Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Happy Birthday Doctor Who

In the same way Marvin the Paranoid Android is in fact older than time itself, Doctor Who in relative time  is about a 1000 years old, give or take a chronic historisis. But on this day in 1963, to be exact at 17:15 Doctor Who first appeared on BBC television 47 years ago and changed the way millions of people view life. Much as Star Trek has marked the world, Doctor Who did it first and is still going strong. Notwithstanding certain Doctor Who fans who think nothing happened prior to Russel T Davies, we the fans who learned to cower behind our setees so long ago, were the first to fear Daleks, hide from Cybermen and laugh at Silurians.

Watch Doctor Who live as it goes out in the UK or watch it on the iPlayer.

We are also the fans who lived through the great desert when the evil the horrid the nasty, Michael Grade did all he could to destroy our Doctor. He of course eventually succeeded in 1989. I still recall the withdrawal pains and the anguish of not being sure the Doctor was coming back. I assumed it would be a bit , but not 16 years.  This of course never stopped me from watching the eps I hadn't seen before or re watching for the umpteenth time the all time best Doctor ever for me, Tom Baker. In later years I would form new attachments to new Doctors and would add several new companions with whom I was in lust.  In no particular order, Romana 2, Peri Brown, Tegan, Nysa , Rose, Martha Jones. Peter Davison became my 2nd favourite Doctor before the new batch came along. But if I'm honest, I loved them all. Each one had his idiosyncrasies, cool gadgets and accessories  and of course there was the Master....both of them, Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley...deliciously evil in a perils of Pauline sort of way, always got away just in time to fail in their  plot to kill the Doctor but live to try again.  The cheap sets, the sometimes very silly costumes seemed to work because the writing then as now rises above the props.

Then of course in the entire history of Sci fi there has never been a more brilliant bit of kit as the TARDIS. Bigger on the inside than outside and with a personality of it's own. How often has it been that the TARDIS has gone to the beginning of time and not been destroyed? During the 70's when I first started watching, the interior of the TARDIS was far more important than it is now. Entire stories unfolded inside, running in endless corridors, entering a bewildering amount of rooms and of course the girls had lovely beds complete with dressers and large mirrors. But my favourite rooms had to be the multiplicity of control rooms and the doctor's closet, only ever visited when he had put on a new skin. Nowadays, RTD and the Lord Thy God Steven Moffat have limited the imagination to a few doors and ramps but not gone any further.

But the most marked impression The Doctor Who Cannon has had most on me is two fold, I cannot without a lot of self control, help including ,what to other people are pointless "facts" about actors , actresses,  aliens and objects important to Gallifreyans, into most conversations and until the advent of the Borg on Star Trek, thought there was nothing more terrifying in time and space than a Dalek... I've since added zombies and  weeping angels.  Still One of my favourite sports is spot the Who cast member in I Claudius, Triffids or some other television show. Even now when I write reviews for cookery, history or dance programmes, I  include the Who references as naturally as I do  footie ones. I can do that because there are millions of us to whom saying "Tardis like" is as normal as saying premiership good.

What started today 47 years ago is worth celebrating and praising. I am not alone in teaching my computer's dictionary words like Davros or  Dalek, Don't be shy, today let people know about your TARDIS usb port, Don't hide you seal of Rasilon T shirt  and for good measure make sure you take your K-9 out for a stroll before you accost your cats with the remote control Dalek, and by all means don't forget to wear your Tom Baker scarf before when you go out. Make Doctor Who Day special, for today is the birthday of Doctor Who, the greatest hero time and space ever knew.

As a treat for the day I've mined youtube for a collection of gems, Music clips you may have forgotten about and some great satire .

I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With A Dalek  Sung by the Newcastle based group the GoGo's

Who's Doctor Who sung by Frazier Hines

Time Traveller  More Fazier Hines

Who's Who sung by Roberta Tovey

Not so Old   Roberta Tovey sings of love for an older man

John Pertwee sings I am The Doctor

John Pertwee Pure Mystery

Doctorin the TARDIS The KLF

I am a Dalek  The Artattacks

Landing of the Daleks The Earthlings

Tardis sounds effects

Almost every Doctor Who Theme ever


Doctor Who with Rowan Atkinson 

Lenny Henry Spoof 1985....a vision of 2010


Three doctors and the Master

Children in need 1985

Doctor Who 10th anniversary on Blue Peter part 1 and part 2  

20th anniversary on Blue Peter , includes in studio Daleks and Cybermen 

I will be watching An Unearthly Child with my wife today, however you celebrate, raise a glass to every writer, actor, actress, prop man and costume matron who ever worked on the programme. I personally want to thank my now long passed on mate Colin Semel who had the opportunity to play a Dalek in the 1970's .
Thank you Verity Lambert, Sydney Newman, William Hartnell, Delia Derbyshire, Ron Grainer and countless others

ENJOY DOCTOR WHO'S BIRTHDAY ALL! Happy Whomas one and all.

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