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Discovering Who

Incessant Ramblings

By David Ronayne

Children say the strangest things. My mother can remember me at the age of three, standing in front of the TV, pointing at a marauding Auton ruthlessly gunning down pedestrians, yelling "dolly" .My memory isn't that good so my first recollections of the series come three years later, with the Doctor, Sarah and Harry tumbling through space at the start of Revenge of the Cybermen in 1978.From then on I can remember a hotchpotch of scenes from stories until about 1981.

It was about this time I went on of my first trips to the bustling metropolis that is Auckland. (Hey, I was only small) While there my father and I found a knick-knack shop going through the final throes of its closing down sale. It was there I found my young hearts desire. Yes, a plastic game where two robots beat each other up with "squeaky hammers" until the victor knocks his opponents head off. As with all such childhood wonders it broke after about a month.... Oh, and I bought my first novelisation, Destiny of the Daleks. Book followed book as slowly my collection increased. If nothing else Doctor Who helped stimulate my early reading.

My intense interest (some would say fanaticism, but they've never met Jon Preddle) in the series was viewed by many of my contemporaries as somewhat strange and I never really got on in the social scene (not that I'm complaining, as the social scene I heard of regularly involved the well known party game 'Get drunk-fall down' which I didn't like the sound of, preferring to bask in the realms of eccentric obscurity). As a result I never met anyone else in Rotorua (I neglected to mention that's where I used to live), who enjoyed the Doctor's adventures as much as I (I later found out they were there, I just never found them). In mid-1985 I read an article in the Listener about Dallas Jones's Data Extract newsletter. At last, some people as nutty as me! Oh joy. I sent off my $8 and became a regular subscriber until a rise in postage and a drop in the exchange rate force me to give it up two years later.

Soon after this I met NZ fandom for the first time, when someone called Andrew Poulsen wrote to me saying he'd got my name from Dallas and asked if I'd like to join something called the NZDWFC. 'Wow', I thought, 'my reputation must be spreading.' I quickly put the letter away for safekeeping. I never saw it again. Over the next six months I'd have sporadic searches hunting for this elusive bit of blue paper. It almost drove me mad. I later found TSV's address in a copy of Doctor Who Magazine and received my first copy (issue 17) in early 1990.

A few months later I attended my first con. WhoCon 1990 was one of the pivotal points of my time as a fan as it was here I met for the first time many people who would become good friends and inspire me to become more active in fandom (it was meeting Chris Mander, and subsequently Paul and Felicity Scoones which helped me decide on attending Auckland University the next year, and the endless letters to David Lawrence which helped motivate me to attempt writing fan fiction)

I could write more, but I fear it may bore you, a page seems sufficient and my fingers are getting tired. Initially I had my doubts about this column thinking that other people's recollections of the series wouldn't be at all interesting. I was wrong. I enjoyed reading the previous articles and encourage others to do the same. Nostalgia can be fun.

This item appeared in TSV 28 (April 1992).

Index nodes: Discovering Who