Saturday, 9 April 2016

Doctor Who Vs. Pet Shop Boys

This post combines my two greatest creative influences: the British institutions
 that are Doctor Who and Pet Shop Boys.

For the uninitiated, the Wikipedia entry for the Pet Shop Boys describes them as
"an English electronic dance music duo [formed in London in 1982, and originally called West End], consisting of Neil Tennant [b. 1954], who provides main 
vocals and Chris Lowe [b. 1959] on keyboards." 
One of the world's best-selling music artists, Pet Shop Boys have sold over 100 million records worldwide, and are listed as the most successful duo in UK music history. Three times Brit Award winners and six-times Grammy nominees, since 1985 they have achieved forty-two Top 30 singles and twenty-two Top 10 hits in the UK chart, including four number ones: West End GirlsIt's a SinAlways On My Mind, and Heart. At the 2009 Brit Awards, Pet Shop Boys received the Outstanding Contribution to Music.
The duo's most recent studio album, their thirteenth, titled Super was released 
last week to great acclaim, and reached number three in the UK chart.
These two icons of British culture are connected by these thirteen facts:

  • In the late 1980's, a young Scottish drama student called David John McDonald adopted the stage name of David Tennant, after PSB frontman Neil Tennant
  • The PSB film, It Couldn't Happen Here (1988), starred Gareth Hunt (Arak in Planet of the Spiders), Barbara Windsor (given a cameo in Army of Ghosts), extra Chris Chering (a Tetrap in Time and the Rani, and a Skinhead in Silver Nemesis), and Simon Archer (lighting cameraman) was later the cinematographer on The Lodger
  • Little Britain actors, David Walliams and Matt Lucas - both longtime Petheads and dedicated Whovians - appeared in the video for I'm With Stupid (2006)
  • Frances Barber - who played Madame Kovarian in Series Six - starred in the PSB stage musical, Closer to Heaven (2001) as Billie Trix, and Concrete (2006) featured her live version of Friendly Fire
  • Tennant provided backing vocals on Robbie Williams' 1998 single, No Regrets with Neil Hannon, who later sang Love Don't Roam for The Runaway Bride, and performed Song For Ten on the first Doctor Who soundtrack album (2006)
  • Former PSB manager Tom Watkins also worked with Billie Piper during her pop career
  • The character of Elton Pope in Love & Monsters was named after Elton John, who recorded a cover version of In Private with Tennant for Fundamentalism (2006)
  • Tennant and Lowe have collaborated with many other musicians, including Kylie Minogue, who played Astrid Peth in Voyage of the Damned
  • The PSB revived the career of Dusty Springfield with the release of the single, What Have I Done to Deserve This? in 1987, leading to her album, Reputation in 1990, produced by the duo - the number one hit record, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me (1966), was heard in The Rebel Flesh, and Rory remarked that his mum was a fan of Dusty (along with Wilf Mott)
  • Phil Oakey also dueted with Tennant, on Yes Etc. with This Used to be the Future - his former band, the Human League, recorded a tribute B-side track entitled Tom Baker in 1981
  • Sir Ian McKellern - the voice of the Great Intelligence in The Snowmen - starred as a vampire in the video for Heart (1988)
  • Ron Moody appeared as the Judge in the video for It's a Sin (1987)

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