Other Young Writers." the Adventures of Time Traveller Doctor Who, as Played by Scot Sylvester McCoy in the Late 80s, Had " Tom Studied for His BA I BOY? A LUCKY WHO'S; TELLY SCRIBE TO HELP TOAST 50 YEARS OF TIME-TRAVELLING DOC Time Lord Writer Tom MacRae Reveals How Book Signing Changed His Life
Byline: Beverley Lyons email@example.com
WHEN student Tom MacRae had to decide whether to spend his last few pounds on food or a trip to town for a book signing, he had no idea it would change his life.
The 19-year-old anthropology student dreamed of being a writer so when he heard TV's Russell T Davies - who would go on to resurrect Doctor Who - was in town, he wasn't going to miss the opportunity.
Tom explained: "Russell was doing a book signing in London, where I was living and studying. I remember walking down the street at Charing Cross with absolutely no money.
"At that time, it was either spend anything I had on food, or go into town and meet him, and I decided to meet him. I wanted to be a writer so I brought my book with me and got it signed by him, asking if he could help me."
It was the start of a friendship that has changed Tom's life.
He went on to write episodes for Doctor Who and other TV shows, including the Comedy Central hit Threesome. And he's coming to Scotland next weekend to celebrate 50 Years of Doctor Who during the Glasgow Film Festival.
Tom laughed: "If you saw me at 19 you'd realise how pretty I was and he was very charmed to meet me. We got on really well because we liked the same films and stuff. We hit it off and are still great friends."
Tom, 32, whose Scots-born father, Anthony, was an artist, said: "As a kid, I would always enjoy making up stories in my head. I never really enjoyed writing stories down and I wasn't very good at English. I got a very bad mark at A level."
The adventures of time traveller Doctor Who, as played by Scot Sylvester McCoy in the late 80s, had captured Tom's imagination as a boy. He said: "I was obsessed with Doctor Who in the same way that the children are that I meet today. I love it and it was my favourite show when I was a kid."
The appeal, he reckons, was down to the fact that Doctor Who was an amateur and the drama was set in the present day.
Tom said: "It's such a strange show and no one really understands why it works. It's about a funny little guy wandering about space, an amateur guy, not a Star Trek military trained guy, who was eccentric and that was his power. You could go along with him as he walked down the street and you'd see the Tardis."
That first meeting with Queer As Folk and Bob & Rose writer Davies was a turning point in Tom's early life.
He enthused: "Russell and I used to get drunk and talk about what we'd do if Doctor Who was brought back. I said you couldn't bring the Daleks back and suggested making them CGI but he said he'd bring them back exactly as they were."
Davies spotted Tom's creative talents and took him under his wing.
Tom said: "Russell used to go wherever I was working and give me his thoughts and ideas to develop my stuff on a one-on-one basis, like a tutor. If he'd charged I could never have afforded it. I try to do the same with other young writers."
Tom studied for his BA in anthropology at Goldsmiths, part of the University of London. But he was keen to write for the screen and theatre. His first commission for TV was a low-budget series called Mile High on Sky, followed by a movie called School's Out for Channel 4 and the teen show As If. …