Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf

Author: Toby Hadoke
Starring: Toby Hadoke, Louise Jameson and Colin Baker
BBC Audio
RRP: 9.99
ISBN: 978 1 4056 7783 7
Available 30 July 2007

This is Toby Hadoke's autobiographical piece told along the timeline of
Doctor Who history, using comedic observations and excerpts from his teenage diaries. These include how he coped with being bullied, why he never got the girl, and later how being such a fan of Doctor Who helped to actually get the girl and end up with two children that are now the envy of every kid in the playground, all thanks to a geeky obsession...

Moths Ate my Doctor Who Scarf is a studio recording of Toby Hadoke's stand up show which he originally performed at the Manchester Comedy Festival in 2005 and was transmitted on Radio 7 in July 2007. It is a meandering tale of how one man's passion for a show affected and informed his life...

The disc is part autobiography, part observational comedy and totally funny. Toby narrates the trials and tribulations of being a Doctor Who fan, when it was less than fashionable with an easy eloquence, a grasp of the English language which I'm sure he inherited from watching all those Who stories. The monologue is broken up with a BBC announcer (James Quinn) who, for the most part, states the bleeding obvious. It had never occurred to me just how silly most of the Doctor Who story titles were, especially Deadly Assassin, wherein the assassin is er... deadly, as opposed to other attributes an assassin might possess.

The whole show runs for an hour, with nary a dull moment. It is split into two parts - The Skinny Defective and That Was the Geek That Was - though it's entertaining enough to listen all the way through.

As well as staring Toby as himself the disc has the delightful Louise Jameson, playing his mother, and Colin Baker popping up in a cameo as well as book ending the show. The story is further fleshed out with the vocal talents of Rebecca Ridgeway, who plays Mrs Toby; Ashley Margolis who plays five different child parts, Niall Shepard plays Toby's school yard nemesis Kyle Spade, who must have mixed feelings about being immortalised in a comedy show. The last two vocal talents are George Weaver playing Louis, Toby's son and Alfie Joey filling out the remaining male roles.

As someone whose experiences of growing up a Doctor Who fan were similar to Toby's it was pleasant to see that, apart from the obvious humour to be drawn from such an experience, Toby has also woven in poignant moments of childhood isolation, the problems of sharing your interest with the opposite sex and the joy of handing down your passions to your children. The delight and pleasure which he derived from the show is palpable and goes a long way to explaining why the show, at times, even moved him to tears - tears which were often misunderstood. I, personally, remember a particularly embarrassing moment of being in a cinema crying my heart out over the death of Spock with my date looking on with even measures of disbelief and horror. The evening did not end well, but then sometimes our passions run away with us.

That said this is not a show just for a niche market, even my wife found it funny and she normally falls asleep during anything to do with science fiction. What we have here is a delightfully funny trip down Toby's memory lane, which reflects many fans experiences, wrapped up in a stand up routine which will have you laughing out loud.

Charles Packer

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