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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > DWM Special 48 - The 2018 Yearbook > WHO VIANS

WHO VIANS

The panel show Whovians, hosted by comedian Rove McManus, was one of the highlights of 2017 for Australian fans.
Rove McManus, the creator and presenter of Whovians.

In Australia in 2017, Doctor Who was shown at 7.40pm on Sunday by ABC1. Each episode was immediately followed by Whovians at 8.30pm on ABC2 and ABC iview. This half-hour panel show was announced in late March, when fans were invited to register as audience members. The format was proposed by its host, comedian and presenter Rove McManus.

“When I was a kid, Doctor Who was a staple of early evening weeknight television,” explains Rove. “My earliest memories are of being terrified by the mummies in a rerun of Pyramids of Mars [1975]. I also recall the announcement that Tom Baker was leaving and watching Logopolis [1981] with keen interest to witness my first regeneration – you always remember your first, right? – at the age of eight.

“The series idea initially came about because I love to talk about the show – a lot. People soon learn not to even bring it up with me if they want to do something else with the rest of their day. I discuss and hypothesise every detail from every episode with my friends.” Recalling after-shows while living in the US and the BBC’s own Doctor Who: The Fan Show, Rove felt that there could be a viable audience for a themed chat show in Australia.

“Rove came to the ABC with the idea for the show,” recalls executive producer Nick Hayden. “He’s a big Who fan. When true passion and experience combine you get great TV, so it was a no-brainer.” Nick himself was also a devotee. “I was introduced to Doctor Who by my father. In the 1980s, the ABC used to screen a lot of the Tom Baker era. It felt like whenever I turned on the TV in the afternoon Doctor Who was on. Thanks Dad. I was also a huge fan of the post-2005 era.” To analyse each episode, a panel of ‘superfans’ was recruited. “Fellow comedians Adam Richard and Justin Hamilton and I have been talking about Doctor Who with each other for just about as long as I can remember,” says Rove.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

At the end of 2017 a remarkable chapter in the history of Doctor Who drew to a close. Two incarnations of the Time Lord overcame an existential threat... before the arrival of the Thirteenth Doctor heralded a bold new era for the programme. The latest Special Edition of Doctor Who Magazine is a unique souvenir of the Twelfth Doctor’s final adventures, from The Return of Doctor Mysterio through to Twice Upon a Time. Packed full of all-new features and previously unseen images, this is the essential guide to the year in Doctor Who.