I live on the same street as Eric Saward.
‘Doctor Who’ writer and script editor for a large chunk of the 80s, during the Davison (Peter) (Father-in-Law of Tennant D.) and Baker (Colin) eras.
That’s not why I moved to the street I currently reside in though, that would be creepy. I’m not saying I’m not creepy, but on this occasion I’m innocent.
‘So Matthew, when did you realise you had moved just doors away from the controversial 80s script editor, who quit the show in fury?’ Good question, me. ‘Thanks, you look handsome today. George Clooney handsome.’ Aw, schucks. But yes, yes I do.
Well, to answer my question, I first realised I lived near the writer of ‘Earthshock’ when I knocked on his door and he answered. I’m not in the habit of knocking on strangers doors, there was a reason; I’d arrived home to find one of those ‘we missed you’ cards the postman drops through your letter box. This one indicated that they’d left my package at an address a few doors away, so off I toddled, hair looking just terrific, to retrieve it.
I knocked at the door in front of me, as is the custom, little suspecting the man who penned all four episodes of ‘The Visitation’ lurked within. And so, after an acceptable amount of time post-knock, the door opened and there he was. I blinked once or twice (both lids) as I realised I recognised the gent before me. At first my mind-grapes crossed as the words ‘Chubby Doctor Who Writer’ popped in and it came up with ‘Terrence Dicks’. A moment later, perhaps two moments (but NOT three), I realised this wasn’t Dicks at all, it was that softly spoken man from all those DVD documentaries that graced Davison and Baker C stories, Eric ‘Resurrection’ Saward.
‘Yes?’ He asked, classic Saward, he hadn’t lost it.
I held up the postal card. ‘I think you have a package for me.’ Cool as ice, this guy had no idea that I knew. BUT I DID.
‘Oh yes.’ Spake one of the minds that brought us ‘Trial of a Timelord’. He reached out of view, and came back with a DVD shaped box from Amazon. It was a DVD. And oh, not just any DVD, it was a Doctor Who DVD. To be more precise, it was ‘Attack of The Cybermen’. He had no bloody idea at this amazing coincidence, that fate was leading the pair of us a merry dance.
‘Thanks.’ I said, all casual like, as though I wasn’t saying things at a man who had probably touched an in-his-prime Peter Davison. I took my post from his hands, our thumbs mere inches from touching. The air was crackling, electric. ‘I was worried for a moment that this package may have been lost in E-Space.’ I grinned like a tit as my piercing eyes scoured his face for a sign of recognition. Eric smiled. A gentle smile. The sort of smile a grandfather offers up to his grandchildren. He knew. He knew I knew, and I DID KNOW.
‘Would you like to come in for a chat? I’ve got lots of stuff on JNT that I’ve never told a single soul. Stuff to turn your downstairs hair white.’ Saward stepped aside; I took a deep breath, joy bubbling in my heart like a pan full of water on the hob, just waiting for that rice. And in I went.
Some of that didn’t actually happen. But most of it did. Eric still lives a few doors away, and he STILL has no idea that I know. But I do.
I KNOW WHO YOU ARE ERIC.
Okay, now that’s a bit creepy.