Colin Baker might have had quite a rude awakening this morning. With his face splashed on the front page of the Daily Mirror, next to John Nathan-Turner in front of the TARDIS and the 100-point full-caps header DOCTOR WHO SEX SCANDAL, the Sixth Doc might have had reason to pick up the phone to his solicitors immediately (I suspect on balance that he would not win an action, but I wouldn't be totally sure - the obvious and reasonable conclusion to draw from it is that Baker has been implicated in a Savile-style scandal, even if the context clearly absolves him of guilt). A tiny caption points out that Baker is not connected with the sex rumours that have broken into the mainstream since Richard Marson's book on JN-T hit the desks of bloggers and Doctor Who fan journos over the last fortnight.
To recap, Marson's book alleges a number of sexual misdemeanors on the part of JN-T and his partner Gary Downie while they essentially ran Doctor Who in the 1980s. I've not read the book, but from interviews and reviews Marson seems to take a rather blase attitude to Nathan-Turner and even Downie to some extent; he apparently describes a visit to the Doctor Who production office where he ended up hiding under a desk in order to avoid a buggery from Downie, but seems to hand-wave it away as One Of Those Things. Nathan_Turner also makes a pass at the 17-year-old Marson and, when rebuffed, chides him for his provincial mindset. What larks.
Of particular interest to the tabloids, of course, is the suggestion that Downie and Nathan-Turner would scour the conventions for young men to have sex with and, while Marson doesn't seem to be of the impression that anything like the abuse that's come to light with the Savile probes was committed, the implication is that men who were under the then age of homosexual consent - identified with the gruesome term 'Doable Barkers' by Downie and Nathan-Turner - may have had a close encounter with the production duo's fluid links. At a time of Savile and BBC hysteria – and in the 50th anniversary year – it's all meat and drink to newspapers.
None of the revelations have come as much surprise to seasoned Who fans – and many will be aware of various additional rumours that have done the rounds for years about what went on at conventions, casting room couches, dressing rooms and more besides back in the day. There's a lot of nasty stuff floating around fandom from the 80s – and I'm not just talking about Time And The Rani or that picture of Ian Levine in his gym sweats.
Many fellow fans have been dreading the publication of the Nathan-Turner book as the threat to Doctor Who in the anniversary year is obvious. Marson seems to have reacted to the interest of the papers in the more prurient stories culled from the book – by all accounts the more grimy stuff does not account for a vast majority of the book – with a mixture of bemusement and irritation, but this is surely naivety on a grand scale or simple disingenuousness. The idea that this was not seen coming is too far-fetched to really believe; a charitable view is that Marson's book has unfortunately dovetailed with an elevated media interest in the BBC and its employees of yore - and the higher profile the anniversary year has afforded the programme.
But to me this is the inevitable result of a lot of scab-picking that fandom has indulged in over the last dozen or so years. In his rather good Guardian review of the book, Mathew Sweet asserts that the Who is the most documented TV programme of all time. I don't doubt it – I write a blog on the programme and my brother has contributed a chapter on religion in Big Finish plays to an academic tract, just two minor examples among dozens.
However, barring the discovery of another batch of missing episodes – or another long-lost interview like the Pertwee articles in recent DWMs – we're nearing saturation point on what else there is to say about Doctor Who, the classic series at any rate. This year we'll see Mark Gatiss' An Adventure In Time And Space (and very welcome too), a programme on the origins of the series, and scarcely a week seems to go by without someone flagging up another cod-academic blog or Mad Norwegian on Who. Lawrence Miles, Tat Wood and Lance Parkin – among others – are contributing interesting, weighty tracts on the show; the documenters such as Andrew Pixley, Richard Bignell, David J Howe, Ed Stradling and Mark Ayres are carefully cataloguing everything there is to know about the facts and figures of Doctor Who. It's been clear for some years that everyone has run of stock photos to use on the covers and the very close end of the initial run of DVDs means there's some sort of original documentary material on virtually every complete story.
Simply put, where the original series is concerned, there's nothing left to know. And so Doctor Who has started to eat itself. It's not enough to know about where The Hand Of Fear was filmed, that Sylv saved Sophie's life during the recording of Battlefield, the real identity of Robin Bland or that the noise of a Yeti's roar is a slowed-down toilet flush. Having devoured these factoids for decades we've turned our hungry gaze to the show's cast and crew. The internet has drip-fed us whispered anecdotes for years but – in the way that mainstream media often adopts the more populist tactics of new media and blogs – we've started to see more and more of this prurient material finding its way into recognised organs or mainstream books.
To read Doctor Who Magazine in the last few years has allowed us to glean hints about Patrick Troughton's extra-marital activities, how Tom thought Pertwee was tight, Nick Courtney's last hours and how Sylvester spent most of his time as part of Ken Campbell''s troupe shagging his way around London. Even the (otherwise excellent) recent Pertwee interview described a broken-hearted septuagenarian Pertwee uncontrollably sobbing because he'd recently lost a treasured stuffed toy. It was depressing as Hell, though the introductions did suggest that the material had, rightly, been edited to remove some of the more unsavoury stuff.
Elsewhere we now know about Hartnell's supposed racism (still a matter of some significant dispute, despite Sweet's assertion in the Guardian), Nick Courtney's crippling depression, Tom's womanising and boozing, Mathew Waterhouse's sexual awakenings while at the Beeb, the alcoholism of certain guest stars and which companion has supposedly slept with three Doctors – the latter, rightly, earning Gary Gillatt a stern rebuke from Colin Baker. Some of these have been rather nuanced and suited the idiom in which they were revealed. Tom's autobiography, for example, is a riotous joy and comes as little surprise, while Waterhouse's rather lovely Blue Box Boy is shot through with whimsy, irony and affection.
But most of this gossip is simply rather dismaying. I don't want to know about the sexual incontinence of my television heroes; I don't want to know that some Doctors dislike others, nor that JN-T was fellated by a willing Barker while on the phone to Biddy Baxter. I don't want to know that Troughton allegedly had a habit of whipping out his knob while I'm watching his "some corners of the universe" speech in Tomb Of The Cybermen, nor that Pertwee and Ainley hated one another while I'm watching them face off in The Five Doctors.
Our appetite for these forbidden nuggets is understandable - in a similar fashion, the internet "dirt sheets" about who htaes who backstage in the world of professional wrestling has opened up a whole new industry as people who grew up cheering Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold and The Rock now search for stories about steroid abuse, sexual liaisons and professional jealousy. Yet it only serves to cheapen the thing we love. To paraphrase Ecclestone's Doctor in Dalek, we haul something down from the stars and bury it in morbid, sad, everyday human frailties.
I don't dispute that the material of JN-T and Downie – some of it anyway – is fair game, nor am I suggesting that we should hush up tales of impropriety simply because it sullies our memories of a TV show. Doctor Who isn't just our progamme, it's one of the most famous series in television history. But we're continuing to unearth what often amounts to hearsay and conjecture about people who may have been dead for decades because of our hunger to know more and more about Doctor Who. Barry Letts might have had a thing or two to say about where our selfish pursuit for knowledge may lead us.
In today's front page it reached its apotheosis. In our 50th anniversary year, where we might have looked forward to the sort of treats one would associate with a childhood birthday, we're dreading Doctor Who being dissected in a media gaze that doesn't care about ruining the reputations of our show and its family. We only have ourselves to blame.
For some reason I decided to watch the TV Movie - mainly as I reckon I'd not seen it this century. Like all ming-mongs do, I decided to go back and watch it, well, because it's Doctor Who.
Obviously I didn't watch it without listlessly browsing the internet at the same time, so I live tweeted it. I got a bit of feedback form Hellyer, so there's the occasional bit of interplay.
However, it's mainly what I thought of it - what occurred to me at any given time during the 90-odd minutes of running time.
How does it hold up? Well, very very badly is the answer. Praise the Lord that there wasn't a resulting series, because if you've seen the calvacade of dross produced by various writers employed by Philip Segal it will have you running into the arms of Chris Chibnall.
Incidentally, Philip Segal's role is an interesting one to ponder at this time. Even though some of instincts were correct and others woefully off-kilter thanks to years - at a guess - of working on dross like SeaQuest DSV, it's fairly clear that he was pretty much the only one looking out for Doctor Who and believing in the series in those wilderness years. I'd buy him a beer.
What works? Well, McGann has some good moments, as does Eric Roberts. Geoffrey Sax has some deft touches too and Mathew Jacobs manages to salvage a few nice lines from the group-thunk nonsense that was left after the BBC, Amblin, Fox, Universal, ABC, NBC, WWE, WCW, NASA, BNFL, ITV and Gary Frigging Russell had their way with it.
Overall, however, I think Daphne Ashbrook does best in the TVM. No doubt Big Finish will be commissioning a 400-disc box set written, produced, scored, directed and staring Barnaby Edwards and Nick Briggs soon. And I might even listen to one or two.
Caves and Twins - the TVM
I'm watching the TV Movie. What can possibly go wrong? It's a request my brother should never have granted.
THAT MUSIC'S FUCKING AWFUL #TVM
Who sniffs a Jelly Baby before eating it? And with a cup of tea?
The bit where Sylv is frantically pushing TARDIS buttons console is so good it made up most of the TV trails for the TVM. And little else
Ah, a gun fight between San Francisco triads. If that doesn't scream 'Doctor Who' I don't know what does
Why - apart form idiotic exposition and 'injured' acting would the Doctor be saying 'timing malfunction to a hoodlum he's only just met?
That's a lovely introduction for Grace, though. Wonderful cleavage too.
'I need a beryllium atomic clock!' Uh-huh. I know this is inviting scoff, but Sylv is absolutely terrible in this. Is he even acting?
That scream is pretty amusing though. All Docs should do that just before they regenerate. #tvm
Surely Bruce the ambulance driver should have been called Seth Terma or something? #tvm
Will Sasso being a comedy fattie. Actually bits of this are OK. Oh, Frankenstein - is there a really subtle metaphor I've missed here? #tvm
Walking down the corridor humming Puccini is nice - and the mirrors in the old wing of the hospital. But Who Am Argh! is crap #tvm
Lee going through the Doc's belongings is nice. And someone is going to a fancy dress party as Tom Baker? #tvm
Great murder by The Master. They should have played is Dudley Simpson leitmotif though #tvm
Ah, the American health system. Evil through and through. This would never happen under Obamacare #tvm
@james_hellyer [Eric Roberts] gets it in the same way that Graham Crowden and Paul Darrow did
I really hate the thing about the Doctor knowing everyone's future and/or their deepest desires. He just comes across as a sex pest #tvm
And now it looks like he's trying to take his trousers off in the back of Grace's car #tvm
Grace Holloway drives a Range Rover. And Bruce owns a pair of aviators and a massive leather trench coat #tvm
The nurse doesn't see anything odd about Bruce peeling off his finger nail and flicking it onto her work? Ridiculous #tvm
I also hate it that the Doctor goes around moodying famous figures from history, like some desperate time-travelling starfucker #tvm
Murray Gold must have been taking notes when watching this. Bad 'magical' Hollywood-lite music #tvm
McGann's really short. #tvm
I really dislike that 'these shoes fit perfectly' stuff. It just comes across as try-hard kookiness. #tvm
Why would Lee be bothered about who Genghis Khan was? Or this weird backstory The Master concocts? Didn't he just threaten to kill him? #tvm
Well, at least the cloister room doesn't have a fucking pterodactyl or vortisaur in it #tvm
Oh dear, the plot's kicking in. Things are about to take a turn for the worst. #tvm
So, TARDISes are designed to open their power source when a human eye looks into a blinding beam of light hidden beneath a staff? #tvm
How long was the Doc kissing Grace for? Why did he remember who he was or know the Master's plans? ACK! The crippling exposition! #tvm
The Doctor drinks tea. BECAUSE HE"S BRITISH. #tvm
Midnight huh? Neat dramatic coincidence. 'By 4.37pm next Friday this planet will be pulled inside out' #tvm
'...always seeing patterns in things that aren't there'. The Eighth Doctor is obviously a climate-change denier with that comment #tvm
Eric Roberts is great in that bit I'll give him that. The transference line and 'I don't like it!' - Ainley would've done it better tho #tvm
All of the bike cop bit is quite well done by all concerned too. "He's British" explains everything. #tvm
I prefer the ambulance chase in Spearhead From Space. And the bit where the Doc is strapped to a table in Mark of the Rani #tvm
I finally meet the right guy and he's from another planet? Where on Earth did that come from? Apart from a different draft. #tvm
The constant supply of coincidences is surely a record - the clock; the guest list, the ambulance - even in Doctor Who #tvm
They tell cock jokes on Gallifrey? Quite a good line though. That professor dude looks like a paedophile #tvm
The Master has jizzed on those security guards? 'Liven things up' is another Doctorish thing though. #tvm
Phew. It's one of those 'slow release' fire hoses. Thanks God for that. #tvm
The universe hangs by such a delicate thread of coincidences. That's a stroke of fucking luck, eh Doc? #tvm
That's a really crapulous Scooby Doo bit of throwaway, desperate attempted humour. The pseudoscience bit quite good tho #thebikebit #tvm
'are you any good at setting alarm clocks?' Eh? Scary black-eyed Grace is good though. #tvm
Yes, I can't see anything wrong with buddying up with this green-eyed, possessing, sadomasochistic pervert #tvm
Bit of a design flaw, that. #onlyhumanscanopengallifreyantimecapsules #tvm
There's some nice directorial touches here by Geoffrey 'Tenor' Sax in the back-and-forth between the Master and Doctor #tvm
Lucky Grace know how's to rewire a time machine #tvm
McGann sounds a bit like Colin Baker there. Wouldn't it have been fun if he'd been recast? #tvm
It would've been great if Pertwee / Delgado or Davison / Ainley had had a punch-up #tvm
[replying to Hellyer's observation that the Doctor doesn't try too hard to rescue the Master form the Eye of Harmony] Yeah, his hearts aren't in that. At least he doesn't cry like Captain Emo #tvm
Be great if the TARDIS brought back the Master as well. Big fat reset switch. Better get used to it. #tvm
That punch of the TARDIS console is McGann's best moment #tvm
The music swell, the fireworks, the kiss. I expect it rankles because I'm a sad fanboy who's never had sex, rather than it being shit. #tvm
Oh no, not again. Well, quite. Chances are I'll never watch that again. #tvm
Just a quickie to promote Project Motor Mouth – something set up by Peter Davison in aid of Janet Fielding, who is sadly suffering from cancer.
Davison has collected together fellow Doctors Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann and David Tennant for an ad hoc convention – Day of the Doctors – with the proceeds going to Project Motorhouse, a community project Fielding is supporting in Ramsgate.
As the website says:
Janet Fielding has a new fight on her hands not against the Daleks or Cybermen but against cancer. Peter Davison has swung into action and enlisted the help of his fellow Doctors to launch Project MotorMouth. It will not only raise money for a good cause but also keep Janet’s spirits up.
I just think this is a great thing and a lovely example of the Who Family rallying round and just doing A Good Thing.
It's sold out already, though I'm sure there are ways to contribute. All the best to Janet in the meantime and some major props for Davison, who is, for the record, my Doctor. And a bit of a dude.
For the record, a mate of mine has seen Davison twice recently. The first coming back from Barbados on a trans-Atlantic flight with his grandson in tow (doesn't that make you feel old) and secondly swanning around Crosby in one of those 'TRUST ME I'M THE DOCTOR T-shirts.
Anyway, brave heart, Tegan.
The recent explosion of Big Finish audios, mining classic series companions, monsters, guest charatcers and actors had shown us one thing recently: the Doctor Who universe had an embarrassment of riches to call on in the time of the series revival and new ascendancy.
And, without putting too fine a (morbid) point on it, much of the classic Doctor Who universe was still with us until the last couple of years. We had lost Jacqueline Hill and Ian Marter tragically young, while Mike Craze departed in the late 90s. But of the former Who companions all were still going strong, popping up in spin-offs, audios and conventions here and there.
The last 18 months has been a sad time to be a Doctor Who fan though. Nick Courtney, Lis Sladen, Carry John and now Mary Tamm have passed away. Nick's loss, as a kind of spiritual leader of the Doctor Who family, was felt keenly but the passing of the three lady companions was shocking and seemed unfair.
They were not old, by today's standards, and we did not know of their illnesses – so learning off their loss has, for me, been tinged with a kind of disbelief. I reacted to the news of Sladen, John and Tamm dying with a kind of instinctive noise of dismay.
We clearly experience the deaths of Who alumni with sadness – and I always find myself asking myself why. Clearly that connection to childhood nostalgia is part of it – a reminder of the passing of time and the gentle melancholy that is inspires. But I think, beyond that, is a fundamental fondness for the people who made our show what it was. More than other TV personalities we might recognise from our youths; more so, possibly, than people in the public eye to whom we should pay more respect: public servants, charity workers, good eggs.
Perhaps that's what it is to be a fan. A sense of ourselves as part of a big family, no matter how slightly, how much we may disavow it and how much we've found ourselves drift away from a programme. Our big, dysfunctional, ramshackle Doctor Who family is diminished a little – and somehow we feel that loss more than we'd expect to, if only for a second.
I met a couple of Who companions, but never Mary Tamm – someone I always thought was the most beautiful Who companion among dozens of beautiful women.
I'm not going to attempt a retrospective of her career or assessment of her role as Romana I. But I do mourn her passing, as I expect will the rest of fandom for the same reasons. RIP Mary.
The departure of Doctor Who companions to new dimensions is a source of sadness, but it seems particularly unfair when they leave us at what is, these days, a relatively young age.
I had no idea Caroline John was ill; the regular supply of audio dramas by various companies these days seems to keep us in touch with former DW actors – as do the regular conventions, given a boost by the New Series.
John was not in Doctor Who for long – just Spearhead From Space, The Silurians, The Ambassadors of Death and Inferno – and a cameo appearance in The Five Doctors.
There were also some late spin-off straight-to-video dramas where John reprised her role as Liz Shaw as part of PROBE, basically a British X-Files rip-off. She was reunited with Jon Pertwee in The The Zero Imperative, where Liz somehow manages to notice that a clinic's Doctor O'Kane happens to look identical to the Third Doctor.
They do feature some very good casts - benefiting from the appearance of John, Louise Jameson and Peter Davison (enjoying one of hie lean career spells at the time) - have some nice moments are enjoyable curios, rather like The Airzone Solution.
None of them were very good and seem to be a vehicle for Mark Gatiss to figure out how the Hell you write stories – and act. Reece Shearmsith also appears.
Liz also makes an appearance in the Virgin New Adventure Eternity Weeps alongside the Seventh Doctor as well as a parallel version in Blood Heat.
John recently read a couple of audio versions of target novelisations - and I think she did some of the Big Finish plays.
Season Seven is my favourite bit of Doctor Who. As far as I'm concerned they're four absolutely wonderful stories – and Liz is a big part of that. Supposedly the dynamic with the Doctor partnered with a clever companion didn't work, something I never really followed, and Liz was written out after the series.
But not before Inferno, one of the best-acted Doctor Whos I think. John delivers a performance as the alternative Liz Shaw that's close enough to 'our' Liz but sufficiently different. The dualism throughout the serial is what makes it a superb story, rather than just a good one. All of the elements contribute to something greater than the sum. It;s why it's my favourite Doctor Who story.
It's easy to be sad about the passing of Doctor Who actors - and, indeed, any death is sad. But we have a lot to be grateful for too. Thanks, Carry, for the memories.
Although Doctor Who was no doubt a tiny part of her career and I wouldn't want to suggest there wasn't a lot more to it I've included a couple of clips from the programme below.
Sad to learn of the death of Philip Madoc at 77 - another British acting heavyweight with a number of connections to Doctor Who.
It always seems amiss to frame these tributes to actors and production staff in relation to something that was probably a small part of their overall careers; but generations of people are exposed to the significant talents through Who they might not be otherwise aware.
Madoc certainly does have a wider exposure - obits are likely to mention his amusing role as the U-boat captain in Dad's Army (in my house it's still required to ask for chips that are 'crisp... und light brown' rather than soggy), his Cadfael and slow-burn Channel 5 thriller A Mind to Kill.
But that's all a bit beyond my locus. Madoc is chiefly known in the Doctor Who universe for his amusingly unhinged Mehendri Solon in The Brain of Morbius and the chilling War Chief in The War Games.
He's comfortably the most interesting character in either story - and I say that in full recognition of the fact that he shares a lot of screen time with Tom Baker, Patrick Troughton, James Bree and Edward Brayshaw.
A still of Madoc as the War Lord is my avatar on Outpost Gallifrey, or whatever it's called these days, such is the regard in which I hold him in. He's believably evil - and his smile upon delivering his various threats quite sinister; polo-necked, bearded and sporting a tiny little pair of rounded glasses that suggest something vaguely fascistic.
Solon is an altogether different kind of nutter; he's a complete monomaniacal loony, devoted to beheading shipwrecked unfortunates on Karn in order to build a pot-pourri of a monster to house Morbius' brain.
It's superb grand guignol stuff - made all the more engaging by Solon's wry, black sense of humour. Madoc's dry "I'm sorry, the pun was irresistible," in relation to a crap gag Solon makes to Morbius ("the crowning irony!") is brilliant.
Madoc also appears in the film version of the Dalek Invasion of Earth as a
Nazi Dalek collaborator. Again, he's a thoroughly unpleasant chap here. He's also in the Power of Kroll, but I can't remember anything him about in that. Various Doctor Who talents are reduced to mere squid food in that one.
I'm fairly sure the War Lord returned in some New Adventure or other - such was the power of the performance; it's easy to believe it slipping under the radar into typically overblown Doctor Who villain lunacy in another's hands.
We Who fans perhaps feel the death of such actors because we link them with childhood memories. And, perhaps, we're more forgiving of such actors' limitations.
Not so in the case of Madoc - he was a genuinely talented actor and comparison to the likes of Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins are irresistible.
Madoc was blessed with a wonderfully mellifluous voice, with a lovely Welsh lilt. Apparently he was a heck of a singer to boot. Here's just a small example of Philip Madoc from beyond the world of Doctor Who. RIP.
If you ever wondered what it would look like if the Seventh Doctor machine-gunned Romana I to death, then look no further.
This is from a film called Three Kinds of Heat, which featured Sylvester McCoy and Mary Tamm. Judging by this short clip it's surely the worst film ever made.
Not so long ago, and with some the Geek Clique in tow, I ventured to West London to see the Doctor Who Experience. It's at the Kensington Olympia - a right pain in the arse to get to - for the next month or so. Is it worth catching? Well, that depends.
I've been to quite a few Doctor Who events over the last year or two. The frankly appalling stage show first. Then the excellent Crash of the Elysium. Since we were down in London anyway we decided we'd give the Experience a go. It was either that or go and see the warehouses at Shad Thames where Rodney Bewes was running away from Lytton.
The Experience is rather like Crash of the Elysium in that it's slick, has a certain amount of audience interaction and feels ever-so-slightly overpriced.
Also like Crash of the Elysium there's a sort of narrative that involves Matt Smith saying he needs some help into a camera while whirling around inside the TARDIS.
I can't actually remember a lout about the actual experience, barring a bravura piece of 3D cinema that finally makes the medium feel worth bothering with.
There's also an excellent bit at the end with monster suits and costumes and props. And, following that, an expansive gift shop that's a monument to just what a money-spinner Doctor Who is for the BBC. Tacky shit.
But what made the Doctor Who Experience such a, well, experience was something that had never happened there before and never will again.
Shuffling past us as we entered and looking for all the world like Terrance Dicks was... Terrance Dicks. It took us a few minutes to work out whether it was indeed The Man Of A Hundred Targets, but the unmistakable voice confirmed it: we were traversing the universe with Terrance Dicks.
One of the sections involves piloting the TARDIS – pushing buttons on an instrument panel about a yard in front of what I assume is a replica of the TARDIS console prop. The Geek Clique were piloting the TARDIS with Terrance Bloody Dicks.
It was, genuinely, a wonderful moment. Later on a couple of the guys spoke to him and confirmed that he was very pleasant but not especially keen to speak to a number of star-struck Doctor Who fans in their mid-30s. Keen though I was to say hello to Terrance and how much I liked his work (including his New and Missing Adventures - and even his non-Who work, including Cry, Vampire) I thought he'd appreciate being allowed to look at an old TARDIS console (the one that debuted in the Five Doctors, looking weirdly small) unmolested.
All in all it was an experience that made the twenty quid entry fee a lot less galling. I'll never forget it.
Only a year to go til Doctor Who's 50th anniversary. That just doesn't seems possible - as it never seemed possible that Jon Pertwee, Nick Courtney or Lis Sladen would no longer be with us - or our favourite Doctors would grow old. Or that our series would ever return to the television.
Sorry to start off on a rather maudlin note, but it becomes increasingly hard not to measure the passage of time by certain personal landmarks in this way after a while. I still remember the run-up to the 20th anniversary - the Five Doctors and the Andrew Skilleter Radio Times cover and the Radio Times special that my Dad bought.
I don't really remember the 25th - I ducked in and out of Doctor Who over the Sixth and Seventh Doctor eras. I never took to poor Colin at the time but came back for Sylv's first series. I remember being utterly non-plussed by whichever story I first saw of his, but was utterly disgusted when Delta and the Bannermen was trailed with a picture of Sylvester and Ken Dodd gurning violently - and took the next two years off.
I also remember reading of The Dark Dimension (scripts floating around on the internet show it to be absolutely dreadful) in Doctor Who Magazines and TV Zones, DWBs and Starbursts while standing at the magazine shelves in WH Smiths - and reading about its cancellation. Other 15-year-olds furtively bought pornography; I furtively bought sci-fi mags (though I later went on to furtively buy pornography and sci-fi mags).
35. Did anything happen? Not that I can remember. 40. Ah, the new series announcement. Was it really the best part of ten years ago? I had a different job; lived in a different house, with a different girl. How time flies. I was so excited I texted my brother when I was driving home from work (I know, I know) and then listened, annoyed, to some piss-taking announcement on BBC Radio 1.
If anything specific happened at 45 I don't remember it. And now 50. 50 fucking years. I literally can't believe it. But its coming does excite me. The fanboy feeling that - even though it's elusive and fleeting - reminds me why I love Doctor Who, even now.
I haven't been excited by a TV show's anniversary for 20 years. But the prospect of what The Grand Moff promises will be every fanwanky dream come true is mouth-watering indeed. I don't dare to voice my hopes for an anniversary story that I hope throws sense and good taste out of the window. And I thoroughly expect all the trimmings too. A Multi-Doctor Big Finish story; DWM getting in the big guns for a round of joint interviews; special BBC1 trails throughout the year; a nice Radio Times cover story; a massive contention (not that I'd go, of course). The works.
In what is like the first batch of Christmas adverts you see on the TV (or advent hymns if you're more traditional) the 50th anniversary has been teased with this wonderful trailer from Babelfish; genius amateur editor and a man who has gone well beyond the call of duty in producing delicious morsels on Doctor Who video fun. It;s his tribute to the show and a visual nod to every TV story, spin-off and continuity thing. A phenomenal effort - and one that stirs the same part of me that awaited The Five Doctors, over 30 years ago.
Amusing 'droo' blog Angry Who Fan seems to have reached the end of his regenerative life-cycle; which is to say that his blog isn't up any more.
This is a shame, because I found it very funny - if a tad OTT from time to time - and represented, to some degree, my feelings on NuWho: I like some of it; I hate some of it but I'll keep watching it because, well, because it's Doctor Who.
There was quite a loyal following, mainly consisting of some of the most insane people in fandom, and a smattering of content that suggested something of an inside track.
It was also something of an antidote to the rather boring BBC-Big Finish-DWM-uberfan hierarchy that spends most of its time telling us how great the new series and Torchwood are.
In my own personal tribute, I'll probably be ripping off the 'amusingly titled screenshots' thing he used to do. In the meantime here's one of the animations he did, which kinda sums up the entire blog.