I thought I would set-out my experiences with the Doctor in case any-one wants to understand where I am coming from. This may help anyone to follow why I have certain views on the various doctors.
I was once described in Doctor Who Magazine as a science-fiction fan and Doctor Who viewer (by @wavenode) and that description certainly fits my being willing to criticise and not accept everything as fantastic just because it is Doctor Who. It is, however, true that I am now probably somewhat further along the fan scale!
Just to break it up I will talk about four stages:
- The Beginning
- The Middle
- The End (and also fandom)
- The Re-birth.
What – still here? Better carry on then!
Well I am old enough to have watched the First Doctor but I don’t think we had a TV when I was that young. I believe I did watch some of the adventures but have no clear memories. I do believe I watched the regeneration into the Second Doctor but that may be a fake memory built up from having seen clips.
I know I watched the Second Doctor who is probably my favourite. I definitely watched Jamie and Zoe and remember well Tomb of the Cybermen and War Games. I saw all of the Third Doctor (episodes such as Daemons stand out) and the Fourth Doctor. Things started fading during the time of the Fifth Doctor.
The End (and fandom)
From the Fifth Doctor onwards I started feeling I didn’t care much for the characters and the show was trying to stay fresh by adding complexity. There were often too many companions as well. To be fair I also went to University so by the time the Sixth Doctor came along and I was moving into the world of work I found the treatment of the Doctor annoying and suffered the Trial of the Timelord and didn’t like the Peri or Mel characters. Big Finish has fixed all of these for me.
By the time the Seventh Doctor came along I was watching some of the later series only out of loyalty. I never identified with the McCoy character nor with Ace. Again Big Finish has given me a chance to get to know these properly (see here).
I watched the one-off Eighth Doctor story (review here) and liked some of it and would have given a series some attention. Sadly it came to nothing (though is magnificent in Big Finish) and that was it.
As for fandom – in the early 80s I did go to a few science fiction conventions (World Cons and British) along with the Hitchercon (1980) and in 1983 the Dr Who event at Longleat (for which @wavenode interviewed me). I bought the Dr Who Weekly from the start until well into my university years, but never bought the books that extended the universe and gave so many of the modern Who authors a start, nor did I know of AudioVisuals!
So, by 2005 I sort of know Dr Who was coming back (with the Ninth Doctor) and that Billie Piper would be the assistant. I wasn’t terribly enthusiastic but watched it anyhow. How surprised I was, and how thrilled. I watched that episode on my own, but every episode since I have watched with at least one of my children (now almost adult themselves). Since then of course we have had the major success that is modern Who and I am now into Big Finish, Torchwood, have the AudioVisuals’ recordings and try to keep this blog going.
A much longer version of this story is included in ‘You and Who’ – see here for details.
Funny old universe!