Over ten days, I’m posting about ten TV shows that influenced me. You can see Day One here. Today, it’s time to talk about a show that has been the longest relationship I’ve had in my life.
I can’t remember a time I wasn’t watching Doctor Who. It’s been such a huge part of my life that it’s impossible to separate my personal, artistic, and imaginative lives from the show. I’ve collected the Target books in my youth, hoovered up video and DVD sets of episodes, run home from sport and parties and dates and who can remember what else so that I don’t miss episodes. I’ve argued in hallways with fans about who is the best/the worst/my favourite/this companion/that companion/this monster/that monster. I’ve even had a career highlight when the magnificent Steven Savile invited me to contribute to a Doctor Who anthology he was editing. It is, quite simply, part of my soul.
You never forget your first. Although I was too young to see him first-run, Jon Pertwee was still my first Doctor thanks to living in country Australia and ABC reruns. His episodes were my introduction to so many classic monsters, so many SF tropes, such an understanding of fear… The Green Death was the first TV show I remember being genuinely terrified by, and still gives me a shiver of something primal and flight-inducing almost 45 years later.
I have watched the new iterations, and consider some of the episodes as good as anything the show has produced in its long history. But when I need to rediscover my genuine love of science fiction, when I want to actively *thrill*, I go back in time… which is only appropriate.