I was going back through some old blog posts this past week, doing some admin and tidying up when I stumbled across this.
A post about something that I wrote practically four years ago this week, in June 2005. It was a quick, quirky, multi-topic post. Totally unlike what you’re about to read below.
I’d got terribly exciting about the finale of the new season of Doctor Who. ‘New Who’ as it soon became dubbed was back on our TV screens with its non-wobbly sets, CGI graphics, and some beautifully written story lines (thank you Steven Moffat, but more of him below) that led us to the Doctor and Rose battling against the Daleks, and the realisation that the ‘Bad Wolf’ story arc had been slowly woven in over the previous twelve weeks.
The sight of Eccleston on the BB red chair with the phrase ‘Doctor in the House’ still makes me chuckle. I’m guessing there’s fair percentage of people out there that never got, and still don’t get the Coldcut reference.
Now it’s 2008. And I’m back again to waiting a whole week to see how it pans out with the Doctor and Rose batting against the Daleks. And it’s making me realise that I have to confess something : I love this programme. Big time.
How can it be that a 65 minute special that’s going to be on this Saturday evening is the sole focus of my week. How could it be that a programme which I enjoyed as a kid (Tom Baker, in case you’re wondering) is still getting me excited today. Me … and countless others. Spanning a broad range from young children, teenagers, and thirty-five year old expats in America who surely ought to know better. Shouldn’t they?
I’m worried I may be compared to someone decades younger than me. This [left] is the grinning face of Henry, who’s twelve years old and once contributed towards an iPod of mine. Now this surely is what a Who-obessive should be like, right? Someone who has posters on their bedroom wall, someone spends hours on jumpcut making new montages of old and new Doctors together and creating his own DW comic books on the official site. Isn’t that its target audience really? Or am I just a twelve year old in disguise?
Maybe I should know better. But I also know that when Journey’s End finishes screening on Saturday evening, I’ll be left feeling a little empty, and realising more than ever than it’s been an intimate part of my life over the last four years. It’ll also reinforce (as I watch it online, over the internet and not on a live terrestrial signal) that in the same way that I can recall a time, a memory, and a moment from a particular song that was a hit at a time, I can do the same with Doctor Who episodes now too.
I can remember quite quite clearly and and where I was and who I was with (hello Sam), the first time we were treated to a Christmas special. And how all our fears over whether Tennant would be a worthy successor or not, and by god – yes he was.
I can remember how I slowly realised that there were different writers for different episodes and thus some were better than others. Declaring the genius that is Moffat and that the episodes that are the most clever (Girl in the Fireplace, Blink and Silence in the Library) are his. And the double parter written by Paul Cornell of ‘Human Nature/Family of Blood’ is guaranteed to being a tear to my eye every time I watch it.
That’s right. Doctor Who can bring a tear to my eye and I’m admitting it here in public. Sometimes, if I’m in the mood, all go back to the specific episodes and the specific parts that I know will do it to me and watch them through. I’m even slightly addicted to watching old clips, trailers and the ‘Coming Next’s’ from certain episodes, because it makes the hairs on my arm stand up and puts goosepimples down my back with ease, and I really like that.
And yet it’s just a TV programme. Isn’t it. Isn’t it?
Of course it is. Just like the spin off’s are ‘just’ TV shows too. Did you get caught up in them too? I know I did. And I can remember having some of the best sex of my life after a particularly lesbian themed horny episode of Torchwood had just screened. Shame that was never repeated. The sex that is, not the episode.
So I watch old episodes a lot. They’re all on my iPod too. I spend far too much time on www.doctorwhoforum.com checking out speculations of spoilers and theories. I Google for other Doctor Who blogs (like this one) to see what people are writing. I have a toy TARDIS on my desk at home. I have a Doctor Who calendar on my desk at work. I have a poster of Tennant & Piper up in the studio at work. I have a mini-dalek key ring that spins and flashes whenever my cell phone is about to ring.
I bought both soundtracks (on download, not CD). The Doomsday music still puts a chill down my spine when I hear it. And I bet that no one else out there has ever imagined that the ‘Madame de Pompadour’ music would be a good tear-fest for your own funeral soundtrack. What do you mean you’ve never discussed what music you’d have at your funeral? It’s the best High Fidelity Top 5 game ever.
DW introduced me to some new favourite songs as well. Every week when Confidential is on TV, they use a lot of modern music. I discovered Feeder’s “Tender” this way and love this song to this day. Hello to whoever you are in the BBC Wales production crew who decided to use that piece of music – that made so sad, and so happy, all at the same time. Genius.
It’s been hard to convey my love of this programme to Americans. Only one person (and he was a complete uber-geek by anyone’s definition) had ever heard of it, everyone else I’ve had to slowly introduce it to. I introduced it to Leigh of course, and to this day she still emails me asking if I’ve downloaded the latest episode yet so that she can watch it (Clearly she has a crush on Rose and is awaiting her return). A girl called Anne at work, saw my DW poster on my wall one day, asked me what it was and ever since I’ve been feeding her DivX copies burnt onto CD/DVD for her.
Someone at my improv group the other day turned to me and said “So how was it?”. “How was what?”. “The latest Doctor Who!”. “Oh, did I tell you about that then?”. “Tell us about it? Geoff you went on and on about it, we knew it must be important to you”. “Oh.” So apparently I tend to talk about it as well.
My mum watches it. We have conversations about it via email every week. It’s a programme that entertains all generations. And I love that.
So I love this programme. With a passion. There, I said it. To a point where an outsider might think it strange for someone of my age to be quite so hooked on it, but yet I don’t care … because I really suspect that I’m not alone, even though I might be the only one brave enough to spill it all out onto their blog.
So Saturday is coming. A ‘Fan-Wank-Fest‘ of epic proportions apparently, as it bows out for another season, and we all start looking for something to fill the void left on a Saturday evening, and start counting down the days to the Christmas special.
It is – after all – only a TV programme. Right?