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Discovering Who

By Ehren Stowers

The earliest Doctor Who my brain can tune into is back in the late 1970s when I was still living in 'The Great Land of Who' (namely Britain). I was about three or four years of age. Tom Baker was currently the star, and I remember being upstairs asleep - when suddenly I was awoken to the familiar tune of Doctor Who. I quickly rushed downstairs to find the Doctor and Romana fighting off the Daleks in Destiny of the Daleks - at least I think it was!

Anyway, upon watching Peter Davison's first season, my life was up heaved and flung into the friendly land of New Zealand in 1981/2, right in the middle of Snakedance... or was it Arc of Infinity?.., no, it was Earthshock. Yes, I remember being astounded by seeing the silent credits roll over Adric's crushed gold star. My memories of these stories would later be rekindled. Between the gap at the end of Logopolis which was aired in New Zealand sometime in 1982, and the Jon Pertwee airing in 1985, my memory is blank concerning Doctor Who. I was no great fan of the show then - so maybe I didn't watch it. It was in 1985 that I became a regular Doctor Who watcher, but still no great fan.

I remember one time during Planet of the Daleks when the Doctor sprayed this stuff to reveal a once invisible Dalek. Because the story title had the word 'Dalek' in it, I had taped it and later decided to show the piece at one of my birthday parties to a bunch of non-Doctor Who watchers - who appeared to enjoy it greatly! This was during my stay in Palmerston North. Unfortunately I never kept any of the recordings I had made at that time. I remember watching up to Episode 5 of Planet of the Spiders but missing Episode 6 as we went out to sing Christmas Carols or something - I dreaded that!

After that, our lives were thrown into Adelaide, Australia to live, and the only Doctor Who memory I have of that time is watching Colin Baker's fourteen-part The Trial of a Time Lord. After that, our family decided that the year we had spent in Aussie was long enough, and I longed for the return to New Zealand. On our way back, we decided to take a 'small' turn-off and stop off to visit our relations back in England - just in time to witness Colin's/Sylv's regeneration in Time and the Rani, being screened in late 1987.

When we finally did get back and settle in Rotorua, followed by Whakatane, it was the mid Tom Baker stories and I watched every episode I could.

Then came Logopolis once more - but now being 10-years-old I could understand it more and I thought it was one hell of a story! From Castrovalva onwards, my becoming a so-called 'Doctor Who freak' was inevitable. While Castrovalva was being aired, Whitcoulls were selling the book - thus I bought my first Doctor Who book! And after seeing a Doctor Who book special for $2.95 each I became hooked on collecting every book (an ambition I'm still trying to reach today!). I also began collecting videos, and one year later I heard of the NZDWFC. I was now a true Who fan! Even today, people still call me a 'geek' for falling for such a cheap show.

But then, nobody's perfect...

This item appeared in TSV 28 (April 1992).

Index nodes: Discovering Who