Why I love Doctor Who (Part 1)

Or – From Wibbley Wobbley Settey Wettey to Wibbley Wobbley Timey Wimey

One of the first things that I remember from watching TV is Tom Baker dressed like a cactus in, what I know now to be, the story Meglos. I don’t really remember much else about it to be honest, it was on the telly when I was 7, and everything is a bit vague from those times.

But it must have stuck in my head as I remember watching other later Tom Baker stories: Leisure Hive; some of the E-Space Trilogy etc.

I didn’t know that this was a programme that had already been going for nearly twenty years and that it had a cult following, I probably didn’t even understand half of what was going on, but I know I liked it. It was also something innocuous enough for that my parents would let me watch it – even on the sacred Saturday night of TV Heaven.

I really got into the programme when Tom Baker regenerated. That was just such a mind blowing concept. This person was a different person but still the same. It was kind of cool and weird and at the same time something you could just accept happening.

Again, my early years are a bit of a blur these days, but I remember tuning in to watch Peter Davison as the new Doctor – even when it was flung around the schedules (small side note of thanks to my parents for having the foresight to rent a very early video recorder).

I know I started to watch the stories and get more out of them, not just the running round with lasers and guns and (not always) special effects. You really became a part of the gang – almost another assistant. To me it felt like being part of a family. You had your ups and downs – and the occasional take over by a malignant snake being – you had the good times and you had each other.

It was around this time – of the fifth doctor – that I also joined DWAS (Doctor Who Appreciation Society). That was when my mind was opened to all the workings of such a production, and that other people also felt the same way about it that I did. People out there were passionate about this weird little show, made by the BBC. I also started to realise that there was a lot more to the show before I started watching and this is where the books came in.

I’d bought a few Target Novelisations and really enjoyed them, but pocket money as it was back then, didn’t really stretch to more than a couple a year. I remember coming home one day to find a box in my bedroom. Mum and dad had managed to find – Lord only knows where – a box of Doctor Who books for sale and bought them for me. I was absolutely ecstatic – for a ten year old anyhow – and proceeded to work my way through them.

Thanks to this I was introduced to even more doctors, more outrageous adventures, and more worlds than I could shake a stick at. So by the time the twentieth anniversary story was being shown, The Five Doctors, I knew who they were, all the references to past companions and adventures. In fact, I was a Doctor Who fan…

… to be continued

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