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  1. #1
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    Default 50 years: Growing up with Dr Who.

    Please feel free to merge this with another thread or whatever, if appropriate. And please add your own personal recollections.

    This is the first part of 2 or 3 stages, because I don't have time to do it all in one go.

    Dr Who kind of came about for me because of my parents.
    My Mum & Dad weren't exactly fans of the show, but in the 60's when there was only 3 channels to choose from, There was a least a third of a chance of it being on tv.
    I know they used to watch it during the 60's, (especially Dad, who was more disposed towards Sci-Fi, having grown up listening to Journey Into Space on the radio, as a teenager) but not religiously. Though I'm told that the old theme music was scary enough to have made me cry as a tot. : But I don't really remember anything from the 60's aside from some vague recollections of the Daleks, which must've made some impression on me, because mum & dad bought me a talking Dalek during the height of 60's 'Dalekmania', which I loved!
    Just as an aside, Star Trek's first UK broadcast was in Dr Who's time-slot, in between the end of S6 and the beginning of S7, and I DO remember that, because Dad liked it and we watched it together.
    But Who-wise for me, it really begins with the Pertwee era. Mum was a fan Jon Pertwee from his comic radio serials, and mum & dad even went to see one man show he was touring sometime before he took on Dr Who. So mum was curious to see him in Dr Who, and although she didn't really become a fan, not being really predisposed towards Sci-Fi, Dad liked the new, more adult feel of S7, and it continued on to have a permanent place on our tv every Saturday.
    So there I was, a 6 year old in January 1970, being made very nervous by these scary plastic men in overalls....



    All these years later, I still remember the impact that Spearhead From Space had on me.
    Hugh Burden's icy-cold performance as Channing was pretty scary in itself at that age.
    Perhaps the scene I remember the most is the death of the Seeley's dog. Offscreen, the Auton crashing around in the house.... the barking dog suddenly going silent.... the nervous Mrs Seeley encountering the Auton.... I can remember Mrs Seeley's scream when the Auton turns around as if it was yesterday.
    And of course this classic scene, which had me nervous of the shop dummies in the Co-op window....



    I strongly remember all of Season 7, in particular The Silurians, and especially the Silurian leader being killed by the younger Silurian.
    And by the time Ambassadors of Death came on, i'd turned 7yrs old, but those faceless astronauts still creeped me out.....



    In between Season 7 & 8, My Mum took me to the pictures during the school holidays to a repeat screening of the second Cushing movie. I didn't really get who that funny old bloke was, but all I cared about was the Daleks. I thought they were brilliant!
    And i absolutely loved that Dalek ship!



    Shortly afterwards, my uncle gave me a copy of Terry Nation's 1964 Dalek book, which further solidified my fascination with the wee saltshakers.


    More later.....

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    Although I don't exactly remember watching DW in the 60s, I'm pretty sure that it must have been on (I've a vague memory of Troughton trying to hold a door shut with something on the other side...I've no idea what it was, though - maybe even just my imagination). I remember Star Trek coming on for the first time (at least it was MY first time) instead of Doctor Who and it was something completely new, then DW came back on. I have vague memories of Jon Pertwee in a wheelchair, so I'm assuming that I'm remembering Star Trek's original broadcast (simply because I later remember ST as coming back on rather than being something new) It's funny/annoying how these early memories are all so vague though, and that they could really be from years apart...it's hard to tell exactly what I did see at the time.

    However I was obviously watching some tv in 1969 because I can clearly remember being disappointed that Play School wasn't on because of the coverage of the moon landings!

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    I was thinking yesterday of this. My mum tells me about watching the first Daleks appearance and watching it with her parents, mum esp. I remember watching Five Doctors with my parents. And yesterday Day Of The Doctor with my son. Ah the multi generational fun.

    Sent from my RM-915_apac_australia_new_zealand_214 using Tapatalk
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

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    I thought I'd finish this off. Almost forgot!

    By the time S8 started, I'd reach the grand old age of 7, and Terror of the Autons aired. The only story that gave me a genuine Dr Who related nightmare.
    The whole idea of everyday things around you, like toys, chairs, and even flowers, suddenly becoming covertly lethal objects was terrifying. In the 70's plastic flowers were a common household things, and the idea of those plastic daffs with the power to asphyxiate really freaked me out!



    The other scene that left its mark was this scene:



    I still remember Delgado barking: "SIT DOWN!", and him staring coldly as McDermott is suffocated by the chair. I was pretty scared by The Master!

    Every story of the Pertwee era is memorable from childhood, and to mention them all would take too long, But up until Day of the Daleks I'd never seen an episode in colour because we still had a black and white tv in those days.
    Then my Gran got a colour tv, and I saw a couple of episodes in colour. My Dad would drive me down especially.
    Then, 2 or 3 weeks later we got a colour tv at home, by which time Curse of Peladon was on. A very green story, what with Arcturus, Alpha-Centauri, and the Ice Warriors.




    Although, I'd watched every episode of Who since Spearhead From Space, I think of 1973 as the year I became a 'fan'.
    This was the year when I started taking an interest in 'past' Dr.Who and amassing a 'collection' of sorts. It was mainly down to these things: The Three Doctors, Planet of the Daleks, The Radio Times 10th Anniversary Special, and the publication of the first Target novelizations that year.
    Season 10's: The Three Doctors gave me a tantalizing introduction to Patrick Troughton and William Hartnell, and I was especially fascinated by Hartnell. This was solidified by reading the first Target books: 'Dr.Who & The Daleks', and 'Dr.Who & The Zarbi', depicting Hartnell on the cover.
    For some reason I don't remember 'Dr.Who & The Crusade' very well. Perhaps the fact there were no monsters, or spaceships or alien planets in it. Right from that tender age, it was Science Fiction that captured my imagination, and I've always struggled to appreciate the historical stories. I'd also managed to get an early Dr.Who annual from the Hartnell days from my aforementioned uncle. There was something about that white haired old man depicted in that old annual that really appealed to me. I also remember being totally fascinated with the character when I read those Target books. Shortly afterwards came 'Dr.Who & the Cybermen' which was a particular favourite of Troughton's Doctor. How fondly I remember those original editions with that big, bold, black font on the front!



    One of my favourite characters from Who as a boy was The Master. I think i loved Delgado's Master almost as much as the Doctor, and if Season Ten's: Frontier In Space wasn't exciting enough by bringing The Master together with my beloved Daleks, then the following story: Planet of the Daleks was the story that sealed the Daleks in the highest echelons of my Dr.Who consciousness, Far more than Day of the Daleks did. For a start there's quite a few more of them, which helps!.... and the voices provided by Roy Skelton and Michael Wisher are about ten times more effective than the one in 'Day'. I was really enthralled by them. They are so much more manic and animated in 'Planet', and we see much more of the Dalek hierarchy from the Dalek Supreme, to the Section Leader and so on down. Also, the use of the trans-solar disc seemed to solidify the links between Dr.Who on tv, to the early Dalek mythos that I already knew from the 'TV Comic strips & 'Terry Nation's Dalek Book'.
    For me as a 10 year old boy, the sheer ruthlessness of the Daleks was encapsulated in this scene, in which we see the execution of the Section Leader for his failure:





    Also in 1973, Mum & Dad took my sister and I to London for the first time. Obviously I was excited about not only going to London for the first time, but also going on a train for the first time too. We went to all kinds of places from the Tower of London, to the British Museum, to Buckingham Palace, & the Imperial War Museum (to indulge my boyhood interest in Tanks & Planes etc...). However, the excitement of all these things were totally overshadowed by the fact that when we returned to Paddington station to get the train home, i spotted the 'Radio Times: Dr.Who Tenth Anniversary Special', which I bought by begging my Dad to let me have next week's pocket money in advance, as I'd already spent almost everything I had. : (In the end, my Dad bought the mag for me anyway.) So totally absorbed was i in this not so much a magazine as an 'event', that I was completely silent all the way home, as I studied page after page of Who history, and new pictures of monsters I had never even seen or heard of. My interest in the programme's past was seriously fuelled by the 10th Anniversary Special, which was something really unique in it's time. In these days of fandom and myriad merchandise, it's hard for younger fans to appreciate what a thing of wonder this magazine was!



    From that point on I began seek out as much other stuff as I could get my hands on, including a little metal Tardis from the '60s and all the Hartnell annuals either from my Uncle or just older kids on the street or at school. I became an avid collector of all the Target Books, and comics and annuals. Including buying my first ever record of my own. You can guess what it was. :



    The year was of course marred by the death of Roger Delgado, who was one of my favourite Dr Who characters. It seemed like a double blow to find out that Pertwee was leaving at the end of the 1974 season. I'd grown up with Pertwee for the last 5 years. To me he WAS the Doctor, and I could barely conceive of him being replaced by someone else. I absolutely loved Planet of the Spiders when it aired, but there was a tinge of sadness about not seeing Jon anymore.
    However, 11 year olds can be fickle, and by the end of Ep 1 of Robot, I felt ready to accept Tom Baker, and certainly by the time the story concluded 3 weeks later, I was a happy little boy.
    Tom's earlier seasons were just as exciting as the Pertwee years. I was happy that Sarah was still travelling with the Doctor, and stories like Genesis of the Daleks made a lasting impression.
    Season 13's horror influenced stories complemented my growing interest in Hammer Horror films, which were hugely exciting for a lad of 12 going on 13, and it remains my favourite overall season to this day.
    This was a time when my parents attempted to penalise me for my lack of attention/interest in my school work. The ultimate sanction of not being allowed to watch Dr Who was implemented during the broadcast of the last 3 episodes of Pyramids of Mars. When the Saturday afternoon came round, I quietly snuck next-door to watch episode 2. The following week I knew they'd keep an eye on me, so I disappeared after lunch and watched it at a friends house a few streets away. I was in big trouble when I got home. For the final must-see part, I was going to be grounded for the whole day, but I got up early and went to a school friends house that mum and dad didn't know, and I gave them a quick phone call that Steven Saint's mum had said I could stay for tea. (and of course Dr Who) Poor mum and Dad gave up after that.
    The following year, along with my aforementioned friend Steven Saint, I met Tom Baker, who opened a shop in my home-town during the transmission of Masque of Mandragora. We got there early to be near the front of the queue and I thought I would be terribly clever by asking Tom (who appeared in full costume as the Doctor) when he was going to fix the TARDIS' chameleon circuit. Tom of course had no idea what I was talking about, and cleverly side-tracked the issue by saying he was more worried about how he was going to prevent his head from being chopped off later that evening, and asked me what I thought he should do?
    I stood there somewhat pole-axed by this turning of the tables and wasn't quick enough to think of an answer. Tom immediately spotted this and came to my rescue by tapping his nose in a conspiratorial fashion, simultaneously winking as he mock-whispered: "Don't worry, I've got a plan!" , as his eyes widened in that classic Tom Baker 'look'.
    Then it was all over. As we were ushered away to give the next person in the queue their moment, Tom beamed a gracious 'thank you' at us, and we rushed home to tell everyone about the experience.

    The following year I turned 14 during the transmission of S15. This was the last season that I watched as a boy. It was 1977, the year of Punk, and gradually Dr Who started to feel more like a "children's programme", (especially with the introduction of K9) and by the end the season, in the full throes of puberty, I was getting more kicks from looking at Leela's legs than watching sub-par Sontarans crashing about.
    Suddenly it was all music and girls. Getting records by The Stranglers and the Sex Pistols, and hanging around outside the house of that new family with the attractive 16yr old daughter who had moved in up the street seemed infinitely more interesting than listening to K9 squawking away.
    I vaguely remember tuning in to see the start of S16, but I just felt I'd grown out of it. The love had gone. All my Dr Who stuff that I'd amassed I swapped for records, or sold to get money to buy records. It was over. I tuned in occasionally during the 80's, particularly when a new Doctor was cast, but it seemed a shadow of its former self. Especially during the McCoy era when it really seemed to have became something of an embarrassment.
    It wasn't until I spotted Day of the Daleks on VHS sometime around 1987 that a spark of nostalgia based affection was re-ignited. But it wasn't until got the internet in May 2002 and joined the BBCi Dr Who boards that I gradually got more interested and caught up with all the stories I'd missed during the 1980s (not to mention all the 60's stories!) and gave them a fair crack of the whip, as detailed on the original version of this very forum over 10 years ago.
    These days I've mellowed a lot towards 80's Who, and can even enjoy Sylvester McCoy. My feelings regarding post 2005 Who aren't easily summed up. I was initially receptive and positive. Eccleston's season is still my favourite overall season by far. But suffice to say the elements than I don't like about it have worn me down over time, and the current series isn't really for me. That said, I'm intensely curious about Peter Capaldi and will be tuning in to give it go. So there we are.

    Thanks Mac & Mike for your contributions. I'm always curious to read people's personal histories regarding Dr Who.
    Last edited by Wayne; 13th Dec 2013 at 3:39 PM.

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    What a great read, Wayne - nicely illustrated with images and video clips too! Having known you for a long time, I remember most of the anecdotes, having said that I don't recall the "fun" you had trying to watch Pyramids while grounded! Something that just wouldn't have the same impact for kids now as they'd just watch it on IPlayer whenever!

    This time next year will mark 40 years since my first clear memories of Who so I'll probably do some similar musings then. For those of us of a certain age, it's scary to think that next year will mark the 40th anniversary of Jon's departure and Tom's arrival...

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    You can read my comprehensive look back here: http://www.planetskaro.org.uk/forums...-of-a-Fan-2008

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno View Post
    What a great read, Wayne - nicely illustrated with images and video clips too! Having known you for a long time, I remember most of the anecdotes, having said that I don't recall the "fun" you had trying to watch Pyramids while grounded! Something that just wouldn't have the same impact for kids now as they'd just watch it on IPlayer whenever!

    This time next year will mark 40 years since my first clear memories of Who so I'll probably do some similar musings then. For those of us of a certain age, it's scary to think that next year will mark the 40th anniversary of Jon's departure and Tom's arrival...
    Thanks Jonno.
    Yes, that would be great. I'd enjoy reading that, even if I do remember some of it from previous conversations.

    One things for sure, As a 10 year old I couldn't have conceived how I'd still be talking about the show 40 years later. It's such an institution with such a great history to be proud of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    You can read my comprehensive look back here: http://www.planetskaro.org.uk/forums...-of-a-Fan-2008
    ooh... That looks very comprehensive. I'll feast on that later.

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    That was a great thread, Si. It doesn't seem anywhere near 3 years since that last post...I could have sworn it was much more recent than that...early last year, perhaps!


    Sometimes it's really scary where the time seems to disappear to...

    No time just now, but I'll get back to Wayne's comments ASAP

    Great post btw Wayne, it brings back memories of my own! To tell the truth, both looking back at what I/we grew up with and comparing it to what kids in later decades had in comparison, no matter how much they may deride the poor special effects etc of our era nowadays, I don't think I'd swap it for anything even if I had the opportunity. Maybe things were made better in later years but a lot of the fun and imagination which made things special disappeared in the process.

    Much of what kids have today looks great but lacks soul. But of course that's looking at things from an adults perspective...it would be interesting to see modern day kids thoughts on their childhood (recounted from 40 years in the future) find their way through a timewarp to see what their future selves actually think...
    Last edited by MacNimon; 13th Dec 2013 at 8:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacNimon View Post
    That was a great thread, Si. It doesn't seem anywhere near 3 years since that last post...I could have sworn it was much more recent than that...early last year, perhaps!
    Indeed. I've only read up to 1981, but even though my childhood isn't contemporaneous with yours Si, I nevertheless really enjoy reading people's personal reminiscences of the unique program that we all share in, in our different ways.
    I'm one of those who doesn't like S17 much, but it's not really 'fan received wisdom' on my part. You could say I just grew out of it 2 years too early.

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    I've really enjoyed reading those posts Wayne, they in some ways mirror my own love for Who - watching it at a very early age, before thinking that I'd grown out of it by the time I'd suddenly discovered girls (though Colin Baker really didn't help matters!), but then rediscovering the show and falling back in love with it.

    Apparently I watched Who from the grand old age of one week old onwards. Sadly my father died two months before I was born, but he was a huge fan and loved it to pieces, so my Mum wanted me to like it as well. So even though I never met him, he's responsible for something I'm truly passionate about, which I find oddly heartwarming.
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    You can read my comprehensive look back here: http://www.planetskaro.org.uk/forums...-of-a-Fan-2008
    Wow ... which is now technically 5 years out of date! ;-)

    You ought to update it - I really remember enjoying that, and some bits really moved me.
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    I've really enjoyed reading those posts Wayne, they in some ways mirror my own love for Who - watching it at a very early age, before thinking that I'd grown out of it by the time I'd suddenly discovered girls (though Colin Baker really didn't help matters!), but then rediscovering the show and falling back in love with it.

    Apparently I watched Who from the grand old age of one week old onwards. Sadly my father died two months before I was born, but he was a huge fan and loved it to pieces, so my Mum wanted me to like it as well. So even though I never met him, he's responsible for something I'm truly passionate about, which I find oddly heartwarming.
    Thanks Alex, glad you enjoyed reading!

    And I find that about your Dad heartwarming too.

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