Discovering ‘Doctor Who’

doctor who ninth doctor season series 1 Christopher Eccleston Billie Piper Rose Tyler.jpg

In the fall of 2005, at the age of 15, I fell in love with a British science fiction show.

 

I had been watching the Norwegian national broadcasting network’s second channel NRK2 to an excessive point all through the summer.

NRK2 norwegian broadcasting

While NRK1 mostly showed mainstream stuff like the news, HBO dramas, programs made by NRK itself, well-known movies and new detective shows, NRK2 often showed more unknown cult fare.

Some of the stuff on NRK2 which I liked the most were British comedy from before the new millennium. Stuff like Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Blackadder and The Young Ones.

I bet you didn't expect the spanish inquisition

 

Then one evening while I was watching the channel after school, I saw a weird commercial for a program which looked like it involved an alien with a pig’s head crashing into Big Ben, and the subsequent political turmoil taking place in 10 Downing Street.

doctor who aliens of london space pig running

This turned out to be a trailer for just a two-part story a few episodes into the 2005 season of Doctor Who, with the rest of the season having completely different stories each (or every other) episode.

The Space Pig also turned out to be a pig from Earth which had been genetically altered by an alien crime-family, to fool humanity before the family’s actual plan could be set in motion.

 

This was one of the first times I had been exposed to this kind of weird storytelling, and I loved it!

The only thing similar to it that I had experienced at that point were books written by Douglas Adams, and I later learned that he had written episodes for Doctor Who in the 70s, and that he had even been the showrunner for a year.

douglas adams doctor who tom baker lalla ward romana paris

That was also something that surprised me when I found out, that this cool new cult television show that I had just discovered were actually not that new at all, and had been running on-and-off since 1963.

 

And it was a cult show back then.

Maybe not in Brittain, but at least in Norway, and probably most other countries aswell.

I spent a lot of time trying to get other people to watch it, to no avail.

Now, most people have heard of Doctor Who.

new doctor who series 1 season 1

After I saw those Space Pig episodes, I downloaded the first episodes in that season so that I could be fully filled in while watching the rest of the show on TV.

Then at the end of the season’s run on television, just as the Norwegian winter started rearing its head, I was amazed at the ride the show had taken me on.

And I looked forward to the next season for almost a year. For while the show aired in England during spring back then, I wanted to wait until I could watch it legally on Norwegian television, where I had discovered it in the first place.

 

Fall of 2016 arrived, and ‘Doctor Who’ had finally started to show up in the TV-guide.

But when I sat down to see the continued adventures of The Doctor and Rose Tyler, I was greeted with their meeting.

NRK had started showing the 2005 season all over again.

 

I continued watching the whole season a second time, in the hopes that there had been a mistake, or that they were going to air the new season directly after the old one, but it never came.

From that point on, I always watched it online, before buying each season box-set.

The-TARDIS-travelling-in-time-in-Doctor-Who

And it was while looking for new episodes online that I stumbled upon a bunch of episodes from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and an American TV-film from 1996.

It turned out that the story in the new seasons of the show were a continuation of the story that began in ’63, and that the main character I knew as The Doctor, was actually the ninth actor to take on the role, explained away by The Doctor’s ability to regenerate himself when close to death.

doctor who 2005 all nine doctors

You can imagine my confusion..

 

I have since seen all 841 episodes that have aired at this point, the summer before Jodie Whittaker’s first season as the thirteenth Doctor.

All 28 days and 17 hours of it!

 

I am now in the middle of rewatching it all with one of the few people I actually managed to convince to see it, my girlfriend.

 

40 thoughts on “Discovering ‘Doctor Who’

  1. In Swedish television have never Doctor Who has been sent. But I have seen it in BBC channel and love it! The first Doctor Who I saw was with David Tennant as the doctor, and he is the real Doctor Who for me, but I know Doctor Who begun al ready in the 60´s.

    • People often think that about their first Doctor.
      My first, Christopher Eccleston, only had the role for one season, which made it easier for me to accept David Tennant when he took over from him.

  2. I love Doctor Who and it’s crazy story lines! Christopher Eccleston was my first Dr but David Tennant has been my favourite to date. I can’t wait to see Jodie Whittaker’s version of the Doctor!

    • Due to Christopher Eccleston’s quick departure, I sort of don’t have an absolute favorite.
      But Tennant is up there for sure!

      Jodie Whittaker was great in Broadchurch, so I’m sure we are in for a treat 🙂

  3. Great story of how you got into watching Doctor Who. I love the show, new and classic Who, its brilliant. My favourite Doctor is the 4th, Tom Baker, although David Tennant was also really good. Welcome to the wonderful world of Doctor Who! Looking foward to seeing Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor in the new series 🙂

    • Tom Baker had a really good run, many great episodes there 🙂
      ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’, ‘Horror of Fang Rock’, and ‘The Key to Time’ are some of my favorites!

      • He was great as the Doctor. I really like Genesis of the Daleks, Horror of Fang Rock, and Image of the Fendahl. So many favourite episodes to choose from! The Key to Time is really good as well, sort of like one big quest isn’t it, great fun 🙂

    • It took some time 😉

      Whooligan is a pretty good word for it, don’t think I have heard that one before 😛

      The new ones are more like a continuation than a reboot, and I recommend that you check out at least one story per Doctor 🙂
      I’ll maybe make a list for that purpose at some point, but until then, the episodes mentioned in these comments are a good place to start.

  4. Doctor Who seems to have been around most of my life. I’m ancient enough to have watched the first Doctor. and being British, I got to watch many of the early BBC broadcasts – sometimes from behind the sofa. Although it was the Jon Pertwee era that got me totally hooked, my favourite Doctor was Tom Baker – I even got to work with them both when I was in the TV industry, briefly.

  5. Welcome to the marvellous world of Who 🙂 Tom Baker was the Doctor I grew up with in the UK in the 70s, but I also have a lot of love for the Doctors played by Jon Pertwee and Christopher Eccleston. To be honest, I think every actor and version of the Doctor always has something good and different to offer. The idea of a character that changes with each regeneration always keeps things fresh and vibrant. I can’t wait to see what Jodie Whittaker brings us 🙂

  6. I grew up watching the Doctor. Born in ’71, the great eccentric Tom Baker was the Doctor. As a kid I had no idea anyone else had played the role, much less knew what ‘regeneration’ meant! I can still recall at nine years old being knelt in front of the tv at my grandparents’ house when the Fourth Doctor plunged to the earth from the satellite dish and turned into Davison’s Fifth Doctor and exclaiming a puzzled “Who’s that?!!”
    Tom remains my favourite Doctor, (and when he returned in the anniversary episode grown men of a certain age got all emotional throughout the UK) and was really gutted when I heard that Elizabeth Sladen had died.
    The great thing since the series reboot is that I can now share the programme I loved as a child with my own children.

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  8. Like Andy, I grew up with the Doctor (though on PBS at odd hours), and Four will always be my ultimate favorite. I’m nuts about the reboot, though- LOVED Eccleston and it took me a while to warm to Tennant, but I’ve gotten to the point where I welcome and enjoy all of the regenerations… and am SO excited about having our first female Doctor.

    A woman who works in my building is also a huge fan (she wears a Gallifreyan necklace, I wear sonic screwdriver earrings), and we call ourselves Whovians. Exciting year to be one!

    Thanks for sharing your discovery story!!

    • I think PBS has produced a lot of Whovians 🙂

      I loved Moffat, but I think it was time for a change now.
      Exited to see what the new actors and crew brings to the table.

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