About Swithun Dobson

Swithun has apparently been watching Doctor Who since he was 3 years old, although his conscious fandom only began in the mid 90s with the repeats on BBC2. He is critical of most stories but at heart he's a contrarian. In his solar system Classic Who is his home planet with its two moons, Big Finish and BBC/Virgin books, all of which orbit the great light of the original Prisoner; New Who in contrast is a barren rock orbiting a dying sun. What he likes is, according to him, somewhat rare: a tightly crafted, dramatic story in which an interesting idea is made flesh.

Doctor Who Commentary – ‘An Unearthly Child’ – The First Doctor

The First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan enter the TARDISWe start counting down to Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary in November by looking back over the history of Doctor Who, from 1963 down to the present! In this episode, Caleb and Swithun go right back to the very beginning, to discuss An Unearthly Child, (or if you prefer, 100,000BC or The Tribe of Gum, Hartnell overall story titles being what they are…)

William Hartnell was the original Doctor – but is he the original and best? We consider how the Doctor evolved from mysterious and unreliable mad scientist into the unconventional action hero he is today. Plus, how has the role of the companions changed since the original TARDIS crew of Ian, Barbara and Susan, as played by William Russell, Jacqueline Hill and Carole Anne Ford.

Join us as we celebrate the classic opening episode where it all began, plus reconsider those neglected cavemen episodes that follow… or should we skip to the Daleks already?


How do you feel An Unearthly Child holds up after all these years? Are you a fan of the First Doctor, and what are your favourite stories from his era? If you’re a recent Doctor Who fan who came to it since it’s 2005 return, what is it like to go back and uncover Doctor Who’s past? Let us know your thoughts below!

Opinion: Why the Doctor is not the core of Doctor Who

William HartnellWith Doctor Who returning to our screens shortly and the question “Doctor Who?” hanging over current storylines, Swithun Dobson considers Time Lords, TARDISes, and Time Travel to ask: what is the essence of the show?

Contrary to popular conceptions, at its core it’s not even about the Doctor. If we travel back to 1963 we do of course meet the TARDIS and the Doctor but we soon realise that they are the frame in which the story is hanged. Ostensibly most of the first two seasons revolve around the TARDIS team trying to get Ian and Barbara home to 1960s London after being kidnapped by the Doctor for rumbling his affairs, so why take a roundabout route visiting Kublai Khan, Robespierre and the Sensorites?

Interestingly, from the modern Who perspective, none of the early serials focus on the character of the Doctor. The earliest story is The Tenth Planet but that just establishes that he can rejuvenate; the whole mythos of regeneration comes a lot later. Even The Deadly Assassin which establishes the 12 regeneration limit really focuses on the Master trying to cheat death.
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Doctor Who Commentary – 5.07 ‘Amy’s Choice’

Join Swithun Dobson, Sarah Burrow and Caleb Woodbridge as Doctor Who goes all wibbly-wobbly, dreamy-weamy.

As the TARDIS crew are forced to choose between two competing realities, we ask why the show doesn’t do more of these “format breaker” episodes. Plus, we assess the emotional see-saw that is Amy’s love life, the dark side of the Doctor and re-examine the start of a phenomenon – Rory kicking the bucket.

Join us, for all this and more!


Fantasy Doctor Who Film Draft

We’re four years old today! And to celebrate, we’re challenging David Yates to his own game and coming up with our very own Doctor Who movie.

High concept ideas. Multi million dollar budgets. A cast of thousands. These are just some of the things we’ll never be trusted with and, on the strength of this podcast, that’s probably a wise move. But we let our imaginations run riot and cook up not one, but six competing movie pitches.

Who are our Doctors of choice? Which monsters will they be facing? And who will write and direct the madness? Join us to find out!


Once you’ve heard the podcast, head to our Facebook page or the comments section below to vote for whose film you’d choose to see. Find IMDB links on our choices page – contains spoilers for the podcast!

Points of Who #4: Jenna-Louise Coleman, Doctor Who Convention, Top of the Pods

Your Impossible Podcasts team in Eddie's Diner

Your Impossible Podcasts team in Eddie’s Diner

Welcome back to Points of Who, our monthly roundup of news, views and general waffle.

And what a month it’s been! The Doctor’s new companion for Series 7 was confirmed, in the form of the lovely Jenna-Louise Coleman. We discuss her casting and float a tantalising (if unlikely) theory about the sort of character Steven Moffat might have in mind for her.

Then there was the official BBC Doctor Who convention right here in Cardiff and we’ve got a report from the front lines. Sort of. We did at least meet with the fine folk of the Who’s He, Ubuntu UK and Doctor Who podcasts, and recorded some of the results. And, for your continued listening pleasure, we give you a quick roundup of some of our favourite geek-friendly podcasts. (See the links below to visit their sites).

All this, plus your feedback and a look ahead to some of our forthcoming podcasts. So what are you waiting for? Click below and give us a listen!


Links to other podcasts…

Doctor Who Commentary – 5.02 ‘The Beast Below’

The Doctor meets Liz Ten

Caleb Woodbridge, Swithun DobsonSarah Burrow and P. G. Bell return to The Beast Below, the second episode of the Smith/Moffat era!

Join us as we discuss Star Wars references, political allegory, sparkly space whales, Paragon versus Renegade actions, and whether the Doctor is pro- or anti-monarchy! But watching the episode again, will the team choose to Protest or Forget?


What did you think of The Beast Below? Should the Doctor have brought down the British monarchy? Did you care about the plight of the space whale? And just what had happened to the Welsh on Starship Britain?!