Bafflement and Devotion (Doctor Who Magazine #289).

Prose It's March 2000, just under half way through the gap between the TV Movie and Rose and what many of us think of as the Eighth Doctor era. It's a year since I began reading Doctor Who Magazine regularly and I'm still generally baffled by anything written about the spin-off media, only really listening to the McGann audios amid catching up on the television stories. So this short piece of meta-fiction from Paul Magrs in which his creation Iris Wildthyme considers her own existence in relation to the Doctor would have passed me by as "interesting even though I don't understand much of it".  Now it's a fascinating glimpse into where the franchise was in that moment, optimistically ploughing forward away from television, servicing its diminishing fanbase but recently given a shot in the arm by the launch of Big Finish.  Meanwhile, DWM's in an unimpeachable phase, mixing articles consolidating the history of the programme, a comic strip at the peak of its powers (this issue has The Grateful Dead, part 3) with experimental pieces like this.  Iris and the Doctor are travelling on her bus shaped TARDIS to destination unknown, revealing through conversation elements of Magrs's own biography and how they relate to Iris as an entity and how she exists as a parody of the Doctor himself, experiencing unseen gender twists on his own adventures.  He's in his befuddled post The Ancestor Cell amnesiac version, slightly surprised to find memories of new adventures entering his mind as though these spin-off stories hadn't always "happened", that his own personal biography is in a constant state of flux within which Iris too has been inserted.  Amongst the new memories is Magrs's own Stones of Venice which shows this was written when everyone assumed the audios (and comics!) "happened" during the Greenpeace gap until that became blatantly absurd.  As always, we're reminded of how much of an influence Iris and Bernice Summerfield must have been on River Song.  Surely there has to be room in some future boxed set for three of them to meet up?
Placement: Because of the metafictional elements, I'm inclined to put this in the miscellany, so I will.

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