(Style note on reading this blog entry: open this YouTube video in a new window / tab and just have it playing in the background. Then after you’ve finished reading, go ahead and read all my other blog posts, and do whatever else you were going to be doing today, all while listening to this video. You’re welcome in advance for the epic day you are about to have.)
Anyway, I am reliably informed that “Who on now?” was my first coherent sentence, spoken when I was little over a year old. Since about 1979, then, this crazy TV show has been part of my life.
Not a huge part, necessarily. And I still consider myself a young man despite the grey, so I imagine that this might be a bigger deal for someone who has been following the show for more of its fifty weird and wonderful years. But those mad outfits, those rubbery aliens, those preposterous plots and complete lack of interest in technobabble (because if you were a centuries-old alien of simply insane technological and cultural advancement, would you bother trying to explain anything to a human being? Particularly just as the galaxy was about to implode? Seriously? Why? What’s the risk-to-benefit ratio there?)…
…yeah, they’ve been with me from the start. They were a cornerstone of my relationship with my siblings, the foundation of my imagination and my perception of our species in space and time, and a very healthy part of my dreams, daydreams, and nightmares. What Isaac Asimov, Herbert George Wells, Douglas Hill and Ursula Le Guin were to my writing, Doctor Who was to my entire outlook on life. Sometimes it’s like the inside of my head has hexagon-themed décor. And yes – it’s bigger on the inside.
Doctor Who wasn’t my first introduction to science fiction, or fantasy, or entertainment. I wasn’t sufficiently formed, as a person, to make any such distinction. You learn to define ‘normal’, what you will for the rest of your life consider to be ‘normal’, as a baby.
Doctor Who was my first introduction to normal.
It’s not coming to an end. This is sentimental nostalgia at its worst but it’s not a retrospective. Nor is it really what I would consider fanboy gushing, although many would disagree and I am excited about the 50th anniversary special coming this weekend. It’s going to be a step in the road, like the 10th anniversary and the 20th anniversary, and I’m sure it’s going to be fun. But I like to think there’ll be more.
Here’s to fifty more years, and maybe another fifty after that. I’m more worried about humanity not lasting that long, never mind the TV show.