My Doctor

My parents were always pretty keen to educate my brother and I about popular culture. Every Friday night the pair of us would eat oven-baked fish and chips and watch movies while my parents had a quiet, grown-up dinner together in the adjoining room. Between the modern kiddie movies, there would often be movies that were older than we were. Mum would tell us about the first time that she watched the film, at a drive-in or in the open air cinema that Grafton used to have, reclining on a deck chair under the stars. We spent several months marathoning Star Warsfor example and, on a different occasion, we watched all of India Jones.
I owe a lot of my trivia skill to those Friday nights.
When I was twelve mum and dad told me that they were showing this old show on TV and that I should watch it. It had been on when they were growing up, she said, and everyone used to watch it back then. It was a big thing, an institution. And it was cheesy and kooky and a lot of the special effects were pretty bad but it was a good show just the same. It was one of those things that you should watch, just so you had, and they were showing all the episodes on the ABC in the evenings, just before dinner.
For some reason, they thought that I might like Doctor Who.
My mother has almost certainly regretted that recommendation. She probably regretted it during the three year period which followed when I more or less refused to leave the house between 6:00 and 7:00 pm weeknights[1]. She definitely despaired on one of the many Saturday nights when the revived series was airing and I was very, very reluctant to go to dinner parties or barbeques or leave the house. Once I made a friend watch “The Empty Child” at such a dinner party because I refused to miss it; she’s been too scared to watch Doctor Who since.
(A special thanks, at this point to my parents, who never really minded, even when I was more than a little annoying.)
This year isn’t just the 50th anniversary of the show itself; it also marks a decade since I started watching the show. That isn’t much, in the scheme of Who, but it’s not bad for someone born in 1991.
For quite a few years I was the only Doctor Who fan at school. I wore a little classic Dalek pin on my school uniform every single day for years, in the hope that one day someone would know what a Dalek was. I’d often tell my friends that they should watch it but it was a long time (and David Tennant) before most of them listened.
I’ve got extremely fond memories of the Monday mornings we used to spend yelling at each other about the weekend’s episode, the hours spend hatching convoluted theories[2]. I can quite vividly remember the eight minute light sabre duel I had to this song at friend’s sixteenth. Along with my friends Jack and beccamarsh, I also spent an awful lot of lunchtime[3]drawing strange stick figure fan-fiction. 

In our stories, David Tennant regenerated into Manny (from Black Books) with Bernard as his companion. Also David Tennant was sometimes a horse. At one point, in an adventure entitled “The X Amount of Doctors and The Invisible Enemy Who Can’t Talk”, all of the Doctors had a toast party in the TARDIS (Matt Smith and Manny spent a lot of time fighting over who got to be the 11th Doctor).
I’ve never been able to decide who my favourite Doctor is. Truth be told, I’ve had several over the years and every time I swore that they were the one. I’m still enormously fond of McCoy and I was very, very sad when Tennant regenerated. Right now though, my favourite has to be Matt Smith. He’s the one I’ve been most involved with, after all. He was the one I ran a stupid Tumblr for[5]. The one who once mentioned said Tumblr in an interview at Comic Con[6]and who specifically thanked me for knowing too much about his sock choices. That’s a thing that’ll never happen again.
Maybe Matt will be myDoctor, the one that sticks with me. But honestly? I don’t mind if I fall in love with the next one all over again and get all confused about who I like best. I’d be quite happy for that to happen a dozen times over.
Doctor Who might not have been the very first TV show that I loved (to the point of obsession) but it’s certainly the only one of those initial crushes that’s persisted. It’s a show that’s got me through so many things and which has given me so much joy. On the back of it, I’ve forged friendships and talked to strangers and had wonderful conversations at parties. Like so many people, I’ll love Doctor Who for my whole life. And that’s a strange and wonderful and remarkable thing. I don’t know what I’d do without it.
So here, Doctor Who, is my thankyou to add to the pile; for everything, past, present and future.
Davros in a wig.
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who this weekend, they’ll be a couple of bonus blogs. Check out the first one here and check back tomorrow for the final instalment. 
You can also read this thing I wrote about Doctor Who over at Junkee.

[1]Before too long they were showing two episodes a night, just to get through them all.
[2] I’m still rather fond of the elaborate Life on Mars/Doctor Who cross over theory. That one’s good.
[3]And, ok, class time as well.
[5] A blog which is still sitting there, quietly amassing new followers even though I have long since stopped updating it.
[6]Honestly? I was completely mortified when this video happened and I think it’s part of the reason I stopped doing The Socks.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year