Too many questions and not enough answers

It’s a crazy idea. It’s not going to last. And it’s not even an original idea.

I’m known as a Doctor Who fan. My colleagues suspect I’m a little bit odd. I’ve even taken to wearing my Doctor Who scarf to work now, but not yet sat with it on in the office.

But, I’ve a secret.

I’ve not actually watched all the episodes of Doctor Who. Forgetting for a moment that there are 97 missing episodes (although you can listen to the audio of these), it’s still a bit of an oversight. I do after all have all the available DVDs, just there are a fair few still in their cellophane wrap.

Lots of people do Doctor Who marathons. I’ve thought about it for a while. So, when series 9 finished it became obvious to me that I should just carry on watching Doctor Who episodes at one a week on a Saturday to feel the void.

Shame I didn’t do my research properly. Turns out there are 825 episodes of Doctor Who. If I watched one a week, that’s almost 16 years! I may have to rethink.

But for now, for tonight, I grabbed the first disc on the shelf and put it on.

I did ask Emily, my 8 year old daughter, but she wasn’t prepared to sit through black and white television. She would only watch from 9th Doctor onwards. Her loss (although in hindsight, perhaps she’d anticipated that it might take 16 years to watch them all and she has no plans to still be at home in her twenties.

As I’m lazy, and still have novels to write, I’m not going to do ANY research for these posts. If you’re a proper fan (i.e. you’ve actually watched all episodes) you’re not going to find anything interesting here. Go and get a decent reference manual.

So, now onto the episode…

I can’t watch this and not be reminded of the Five Faces of Doctor Who that was shown in the eighties. That was a seminal moment for my love of the show. I knew there were other Doctors (sort of), after all, I had seen the guy in the red outfit fall off a radio telescope and become the vet man, but I hadn’t expected there to be quite so many.

I must have had quite a patient mum to let me watch these old repeats but I can’t remember whether she sat down to watch them with me. All I know is that I was fascinated by the very first story. This one in fact.

The Doctor was a git. His granddaughter (as if, she was lying for some reason) was strange looking and a bit familiar with her teachers, and the teachers were just a bit too proper for me. It really didn’t seem like it was my show at all. But, the moment they stepped inside the TARDIS I knew I’d made a mistake. This was the show I loved. The TARDIS looked exactly the same as it did with the 4th Doctor (funny how little I actually paid attention). It did do its take off a bit weird. I remember telling my mum (so she probably was in the room) that something had gone wrong because you could see the city streets on the scanner getting smaller as if it were a rocket. She put me straight, but I can’t remember how.

The music was odd. The lighting was odd (in that there wasn’t much of it), and the special effects seemed a bit thin on the ground.

Watching it tonight, and knowing a lot about how the show was actually made, my overriding thought was that it would be fascinating to see what audiences watching at the time would have made of it. What a barmy show.

Baring a change in plans it’s going to be The Cave of Skulls next week. Oh dear. Perhaps it’s a good job my daughter is not interested.

BARBARA: Look, can we go in now? I hate to think of her alone in that place.
IAN: If she is alone. Look, she is fifteen. She might be meeting a boy. Didn’t that occur to you?
BARBARA: I almost hope she is.
IAN: What do you mean?
BARBARA: Well, it would be so wonderfully normal. It’s silly, isn’t it? I feel frightened. As if we’re about to interfere in something that is best left alone.
IAN: Come on, let’s get it over with.
(They get out of the car.)
BARBARA: Well, don’t you feel it?
IAN: I take things as they come. Come on.