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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.