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Archive for June 29th, 2018

by Adam Ferenz

This long-running British institution has been around since 1963, onscreen for thirty-six complete series, plus a tv-movie and a year of specials. The program has been both praised and dammed, beloved by fans and loathed by the same. We could talk about the switch to color between series 6 and 7, the runs of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, the era of producer John Nathan Turner, the Wilderness Years, the failed re-pilot of the 8th Doctor movie starring Paul McGann, or the successful return of the show under the aegis of Russel T. Davies, lead by Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor. We could even talk about the Moffat era that followed, or the case of the missing and incomplete serials. Who our favorite companions or assistants were-and whether either term is truly appropriate-and when the UNIT stories are set. As you can tell, there is a lot going on here. Instead, as with so much of the show, it is best to recount a personal tale, rather than a summary or deep analysis. So, here is this author’s experience with the series.

I am currently 37 years old. I first came across Doctor Who when I was a child, about two or three years old, and PBS would run old serials from the Pertwee and Tom Baker eras of the series in omnibus form on Thursdays and Saturdays. I would see books in stores. And then, one day, when I was about 9, stories stopped coming on pbs, but the books kept coming out. Nothing more was on television, for me, until a tv film in 1996, which I would not see until almost fifteen years later. Indeed, it was not until the current run of Doctor Who, brilliantly brought back to the screen by the gifted Welsh writer and producer, Russell T. Davies, and ably played by the magnificent Christopher Eccleston, arrived, that I even gave the series any thought for years and years.

Even then, I only occasionally saw bits and pieces and I knew they had changed Doctors. Finally, I had heard good things about this current run, then in its third year, and I caught up. And I never stopped watching. I went and bought all the dvd’s that were available. I bought them as they came out, both from the current run and the original 1963-89 run. I got the TV film when it arrived, finally, after years of rights issues, on region 1 disc. I got other people hooked on the show. Friends, family, people I barely knew in classes I was taking at the time. And they got other people hooked. Doctor Who is not just a show. It is also a bit of a social contagion, but of a very fun sort. (more…)

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