February 11, 2007

Blogging the Blogroll #3: Behind the Sofa

Yesterday's Doctor Who post meshes quite nicely with today's "Blogging the Blogroll" post. Almost as if I'd intended it that way. This procrastination thing is working for me. Heh.

Anyhow.

When I started hearing rumours about the New Who, I started hunting for information on the Net, as usual. The first site of note I reached was Outpost Gallifrey, probably the premiere Doctor Who site on the Web. Unfortunately, the site wasn't particularly easy to navigate around (though I did get stuck for a couple of hours reading the reviews of old Tom Baker serials).

Instead, I hit upon the good folks at Tachyon TV, particularly their blog Behind the Sofa - which at the time was named "Waiting for Christopher," in anticipation of Christopher Eccleston taking the reins as the ninth Doctor. Here I found the information I was hunting for, and once the program actually started airing, I kept reading just for the running reviews as the season progressed.

"Behind the Sofa" is the traditional position of the pre-adolescent Doctor Who fan, spooked by the sudden appearance of a Dalek or Rutan. It's a group blog, originally created with the intent of giving anyone posting privileges who was willing to write; as a result they have a fairly large core group of reviewers. One of their number had a prominent walk-on role in last season's "Rise of the Cybermen." When a series of Doctor Who or Torchwood is underway, the blog focuses on weekly reviews of current episodes; in between seasons - as now as we await the as-yet-unannounced debut of New Who's third season - they go into "Stripped Down" mode in which they review classic episodes on DVD. There's also a Tachyon TV podcast, generally providing "alternative" commentary to the DVDs. The whole thing is done with a healthy dose of humour and not a little irreverence; recently at a convention, sixth Doctor Colin Baker tore the Tachyon TV guys a new orifice over a satirical review of "The Twin Dilemma" in a fanzine they'd produced.

What can be better than a bunch of fans, writing about what they love without being excessively fawning? That's why Behind the Sofa is on my regular read list.