Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Day Today


Sometimes as a Doctor Who fan friends will say something along the lines of 'Why do you like a children's programme?' or 'It's just a kids programme."

They say this as if it is a bad thing.

I say sod being grown up. It's over-rated. It's bills and backache. It's responsibility and regret.

Doctor Who probably means a lot more to me than it should but then its always been there. It's entwined in my childhood. Memories of watching Tom Baker episodes through the crack in the door because I was so scared. Of my Mum saying, "Don't be scared. It's only a television programme." She said it every week but come the cliffhanger each week she'd have to say it again. I have always watched, listened or read Doctor Who stories. I suspect some people are still expecting me to grow out of it. As if it is a phase.

I probably spend too much time thinking about Doctor Who. I take it far too seriously. After all it is only a television programme. Like football is 'just' a game.  But those in-depth fan discussions about small trivial things are part of the joy of being a Doctor Who fan.

I've made good friends through Doctor Who. When I'm unhappy it makes me happy. What more can you ask from a television series. Whoever it is supposed to be made for?

I write all of this not as way of an apology or even explanation. I don't care whether you think I should be watching something more adult, like the X-Factor. Or Eastenders. Or Britain's Got Talent. Or whatever it is I'm supposed to like at the age of 41.

I write this because I think today has been spectacularly brilliant from the purely Doctor Who fan point of view - although Brentford also contributed to my current mood of joy and exhaultation.

This morning I went to Barking and met William Russell and Carole Ann Ford who played Ian Chesterton and Susan in the first ever episode of Doctor Who. That was nearly forty-nine years ago. I suspect neither of them ever expected they'd be receiving the homage of fans of the programme all this time later. I suspect the idea of fans of the programme would have been mysterious enough. It was brilliant to meet them.

Then tonight at 7.35 I settled down to watch The Doctor and his gang in the most recent episode a journey of nearly forty-nine years in a small hop. From a mild curiosity in a junkyard to Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. And whatever it is that makes Doctor Who my favourite television programme ever kicked in again. That childish suspension of disbelief. The excuse to forget about the real world for a while and spend time adventuring with the Doctor. The shear, stupid joyful fun of the whole thing.

And I know none of this really matters but thank you William Russell and Carole Ann Ford and thank you Chris Chibnall and Steven Moffat. Thank you Matt Smith, Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan.

What a bloody brilliant day.


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