An Interview with Jennifer Adams Kelley
Conducted by Robert Moore
For most fans on the east coast, there is only one Doctor Who convention worth traveling to: Chicago TARDIS. This year Rob Moore caught up with one of the personalities responsible for pulling off such an event, the ever deicated host of Chicago TARDIS: Jennifer Adams Kelly.
Rob Moore: When was the last time you ate a Jelly Baby, and where were you when you ate it, and what color was it?
Jennifer Adams Kelley: I think it was at the Gallifrey convention last year, and it was red.
RM: What was the first episode or story of Doctor Who that you ever watched, and where were you when you saw it?
JAK: The first one I saw was Planet of Evil, it was in spring break 1981, so I watch it then I skipped the following week, then I saw Pyramids of Mars and I’ve been hooked ever since.
RM: How did you get into hosting conventions?
JAK: I started as the “special events girl” at the early Visions conventions, doing this, that, and the other things as were needed. Then I met Gene Smith, I asked him what are you planning for Chicago TARDIS and he seemed a bit unsure, and before I knew it I became in charge of the programming with and with just six weeks before the first convention, but it came off all right and it has been going well since.
RM: Who has been your favorite guest at Chicago TARDIS so far and why?
JAK: They have all been great, I can’t single one out because they all enjoy doing stuff for the fans that come to the convention.
RM: Who else (besides Peter Davison) would you like to see appear at future Chicago TARDIS conventions?
JAK: Liz Sladen because she seems to be everyone’s favorite compaion, and she hasn’t been to Chicago since ’93. Also Janet Fielding since she has just started doing conventions again lately. The new Doctor when he is cast that would be great. Paul McGann would be brilliant, and the list goes on and on….
RM: Do you still watch Doctor Who episodes when your time permits on VHS or DVD?
AK: I watch both Peter Davison and Tom Baker episodes on DVD when they come out and I watch the extra features for the other Doctors.
RM: Do you have a favorite Doctor Who story and what makes it special to you?
JAK: For Many years Mawdryn Undead was my favorite story, it has everything that makes for a good Doctor Who story. But now though I tend to lead towards Black Orchid because you get to see the Doctor’s bare chest and collar bone in a few shots but also it really defines what I like best about the show.
RM: What are your feelings about the new Doctor Who series coming in 2005 and do you think it will do well?
JAK: I hope that it will do well, and that it will live up to the Doctor’s past adventures, and at the same time carries the show forward too. The show needs some new revisions also to be able to go on considering how old he is. [coughs]
RM: If you were in charge of the new series, what changes or ideas would you add?
JAK: I would make sure the stories are well written, because that is the main thing that carries Doctor Who the best I think. A well-told story over the special effects because the effects are so easy to do now days. Anyone with a computer and the right software can do the effects so I would want a good story to complement the effects.
RM: Do you think they should make / film a story for the new series in the U.S.A.?
JAK: Oh what the heck why not! [laughs] If they have the budget for it someday sure.
RM: Do you agree with the idea of them starting fresh with a new actor from the start or do you think that they should bring back Paul McGann to link the new Doctor to the past ones?
JAK: I think they should just jump right in, with a story. I think what will bring the old fans to the show is to see when they are going to drop some continuity hints. In the meantime the fate of the 8th Doctor can rest in the hands of maybe Big Finish or fan fiction. This also saves a lot of work on the producers part on how to tie it in… and of course they can always come back to it at a later time if the series needs a boost in its ratings or they want to do a special episode etc..
RM: What do you think the U.S. fan reaction to the new series will be?
JAK: Hard to tell, there is already so many different opinions in which direction it should go in etc. I again think as long as its well told and well done stories and well preformed and it doesn’t rely on the special effects crutch or steeling from other Sci-Fi shows the U.S. fans will like it.
RM: What is your favorite color of a Dalek?
JAK: Ummmm I can’t remember all the different Dalek colors, but I think a sparkly green one would be nice or maybe purple with orange balls. [laughs] T.V. wise I like the light gray ones.
RM: If the Cybermen attacked the Daleks, who do you think would win and why?
JAK: Stalemate, two super power monsters would just continue to destroy each other until none were left or the writer of the story picked which one he wanted to have win.
RM: Have you been following the latest Big Finish CD’s?
JAK: Mostly, I have been paying attention to their releases, but I’ve only been buying 5th Doctor and 8th Doctor stories.
RM: Do you have a favorite audio adventure?
JAK: Minuet in Hell, I though it was a really well done story. The sound and great acting really put me in the middle of the story, it was really great.
RM: What is the one thing you would say to a Dalek if you could?
JAK: “I know you are but what am I?” Honestly I’d probably be screaming too much to say much besides Ahhhhh!!!
RM: If you could be a Jelly Baby what color and flavor would you be?
JAK: Red perhaps, and I think I would be…. Red flavor.
Interviewer Note: Red is a color and not a flavor and after much debate which I will not chronicle here Jennifer did decide that the red flavor she was thinking of was in fact fruit punch flavor.
RM: What would be your idea for the ultimate Doctor Who fan convention?
JAK: Well we would invite all the living Doctors and companions as we could get and have sort of a love fest going on. Interviewer Note: Not that kind of a love fest buddy! There hasn’t been a big Doctor Who convention with more than two Doctors since the mid eighties.
RM: Name an actor you would like to see play The Doctor.
JAK: Steven Frey would be a very good Doctor I think, Also maybe David McCallum, those are the two that come to mind off hand.
RM: What other types of Sci-Fi programs or movies do you enjoy?
JAK: Star Trek TNG and DS-9, Allen Nation, Quantum Leap, Babylon 5, X-Files, and Galaxy Quest just to name a few, don’t have too many Sci-Fi movies but my husband dose have The Lord of the Rings movies. Also, being a film major, the movies must be in widescreen.
RM: What would you like to see happen with Doctor Who over the next 40 years?
JAK: I think it would be nice if Doctor Who became as well known in the western world as it is now in England. Similar to like how Star Wars or Star Trek is now known worldwide. If it would become an icon over here I sincerely hope it would be treated tastefully.
RM: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me and answer all of my questions today. Now how about a round of Truth or Dare?
JAK: Nice try Mr. Bond! [laughs]
Interview ©2004 Robert Moore/Visagraph Films International.