Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Doctor Who Viewing History

While rewatching the Doctor Who episode "Love & Monsters," I was reminded of how I first came to see the television show, long before the new series began. Check out my review here.

I started watching Doctor Who in 1997 (at age 11) with the Third Doctor's "Planet of the Spiders," the regeneration to the Fourth Doctor, and "Robot." I watched the show in San Francisco on the local PBS station KTEH, which showed all the classic series and now airs episodes from the new series. It soon became my favorite television show, and still is today, having seen all the new series and spin-offs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Like Elton Pope in "Love & Monsters," back in 1998 I searched the Internet for information about the Doctor and his companions, finding many fan sites dedicated to the show. I found out that it had been quite popular in Britain, but was not being produced at that time. Over the next few years, I saw all the television stories (except for the ones that had episodes missing from the BBC archives), and found many of the novelizations, Missing Adventures and BBC Books with stories from the series, as well as behind the scenes books like "The Making of Doctor Who" and "The Official Doctor Who and the Daleks Book." In 2000 on a trip to London I visited the Who Shop in East Ham London which had lots of props from the show and many more books and videos. My parents are also fans of the show, so I was aware of it for a long time.

Around 2004 I heard about a new production of Doctor Who being planned. When I finally saw the first episode, "Rose," it had all the magic of the classic series, starting with the theme music and the TARDIS flying through the time vortex. Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper gave amazing performances as the Doctor and Rose. The episode also paid tribute to the fans of the classic series, with the character Clive who kept track of the Doctor's history with his website. Now Doctor Who is very popular again in Britain, and is a cult favorite around the world. By the time the series came to America, viewers already knew a new Doctor, David Tennant, was coming the next year. He had been a fan of the show since he was young and planned to stay for a long time, like Tom Baker, the most well-known Doctor in America. When David Tennant took the lead role in the program, the Tenth Doctor became my favorite of all time. I enjoy his enthusiasm for the part and the history of the series as well as his dynamic and engaging performances every episode. I hope David Tennant remains a part of the show for many years to come.

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