Fans of “Doctor Who” on YouTube may find Liam Dryden to be a familiar face. The Scottish native has garnered more than 7.5 million views on his YouTube channel and over 125,000 subscribers by speculating on who will play the next Doctor, the power of telekinesis and imagining how former “Dr. Who” star David Tennant is stalking him.
When Dryden is not vlogging about the latest happenings on “Dr. Who” or the world of sci-fi, he, along with Alex Day, Charlie McDonnell and other UK YouTubers perform in a “Dr. Who”-inspired band called Chameleon Circuit. The band has performed at previous VidCons and has released two albums. Dryden also stars as the pop-culture savvy character Kai in the UK sci-fi web series “Chronicles of Syntax.”
Dryden talked to NMR about his beginnings on YouTube as a college student in Scotland, how he and Alex Day worked together, and how he helped double traffic on the YouTube-oriented social media platform Subblime.
How did you turn your love for “Dr. Who” and sci-fi into a YouTube career?
Liam Dryden: These are sort of the things that I’ve grown to love over time a lot more. I think actually being part of the YouTube community and to embrace being passionate about the things you like have helped me channel it a lot more into my own content. You’re surrounded by this passion, and I suppose it spurs it in yourself, you know?
What were your early YouTube videos like?
Some of my very first videos before I actually started blogging were edits from “Dr. Who.” I was playing with video-editing software for the first time, and it was just like an experiment I suppose, and that was something I enjoyed at the time. Since then, my earlier videos were talking about “Dr. Who” and other things I like, and they’re primarily a video blog. My very first home for shooting videos was at my university’s halls of residence. It was my first year of university when I first started on YouTube.
When did you realize that you could be doing this on a regular basis?
I was browsing YouTube one day and I found another vlogger, Alex Day. It was through him that I sort of found this community of YouTube vloggers. I just thought that vlogging would be a cool thing to try out, and I needed some creative output because I did some drama and other things in high school. I thought that it would be a good thing to try out, and in the past five years I’ve just been doing the same thing.
How does someone like you who is passionate about “Dr. Who” and science fiction fit in to the YouTube ecosystem?
I’m probably one of many people who inspire the pride of passion. Obviously, there are lots of kids who are into these sorts of things but who are not surrounded by other people who share the same sort of interests, and they’re called a nerd or dork and make them feel alienated for feeling passionate about these media and TV shows. I think it’s kind of good to see that there are people sort of who are on a public forum like YouTube who are just as passionate as them to help them embrace that passion in themselves, that it’s okay to have that kind of passion. I’d like to say that’s what I do when I make these kinds of videos.
What would you say is one of the videos that you’re most proud of?
There’s a lot of them that I put a bit of work in them. Not specific to videos, but I am in a band with Alex Day and a few other people from YouTube who all write music about “Dr. Who.” The band’s called Chameleon Circuit, and that’s one of my other big projects. That’s something I’m kind of proud of because it sort of embraces two kinds of creative aspects of my life, and it’s something I enjoy a lot. It’s been quite successful and a lot of people enjoy our music, and I’m quite happy of that. In terms of videos, I posted one recently about “Doctor Who.” It’s about the twelfth doctor who’s coming after Matt Smith leaves, and it’s one of these things that sparks discussion, I suppose.