Doctor Who, Blackpool, David Tennant, David McDonald and me

I HAVE always felt that I have a kinship with Doctor Who – even in the days of wobbly sets and even wobblier ‘special’ effects.

I mention this as we took a trip to Blackpool at the weekend, somewhere that has always been strongly linked with the Gallifrey locum.

Going back in time to the 1970s and 80s (1974-1985 to be exact, fact fans), the older readers may remember that Blackpool hosted the first and greatest Doctor Who exhibition.
I visited as a nipper and as I remember, you went in (brilliantly) through a Tardis on the street, before going down some steps and walking through a collection of models, costumes and – most amazingly of all – the Tardis control room.
For a child in the pre-internet, pre-DVD, pre anything like that days, it was mind-blowing.
When the programme went off air, I was one of the many who hoped it would return, and was more excited than a man in his mid-30s has any right to be when it did.

Nowadays the Blackpool link remains, with David Tennant turning on the illuminations (which include some Doctor Who ones) and also starring in musical drama Blackpool before he got the keys to the Tardis. The museum also re-opened two years ago.

Our day in Blackpool (very nice, thanks for asking) got me thinking about my own way spooky link with the current Doctor (leaving aside the fact that we’ve both been in Blackpool at different times and for different reasons).
As most Whovians know, David Tennant is really David McDonald. However, his very first role – in an episode of Dramarama in 1988 called The Secret of Croftmore – was as Neil McDonald.
So what you say? So that is my real-life name too!!!
All together now – ooooh!
What does that mean? Nothing really – although he could be my 27th cousin or something I suppose – I just had some time on my hands and wanted to share.
But as obscure links to iconic science fiction characters goes, that takes some beating.

2 thoughts on “Doctor Who, Blackpool, David Tennant, David McDonald and me

  • Col Steve Austin


    That’s nothing – not only am I called Col Steve Austin BUT, incredibly, in the 1970s I was involved in a crash in a secret space plane and rebuilt at a cost of $6m using the most advanced technology available.
    Unfortunately, that was nowhere near as advanced as the technology available to the fictional Steve Austin, and consequently I have one leg shorter than the other and can only hear people what people are saying if they shout into my left ear.
    Still, amazing coincidence.

  • Anonymous


    Glad to know we share the same name, Neil, and that you like my TV series.
    David T
    a.k.a Neil M

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