a style of comedy focused on Doctor Who that can be adapted to the level of fan I have in the audience. For example, with Who, Me. I have had audiences that are hard-core obsessive fans, Classic fans and NuWho fans. I’ve also had partners of fans or just general audience who know very little to nothing about Doctor Who, so I need to present more personal stories about my obsession that anyone can relate to as opposed to just doing in-jokes about the soundtrack to Death to the Daleks or how annoying Adric was.
Whereas the podcasts and audio adventures are only listened to by Doctor Who fans so I can afford to just ‘let rip’ with all my obsessive facts, out-there opinions on episodes plus I get to play The Doctor…it’s every Who-fans dream.
I recently watched highlights of your sell-out who “Who, Me” (I especially enjoyed your interpretive dance of all the generations of the Doctor) – both your audience and yourself seem to feed off the love of the Doctor. You are one of them (one of us, one of us lol) . How do you come up with such great content?
I couldn’t do any of this if I wasn’t deeply in love with everything that is Doctor Who…the good, the bad and The Idiot’s Lantern.
I’ve been working in the comedy scene for 15 years and basically all I know is that the best way to survive is to do the type of comedy that you find funny. Don’t try and impress anybody else. Stay true to your sense of humour and others will follow. So that’s basically it…my ideas come from whatever inspires me in film, theatre, literature, comic books and of course television.
The oldie but goodie Whovian question….All of time and space, where would you travel to and why?
Early 1960s England so I can get copies of all the missing episodes of classic era Doctor Who! Then I can bring them back to our time and rule the world!
You were recently in the Australian part of Doctor Who Earth Conquest tour with Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, did you get to meet them personally? What do you think of Peter’s rendition of the Doctor?
Sadly I didn’t get to met Capaldi or Coleman.
My job was to interview the audience and Doctor Who fans attending the World Tour show.
I love Capaldi’s interpretation of the role. It’s something new for the modern audiences but at the same time quite a throwback to the classic era. I still think he’s finding his feet in the role but golly gosh it’s fascinating to watching.
You also got to meet a lot of Who Lovers – it’s amazing how Doctor Who has continued on through generations (and regenerations) to still be so loved by young and old alike. Why do you think that is?
It has been and always will be a family show.
Doctor Who was always intended to be a show viewed by all ages.
That’s still true today and what makes it such a unique presence on TV.
It’s a balancing act that Doctor Who has been able to pull off successfully over 50 years…finding a way for appealing to a wide range of demographics.
Have you had the opportunity to meet many other cast/crew members?
I have… there’s the usual photo ops and autograph encounters I’ve had with cast members at cons but I’ve also had the opportunity to present Who, Me. to some members of the cast and even hosted some Doctor Who conventions.
I’ve had Louise Jamieson, Camille Coduri, Dan Starkey, Matthew Waterhouse, Geoffrey Beevers and even the great Terrence Dicks see my show.
It’s all great fun and incredibly humbling.
What’s next for the Doctor/Rob?
Well…the big news for me is I’ll be involved in the Doctor Who Festival happening in Sydney on the weekend of November 21 and 22. It’s going to be a huge Doctor Who experience with Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat attending.
I’m so excited to be working for BBC Worldwide for the third time in less that two years.
You can also hear my latest adventures as The Doctor for the fan-fiction, original audio drama production company Illusionist Productions. I’ve just finished recording the first couple of stories of my third season.
Any plans on doing a full nationwide New Zealand tour?
I toured here in 2013 to the Auckland Comedy Festival. I had an amazing experience.
I would love to come back and take the show all over New Zealand.
If you could hook me up with a local venue manager or theatre producer that would be greatly appreciated.