Today marks 10 years since the Rose, the episode to mark the return of Doctor Who to television. After 16 years, with only a charity special and a TV movie, the show was back. Now, in 2015, with 5 Doctors, 98 stories, 117 episodes and a global fanbase, Doctor Who has arguably never been bigger. But today I’ll focus on my experiences and my time as a Whovian and how it became a huge part of my childhood (and still is).
I can’t really recall my first Doctor Who experience. I remember watching Remembrance of the Daleks or The Visitation as my first Classic story, while my first proper Saturday night story was New Earth, with my first scary moment being the Werewolf from Tooth and Claw and I was too scared of the next time trailer for the Girl in the Fireplace to watch the episode. I remember the Cyber Leader clinging on the ladder in the Age of Steel, the faceless granny in the Idiot’s Lantern being terrifying and the Ood being awesome.
For some reason I didn’t watch any of Series 3 (I think it clashed with something else, possibly Primeval) but I saw Voyage of the Damned and it being really, really long. From Series 4 onwards I saw every episode live except for Planet of the Ood, Turn Left and Planet of the Dead. My memories of Series 4 are very strong, but not as strong as Series 5 onwards, where I became a fan full time and abandoned other shows in favour of Doctor Who. From 2013, my dad and I have started a Doctor Who Classic marathon, starting from the Third Doctor’s final story, Planet of the Spiders.
So what does Doctor Who mean to me? While David Tennant was my first Doctor, my favourite is Matt Smith. I think the reason for this is that I watched the Tenth Doctor when I was 5 and 7 years old. I watched the Eleventh when I was 9, 1o, 11, 12 and 13. I was older and the Eleventh Doctor was just the one I watched while growing up and being steadily more mature (only slightly). I once again refer to my favourite story, The God Complex, as the first story I remember watching and going “Wow, that was brilliant”. It’s thanks to that that now I treat Doctor Who more seriously and get annoyed at mediocre stories. I’m sure people born earlier than me have Ecclestone and Tennant as their Doctors growing up, and now younger children will have Capaldi to be their Doctor while they grow up.
So that’s my Doctor Who experience and why I like the show and how it impacted me. It’s great that 10 years of the revival has made the show more popular than ever and has introduced many people, including me, to the Classic Series.