I first met Tom during the Doctor Who Festival in the London ExCel centre. Since then, our journeys have almost mirrored one another; his YouTube channel, EpicWho, has gained more and more interest, leading to him being involved in an episode of The Fan Show. He’s been recognised in the streets and in conventions. He’s a proper WhoTuber. We’ve collaborated on ideas before, such as WhoPride, which spawned the mini-documentary Coming Out Of The TARDIS. I sat down with Tom for a face to face interview, the first one of it’s kind on GallifreyArchive, to ask him about what it’s like being Tom Dix of EpicWho.
In the first part of the interview, we talk about meeting one another, the birth of EpicWho, Doctor Who marketing and The Fan Show.
Before I even begin the interview, Tom decides that he’s going to turn it around, and starts by asking me a question. (For those who are uninitiated in my interviews, I am in bold, Tom will be in normal font, and any notes will be in italics.)
Let’s start by turning this video around, what’s your favourite EpicWho video?
The one that I really like, you’re not in.
There’s an awkward silence as Tom stares at me in utter disbelief.
But “Being A Female Doctor Who Fan” was really good… I’ll tell you what I did like, your little rant about branding.
Tom has helpfully made this video unlisted, so I can’t share it with you guys, but trust me, it was really good.
I did it because I’m very passionate about branding, and said branding of said show has not been said best.
So how would you improve it?
I dunno! I just- Series 10 was a massive improvement on recent years. I mean, you know what I mean about Series 9, they marketed it- their key line in the trailer was “Same old, same old; the Doctor and Clara in the TARDIS.” Now, if I don’t like Clara and the Doctor in the TARDIS in Series 8, why the hell would I like them in Series 9? It was stupid, I hated that. It was just wrong. But Series 10 was good, I mean they had their version of the Series 5 ‘Down the rabbit hole’ trailer, which was amazing. Series 4 and 5 actually, when you had the campfire trailer that was shown in cinemas and everything, and the Down The Rabbit Hole trailer with Series 5, that was great. But Series 10 was amazing as well, with the trailers, and the teaser that they did- I really loved the teaser. I don’t know what I’d do, I’d get it out there a bit more cos I feel, and I don’t know if it’s just me, but I sometimes think that the marketing is a bit too focussed towards fans, not to the general audience. And I feel like you shouldn’t market towards fans, because the fans are going to watch it anyway… It’s the same that goes with the merchandise, okay, Doctor Who merchandising is probably solely going to be bought by Doctor Who fans, more so than the general people, but you want to create stuff that is, I dunno… of interest to general people, and not just “We’re gonna create Mr Huffle or whatever he’s called from The Return of Doctor Mysterio.” Like a minor thing from a minor episode; it annoys me how too fan focussed the show has become.
Speaking of fan focus, we obviously gelled over being fans, and you were so much of a fan that you created EpicWho, so how did EpicWho come to be?
Basically, it was 2013, and I already had YouTube channels, if you type in ‘Tom Dix’ on YouTube a few come up, and they’re quite embarrassing. But EpicWho was the one where I decided this is what I want to do. The reason I made EpicWho was it was 2013 and I had no friends at school really who wanted to talk about Doctor Who. I was like “It’s the 50th anniversary year for gods sake” and everyone was getting annoyed at me for sharing things on Facebook and all this about Doctor Who, and they were like “Tom, can you shut up about this show?” So I was like “Fine. I’ll just go and make a YouTube channel” and basically I made EpicWho because I wanted to talk to people about Doctor Who, I wanted to make friends basically.
Do you think you’ve achieved that goal?
Err… yeah. Yeah, I have. And I do it to make friends with people. That’s the reason I do it. I like it.
So you made EpicWho, and when did you first think “This is successful”?
When I was asked on The Fan Show.
How did that come to happen?
I was in Leah’s bedroom and I just got this message from Christel being like “Hi, what are you doing on this day, do you want to come to the Experience?” and I was like “Yeah, sure.” “Do you wanna be in an episode of The Fan Show?” And I was like “Oh my god” and me and Leah were doing something and everything we were doing just went out the window. I was like “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, I’m going on Doctor Who YouTube channel.” That was the first moment. The next moment was probably when I was asked, and I know it didn’t go down too well because of what they were doing, but the next moment was Classmates, which… you have an opinion on it, whatever you want, but it wasn’t necessarily the best idea but being asked to be in that was cool, and obviously Fady shouted my name out.
So after you were on The Fan Show, did you see EpicWho grow more after that?
Not really. I don’t know when it grew really. I think just 2016 as a whole was the year for it. I think it was the collaborations with friends and… stuff. I suppose The Fan Show did help in some way, but I don’t know, I’ve just been constantly making things. I mean, even now I’m like “Why are almost 2000 people subscribed?” it still shocks me.
Join me tomorrow for Part 2 of god knows how many; this is only a fifth of the interview.