It's kind of a geek's dream come true.
"The Middleman," a comic book series and much-beloved, yet short-lived ABC Family TV series - now available on DVD - has been called "America's 'Doctor Who.'" In a new bit of dreamy time-travel sci-fi, the Middleman actually meets Doctor Who!
What is unusual about this particular fanfic, is the fact that the writer is Javier Grillo-Marxuach, the creator of "The Middleman."
CNN Geek Out spoke with Grillo-Marxuach, a fanboy who is also known for his work on "Lost," "Medium" and "Jake 2.0," about this meeting of the Middleman and the Doctor.
CNN Geek Out: What inspired you to write this fanfic? Are you a big "Doctor Who" fan?
Grillo-Marxuach: I became a fan in the late '70s. I grew up in Puerto Rico, where they ran the Tom Baker adventures as a strip at 7 on weekdays. They called the show "El Doctor Misterio." At the time, I probably missed a lot of the subtleties of the stories, but I fell in love with the iconography of the show: the scarf, the TARDIS, K-9, the companions, all those things. After my family moved to the States in the '80s, I continued to watch the show on PBS, and then devoured the movie with number eight. (I even worked with director Geoffrey Sax on my first pilot the year after the Fox TV film!) Suffice it to say, I was thrilled when the show came back in '05 and have been a die-hard ever since. I even cosplayed the Master at last year's Gallifrey One Doctor Who convention... do with that information what you must.
As to what inspired me: There's a "Middleman" fan community on Tumblr called "goshyesthemiddleman" and they ran a poll to see what kind of crossover the community would most like to see ... and Doctor Who/Middleman came on top. So, in the immortal words of Emmett Brown, "I figured, what the hell?"
"The Middleman" has a small but very dedicated following. I talk to a lot of the fans on a one-to-one basis (I joke that when the show got canceled, I wrote a personal note to everyone who watched, and it took me a weekend.), and I think that if people like something that much, they deserve my gratitude. Writing this fanfic seemed to be a good way to say thanks.
Also, I wanted the phrase "hipster sexgod" to see the light of day... you know, to help mankind.
CNN Geek Out: Was this your first try at a fanfic (or at least one involving your characters)?
Grillo-Marxuach: I guess not, although I guess I consider some of the scripts I wrote early in my career to be fanfic (especially my last script on "seaQuest" – I knew it would be the last produced episode of the series and the producers kind of let me run with it, so it kind of was a carnival of fan-wankery).
CNN Geek Out: What kind of response have you received?
Grillo-Marxuach: Awesome. This was one of those things where I just decided, "I want to be a fan for a day," so the idea that people would respond to it positively is basically gravy!
CNN Geek Out: Have you heard anything from anyone affiliated with "Doctor Who"?
Grillo-Marxuach: Oh God, no! I did send it to a friend of mine who wrote for the show, but it's not like I am expecting to get a call from [executive producer] Stephen Moffat or something... this was a Christmas card for the fans.
CNN Geek Out: Are there plans for more "Middleman" in any form in the future?
Grillo-Marxuach: Natalie Morales and I have remained close friends since the show wrapped, and she weekly asks me to get my head straight and write a "Middleman" TV movie and pitch it to ABC Family already. I'm pretty sure at some point she will prevail.
Otherwise, though, I'm proud of the show and what we accomplished... if what there is is all that there is to be, those of us who worked on it at least feel that we can enter our homes justified. In Hollywood, that's a rare feeling.