Words: Owen James Vincent
Jordan Arthur is a writer and creator known for his work with his team at 'The Newplex'.
Since 2018, Jordan has hosted The Newplex Podcast, an irreverent and somewhat chaotic fortnightly conversation on movies and TV with a nerdy flavour. Previous episodes have correctly predicted the ending of Avengers: Endgame while others have featured a poetry slam, potentially libelled Tom Cruise, and recounted stories of couples doing it in the back of cinemas.
We spoke to Jordan about the podcast, writing for 'Doctor Who: Fast Returns' - an upcoming fan series and we chat about two projects he's working on as an audio director.
Hey Jordan! Thanks for chatting to us today. How did The Newplex Podcast come about?
The Newplex actually started as a magazine believe it or not. It was just a website, same sort of thing as this where we had a calendar and we posted articles on a schedule. The website had a lot the same stuff as the podcast - opinions on movies, TV shows and nerdy stuff.
We started the podcast because it was the done thing, everyone had a podcast at the time and we sort of felt like we had to have one. I wasn't that interested to be honest to start with. When we started the podcast, the first few episodes were super awkward. We were recording them over Skype, and we did that terribly British thing that most podcasters do when they record remotely; I would start talking and one of the co-hosts would say something and where there was a bit of a delay we would be interrupting each other and the whole 60 minutes was just us trying to give way to each other and it's not especially entertaining.
We did a few of those and then we were lucky enough to borrow a space to record them in and record them properly and it just sort of went from there really. We quickly found that we can talk about stuff much quicker and in a more funny way in a podcast than we could in our articles or on the website because it was much more collaborative and sharper. In that sense the podcast killed the website a little bit because all the stuff we would write about, we would do it better in podcast form.
You've done so many amazing episodes which one was your favourite?
A good one that we did was an early one, episode 18, where we correctly guessed how Avengers Endgame was going to play out (give or take) - that was actually quite a long time ago now. Our recent episodes have been the best in sense they have been the funniest and that's what’s important for me now: that the show is funny. Episodes 79 & 80 that we did about a month ago, I think really captured a vibe that the show is now as it's changed so much but where it is now I think is very funny.
You got a story coming out later this year for 'Doctor Who: Fast Returns' which is an upcoming fan series. Can you tell our readers about it?
I can! Its anthology of audio drama short stories narrated by actors. It's a project ran by a friend of mine that's a massive Doctor Who fan, he lives and breathes Doctor Who. Funny enough we had him on the podcast talking about his previous Doctor Who fan series and we were talking about it in the whole episode. Then the episode ended and we starting talking for another hour while we finished recording just about writing and stuff that I'm interested in. So I basically asked ‘have you got room for anymore writers?’ and he said yes!
So I've written up the first draft which is for the 9th Doctor, Christopher Eccleston's Doctor. I can't give too much away but it's fun, it's a bit of a heist and I think if you like the first series of the TV show I hope I caught that vibe in this story.
Do you have a favourite Doctor? and who would like to see play The Doctor after Jodie Whittaker?
I think my favourite Doctor has to be the 10th Doctor. I think the 9th Doctor had the best episodes and best stories, the 11th Doctor bought a wonderful chaotic energy, then the 12th Doctor bought this stoicness and sort of wisdom and then the 13th Doctor has sort of child-like wonder. I hate having to pick a favourite but if a gun’s to my head, it would have to be 10!
I would like it to be an actor we never heard of before. I don't want anyone famous because that's where everyone’s mind goes and they always go to the same people don't they? The Kris Marshalls of the world, the Richard Ayoades. I think people think of those people because they see characteristics of other doctors in those people. I think they see Kris Marshall as the 10th Doctor and Richard Ayoade is a mix of the 9th and the 11th Doctor. I would like an actor we have never heard of, someone brand new, someone that's straight out of the theatre scene who will bring a really fresh energy to it and could do 5 seasons, 12 episodes a year for the next 5 years and be the captain of the brand!
You're going to be audio directing two new drama series 'Glass Spider' & 'Worlds Greatest Detective'. How are you feeling about these upcoming projects?
Good! This has all come off the back of, just doing more and more writing and throwing myself in to it. It's been a lot of fun, I just hope it finds a small audience and people enjoy it. I'm still looking for actors and collaborators so if there is anyone out there that wants to get involved let me know!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps with creating a podcast, directing and writing for a Doctor Who fan base?
All I can say is you've just got to do it. I know that's a cliche, awful answer but you've got to be forward. So when I heard about this Doctor Who thing coming up I asked them can I do it? If you wait for people to ask you to get involved in projects or podcasts or anything, you could be waiting for a very long time. As for starting podcasts, as long as it's funny and you bring a good personality and energy in to it, it doesn't really matter about having fancy microphones and studios. You can record it through your headphones if you want. As long what people hear is enjoyable they won't care about that! So just get started, and then tell me you have so I can subscribe.
Check out 'The Newplex Podcast' here.