27 November 2012

My Introduction To Doctor Who - Part 1

No introduction to Doctor Who could be contained in such a short entry. This will deal with my overall intro to Classic Doctor Who with other aspects done later on.

My introduction to Doctor Who came in 1976 when my local PBS station began running Tom Baker episodes on Saturday morning. A friend of mine told me that this was definitely something I needed to see.

So the next Saturday morning I went down to his house at 10 o'clock and we sat, mesmorized by an hour of Doctor Who. He was right. It was like nothing I had ever seen in my life. But for the life of me I can not remember exactly which Tom Baker episodes these were. I'm prone to say it was from The Ark in Space because I seem to remember Elisabeth Sladen in that slick, white outfit, but don't quote me.

This ritual went on for a couple of months. Getting up early on Saturday, driving over to his house, and sitting around being amazed at this quirky British TV show. I needed to learn more. But with no internet that proved to be quite a chore. Living in a small town didn't afford much of a chance of running into others like myself of books and magazines on the subject.

Shortly after this I heard about a Star Trek convention which was coming to Pittsburgh in the upcoming months. Yes, one of the few that had ever been held in the city. Since I had watched, and enjoyed, the entire run of that show this sounded like a no-brainer. There were lots of people, all there for the same reason. It was small in comparison to today's conventions but it was an introduction, of sorts, to people who had the same mindset as I. But in addition to the Star Trek stuff going on all around me there were actually people there who had also watched that strange British TV show. A show about a man, his scarf, and his time machine. I had found people just like myself.

Oh yeah, I also bought the Doctor Who T-Shirt which I found at one of the merchants booth. I'm looking to see if I have any old pictures of me in that shirt.

A few years later I spotted a set of books, The Doctor Who Programme Guide: The Programmes and The Doctor Who Programme Guide: What's What and Who's Who. I instantly snatched them up. This gave me more information that I believed possible. Yes, the story descriptions were short and it only went up to Logopolis. But it was this entry that the book ends with which was interesting:
The Master now plans to blackmail the Cosmos into submission, and the two Time Lords begin a fight which causes the Doctor to fall to his death. The Master escapes while the Doctor’s body regenerates.
Wow, think about that. I get a book with a synopsis of all the current stories and read that the Doctor dies and is regenerated. But at that time there was no way to find out more information. I look back at those times and am totally amazed that any fan could gather any amount of information. The internet sure has made being a fan much simpler and easier.

At one point in the 1980s the PBS station running the Tom Baker Doctor Who episodes began to branch out. They actually began showing the older stories. This was my first glimpse into the past Doctor's. But I was surprised at how quickly the First Doctor's run was and even more surprised at how quickly they finished up the Second Doctor. It wasn't until later did I find out about how the tapes had been wiped.

Since then I have watched every story. Yes! Even the recons. It was brutal at times but I felt it would give me a better feel for the show if I watched everything I could. Especially for the project I am now embarking on.

1 comment:

  1. Also began viewing in the Baker days on PBS---but WHYY ran the shows late on Saturday nights, making it even more cult-like.