You Never Forget Your First Doctor (with giveaway)

DSCF1991Doctor 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 DevilsWhen 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.

DSCF1995This 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:

raflI look forward to reading your comments and hearing all about your Doctor Who memories.



25 thoughts on “You Never Forget Your First Doctor (with giveaway)

  1. Eeek, the Sea Devils remind me of E.T. and I was TERRIFIED of E.T. as a kid!

    I can’t imagine the Doctor driving a car. For some reason, despite his wonderfully clever mind and advances in technology, I can see him struggling with a car. Actually come to think of it, he doesn’t even know how to park the TARDIS properly 😉

    I’m interested to see your favourite Eccleston episodes. I’m still unsure of him as the Doctor – that series has such a different feel to Tennant and Smith, but I suppose the programme was just finding it’s feet again. I’m a bit wary of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. I didn’t much enjoy The Thick of It, and the only other show I can think of him in is Skins. But we shall see I guess!

    Loving the giveaway, I’m definitely entering! =D

    • The only thing I’ve seen Peter Capaldi in was when he was in The Fires of Pompeii. Time will tell on him as the Doctor, but if you remember there were also people who were worried when Matt Smith was first cast as the Doctor. There were some really good Eccleston episodes. He was able to bring the show into the 21st Century without losing the elements I remembered from some of the earlier stuff. Father’s Day is one of my favourites from his time.

      It’s funny how we always have things we can name from our childhood that terrified us, but when we think of them now they don’t seem so terrifying.

      Good luck with the giveaway and thanks again for putting together this whole month of fun!

  2. Oh and my first Doctor… was technically Matt Smith I guess, as I started watching it when he was just about to start, but I decided to try and catch up on the show before it aired, so I watched all of the new ones (or most of them) before series five started.

  3. Hello, My First Doctor was Matt Smith, but I’ve loved them all, I’ve gone back and watched a lot of the classics, the actors really are brilliant!

    • Thanks for dropping by. I’m hoping to re-watch a lot of the classic stuff during the coming winter, waiting for the 12th Doctor episodes to emerge later next year 🙂

  4. My first Doctor, just like the others, was Matt Smith, but I still have a hard time picking my absolute favorite! Once I find some time, maybe over Christmas, I really want to watch Classic Who. I know that’ll make the choice of favorite even more difficult! Thanks for the great article and awesome giveaway! 🙂

  5. Hallo again William,

    I am was smiling when I saw Juan mentioned “Matt Smith” as that was precisely what I was asking about in our conversation on JLAS! Laughs. My answer is of course: Matt Smith, which ironically would have been the 9th Doctor Eccleston had that copy of Who been viewable as I did attempt to see the Series One episodes first!

    I am thankful I am not the only one who gets freaked out by some of the ‘creatures’ seen in Who! Honestly, it doesn’t matter the age you are when you watch Who, some of these things are just downright scary!

    Ooh, now I found my answer of confusion from my own question over on JLAS: the Doctors play more than one Series, which is why there are not many #s of Doctors in Series 1-7! Okay. I get it! 🙂 Wait, that means, Matt Smith had a good run of the Doctor! Wicked sweet! 🙂 Honestly, I was drawn to him immediately when he first came on the screen, whereas with Eccleston I was struggling to sort out the pace of Who and of Who himself whilst he was on camera! Grant you, I only saw 2 second intervals for a few minutes before returning it as a damaged copy but oh! With Matt Smith’s Doctor!? I was engaged within a nanosecond! Isn’t that interesting, then!?

    I am now going to look forward to your Top Ten List even more to see which episodes of his end up on it! 🙂 Maybe I’ll be fortunate and will have seen one of them!

    I enjoyed reading your full history of Doctor Who because it gives a full overview of the series itself through your own eyes! I love retrospectives!!

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts and some of the new perspectives you bring to an old favourite. I think you highlighted one of the more confusing elements for someone approaching the Doctor for the first time. When the series returned in 2005 after a fairly lengthy hiatus they started numbering the series again from #1. However up to 1996 there were already 26 seasons plus the one TV movie appearance from Doctor #8. Unfortunately some of the early stuff from the 60’s is totally lost, which is too bad, although they recently found some shows that they thought had been lost forever. I hope you get a chance to see some of the Eccleston stuff son, because he was really good as the Doctor.

      As for the scary creatures, we probably all have ones that freak us more than others. The Daleks don’t really look that scary, but I found them so when I was younger. I think that psychologically they still hold some fear for me. The Ood freak out my son and there are a couple of episodes with them that he won’t watch yet.

      Thanks for dropping by and I’l be keeping an eye on your posts as well.

  6. You know I’m such a newb with Doctor Who, William. 🙂 It’s interesting to hear reminisces of those who have grown up with Doctor Who. Being the scaredy cat I am, I probably would’ve had nightmares if I started with the series too early anyway hahaha! (I can imagine you hiding in the curtains .. too funny.)

    I guess technically my first Doctor is David Tennant because I first read a book featuring the tenth doctor. But I do hope to remedy that, as you know!

    I just showed this post to the daughter and she is egging me to enter and go for a win. Are you also giving away that T-shirt, by chance? 🙂

    • Hi Aloi, glad to hear that you seem to be warming up to the Doctor. When I first watched the Doctor we only had two TV channels and watching the Doctor on Saturday evening at teatime seemed to be something that everyone did. I know there were plenty of times that my light stayed on on a Saturday night back then!

      Good luck with the giveaway, but I think my son would have a little bit of a problem if I tried to give that shirt away too 🙂

  7. Feeling ancient of days because my first Doctor was the first Doctor, William Hartnell. Interestingly the longest Doc is actually Paul McGann who has had a long run in audio despite an incredibly short video life.

  8. My first Doctor was David Tennant, although I was a bit of a latecomer. I discovered DW while channel surfing and ended up on BBC America just as The End of Time was starting to air. After that I got the first four series off of eBay and Eccleston became my favorite Doctor.

  9. I am learning a lot. I’m a newbie to the genre and I haven’t read any book from the Doctor Who library or even watched an episode. All very new to me so sadly, I have nothing to tell you. I’ve heard a lot of really great things about the TV show but haven’t had the chance to check it out. But thanks to Sci-Fi Month, I am learning a lot of things about the series.

    Thanks for this awesome giveaway! WOW 🙂 I entered and hope I win.. I really like the Tardis Kit 🙂

    I’m Ara @ My Book and My Coffee.

  10. I love this! My husband is a classic Who fan, and has thus far refused to join us new Whovians (my sons and I) on our new adventure. His first Doctor was also Pertwee, but Tom Baker is “HIS” Doctor.

    I need to write about how I love them all – just like a mom would.

    • Hallo Maria!

      I feel a bit like you! 🙂 Each time I get introduced to a ‘new’ Doctor (I’ve met two so far!), I find myself still attached to my first Doctor (Matt Smith, 11) however, I have warmed up to David Tennant, 10! I think like you, as I go through the series next year start to finish, I’ll notice that each Doctor brought something special to the role and in that way, I will find that I will appreciate the Doctors collectively! 🙂

    • Hi Maria. Too bad that your husband won’t join the rest of you in watching the new stuff. I initially had my doubts, too, but after seeing the first Eccleston episode I knew I was going to enjoy it. My wife won’t join me and our son and daughter in watching the Doctor, no matter how hard we try to persuade her.

  11. Favorite Doctor… that’s hard. Eccleston is my first, and thus “MY” Doctor. I adore him, and wish we’d had more time with him. But I also love Tennant, and Smith’s goofiness stole my heart as well. I’m working my way through the classic Doctors so that I can know them all.

  12. Pingback: Announcement: Sci-Fi Month Schedule |Rinn Reads

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