Doctor Who has been a large part of my life for as long as I can remember. The above picture, courtesy of my son’s t-shirt, is so true. For me, this would be Doctor #3, Jon Pertwee. I remember watching the Doctor for the first time in Glasgow in black and white in the early 70’s. I don’t remember all the stories I watched in great detail, but there are some that stick out in my memory more than others.
One story that is particularly memorable from this time is The Sea Devils. When I look at pictures of them now, they don’t seem too scary, but in the mind of a six year old they were quite frightening. I remember at the time that we actually played out some of the story in the playground at school, such was the popularity of the show at the time. I also have recollections of Terror of the Autons, which was the first appearance of the Autons, which returned in the first show of the return of the Doctor in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as Doctor #9, but now I’m getting ahead of myself. I remember being freaked out by the Autons coming to life in the plastic factory. This may be my first recollection of the Doctor as it was shown in early 1971 just before my fifth birthday. Even in black and white it seemed quite scary to me at the time. The daleks were also quite frightening in black and white, and I remember hiding behind the curtains when they appeared with their cry of ‘exterminate’. One other unforgettable part of the Jon Pertwee years for me would be his favourite car, ‘Bessie’, the yellow vintage roadster he liked to drive about in when he wasn’t travelling in the TARDIS. Of course I didn’t know it was yellow at first until I saw colour pictures of it in a magazine, probably The Radio Times.
Although Jon Pertwee was my first Doctor, my most memorable years watching the Doctor whilst I was growing up were the Tom Baker years. He did seven years as the Doctor, which took me into my teenage year, which means he was the one I grew up with. He is the one I often picture first, even now, when someone mentions Doctor Who.
I also enjoyed the Peter Davison years, as Doctor #5, but by the time his run came to an end I had started work and wasn’t always watching the show. I did try to watch Colin Baker (Doctor #6), but I don’t remember watching much of the seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy. When the show was cancelled in 1989 I had pretty much, sad to say, lost interest in it. A lot of things were going on in my life at that time, especially getting engaged to be married the following year, and any time I managed to catch the show it didn’t seem to have the magic that it had for me in the earlier days.
I totally missed out on the one appearance of Paul McGann, as Doctor #8, until very recently when I bought it on DVD. It came out in the summer that I was getting ready to go to college, not long after I had moved to Canada. The on story he did is not too bad and it is a shame that this was his one and only appearance. It would have been interesting to see where he could have taken the character.
Fast forward now to 2005 and the announcement that the Doctor would be coming back. I have to admit that I had mixed feelings, especially after it having been gone for so long, as well as the way it seemed to peter out in the late 80’s. However, I knew I would have to watch it. After watching the first episode, Rose, I was sold. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. The only shame is that Christopher Eccleston only did one season, but there are some great episodes in that one season. Later in the month I will be listing my top ten Doctor Who episodes and I’m sure there will be at least a couple of Eccleston episodes in there.
Next up came David Tennant, Doctor #10. He was very different from Eccleston, but was also very good in the part and at times showed a darker side of the Doctor, which hadn’t really been shown before. Again, there are some very memorable stories from his years as the Doctor, especially his Christmas specials, as well as some of the famous historical people he encountered, such as Queen Victoria, William Shakespeare, and Agatha Christie.
This brings us to the current Doctor, Matt Smith. A lot of people wondered at the time when he first got the role whether or not he could pull it off. All I can say is that he certainly did. The show has gone from strength to strength in the years that he has portrayed the Doctor. I know that I will have to include a number of his episodes in my top ten list and will find it hard to narrow it down. I’m looking forward to seeing his final two stories, the 50th Anniversary Special and this year’s Christmas Special, and am also wondering how the much older Peter Capaldi, who will be Doctor #12, is going to compare.
Over the past few months I have been watching all the episodes of Doctor 9 through to Doctor 11 with my two children and enjoying sharing my love of the Doctor with them. We are currently near the end of series 6 and want to get them all watched before the 50th Anniversary Special in less than three weeks time. I think we will be able to make it.
There is so much more that I could write about my memories of Doctor Who, but time doesn’t allow me to right now. I’ll do that later in the month round about the time of the 50th Anniversary Special. In the meantime I have something to give away.
This giveaway is open internationally to anyone the Book Depository ships to. The winer will be able to choose one of the three Doctor Who models shown in the picture at the left, either a dalek, a cyberman bus, or the TARDIS. They each come with a little book as well, with a brief history of the object.
To enter click on the Rafflecopter picture below, which will take you to the competition widget (I’m sorry but my version of wordpress doesn’t allow me to post the widget here). Also, it would be great if anyone wants to share their memories of the Doctor in the comments section.
Click the picture below to go to the giveaway: