Crowds mobbed a visitor at the recent MCM Comic Con in London, and he wasn’t one of the guest stars. He was Matthew Toffolo, aka batmanmarch, Doctor Who vlogger and filmmaker. Toffolo makes popular and clever unboxing videos of new Doctor Who figures on his YouTube channel, and he also reviews new figures and toys for his thousands of followers.
But Toffolo’s real skill is writing and filming Doctor Who fan fiction. Last year, he was one of five winners of the Mission Dalek competition sponsored by the BBC, and his submission, one of hundreds entered, won the admiration of Peter Capaldi, the Twelfth Doctor, and Paul McGann, the Eighth Doctor. Toffolo’s other work, all on the YouTube channel, represents hundreds of hours of writing, filming, and editing. Most of the films focus on Classic Who Doctors, and the original scripts reflect Toffolo’s deep appreciation of the history and sheer fun of the Whovian universe.
Matthew Toffolo – AKA BatmanMarch
Toffolo spoke with Blogtor Who about the genesis of his fandom and how he translates his ideas into his carefully crafted videos.
When did you start watching Doctor Who?
I was born in 1992 and started watching Doctor Who in the early 90s with my brother who had been a fan since ‘Time and the Rani’ in 1987. I don’t really have an exact moment of becoming a fan as the show seems to have always been with me. Some of my earliest memories include being terrified of the Master in ‘The Deadly Assassin’ and Primords from ‘Inferno’!
What do you hope to see in series 10?
I would love to see the Ice Warriors return! It looked amazing in ‘Cold War’ and I’ve been waiting to see a story with a few more of them in!
What made you decide to pursue fan fiction?
It came from wanting to produce fan films, and writing scripts was a necessity! I had never really written scripts until I started making these videos in 2007, but as time went on I became more interested in the writing side of things rather than the film making.
How long does each film take to shoot and edit?
The equipment I use is pretty basic. The camera is a Sony Handycam with a wire connected control so I can press record without shaking the camera, and the lighting is predominantly desk lamps. I use old VHS tapes to hold up the sets, which were all produced by Philip Lawrence from actionfiguretheatre.co.uk
Has anyone from the show watched your work?
I entered the Mission Dalek competition that the BBC produced last year. And I was incredibly fortunate enough to have been one of the five winners. So a few people there have definitely seen something of my work! I know in particular that Derek Ritchie watched my entry because he remarked on how he recognised a Star Wars playset that I used as part of the set! Peter Capaldi also saw my entry and Paul McGann watched part of one of my 8th Doctor episodes and was very complimentary on the way I captured the feel and tone of Big Finish’s work.
What’s Next for Matthew
What do you hope to create next?
I’m slowly working through a stop-motion ‘He-Man and the Masters of the Universe’ one-off, and I’m currently developing scripts for a new Doctor Who project with my partner, Kat, which I hope to reveal more about soon! Watch this space!
What new figures would you like to see?
I would love to see some more classic Doctor Who figures. There are so many monsters that would be amazing! Yeti, Silurians, Draconians, and not forgetting a load of companions! I also wouldn’t mind seeing the new Cybermen, Zygons and Ice Warriors in the 5.5″ scale.
Who, in your opinion, is the greatest Doctor?
Tom Baker will always be my Doctor. He was the Doctor I had the most exposure to growing up, along with Jon Pertwee. It’s hard to see where Tom Baker stops and the Doctor begins! For me he lives and breathes the character. He just captures the alien quality of the Doctor perfectly.