A three hander which deals with weighty topics including mortality, the pursuit of fame, growing old, acceptance of others’ hobbies (obsessions) and nature vs. nurture gives you a great deal to think about. What it doesn’t do is answer the question posed by the title!
Through the course of the play, we get a great deal of insight into the three characters – Daniel, Paul, and his mother – with a few cheesy interludes of dialogue from the fictional Space Station 17, (which seems to be a little close to Sky 1’s late and unlamented Space Island 1), and some “companion chronicle” type relating of situations featuring the characters, which of course have a secondary meaning. Daniel’s account of growing up in fandom will strike chords with many Who and Blake’s 7 fans – gay or straight – while there are many people like Paul related to actors from the shows who will have gone through the “Do they like me for me, or because of who I’m related to?” We learn why he is a hard bastard but there’s no link drawn as the title suggests.
The strongest part is given to Louise Jameson as Yvette Dupont, who played the Controller on the show and has a Damascene moment when she goes to the read-through for a reunion movie (anyone thinking of a similar idea for Who’s 50th might do well to listen to this – over the years, various actors have made comments similar to the ones writer Nigel Fairs gives Yvette here).
I’m not totally sure I buy the ending, although maybe I’m being too cynical. It would be intriguing to pick up the story when Space Station 17 returns to the screen properly in say, 2005 (the story is set immediately after Diana’s funeral in 1997) to see whether the ingrained attitudes have resurfaced…
Verdict: Adult material treated in an adult way, and a good start for Louise Jameson’s own production company, tlc. 7/10