The Diary of a Dr Who Addict
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This issue’s cover illustration by Richard Jones is from Rick Riordan’s The Red Pyramid, the first in ‘The Kane Chronicles’ series. Rick Riordan is interviewed by Julia Eccleshare (see Authorgraph). Thanks to Puffin Books for their help with this July cover.
By clicking here you can view, print or download the fully artworked Digital Edition of BfK 183 July 2010.
Set in the 1980s when video recorders were the coming thing and a day trip to Blackpool in the newly acquired family car was a huge treat, this book is written in the form of David’s diary from the middle of his first year at the local comprehensive to the following Christmas. David’s policeman father has died, he and his mum have recently moved to a new house on the council estate and he has a new stepfather and step-grandma.
David is not sure of his place in the world and can’t get the hang of becoming a ‘teenager’. His best mate Robert is developing new tastes in clothes, music and girls but David isn’t ready for any of this and wishes they could go back to the time when they were both obsessed with Dr Who: watching it on the television, talking about it, reading the novels, listening to the music.
David’s natural inclination is to be on his own, re-reading his Dr Who stories and anything else he can get his hands on, and writing his diary and sci fi stories of the derivative kind. Of course this makes him different from the other boys and he realises he is getting the reputation of being, as Robert puts it, a ‘puff’. For a while his friendship with school friend Karen quells the rumours but this ‘protection’ comes to an end when Karen re-kindles her boyfriend/girlfriend relationship with Robert.
It seems there is a strong autobiographical element here: Paul Magrs is the author of a number of Dr Who novelisations and was a teenager in the 1980s and this does help the authentic feel of the decade when teenagers listened to Bowie and painted their lips black. In the final pages of the story, David strikes up a conversation with a beautiful and openly gay sixth former called Aafreen and the reader is left to imagine how this will be the start of a new era in David’s teenage years.