Walking the Labyrinth
Our associate editor Marc Schuster on writing The Greatest Show in the Galaxy: The Discerning Fan’s Guide to Doctor Who with Tom Powers
Tom answered the door in gold tights and angel wings. When he showed me inside, every room was filled with junk: marionettes, model spaceships, painted rocks. I might not have minded so much if not for the fact that this wasn’t even Tom’s house. It was his parents’ house. Tom was thirty-seven.
The two of us were working on a quasi-scholarly volume on the long-running science-fiction series Doctor Who. Though our deadline was fast approaching, the manuscript was only half-written—my half. Tom, it turned out, was an idea man. He’d call me on the phone and talk for hours on end about minutia related to the series. Meanwhile the clock was ticking, and our book was not getting closer to being finished. Or so I believed.
For Tom, however, our collaboration was like walking a labyrinth, a fascination of his that made its way into our book when he noted that where a maze includes its fair share of dead-ends, a labyrinth serves as an intricate path leading to an inevitable center. To him, this distinction meant everything. Regardless of my own assessment of the situation, we weren’t hitting dead-ends or falling into traps. We were walking together toward something inevitable.
So, yes, our collaboration was maddening. But it was also fun and took us both in directions we might not have expected. And, ultimately, our collaboration made me party to a different kind of thinking—the thinking of an artist, the endless meanderings of a wandering mind, the flights, perhaps, of an angel.