This year I set myself the challenge of watching every available episode of Doctor Who including the reconstructions of missing episodes. I first had the idea back in February and decided that I wanted to be finished by November 23rd, in time for the 50th Anniversary episode. A total of 701 episodes resulting in many many hours in front of the television with some Irn-Bru and the occasional baked potato.
My first experience of Doctor Who was when I was a tiny little boy no more than 4 or 5, I was visiting my Nana and Papa and I think if I remember correctly it was my Papas idea to watch it. As clear as day I still remember that VHS case coming out and within a couple of minutes the titles for Sylvester McCoys “Curse of Fenric” flying across the screen. Men in a raft opened the show, the mist rolling across the water as they made their way into a cave at the side of the ocean, what was this I was watching? Moments later, she appeared, the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in the form of Sophie Aldred. 5 years old and I knew I wanted her as my girlfriend. From that moment on I was hooked. I watched as much as I could when I could, from VHS recordings straight from the television that my Papa had in abundance and shop bought VHS’s from John Menzies (who remembers that shop?)
Sylvester McCoy was my introduction to the series and when I discovered Patrick Troughton my little fanboy heart fell in love. I’ve not stopped watching since that first VHS. Then for the first time in 1996 I got to watch a brand new Doctor Who with the rest of the world. Paul McGann was bringing the Doctor back and I was elated. I remember sitting in front of the television, legs crossed, eyes fixated as my hand dipped in and out of a giant bag of crisps. Doctor Who was back and who knew maybe it would stay? I hoped it would, like so many others I loved this show. Alas it didn’t come back and once again it disappeared into the void. I think that it was around this time that I started reading some of the novels, personally I don’t think I would have been given them had it been known what was contained in some of the writing. Some of the graphic nature contained in those novels definitely wasn’t suitable for anyone under the age of 18 but I didn’t care it was a Doctor Who fix for me, the Doctor was still going on adventures and I still knew about them.
In 2005 when the show came back I was like a giddy schoolgirl. I waited and waited, when the episode “Rose” leaked online a couple of weeks before hand I resisted, I wanted to enjoy it with everyone else as much as I was tempted I managed to refrain. By the time the end credits rolled on the 26th of March 2005 I was over the moon. Christopher Eccleston was ‘fantastic’ and even Billie Piper had won me over. The new TARDIS interior? Wow I was impressed, even the Autons were back. I had just witnessed the most triumphant return I had ever seen.
This year, 701 episodes, a good few Big Finish audios and a couple of novels and I think it’s safe to say I’ve had my fair share of Doctor Who in 2013 and I can’t get enough. I just finished watching “Inferno” which now leaves me one more serial to watch and I’ve watched every episode in the space of ten months. I decided I would watch the Curse of Fenric last, after all it was my first and I’m a romantic at heart.
In 15 days I along with the rest of the world will sit in front of a screen and watch the Day of the Doctor, the 50th Anniversary episode and I am so looking forward to it. On top of that the BBC is throwing a ton of shows at us in the next two weeks to celebrate and I’m just happy that I can continue my Doctor Who fix.