I love antique shops. I love to nose behind stacks of ancient bric-a-brac, the smell of old books, the feel of cosy oxford armchairs with weathered patinas, the fun of snooping in a microcosmic paradise of years gone by.
Wandering around my latest little shop find, amongst all the tea sets and old photographs, oil paintings of moody landscapes and down-trodden woodworm items of furniture, I stumbled across a hand painted picture, which caught my eye.
Initially because it instantly stood out as far too colourfully modern to be in a shop of this kind, and secondly because it looked Doctor Who related. Now, I’m a little bit of a geek, I admit it. In the corner of the frame there was a name, scrawled in the shop keeps finest handwriting, and could just make out the name ‘John Nathan-Turner’.
Not one for just ignoring such a discovery, I thought I’d take a snap, and hopefully even get in touch with said Mr. Nathan-Turner and hopefully bring a little smile to his face knowing he was being hung in such glory, in a little shop in Brighton.
Once home, I tapped his name into the computer, and ecstatically found out that the name was correct and that he did indeed exist. And that he was very much linked with the great televisual feast of history that is Doctor Who. However, so sadly, I was also eight years too late. For John Nathan-Turner sadly passed away in 2002. He had also been a resident of Brighton during his last years.
Not for letting this sad news just pass, I read on and discovered what an extraordinary man he was. He shaped Doctor Who as we know it. Quoting the extremely reliable source of Wikipedia, he not only cast 3 of the past 11 Doctors, but he also (allegedly) introduced the lighter comedic side of the Doctor Who we know today.
So I thought what a fitting homage to this man, a little reminder to anyone else out there googling that name, this man, a lord of time in his own right, still lives on. Evidently in the heart and hand of the pictures original creator, and now in mine. I hope, a fitting true fin-de-sicle to both a time of telecasting mastery, and the man who shaped that time. Wish I’d met him.