It's important to say up-front that this wasn't given by me or, in fact, given for anyone I knew. My friend Simon H. knew Matt well and has received permission from the speaker (Ian) to have a copy of this put up online. I certainly think it bares repeating.
Lots of gaps here too, key missing points include Matt as ace and prolific reviewer of Who fiction, as a generous helper of other writers (there must be at least a dozen Dr Who books with a thanks credit for Matt as a test-reader, including one for his double expertise in the academic book- Doctor Who and Philosophy) and the fact his initials are on the front of a guide to the 5th Dr as a little nod from the cover artist. Then there's his hilarious Dr Who websites, his 3D Computer rendered models and photoshopped art for when Lego wasn't enough. The saga of Matt's quest to become a full member of the Dalek Builders League to get hold of accurate blueprints for a computer model tickles me immensely. It is a quest of asking lots of slightly curious chaps questions you already know the answers too until they trust you enough to finally tell you something you don't know. It is a quest few complete and only slightly more would bother with. Aren't you glad I didn't go on?
'I'm talking to you about Matt and Doctor Who because Matt loved Doctor Who. I love Doctor Who and I loved Matt loving Doctor Who. I think there's some algebra there you can probably work out for yourselves.
'So why did Matt love this frankly ridiculous programme? There are a hundred answers but here's one of the ones I think is most right. Because it demanded your involvement back. Doctor Who at its worst, and sometimes its best, requires a viewer actively engaged, excusing the plot holes, ignoring the dodgy effects, filling in the hinted at back-stories and cosmic histories. 'It's a story full of stories and full of gaps in between them, and it invites those of us who love it to play gleefully in those gaps. As the Doctor once said “What's the point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes?” You start off making your new stories with Lego and end up forced to just use words.
'Matt wrote just one “official” Doctor Who story. If there'd been more Matt I know there would have been more. Some of us had a plan. 'He also wrote three glorious spin off stories featuring characters that had escaped into their own adventures beyond the Doctor's pull. They're unsurprisingly delicious because Matt's writing reflects the best of Who- a sense of wonder and the ridiculous- concepts bigger than your head and dizzying gear shifts from the comic to the poignant. A giant space woodlouse falls over in the mud while you learn about despair, acceptance and people moving on.
'Heart, mind, soul, qualia- it's full of that stuff you can't quite pin down and dissect.
And, woven through it, one idea that keeps coming back-“The universe is made not of atoms, but of stories.”
'All of life's a story in the end and Doctor Who's as easy to love as life itself. It's a story made of other stories, and like life it's sometimes awful and painful and sometimes so glorious time seems to stop, and the hero who wanders through it is clever and kind and wise and, no matter how old he gets, always a child. Matt loved Doctor Who and it loved him back. He's part of its story now and he always will be.'