The Doctor Who Appreciation Society has just released Pets in Time, a new book supporting the RSPCA, full of both moving and hilarious stories by actors, writers and production crew from the world of Doctor Who, about their own very special pets.
Introduced by Colin Baker, edited by Ian Wheeler, with a cover by Basil Waite (aka Foodoodles), along with the many contributions from actors such as Nicola Bryant, Janet Fielding, Louise Jameson, John Leeson, Katy Manning, Wendy Padbury and Sarah Sutton, the book also features art by Colin Howard, Paul Magrs, Nick Miller, Jey Parks and Raine Szramski.
Doctor Who writers such as Andrew Cartmel and Stephen Gallagher have also contributed, and from the world of comics, creators including me, John Freeman, and Tim Quinn.
Acknowledging the work of all RSPCA staff past and present, Pets in Time is dedicated to the memories of Doctor Who writer Bob Baker, co-creator of K9, who wrote his contribution to Pets in Time shortly before his death last year; and Doctor Who fan Simon Wellings, “both sadly missed”.
“I have benefited from a very early age from the company of animals,” notes Colin Baker in his introduction to Pets in Time. “… In the following seventy or so years of my life we have steadily increased the number of lives that have shared ours for a while.
“Companions are important, as a former Doctor I can attest to that,” he adds, “and I am sure anyone reading this will know what I mean. Animals, I would suggest, often do a lot more for us than we do for them.”
“If you’re considering acquiring a four-legged friend, please think carefully about giving a home to one that has been abandoned or saved from a ghastly life,” urges actress Louise Jameson in her contributions, who, like others, remembers many past pets with fondness. “You’ll never regret it.”
“Animals, especially dogs, have always been such a huge part of my life. I can barely remember a time without one in my life,” says actress Nicola Bryant. “… I cannot imagine why anyone would hurt an animal and so I have the upmost respect for those who work for the RSPCA.”
Alongside stories, and pet memories, we’re also treated to two great items from visual effects artist Mat Irvine and Mike Tucker, revealing some behind the secrets in the making of Doctor Who, including the creation of “Sooty”, the puppet cat featured in the last “classic era” Doctor Who story, Survival.
“As an organisation which investigates and prosecutes people for animal cruelty, we’ll always have enemies, and people’s expectations of us (often, wrongly, thinking of us as the animal police!) will always be far greater than we can realistically deliver,” notes DWAS Publications Manager and RSPCA volunteer Rik Moran in his contribution, outlining the important work of the charity.
“As a charity, the RSPCA have no legal powers and a call comes in every 30 seconds. People often think of the RSPCA – in terms of size – as equivalent to the police force. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The RSPCA has just 287 full-time uniformed officers and inspectors for England and Wales, each one covering on average an area of 172 square miles – compared to the police force, which has a police officer covering an average area of half a square mile – which means that we have to prioritise the animals most in need at the time.”
“One of the positive things to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic is that Doctor Who fans, always generous in nature, have sought to raise money for various charities in various inventive ways,” notes editor Ian Wheeler in his introduction to the collection. “The RSPCA has had a tough time during this difficult period, with its resources stretched to the limit, and I had a hunch that many of the talented folk associated with Doctor Who would love to do something to help. I was not wrong.”
• Pets in Time is available here from the Doctor Who Appreciation Society web site price £9.99
Edited by Ian Wheeler, contributors to Pets in Time include, in alphabetical order: writer Bob Baker, actor Colin Baker, actress Nicola Bryant, writer Andrew Cartmel, actress Linda Clark, TV and radio broadcaster Stephen Cranford, former Coordinator of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society Karen Davies, actress and novelist Janet Ellis, actress Janet Fielding, former Doctor Who Magazine editor John Freeman, writer Stephen Gallagher, director and educator Andrew Ireland, author Will Hadcroft, actor, writer and stand-up comedian Toby Hadoke, performer Mark Barton Hill, artist Colin Howard, visual effects wizard Mat Irvine, actress Louise Jameson, actor and voice artist John Leeson, artist and writer Paul Magrs, actress Katy Manning, actor Derek Martin, artist Nick Miller, DWAS Publications Manager and RSPCA volunteer Rik Moran, actress Wendy Padbury, artist Jey Parks, actor Eric Potts, author Tim Quinn, former Doctor Who Brand Manager Edward Russell, actor and novelist Robin Squire, journalist and editor of Big Finish’s Vortex magazine Kenny Smith, illustrator, cartoonist and writer Raine Szramski, actress Sarah Sutton, actor Mark Strickson, writer and artist Paul M Tams, writer and visual effects wizard Mike Tucker, Basil Waite, and writer Mark Wright
• The RSPCA is online at www.rspca.org.uk
Categories: Books, Doctor Who, downthetubes News, Other Worlds, Television