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Discovering Who

By Ian Davies

Welcome, everybody to the Who-zone. Let me take you on a journey back to my earliest memories of the good Doctor, back to when, for me, Doctor Who really meant something.

It all started when I was aged five or six, in the era of the swinging sixties (I was a flower child after all!). Flickering to life on our TV screen was an image of William Hartnell's Doctor surrounded by his travelling companions. They were inspecting giant cylindrical objects and being closely watched by even larger shiny black insects (ants as it turned out). Another scene I remember was of a rather large telephone which seemed to tower above the time travellers and myself, then there was an almighty explosion sending debris flying everywhere. Those familiar with Who history will by now have identified this story as Planet of Giants.

Travelling on through the timestream of my mind we come to that great story The Celestial Toymaker and the scene where Steven and Dodo are playing the game of Twister (all hands and feet on a large polka dot game board). Perhaps this particular memory is so vivid as Twister then was a popular game.

By now having grown a little more and aged a few years I can remember stories more clearly. For example I can vividly recall The War Machines, The Smugglers and the piece de resistance, the regeneration scene from episode four of The Tenth Planet. Has anybody ever wondered what happened to Troughton's flute which was so much a part of his earlier time as the Doctor? Perhaps someone can tell me. Incidentally, from that time Cybermen stories have always been my favourite, followed by Dalek stories and the only two stories ever made about those wonderful furry like creatures called the Yeti. I still am a Sixties era fanatic when it comes to TV having watched series such as The Avengers, The Prisoner (real cult stuff!) and - shock! horror! - repeats of Peyton Place.

At this point in the journey I can recall most if not all of the Second Doctor's stories that were televised here. One scene that stands out in my mind is when the TARDIS is taken away on a lorry with the Doctor and Jamie in hot pursuit. At the time I thought this was a rather abrupt start to The Evil of the Daleks, but later realised that it just seemed this way because they didn't screen the tie-in story The Faceless Ones.

Well I hope you have enjoyed reading this and haven't fallen asleep. Perhaps it has been educational for those not old enough to remember. May the force be with you.

This item appeared in TSV 33 (April 1993).

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